I realized the other day, with the help of my AMAZING therapist, that my mother has never expressed remorse for any of her actions against me. I guess I shouldn’t have been, but I was REALLY surprised by that. I held this image of her that made her out to be misunderstood – she REALLY loved me but her illness got in her way. She wouldn’t have hurt me if she thought she was really hurting me – it was all care taking.
But that’s not true, is it. I cannot remember one time I got an apology. Not for an accusation, an argument, a missed birthday or late pick up. Not anything. Certainly not for anything abusive. It was always my fault. If I hadn’t made her angry…If I could be trusted to do these things myself…If she didn’t have to protect me.
Even that last one – not protect me because there was evil in the world. Protect me because I was too stupid to not attract evil.
I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that my mother could have been so self-absorbed, narcissistic, hurtful, that it was willful. I keep searching my memories for something. A gift that was thoughtful, an” I love you” that wasn’t a manipulation, a selfless act. Even when I would get decent grades or have a good performance in sports or music, it would be about her. MY CHILD takes just after me.
I remember one time she hosted a dinner for my hockey team. I begged her not too. All she did was gush about her spaghetti sauce and make sure everyone complimented her on it. I left halfway through and she didn’t even notice. It was not about me. Never about me.
Can there be comfort in that? Can I begin to let go of the thoughts that the abuse was all about me? That I was bad, not good enough, etc? If everything else was about her and her needs, maybe the abuse she enacted upon me was about her and her needs as well. Maybe, just maybe, I can see my way to getting rid of some of this shame.