My mother is the queen of passive aggressive guilt and manipulation. And she deserves a real crown for her latest achievement.
I’m trying to do what N has taught me. That when contact from my family comes through, sit with the emotions, identify them, let them pass, and then make a choice (because I have a choice, which is still mind blowing) about how I want to respond.
My Mom writes poetry. I can’t publish her most recent work here because if she Googles herself or her words (as narcissists are want to do) she will find this blog.
First of all, earlier yesterday I share some of our small wedding photos we got back with her – and she basically does the “I’m just going to respond in a basic way so you stop talking to me cause I’m mad at you but believe I need to respond” thing and says “that’s nice” to the photos.
Whatever. They are awesome and I don’t need your validation.
Then the subject of the email is her being like here’s something new I wrote and you need to help me blog about it and the title of this new work of hers is called my biggest mistake. So we already know this is going somewhere good.
I read it. I don’t know why, but I do.
She will call me to seek validation for her work and if I answer will read out her poems to me and ask for instant gratification. Some of them are legitimately good, this one included – but they are full of hurtful things. I never realized how manipulative this was until recently.
Essentially this one is about wanting someone to rescue her from the burden of parenthood because she spends too much time taking care of other people and wants to strangle herself (actually) – and her mistake was believing that someone would come to rescue her.
If you wanted to stab me in the heart Mom, you had plenty of opportunities to simply give me the knife.
But they’re missed opportunities, because I’m stronger now, and as of yesterday I truly believe that this is not on me. This trauma is not on me… and I do have a choice.
I don’t know what my response is here because I haven’t sorted through my emotions. And I believe that that is my greatest new superpower – and I will take as long as I need to decide if and when and how I want to respond – because I can. Because I know I have a choice. And I know that although she CLEARLY feels like raising me and my brother was her biggest mistake – I know that I am going to be left with no such regrets in my 60s – cause I’m doing the work now.
So here’s your crown, Mom, I don’t want it.
I don’t want to be you. And that feels so powerful right now. You have no idea.