Thank you all for your comments on my previous frantic post. The steady trickle of them coming in has helped me keep my head above water tonight. I really appreciate all the supportive messages.
Tears keep filling my eyes and I don’t even really know why. For some of us perhaps it is fear; fear that the mother heard our therapy session this morning, fear that she chose that exact moment to email because of that. She is probably extremely aware that we can be made to feel guilty very easily – she certainly used that to her advantage when we were growing up. Guilt is what made us want to self harm this afternoon, guilt is what made us want to jump off the balcony. Guilt is a very intense emotion that sticks to me like glue.
For some of us perhaps it is terror; terror that I am really hurting her and she is going to die, literally, through suicide or physical illness caused by me, an old message that I just can’t get away from however much I hash it out. And also terror that this is just the start of what will become a… witch-hunt. I remember when I had to quit my job because I believed she was trying to hunt me down and kill me. The terror associated with that was probably the worst I have ever experienced and I don’t doubt that some parts inside are still feeling that.
For some of us perhaps it is frustration; frustration that she had to remind us of her existence today. Frustration that she was able to get through to me on such an old email address that was due to shut down in two weeks anyway. Frustration that she will probably think I got it and have been affected by it as much as I have. Frustration that I can’t actively throw it back in her face like I want to, well, parts of me want to.
For some of us it might be grief; grief that after 10 months of silence all I am worth is ‘please let me know you are okay, I miss you, thanks, mum x’. The more I read it the more I see the coldness behind the email. The more I think, is she not going to try a bit harder than that? Where is the love in that message? “miss you” is about as much love as I get there and even then I can’t help but think, why? because you are planning your holiday and need a dog-sitter? And 10 months later she still can’t be big enough to apologise for excluding me from the “family” birthday celebrations. She still can’t give me anything to hold onto that shows she feels just the slightest bit of remorse for the things she KNOWS she has done.
I have been trying to work out why she has emailed now. Why not at Christmas? Why not on her birthday? I have come up with a couple of theories. One- she has turned her calendar over and saw my birth date staring back at her. Perhaps it has finally clicked that the person she gave birth to 26 years ago is missing. Perhaps she is feeling fearful herself and reinstalling the fear I have of her in my life to keep me in check so I don’t uncover the abuses for what they really were.
Another theory is that the highly triggering news about the murder in Woolwich actually triggered off something in her. I know for me, seeing the picture of the man on the street with the kitchen knife is incredibly anxiety-provoking. For her, it probably provokes a bit of excitement. Somewhere deep down she is probably relating that incident, on some level, with what she did to us. I can’t look at a kitchen knife without thinking of her. Perhaps it is the same the other way round too.
But ultimately, I am trying to work out if her message is even genuine. I am trying to work out what her motive is. It doesn’t seem as if she wants to get me back into the family; all she is asking me to do is tell her if I am okay. She isn’t asking me back with loving open arms. It just feels like this is just a reminder that she is still around, and an attempt to resurrect the brainwashing she’s given me over the years. It is a poke to say, I am still here, I can still terrorise you in your mind, you can’t get rid of me that easily. And given the stormy headache I have had since receiving the email, I think that message has been relayed to the whole system through and through.
I am not going to respond to such a passive email. If she wants me to contact her she will have to beg. Beg like I did as a child to stop her abusing me. She will have to get on her hands and knees and plead and take responsibility for what she did and apologise profusely. I am not going to contact her because she allegedly misses me. Because, you know, I don’t miss her.
I just have to go against every single screaming cell in my body and not react defensively with this. The urge is to push everyone away, because if nothing else, this has just brought up the reminder that people aren’t safe. I am being stopped from reaching out now to any of the self soothing stuff that Cat and I set up before she went away. My brain is all set to tell her to get lost. I am not allowed to write in her book. I am not allowed to cuddle up with stuff that reminds me of her. I am not allowed to go inside and sit with her.
Realistically, I have to be aware that undoubtedly some parts are angry/upset because we have been thrown into crisis and she hasn’t been there in the capacity we needed her to be. It is a very egotistical and child-like view for us to be feeling this, but before she went away she said that if there is an emergency, like the mother contacting us, then we can call her. We have exchanged a few texts but I am left feeling abandoned because she didn’t call back. It pains me to say it because she is on holiday and the LAST thing I want to do is interrupt her holiday but it just an added element of disappointment on top of every other emotion that is coursing through me today. I can’t stop the disappointment however much I don’t think it is fair on Cat to be that way. Benny, Poppy, LJ and I are all really sensitive about people saying something and then not doing it. It was one of the reasons Poppy pulled us away from the old therapist (Wolf). The message is bouncing around inside as I type: if you say you are going to do something, then do it, or don’t say it. We can hang onto words like a rope over a 20 foot fall. The fall hurts when the rope disappears.
Still so much more to process from this, and the session today, but my head isn’t going to let me do anymore. Considering it is 1am I am not entirely surprised.
Love to you all,