Thank you all for holding me. Thank you all for being here.
My mother is one of the most two-faced people I know. Her and her family spew hate about each other behind their backs but all present this polite formal exterior when in person together (which happens rarely anyway). My mother does not have a nice word to say about any of her family.
So I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that she has been spewing hatred about me to the father, to my sister, to her mum. I also know that this little email she sent me yesterday was done impulsively in secret. There is absolutely no mention of the father at all. Absolutely no mention of my sister. My father has always been wrapped around my mothers finger so tightly he does not have room for his own thoughts. The only reason he would enter the room we were shut in age 11 was to physically abuse us as requested by the mother. I’m sure the mother is dictating how he is to think and feel about me now too. I’m sure he hates me, as requested by the mother. If he didn’t, he would at least have been put at the end of the email too.
I have received a comment that basically says that I need to forgive my mother and leave her behind. I have trouble with this notion. You can’t forgive anyone without knowing what you are forgiving them for. The memories of how she treated us before the age of 10 are still very deeply buried from me, so much so I can’t feel them at all. I am not at the point in my healing yet where I can forgive and forget. None of us are. It is not at all a coincidence that since I have put a stop to my old time habit of pushing everything down and telling myselves the past is not important, the emetophobia has improved considerably. I used to wake up almost every night in an emetophobic panic. Now I am waking up, but the automatic thoughts that used to follow me around encased in the emetophobia are kept at a distance so I can stay rational about such fears. Not in a million years am I going back to the ‘just forgive and forget’ notion. Not in a million years am I inviting such a high degree of neurosis back into my life.
I also received a comment asking me to not be so hard on Cat. This I agree with. I feel terrible for feeling the way I felt yesterday and sounding so ungrateful and so selfish in my last post. I know that she isn’t going to hate me for feeling that way, she will know how sensitive we are to any signs of abandonment (especially as triggered by contact from the mother), and would be glad for me to admit to her how I felt. Yet still I want to hide it from her. It took me a very long time to get out of bed this morning because of the extent of shame I was feeling. I just wanted the duvet to swallow me whole.
So, the message that the therapist left me with yesterday, to try and be more compassionate to myselves, is bouncing around my head but unable to settle. I can’t even be compassionate to the younger parts of me; I hate all of me right now. My mother didn’t discriminate between what parts of me to teach hate to. She made me hate myself through and through and this was something Cat and I were working on, trying to see that I am not actually as abhorrent as she got me feeling. But what a powerful lesson the mother taught me if it only took a 13 word email from her to bring that intensity of self hatred up again.
It continues to be hard to swallow that yesterday morning I came to the conclusion in therapy that the witch persona my mother used wasn’t just a minor quirk of hers. That actually it is a recognised method of abuse that other people have gone through. That actually it is a very powerful block she purposefully put in place: I will always know what you are doing and saying and if you step out of line I will put a curse on you. No wonder the memories before the age of 10 are so hidden. No wonder the parts of me younger than 10 are so limited with what they will speak about. We were kept in line fearing that otherwise she would take our blood in the night time and do curses and told it doesn’t matter how far away from each other we are, she still knows everything and can do anything. Our fear of the full moon is palpable here; the face on the moon a constant reminder that you are seen and heard by forces much more powerful than you ever will be. You can’t run. You can’t hide.
To try and see my mother in this manipulative sadistic light and then be faced with an on the surface kind email enquiring whether I am ok or not is just a total mind bender. The usual fears come up – was the therapist yesterday also trying to twist things in my mind so I would see my mother in such a bad light when really, as evidenced by the email, she is not as bad as I make out? I of all people know that my mother has extreme mood switches. I know that her sadistic side wasn’t present 24/7. I know her child-like side wasn’t present 24/7. I know her depressed side wasn’t present 24/7. But all her sides were abusive. So what is she doing emailing me the nicest thing she has ever said to me before in my life? She has never told me she misses me before. She has never contacted me off her own back before just to see if I am okay. Granted, we have never been out of contact for 10 months, but why does she have to come up with this whole new side to herself now? Is it fake?
Regardless by now she would have switched back to her more comfortable self. I couldn’t email her back even if I wanted to. I would be absolutely petrified of her old sides returning.
That is probably as far as this portion of processing is going to take me. I know today I need to somehow reconnect with present day life. I need to take my dog out in the sun. I need to give the house a tidy, or something. But I feel so heavy I think my bed is the next stop. Perhaps letting myself lay in bed, perhaps take a nap, would count as being compassionate to myselves.