My mother never loved me
My mother never loved me
What a thing to say out loud. Verbalising such an emotional, concrete statement. In the face of societal pressure to forgive and ‘but she’s your mother’, it’s a hard thing to say. But when its true, being able to verbalise marks a turning point in the healing process. Its admitting what you knew but hadn’t fully processed, and couldn’t bring yourself to admit consciously. Taking the leap to say it is a dive into a whirlpool of emotions, memories, and concerns over the future.
My last interaction with my mother involved her denying all the acts she has done, from stealing my childhood savings to pay for her affair, to dismissing my feelings over having a different, secret dad affected me. I asked her who was going to walk me up the aisle on my wedding day, she stated she didn’t care. What about explaining who my dad is to her grandkids? She didn’t care. What about explaining the situation to my other family members? She didn’t care. She began stating repeatedly that she didn’t care about me, she didn’t care about my health, she didn’t care about any pain she had caused, and that she was going to tell my therapist some ‘home truths’ about me. She didn’t care that I had been suicidal, because ‘you were on about that suicide thing before’. All that was foreplay for her, as you could almost hear the lightbulb forming above her head when she came up with her piece de resistance- that she was going to tell my partner these same unspecified ‘home truths’. The glee in her voice was tangible, like a slap in the face. She began repeating it, as if she couldn’t believe how clever she was to think of this, and was delighted with herself. That part was one of the hardest to process, how happy she sounded in thinking about causing my partner to either fight with me or break up with me, when she knew how happy I was with him. The glee in disrupting my relationship and happiness- what kind of mother does that?
One who doesn’t love their child. A narcissistic one, who only cares about herself.
A mother cannot love her child and ignore their pain, especially pain they caused. A mother cannot love her child and repeatedly state she doesn’t care about their health. A mother doesn’t love her child when she hears they are suicidal and ignore them for weeks. That cannot be normal behaviour. That cannot be love. The pain that causes is excruciating, but also proof of her words- she doesn’t care. Maybe now she is finally being honest. She doesn’t value me, will never be there for me. She likes boasting about my achievements to others, but she probably couldn’t name the subjects I got my degrees in. She just wants the photos on the wall to show off to the neighbours. Her response to my telling her of an achievement was ‘oh’, and when I dared to complain this was hurtful, she flew into a rage telling me I hadn’t given her enough time to say anything, despite the long silence I left after her pitiful ‘oh’. Yet Im sure the neighbours heard about that, so she could enjoy some attention. She turned up at my door months after I told her I was suicidal, and hadn’t returned her few missed calls. I wasn’t in. She didn’t call to see if I would be in, didn’t call when she got there, and didn’t call to say she had been there. I found out from my neighbour a few days later who said she was worried. Worried enough to tell him, but not worried enough to call me.
I could go on, and on, and on with many examples. But they all add up to the same thing- she doesn’t love me. Narcissistic mothers do not love their children, they see them as tools they can use to get attention for themselves. A source of supply, but also a source of competition for them where achievements are dismissed but boasted about to others. I am tired of seeking approval where none will ever come. I am tired of visiting and coming home to have a nap because my energy has been drained from her take, take, take. I am tired of hearing about all the people who treat her badly and asked to provide solutions that are immediately dismissed before the sentence is finished. I am tired of never being listened to, but expected to listen to bitterness, of how terrible my sister is, how terrible my grandad is, how terrible my uncle is. I am tired of her refusing to accept any responsibly for her life, for the pain she has caused, for the lack of remorse she exhibits.
I walked away. It’s been eight months. It was Christmas eve, when she unleashed her last bile filled attack. I’ve heard from other family members how upset she is, but she’s never picked up the phone, never made any effort to make things up. Society puts pressure on people to maintain the mother-daughter relationship, for abstracts notions of family and ‘she gave you life’. She did, but she also did her best to make it as miserable, lonely, unsafe and damaging as she could. And then blamed me for being upset by her actions. It’s difficult to walk away, but also the right thing to do. I owe myself some self care and self love, and to fill my life with love that was never shown to me. I deserve kindness, respect, love, and support, and she has proven she will not provide that. Ive learnt to mourn the mother I never had, the one I deserved, and accepting the one I had, and drawing a boundary between her life and mine. I feel lighter, less stressed, and have more energy. I have good days and bad days, when I’m floored by memories and an overwhelming sadness. Her silence wants to imply I’m not worth the effort, I’m not good enough to want as a daughter, and not worth any apologies.
I refuse to accept that, because I am not worthless. I never have been. And I will heal, day by day.