I’m not suggesting this was in any way your mother’s motivation, but I think it had a lot to do with mine.
This happened to me, only much younger.

That has to be hard, Alexainie.

I remember when Mom first told me I wasn’t sure what the motivation was. In my entire life she had never intentionally put my father down in front of me. I was confused. Over 25 years later I am convinced she didn’t tell me to get back at Dad, she was grasping for a life line where she knew she’d find one.

Though motivation is an interesting thing, isn’t it? Similar in many ways to how intention is used to mitigate accusations of racism, ones motivation may be absent ill will, but it doesn’t change the outcome or the effect of the action. If our metric is damage or harm, both intention and motivation render themselves meaningless.

In my case the specific outcome was years of silent, seething, and increasing anger at my father, occurring on a parallel trajectory of my parents putting their devastated marriage back together. Inevitably, the collision between their renewed commitment and my unexpressed anger was head on. Messy, as you can imagine.

Eventually, we all worked through our individual and personally specific hurdles, but the road was pretty twisted.

Written a year ago, the piece below is a good metric of where my head was around this four years ago, in 2012, two years after my mother died.

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