Fixing 50 years of suppression

My mother went home today so I finally have some time to process all the stuff floating about in my head. I guess this means you’re in for a decent blog post for the first time in a while. 🙂

I emailed my therapist about the conversation with my Mum. Here’s what she said in reply:

I agree, your mum needs to talk to someone impartial. It’s obviously worrying her. I won’t bite or tell her she’s wrong.

She may just need to vent 50 yrs worth of suppression and face the fact that she lived in a marriage that could have been happier.

Is she angling to move in with you?

Puhlease, for the love of all that is Holy, don’t even think about Mum wanting to move in with me. I couldn’t bare it. Besides, I’m pretty sure she’s not that keen on the idea herself, so I’m just putting that right out of my head.

As for the other points, I do wish my Mum would talk to my therapist. I know many of you will find this hard to believe but for all her caustic remarks, she’s a good person underneath. She does love me, even if that love shows itself in strange ways sometimes. My therapist said she thinks my mother is quite gentle and tender underneath. Just that she’s spent a very loooong time building a tough exterior to protect her from the world; from my father.

I find myself feeling sorry for Mum again. I don’t think I’ve felt this way in well over a year – not since well before my father had the strokes (which is almost exactly twelve months ago). I know I can’t be responsible for her life, or her happiness, but I’m sad that she won’t do something about it herself. Part of me is sad I can’t fix it for her. I’m sure this is just what Kate said – that I’m just taking care of her, but it still makes me sad. Sad that she feels trapped inside that hideous relationship after all these years, even after coming to see my therapist and hearing about the shyt I’m dealing with because of that relationship. Sad that she won’t stand up for herself and put herself first – particularly in this stage of her life when she’s getting older and should be enjoying every moment she has.

My therapist once said that I put my parents’ needs ahead of my own. True, but also true of my mother in that she’s putting my father’s needs ahead of her needs. And he doesn’t deserve that one little bit. Castorgirl said  it isn’t about abandoning him, but about making sure his needs are met. True, only I’d add to this and say it’s also about making sure my mother’s needs are met as well.

I know I can’t force my mother to talk to my therapist… but I do know how much it’s helped me. Helped me to see things differently. To realise that just because my father was a sperm donor doesn’t mean he was a Dad. And just because he was a sperm donor doesn’t mean I owe him anything. Given how he’s treated me over the years (and still treats me now), I owe him nothing. My mother owes him nothing. Why can’t she see this?

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4 thoughts on “Fixing 50 years of suppression

  1. I have related issues with my mother, who is actually in therapy and not making much progress. The thing to remember is that they’ve been stuck a lot longer than we have, and the longer you’re stuck, the harder it is to break out of. I don’t think it’s excessive caretaking to feel badly that your mother is married to an asshole — it stinks. It would be caretaking if you volunteered to start dealing with him on her behalf. 🙂

    One of the best things we can do, as children of codependents, is to be vocal about our own therapy, and to speak up to our mothers when we see them failing to take care of themselves, or allowing themselves to be abused. There’s a lot of power in leading by example.

  2. Hi Kerro,

    Please know that my response was one of anger for the pain you are going through and not one of knowing exactly what your relationship with your mother is like. I don’t mean to judge you, when judging her and her shortcomings as a mother. And again, I don’t know the whole story about that either. I only wish for you the kind of love, care, and support you have given to others.

    Good and healing thoughts to you.

    Kate

  3. haha, mother move in with you 😀
    I guess I find it funny because my mother wanting to move in with me would be something like The End Of The World. hehe.
    Good you dont believe it is a realistic scenario for either of you.

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