Dual Nature of My Mother's Day

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Dual Nature of My Mother's Day
« on: May 10, 2021, 03:09:58 AM »
I was born on Mother's Day.  I have always somewhat resentful that my special day was swallowed up by my mother, grandmother, and aunts.  I was often given a gift as an afterthought.  I used to think we just didn't celebrate birthdays in my family but that wasn't actually the truth.  It was the fact that I had to share it.

Then came my own mother's day.  I had to worship at the feet of my narcissistic mil.  The day was ruled by her and I never had a choice.  My OCPDxh would not stand up to her and my wishes for my days were second to hers.  And when I set the boundary, it became so troublesome and awful, that I came to dread the whole month.

Last year was my first mother's day post-divorce and in a pandemic.  I was all by myself and none of my children communicated with me.  I was that awful mentally ill woman who abandoned their father when all he had done was support and love me. 

This year I have struggled with my own memories of my mother.  We had a wonderful relationship - I thought - but lately, I have been learning and coming to terms with generational trauma.  When I was abused as a child by my brother - I went to her for help and she discounted my plea.  Same when I came home from college and told them I was raped - police did nothing - she said I was a drama queen.  So I internalized it and thought it was so.  When I told her about my ex and his affair, it must have happened because we didn't have enough sex she told me.  No wonder I married this abusive man and stayed for decades.

And I can never talk to her about it now.  She is gone and somehow this new knowledge is very hard to face.  It shades and colors my childhood and robs me of whatever happy memory I have.  I understand why she did what she did - she did the best with what she knew at that time.  She is not a PD just a flawed woman who raised in a particular time and place.

And now I have to deal with my own guilt.  My own history of tacit abuse of my children just by staying in a marriage that I know will leave another generation dealing with trauma.  And I am learning to understand why some of my children are turning away because they do not want to face their loss of childhood memories.  I get it.  And someday you will feel as I do now and the added guilt of turning on your mom.  So more guilt for me.  Sick circle.

I am also still mourning the loss of my family ideal.  The loss of what I thought we had in face of the reality.

And this afternoon was a perfect reflection of my struggle with this duality.  My son wanted to watch Indiana Jones with me.  He hasn't seen them.  So we watched Temple of Doom.  We sat companionably side by side snuggled under blankets on this cold and dreary Mother's Day.  I only remember the exciting adrenaline rush of the movie.  Yet as we both watched the horror of the racial insensitivity it struck us both how exciting it was a movie but a horribly racist film.  Such a perfect reflection of how I feel about this day.  Guilt and pleasure.

So I'm sitting here writing to all of you who understand the aftermath of living with a person with a PD.  The chaos and destruction they leave behind.  And the memories of those bittersweet moments that you hold onto and let linger.  Again.  Duality.  Ying and Yang.



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Re: Dual Nature of My Mother's Day
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2021, 02:23:48 PM »

If I had any tears left, I would cry.  I appreciate that you put in words what I struggle to say.

So much of what you write reflects my experience.  The Nmil, mom denying the abuse, missing mom, adult children withholding communication, the blame/scapegoating, the mourning, guilt for staying and allowing children to be abused. 

I am overwhelmed with grief and loss of all of this.  I foolishly thought that by leaving that destruction would be halted in some way for me and my 4 children, and that we could recover.  Did I wait too long, was there a 'right' time.   It feels like a cruel cosmic joke has been played on me, but I know that is not true. 

How does one survive THIS part of the abuse....the fallout, the layers just keep coming.
 Especially when it is all invisible to the watching world.