Happy memories cause me pain

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Quilt

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Happy memories cause me pain
« on: June 20, 2021, 04:16:02 PM »

I am finding that when I think of the good times I've had with her, I'm struggling to hold space for both truths. That we have had good times and bad times. That she has shown me care, but she has also shown me disrespect and cruelty. The memories of her being kind to me almost make me feel sick. Like all of those moments are being overshadowed by the suspicion and distrust that I feel so strongly now, like they were all just instances of her manipulating me, like the memory of her teaching me to drive, of her just chatting with me in the kitchen, or putting together my high school grad party. It's like, I'm frustrated that I have to make space for two realities. It would be simpler to deal with the problem if there was only one.

But on the other hand, I think a big part of the problem we have had lately is that she struggles to relate to me as an adult. It was a lot easier for her (and for me) when I was under 18, living under her roof, grieving my mom who died when I was 15, and so there was a power dynamic that has since disappeared. She did unkind, boundary stomping things then too, like read my diary and tell my best friend that she read it, I think hoping my friend would tell me so that it would start an argument because, my stepmom was very frustrated at first that I was withdrawn and sullen and wouldn't confide in her and my dad about my feelings after moving in with them. Not even to lash out angrily. Instead I would sneak off with friends and smoke weed and drink, which they really wanted to stop, as any parent would. But I deeply mistrusted my dad and stepmom because they had been behaving in untrustworthy ways for years before I had to move in. So I never wanted to break down in front of them, or express anger with them, or be emotionally honest with them.

 Like back when my dad first dated her, when I was age 12, I would tell him that I didn't want him to bring her to our scheduled visits because I wasn't comfortable meeting his girlfriend, and he refused to give me time to want to meet her on my own, and she knew my wishes too and even talked to my sick mom saying she should get me to change my mind and be happy about her coming on my visits with my dad. They treated my emotional honesty like it was meaningless.                                 

 I have told her before that I won't answer her if she texts me over and over and over, because it makes me feel uncomfortable and pressured. I have told her that my relationship with other people in my family is none of her business, and that she needs to stop trying to guilt me into seeing them. I have told her that I don't want her inserting herself in between me and my dad and trying to convince me that he never did anything wrong in my life. I have told her that she held me and her biological son, to very different, unfair standards that felt disrespectful to me. I have told her that I was angry and hurt and needed space from her after she blew up at me and my good friend because she was offended that they did something nice for me while I was pregnant without consulting with her first. I have tried to gently explain, for the past year, that my Covid precautions and boundaries were not a personal attack against her. I have tried so hard to be open and honest with her and not blindside her by just coldly ceasing communication. But even after all of these communications, she talks to me the same way, with the same condescending, dictating tone. And so now I haven't answered her in a week or 2 and don't even know if she maybe sent me a big text full of her hurt feelings because her number is blocked. 

And circling back to the original point of this, whoops went on a tangent, I keep feeling guilty that she is definitely hurt or mad or annoyed that I stopped answering her. I've never done this before. But I don't want to keep having the same conversation. I want to just have our good moments.


Like yesterday I was wearing this dress that I realized she had bought for me. She will often buy me clothes or give me clothes that she buys for herself that she doesn't end up wanting to keep, and a lot of the times they are very basic. Like, that is a nice pleasant little thing. It made me so mad though at the same time.

Like, why can't she just be the person who taught me to drive, who buys me clothes, who talks to me about the weather, who waits for me to make the plan instead of texting me incessantly and then yelling at me for not being able to live according to her schedule and her emotional needs? Why does she have to feel so hurt and offended and desperate to see my baby and make me feel like I'm breaking her heart by not bringing my baby to her house every week?

When at the same time, once I get to her house, she often does nothing to make me and the baby feel comfortable, lets her dogs jump all over us, laughs at me and tells me "ITS FINE" when I'm clearly stressed about the dogs trying to jump on the baby or nip at her little toes, makes the baby food but only after saying she's only making it so the food doesn't go to waste.

Why can't she just be nice? Why does she always have to like try to prove that she has some kind of upper hand or that she actually doesn't need to be nice to me, I only need to be nice to her. I don't even know. It's so exhausting.

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Cat of the Canals

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Re: Happy memories cause me pain
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2021, 01:46:12 PM »
I struggle with this as well. PDmom can actually be fun and charming, but only when things are going her way or if there's an audience she has to perform for. Her pettiness and manipulativeness and the way she discouraged my independence have tainted so many good memories.

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Like, why can't she just be the person who taught me to drive, who buys me clothes, who talks to me about the weather, who waits for me to make the plan instead of texting me incessantly and then yelling at me for not being able to live according to her schedule and her emotional needs? Why does she have to feel so hurt and offended and desperate to see my baby and make me feel like I'm breaking her heart by not bringing my baby to her house every week?

I ask myself the same things. Why can't she just relax and be in the moment? Why does she have to complain that she never sees me, after I've driven two hours to see her and am literally standing right in front of her? Why does she have to ruin good moments by getting snippy with my dad over tiny unimportant details?