This is probably going to get whiny. I don’t like to complain much; that’s one of the reasons I took a hiatus from blogging for a while. I always feel like there’s so much wrong with me that I can neither help nor handle, that I should shut up and deal as best I can with the rest of it. But apparently studies show that dealing with trauma and being more open emotionally can reduce pain levels with Fibro, so what the hell, let’s blog.
(Sorry in advance)
On my birthday my mother sent me this text:
I went and peeked at your fb page this morning, seems like your really pissed off about a lot of stuff. Mostly how you were raised, I think. It makes me sad and feels weird to wish you a “happy birthday” when basically you seem to be saying, I wish I’d never been born. I do hope you have a nice day. But to be honest, I wish every day is nice for you. I do love you and I don’t lie, ever.
On my facebook page, I like to a lot of Libby Anne’s blog posts; this was a month ago, so it’s likely she saw me share one of the links from that week’s Link Love. She probably saw this share, which I linked with the teaser text “I wish that I didn’t feel as though the most abusive people in my life mean something. Because I feel like they shouldn’t.”. She probably saw me share Samantha’s post, and Fred’s. She probably skimmed right past without noticing this cool post on IUDs, or this body love post, or my status from a few days earlier:
Sitting in the parking lot at Michaels talking and laughing about stuff that’s sooooo not fit to discuss in public 😀❤[my husband] for getting me and being willing to hang out instead of getting things done. I think I worried [my mom] when we visited because I tend to do that 🙂
But even if every single thing Facebook showed her when she read my wall was negative, what the hell kind of sentiment is that for a fucking birthday text?!
I know what’s got her goat. It’s not that I’m “really pissed off about a lot of stuff”, it’s that I’m pissed off and frightened that her religion, the religion she turned to after I left home and which she credits for totally turning her life around, can and does destroy lives the way she shattered mine. It’s because I haven’t “forgiven” her yet. She always acts so concerned for me, like, I should forgive her for my own sake, because it’ll help me. Also I should find Jesus.
To be perfectly honest, I don’t know what forgiveness means. What would change? What is this thing she wants for me? Is it for me to recognize her essential, innate humanity, and understand how she got to a place where she could do that to me? I’ve been doing that to the best of my ability, and I have a lot more wisdom than I once did. Is it for me to choose to embrace the life I have, to move forward instead of looking backward? I did that when I left home and swore I’d never go back, and again when I did go back. Is it for me to stop longing for a mother figure, someone I could honestly talk to the way my husband talks to his mother? No; the answer to that is to keep cultivating a relationship with my mother-in-law until I feel comfortable enough to use her for that sort of parental advice. She’s happy to give it, but I feel awkward.
What she wants, I think, is for me to pretend it never happened, to let her live out her fantasy of being a good mother who just maybe made a few minor mistakes. Well fuck that. I’d love for it never to have happened — but it did, and it affects me, and I’m still dealing with the repercussions to this day, so no, I’m not going to let her have power over me uncontested. I refuse to worship at this altar of silence, forgetfulness, revisionist history that she’s erected. I am here, and I’m damaged, and it’s her fault, and she’s going to have to deal with that if she wants to interact with me. It’s not fair, and it’s not right, and she should have thought of that when she was raising me rather than trying to undo it now.
She loves the Bible, so how about Matthew 7:16? “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” The fruits she delivers are slings and arrows, aimed right at my heart.
How about Psalms 55:21? “The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.” Or Proverbs 4:19: “The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.” How can she say those things and not understand that they’re hurtful things to say? How can she take a declaration of “I am hurt” and turn that into “I am wicked and refuse to forgive”?
I am wise enough to know I have no wisdom, I know nothing. I am bitter, fine, and angry, sure, and maybe that’s a terrible thing, and maybe it makes me the next Hitler or something, but I am what I am, and that has to be good enough. It just has to.