After I wrote my previous post, I felt as if I confessed to a mortal sin. In fact, I did. I claimed publicly that I feel hatred towards my mother. This hatred, this visceral, animalistic feeling has been regularly bubbling up from deep within my abdomen, waiting for any suitable trigger to seize control of me. I always felt shame for this hatred. I always wished it didn’t exist. I really didn’t want to own it. I really didn’t want to listen to it. I wasn’t raised a Christian but simply growing up in the cultural sphere of Christianity, I was always aware of the conflict with one of the ten commandments. Admitting to this hatred would make me feel like a bad faulty evil person. I have already had enough of the sense of being faulty – you see, my mother was right at the end. I am a horrible person, I do hate her, I have this hatred in me towards her that just makes no sense, or does it? I think I spent a lot of energy denying the intensity of this hatred. I couldn’t deny the hatred itself, I just wanted to deny the amount and force of it. I wanted to believe that it could somehow disappear one day and I would discover some more positive feelings towards my mother underneath. I wanted to believe that she would somehow help me to resolve this hatred and replace it with love.
But now the dark secret is out. I have finally decided to open myself to this hatred, to listen to it, to learn from it. It burst its way out. How do I feel now? Surprisingly, I don’t feel any hatred. Underneath this hatred, I am discovering a huge deep pit of pain. Pain and sadness that has been festering inside me for decades. Where is this pain coming from? When did I start hating my mother? I remember that as a child, I never experienced my mother as warm, safe, loving and nurturing. Quite on the contrary. I always perceived her as cold, hard, distant and oppressive. Everything had to be earned. She would frequently humiliate me. Make me feel embarrassed. Her displays of affection, her touch, wasn’t comforting and pleasant, it felt controlling and intrusive, mostly designed to show off to others. I started rejecting her early. I remember when I was maybe seven or eight years old, we got a homework assignment to write about our mother. We read an example in our textbook. I couldn’t relate to anything that the writer said. It felt surreal and alien to me and I couldn’t imagine writing anything like that. My experience with the person called mother was simply too different.
As I was growing up, I remember fighting against my mother’s need to dominate me. There were horrible rows. I think there is still a lot of stuff that I have blocked out. I can only feel the emotions. I only have very vague recollections of the particular events. Some of it I can’t recall at all. I just remember that it was bad.
When I reached my teens, I started to be aware of the fact that many of my friends had totally different relationships with their mothers. I started blaming myself, I thought it was me who was at fault for the fact that I felt uncomfortable around my mother. But I remember the constant feeling of rejection. The only way she could relate to me was in her intrusive domineering way. If I tried to assert boundaries, she would yell at me, accuse me of being a brat and stop talking to me. If I came to her to make peace, she would rebuff me. I remember her lecturing me about how difficult and unmanageable I was. It was a hell of a madhouse I was growing up in. Nothing was predictable, nothing was making sense. It was a desperate, lonely time.
Recently, I realised that my entire life has been built on the foundation of pain, hatred and humiliation. I did a fairly decent job cementing all this away deep within and building a relatively strong and forcefully positive existence on top of that. But my creation keeps falling apart. I had a dream a short time ago. I discovered a tiny baby rabbit in the garden of my family’s summer cottage, the place where I spent many summers and weekends as a child. Inside that cottage were many cage parts. I wanted to feed the bunny a create a home for it but I couldn’t find a suitable cage. There were parts that couldn’t fit together or didn’t seem comfortable at all for the tiny bunny. I realized that this was a metaphor of my life. I am trying to nurse something to life using totally mismatched unsuitable building blocks. These building blocks are coming from those years that I have tried to cement away. These mismatched building blocks are what I have been given by my parents.
So what’s next for me after this horrible confession? There is no way back. I have broken through that layer of cement that was trying to hold all this hidden away forever. I need to explore this pit of puss in its depth and entirety. I need to flush all the puss from this horrible festering mother wound. I have no clue whether this can ever be healed. I am letting go of the illusion. If it hurts, it’s not love – that’s the wisdom every recovering victim of a narcissist receives and it does apply to family members too. I am accepting that my mother never loved me, never really cared about me and that’s why I hate her. She denied me the basic right of every infant. I also understand that it’s not her fault. She is, let’s say, not exactly mentally normal.
The phenomenon of a toxic mother is a huge taboo. People find it difficult to believe that it exists. Especially the manipulative, gaslighting, script-flipping mother. These women live off the fact that the society assumes mothers to be without exception guided by this instinctive eternal mother love, which is supposedly the strongest feeling ever. But these women don’t feel any mother love. They only use the child as an object that serves a function in their lives and if this object disobeys, they don’t hesitate to destroy it.
I have been having this fantasy for many years. I see myself being in a serious accident. I am in a coma. The doctor speaks to my mother. “It’s bad,” he says. “I am not going to lie to you. But there is still hope.” I can’t move but I can hear the conversation. My heart speeds up. Then I hear my mother: “Just turn that machine off. She’s just suffering. There’s no point in that.” Done. Pragmatic. Quick. No emotions at all. My mother is done with me. She just told the doctor to switch off my life support. No tears, no pleading with fate, no calling me back. Quite on the contrary.
It’s hard to live knowing that the one person that should have cared about me does not. It’s hard to live knowing that the person that should have had the best intentions for me poisoned my entire life experience and scapegoated me just to be able to claim the victim role for herself and get all the pity and narcissistic supply she needs.
I am a believer in depth psychology. That helps make sense of things on one hand but on the other, it leaves you wondering whether there is anything that can be done to heal those toxic archetypes, those faulty toxic building blocks of your psyche that had been created in your childhood. I tried to build on top of them and I can honestly tell you that no amount of positive thinking and good intentions can undo this damage. Sometimes, I think about suicide. I am not contemplating it. I am just thinking about it. I spent my entire life fighting but I am just too tired. I am tired of trying to force myself into any sort of positive, optimistic mindset. It all feels like a sham. They say you have to be willing to feel your pain to be able to experience your joy. I am just going to give it some time. I will see whether I can somehow excavate this pit of puss from within.
I am realizing that I have been denying the existence of this pain for years. Since my childhood. I think many of us. We just don’t want to give our abusers the privilege of knowing that they have indeed affected us. We don’t want them to know that they were indeed important to us and had the power to emotionally hurt us. That we felt pain because of their treatment of us. We feel ashamed. We don’t want to show them that they are more powerful than us. Because in a sense, they are – they don’t care, we do. But it really doesn’t make sense. Being hurt by someone shouldn’t be a cause to feel ashamed. In fact, it should be the person that goes around hurting people that should be ashamed. But as we know all too well when it comes to people afflicted by narcissistic personality disorder or any other similar disorders (including narcissistic mothers), they just don’t see it that way, they live in a world of their projections were the reality as we see it does not exist. They thrive on the knowledge that they were able to emotionally affect someone, to control someone. But I think that this shouldn’t be about them. Let them exist off their toxic delusions. Our pain wants to be expressed, it wants to be heard, it needs to be heard in order to heal. I feel that I have been denying my pain out of shame for too long. Now this pain wouldn’t be satisfied with me acknowledging it just on the pages of my journal and in the office of my therapist. It wants to be heard and therefore I am going to give it a public outlet here on this blog. Feel free to join me on this journey and if you traveled that road before, let me know.