I know there are so many more, bigger issues happening right now then my same old family problems, so please feel free to skip over this post. my problems are so small compared to the fucking crisis this nation is in.
I want to talk, though. It helped me a lot to outline what happened in the previous posts about my mom—I’m pretty sure if I hadn’t, those memories would have gotten convoluted or forgotten—and I go back to those posts, to all your great advice and kindness.
i’ve edited this twice because it’s so fucking long. I guess I’ll just do bullet points, and try to hit the key points. There’s been....a lot of fighting. And me wondering if maybe it could be ok. And then something happening and me realizing, no, I have to get out.
- Remember how june 17 was my nightmare day? I didn’t have to stay at home as long as i thought, which was a miracle. my old job called me up and kept me with them until mid-to-late july, hours away from my family. In that time, mom and I spoke little; there was one long talk on the train, where my mom said, again, how important it was to her to change, and not follow in the footsteps of her parents (who it seems were abusive too), and get a second chance. we did this on a train, so there was no yelling, and my mom was almost frightening agreeable to listening as i talked about things that hurt.
- since being home, i’ve gotten respites by traveling to visit grandparents and weddings. And most of the time, it’s calm; I started to wonder if things would be okay after all. But things are only okay if nobody brings up significant problems. And my mom is BOUND AND DETERMINED to bring up significant problems.
- there have been 3-4 fights in the time i’ve been home. They start because she catches me when I’m tired, and asks me if there’s anything I want to talk about, and because I’m an old sod I try to confide in her and test the limits of this “second chance” she says she wants so badly. My ability to let myself down in order to build up her chances is astounding.
- fight one: “anything you want to talk about?” i say i am worried because I don’t really want her in my life. MISTAKE! MISTAKE. Some part of me thought it was only fair to give her warning how thin the ice was. (MISTAKE.) She barely responded when I said this—ice queen like, so I think it doesn’t impact her at all—but then she goes to her own room and wakes my dad up with her crying. We all have to troop down to the basement, and I have to talk about my woes and miseries, and I go off on a rant about censoring myself that seems to get through to them, and everybody cries and my dad says he can’t wait to meet The Real Me, who doesn’t censor, and everybody goes to bed tearful and hoping for second chances. I am exhausted, and am always exhausted.
- fight two: “anything you want to tell me?” i give her the second chance. I confide that I feel like there’s a big, scary feeling following me around for ages, like a demon. This is a huge confession for me. I almost think she gets it, but then my mom turns it around as being about her, and something about our relationship. (it actually isn’t.) Some reference to her parents is again made. I am hurt that all that matters to her about this is HER. not the fact that, you know, sometimes I can’t leave my room because I am scared out of my mind.
- fight three: same formula: i am tired, she asks, i assume that means she wants to know, the walls come down slowly and I tell her something close to my heart. This was about something very strange that happened my senior year of high school—a choice she pushed me into, and that I chose to make to show her I loved her. As a great grand choice that went against the biggest thing I relied on (I am keeping this vague because it’s complex and I don’t want this post 40 years long). This choice fucked me up hugely and still haunts me. I did it because I loved her, but it destroyed something important to me.
- Anyway, so I talked about that. And I’ve never, ever talked to anybody about it before: it was gutting to speak of it, and I spoke of it because she asked. I thought she could handle it, because she asked. No. She lost it—she utterly lost it—all she heard was blame, and none of the grief, I don’t think she picked up on any of the love. She pulled me into this hug, and then whispered “ok that’s overdoing it” in my ear as I tried to explain what a BIG DEAL that choice was for me. She didn’t fucking respect what I had to say, or how I felt, or what I gave up. She doesn’t care that I made that choice for her. She didn’t fucking care about anything, other than the “blame” part.
- She sulked THE REST OF THE FUCKING DAY. i tried to keep myself together and be, you know, a human, and i invited her to take a walk with me, and i tried to act normal, but she decided to be Silent and Weird. I woke up, this morning, exhausted. Like I had been in shock the whole of yesterday and now I was just drained.
- Because this is a roller coaster! Everything seems fine, and then she pushes me into talking like it would be good if we talk, and then the instant I try she yells and rages and slams my door. I have to choose my words as carefully as ever. I have to say “no” when she asks if I want to talk.
- this afternoon she came in my room and apologized for all the everything. (she wasn’t specific. she apologized for what happened when I brought it up as terrible.) and she pulled me into this weird-ass hug that felt like a choke hold, where I was sort of half into her lap and trying to get out, and she was telling me how i am Precious and Loved and she is So Sorry I Did Not Know I Was Loved.
- (i would not call it that, personally. it’s that i was loved on a fucking conditional roller coaster. And anyway, the last ten years can wait; it’s this SUMMER i want her to apologize for. It’s since she’s kNOWN how she hurt me that matters.)
- Anyway. This is a ramble. I was fucking exhausted so I didn’t have any words. I just didn’t. I had no energy left to flick through all the possible ways of saying anything and weigh the pros and cons. And I was tired, clearly tired, all the rest of the day because this is exhausting. I had multiple cries when no one was looking and was just Tired, because pretending my life is fine is Tiring.
- And of course it kept going into tonight, because my dad had had enough and wanted to SEE, basically, a fight. He wanted to see us talking, but talking only ever turns into fighting. I said I was exhausted, I could not do this again, but I love my dad and I thought, ok, fine, he wants this. I can do this for him. Literally one sentence in, tonight, and my mom was yelling.
- I’m not exaggerating. She was yelling, crying, interrupting everything I said, mocking my words back to me in a prissy voice, diving into the pathetic “everything i do is terrible i am the worst just blame me all the time” pity-misery, criticising everything I’ve done when I talk to her (because apparently all I do is blame her—she does not remember, I’m sure, any other thing I’ve said. She focuses on HER and BLAME). The whole scale. I thought she would restrain herself in front of a third party, but no. I had just started saying “I cannot talk with her like this” and she went ballistic.
- And then my dad got into the action too! Not nearly as bad, but he added some wonderful things on how I was to blame for this, too, because I hadn’t communicated well enough (they will not, they utterly will not, believe I tried every way in my power to talk to them all this time), and now they were both yelling and I had still kept my voice steady and honestly, what the fuck is life when the girl in her twenties is having to keep her voice calm and measured and reasonable while her parents go off like children.
- my mom keeps saying ‘you won’t talk to me,’ but I think at this point for her, her definition of “talk to me” is “let me off the hook.” She will take no, no blame; she won’t allow for any difficult feelings. I have given her second chances and still she asks for more, like the next one will be any different, like she’ll even try. Why should I talk? Every talk ends like this. Me getting yelled at, and trying to stay calm.
- None of her second chances have shown me that she’s trying.
- This is honestly not lucid at all. I was hoping for a calm reading of events, but now that nobody’s watching and I don’t have to be calm anymore, I’m fucking mad as hell. My mom showed me no respect; she made fun of the way I say things (an obvious! hot! button!) to my face, became as petulant as a child, and wouldn’t believe a word I said. At all. Nothing was reasonable. Nothing was calm.
- My dad also semi-lost it and they both went off on rants about their career histories and their terrible upbringings and what they have sacrificed for me and how i have two parents to support me, why did i not tell anyone, and I. Am So. Tired. I want to crawl into bed, find a group of people who won’t think everything I say is a lie and “twisted in my head” (my dad said that—I pointed out that things could be twisted in their heads, too? could they not have forgotten everytime I tried to tell them?). Instead, I have a mom who grovels for ‘chances’ and then treats them like they are nothing—when those confidences mean everything to me.
- My dad said something like I had to give her leeway because all this information was so new to her (also because our dog died??? also because she gave everything to us????? there is always a reason). I pointed out that I had obvious evidence, dating from last semester, that showed my mom knew my pain: the texts that started the mess, the shitty poem-email that continued it. I have solid evidence that she has known about this since before summer fucking started, and she had all the time I was gone to decide how to handle it.
- that quieted them down a bit. stunning!
- i also said that I still have to watch everything I say, or it might set off a fight. Immediately, my mom does not know what I am talking about.
- fortunately! hurrah! i had concrete evidence because literally one minute before she had been repeating everything i said back to me in a snippy voice. (It’s like she does not, cannot remember any case where she was a git? Instant mental block for anything she ever did that was awful?)
- eventually the same thing happened that always seems to happen: I go off into some semi-trance state of ranting, where my heart rips open and I just talk, and something or other I say makes them empathize out of sheer luck, I guess, and then they hug me and my mom cries and says she’s sorry and it’s all supposed to be better, I guess, except I have the uncanny feeling this has happened before and I cannot hope for change. I cannot.
- (to remind myself, in future, what the lucky keywords were: I said things about how I can’t speak my peace, how I can’t win, psychological torture. I was mostly calm through this but cried/got high pitched in parts because shockingly, having one parent full on cry-shouting at you and the other brewing up a storm doesn’t really keep one steady. But I think I was fairly rational through this, except toward the end, because I AM AT MY FUCKING BREAKING POINT. FOR ABOUT THE FOURTH TIME THIS SUMMER. HOW MANY BREAKING POINTS DO I GET.)
Well, that brings us up to tonight, where I am both exhausted and furious and want to go home but, I keep reminding myself, have no home. This post made no sense. Basically: my mom says she wants to change, does absolutely nothing to back it up, instead starts fights because she wants to “talk”; my dad is good with me one-on-one (honestly, he is), but apparently thinks I’m to blame for not being listened to and can’t be trusted to hear everything. I do not think I can fucking go through this again, even though I’ve thought that too many times before; this might break me, because it’s too emotionally investigating to keep trying to get them to listen.
I guess tomorrow I’ll let it be all hugs and doves cooing again. But I still think I have got to cut my mom out of my life, as soon as I’m at school. This is insane. This is insane. I cannot keep ripping myself apart so she has a “second chance.”
(or do i? how short of a time do we have?? i am terrified of my mom’s mortality. I am terrified of losing her. i am horrified at staying. What the fuck can I do.)
Did any of this fucking make sense? Can I please have an internet hug? Can I please go home to a real home now?
(p.s. yes, still bound and determined to get therapy in the fall. it’s my first priority as soon as i get back to school; my dad is driving me over on wednesday, fingers crossed. i am thinking of telling my mom, once i am safe at school and she is a thousand miles away, that I don’t want to contact her until she’s gotten herself to therapy for some weeks—because it is clear from the way she’s behaved under pressure that she’s not in any clear mental state herself, and any “attack” by me is some attack on her self esteem. is that a fine enough boundary to lay down? to not want to talk until she’s worked at herself a bit first?)
(p.p.s. thank you so much for all your advice and words on the earlier posts. i’ve gotten through times by repeating things you’ve said to myself, like how you can’t expect a cat to be a dog, and to make me the highest priority. thank you, so much.)
(p.p.p.s i feel like a fucking terrible person for everything i’ve said here. i haven’t done exceptionally well this summer. I haven’t been as great and patient and kind as I would have hoped. And I think my fury shows through on this post. I am. So. Raw.)