Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Old ghosts and how to deal with them
A few years ago I made the decision to have nothing more to do with my mother; She'd betrayed my trust for the last time and hurt me in the worst way imaginable, then instead of an apology I got a lecture about forgiveness and how I should consider her feelings..
At that point I decided there was no way I was wasting any more of my valuable time and effort on her. For 30 years I'd made excuses and rationalised away her abominable behaviour but that incident broke any hope of a change; I realised if I ever had kids I'd not trust their feelings in her hands and that I certainly did not trust her to keep quiet about things I'd rather they didn't know; it was that realisation that gave me the courage to cut off all ties.
Now I have a child of my own I am thankful whenever she crosses my mind that I made that choice - which is unfortunately almost daily as it's hard not to make comparisons now I'm a mum; at least one thing I know to be true is that she definitely taught me how NOT to behave around my child - I just pray any poison I unknowingly inject into my daughters psyche is of a far less malignant kind.
When I made that decision to cut away the stress she engendered in my life, suddenly I lost at least half of my ME/CFS symptoms and funnily enough it's usually incidents from my past butting into my day to day life that bring about an unexpected flare up and crash - I can handle work stress to a point and can manage my exercise and work load the same way; emotional stress is another thing entirely - it wipes me out completely and I have no defence against it.
..So you can probably imagine my 'joy' upon receiving a letter from the woman who bore me asking for a picture of my family and a hope for reconciliation.
I've had an agonising few hours of self doubt and second guessing, where I wondered if now was the right time, if she'd changed.. Swiftly followed by a mental slide show of all the times I've had this same mental run down in the past and gave in with rationalisations and excuses for her only to be put through the wringer again and again.
I have more to lose now; I have a tenuous control of my health, a daughter to raise and a future planned out so there can be only one response:
Never. Not on the life of anyone I hold dear - and that definitely excludes her.
It may seem harsh to anyone without the necessary background information but I'll put it to you this way; if a 'friend' lied to you, told anyone who would listen your secrets and then repeatedly caused you emotional and financial difficulties - would you continue to keep them as a friend?
I pity the fools who do.
So what if she gave birth to me - for years I lacked self confidence and direction because of issues she caused; I don't need to see a psychiatrist to know those issues are still there and that the last thing I need is to bring them back to the surface and wreck the life we've built here.
So the letter will be destroyed unanswered, the request unmet and I'll do my best to ignore her existence again and hope that the blip in my equilibrium will not last longer than today.
..Now if I could only convince well meaning family members to butt out perhaps the threat of similar missives would be removed (..someone had to have passed on my address to her; she's not web savvy enough to check the whois)