Not good today. One aspect of the PA I have been involved in is that my mother passed away in 1996. I was not aware that there had been any alienation until 2005.
While I was growing up, I was painfully aware of the horrible relationship the two of us had. Now I know that neither of us understood the reasons why. I once said to my uncle, "I know she doesn't love me." He replied, "She does love you, she just doesn't understand you." That didn't make any sense to me at the time and neither of us continued the conversation for whatever reason - and then we forgot. I wish I'd taken that further.
From the time I was a teenager, I also hoped that once we were BOTH older and wiser our relationship would improve. I cherished a dream of us sitting down one day as mature, calm women, talking and talking until we were friends. My ex-mother-in-law once said "You'll find your relationship with your mother will improve as you get older". I so looked forward to this. Unfortunately, mum passed away in 1996.
Yesterday during my counselling session, we discussed not only forgiveness towards my male parent (which coincidentally last night was mentioned in a comment on this blog) but also grieving properly for my mother.
Back when I still thought all our problems were because mum didn't want me and couldn't hide it, I managed to, over a period of months, reach a point of forgiveness for her. I have a religion, as you know, which helped significantly in that. Forgiving doesn't mean forgetting, but it does mean allowing some peace into your mind about a particular person and their actions. I felt much better, though I still felt sad. My counsellor mentioned this same process in relation to my male parent and clearly, since I can only call him "male parent", I have some anger to let go of and a whole lot of forgiving to do. I will be working on this because I don't want to be angry forever. I strongly believe that this process of healing has come at this particular time in my life for a particular reason.
The hard thing today is grief. I've never really grieved for mum. You can't grieve for someone you don't think you love and who you don't think loves you. I cried a bit on the day of her funeral, but I cried more when my ex left, if I'm honest. Unfortunately, it's really starting to hit me now. Last night, I couldn't sleep because of it. I was awake for a long time, sometimes crying, sometimes just thinking about her. Uppermost on my mind is the knowledge that I wasn't there for her during the last ten weeks of her life. I felt unwanted enough that I saw her a handful of times during that period, although distance and lack of finance did play a part. My sister and I lived hours away by car but that shoudn't have mattered, should it?
This is how extreme the PA affected me at that time: I truly believed she wouldn't care see me, even though she was dying.
Now I just feel like I abandoned her and was unbelievably selfish. I wasn't there. Those words keep going round my mind and I keep breaking down today. I keep shouting silently, "I'm sorry!". She died slowly over ten weeks and I wasn't there. She saw my offspring once or twice during that period.
My sister and I felt like we were treated very badly during that period and also after mum died. Perhaps this is why - perhaps we were perceived as uncaring and selfish. Everyone flocked to comfort our younger brothers and said cruel things like "It's alright for you girls because you've got your kids," but we were left to our own devices at a time we most needed our family. Perhaps this is why. My stepfather, however, was furious that we were excluded like this so he certainly never felt we had done wrong. He's never said anything about it us since, either.
I did want to go and stay with her and even offered to when schools broke up for the summer holidays but was told a cousin had already decided to care for my mother (MY mother) during that time. My brothers had protested because they wanted me there. I don't really understand all this. Again I felt rejected, as part of the pattern, so perhaps that added to me not visiting more. I was genuinely poor and without transport at the time. The times I did visit mum were by getting lifts with other people.
So this is what's on my mind today. A floodgate of grief has opened, and perhaps it's about time, but it feels raw and horrific. It's as if she has just died and I miss her so much. I wish I could talk to her. I don't feel like talking to anyone so I'm staying at home today. My stomach is churning and my throat feels strained.