Thursday, 22 November 2007

Today is not a good day.

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.

2 comments:

Mike said...

Rowan:
It's Mike again. It sounds like you are moving forward. It is torturous but you need not feel guilt. You were a victim and grieving for your mum is needed. Go through the grieving process and talk to your mum in your own way. Unlike you I'm not religious but I am spiritual in my own way so I talk to my mum, who passed away in 79, every now and then. I also visit her grave site and have little one way chats when I'm in my home town.

You may want to visit her grave site sometime and just sit down and chat. Tell her you love her and despite the flood of tears that may erupt you will feel better. Tell her about your hopes, your aspirations, your dreams but tell her you love her as only a daughter can love her mother. It will help you to purge the great weight you still have on your soul.

Eventually I must forgive my ex for her alienation of my children from me so I can move along with my life and lose the bitterness. It will take time and I would enter counselling with her tomorrow if she would agree. She won't so it will take longer.

I do feel a kinship with you and somehow think that the shoes you are walking in, although different, would fit on my feet. We know grieving like only those can walk in our shoes.

Best wishes.

Mike Murphy

Anonymous said...

I read this post and cried so hard I had to stop. You see, I am an alienated Mother to 4 beautiful children. The youngest 2 in their early teens were abducted and taken 1000 miles away. All the time they both were being trained and groomed to hate, dishonor and disrespect me. They were bribed and bought. I understand what is happening to them/us and will continue to fight however, our relationship has been extremely damaged because I feel like my children have betrayed me when in all honestly they are doing exactly what I taught them to do. Honor your Father! Please, please, please for your own sake do not be so hard on yourself. You are the victim just as your Mother was.