Since I realised that I was subjected to Parental Alienation, I have travelled through various emotional stages. Grief and pain are involved, but also healing and empowerment. My favourite change is the calming I'm experiencing. Growing up convinced my mother hated me created such panic in my spirit and in my mind that this panic had to begin to leave me before I really comprehended its existence. I no longer exist in that place; I no longer panic and feel stress because I now know I'm NOT NOT NOT that evil, wicked, horrendous, stupid, different, silly, immature, strong person, the person hated by their mother for all those faults. She categorically did not hate me and actually loved me as much as any mother loves their child - I am therefore NOT faulty. The insecurity that arose from being led to believe the above gave rise to the aforementioned panic. As I've said before, I've lived in a state of stress for thirty years because my male parent specifically told me my mother did not love me. Nowadays, I'm so much calmer and at peace with myself. It's visible and tangible and other people notice it. IT'S WONDERFUL. I am a much nicer person to be around. I'm not on tenterhooks anymore, trying to please everyone and be a smiley-happy-eager nervous simperer.
I am so much calmer and more relaxed about myself. This big knot of tension in my stomach is unravelling and it's a miracle.
Understanding the PA also means that every relationship in my life (almost) has to be redefined, in particular those with members of my mother's family as they were also attacked as part of the PA. I have avoided my mother's family for most of my life and almost entirely since she died. Whenever I have seen them at funerals, I have been stand-offish and kept myself apart from them, partly because I was convinced I was a loser-idiot, but also because I believed them to all be as psychotic as the male parent told me they were. "They're all nutters" he said often.
This redefinition is difficult, though. I've made a start and am in touch with one Aunt who was absolutely HATED by my male parent - and lo and behold, she's nothing like he said she was. Another Aunt has tried to maintain contact with me over the years but as I've tried to ignore her as much as possible, it hasn't been easy for her. Again, this Aunt was a target by the male parent: he called her a whore frequently. Now an uncle wants to be in touch and I've held off for over a month. I don't know why I'm so nervous about emailing him. As this point, I'm too afraid to see any of them, apart from the first Aunt who we visited in November, but emailing should be easy, right? I don't know. When I saw my Aunt in November, I cried a lot because we went over the problems with my Mum and what I now know. I didn't mean to blub. It just came out - just like during my chat with the step-father the other day. So at the moment I don't want to see them - but I can't understand my reluctance to email this uncle. I'll have to mull it over. I also have to hope that anyone I get in touch with will be able to see me as I am now and understand that I am not the same as when we last met. I'm hoping for forgiveness where relevant. I'm not that much of a social person so I don't want to be overwhelmed with social invitations or anything like that. I will be happy to be included in the lives of a handful of people who care about me and will talk to me about my Mum - another consquence of Parental Alienation is that I was not interested in her as a person. I didn't want to know about her interests, ambitions, childhood, personal life, nothing. To me she wasn't someone I cared to know or understand. I'm asking questions now but I didn't know the schools she went to, the places she lived, who her friends were, what music she liked. Shaming! This is embarrassing.
Another issue at the moment is that old enemy: grief. As you know, I hardly grieved for my mother (she died in 1996) but this year has been a turning point. I KNOW that I hold so much grief within me that if I let it all out in one go, I would be out for the count, so I'm pretty certain I'm holding back. Mentally speaking, I've been waiting for an opportunity to get it all out but the opportunity is not forthcoming. My counsellor pointed out that it probably never will be. I have commitments on my time, like any other mother, that do not permit me to take hours or a day off to have a bloody big cry. I remember having a cry like that (or three) when my ex left and, though it hurt like HELL, it was cathartic and healthy. I got over that break up well because I cried a lot. Life is different now. I have less time to myself now so, at my counsellor's suggestion, I'm actually letting it out in dribs and drabs, rather than holding it in and waiting for a day that might never come. While grief is painful as we all know, whenever I feel sad about mum, I sit with it for a while and feel it. It's never too big to handle, something I couldn't bear (and maybe another reason I've been putting off "The big cry" because it will also hurt like hell), and each time I feel the pain, sometimes/usually having a cry, I feel a bit better.
I truly 100% am "letting it out", but in a way I can cope with, one that won't overload me with grief. I have these sad moments usually more than once a day but my mind is freeing up. I don't feel so laden down with grief. I'm not in a place where I can cry a lot all in one go and I'm still the Queen of Distraction (ie finding things to do when I really could be taking a moment to work through the grief), but I'm feeling better.
I also know that this is a grief that will never entirely leave. The grief I felt for my ex is gone, end of story. Grief for a loved one cannot disappear, I understand that, but it can lessen and in time it won't be something constantly on my mind, like now.
Grief for Mum, the PA, my sorrow for the pain I caused her - these three things weigh me down at the moment.