Thursday, 27 December 2007

A validating chat with my Step-father

Offspring and I popped round on Sunday to deliver Christmas presents and I found myself talking with him about my Mum. Right now I can't actually remember how the conversation started but suffice it to say that he validated some of the conclusions I have drawn independently recently in this blog. It was awkward at some points because his wife was in and out of the room. He said more than once that he'd pop around during the Christmas holiday - and he never comes to my house, so I'm hoping this means he wants to talk more.

Most importantly, my Mum did think I hated her. I asked him outright: "Did she think I hated her?" He just nodded, didn't say anything. I explained what the male parent/the alienator had been doing and he said she hadn't known anything about it. She just thought I hated her. He also offered the following piece of information: that she gave up on me, in a sense. She withdrew, worn out with me, something you as a reader will remember me saying a while back. I've withdrawn from someone I love for the same reason so I can understand why she did it. He spoke of my teenage years being horrendous, the very time when I knew she was withdrawing from me emotionally, the very time I was becoming angrier and angrier from the hurt that her withdrawal was causing me.

He also said, unrelated to anything, "Your mum always did her best for her kids".

He said he didn't remember my male parent ever asking for custody of us, something the latter made a great big deal out of, sombrely telling us on the way home (which he used as a time to rile us up and make us angry in order to drop us off miserable with our mother) "Mummy has said no". My stepfather said if this actually ever happened, he never knew about it (something that would have been unlikely).

He remembered how poor we were: my school bag was a carrier bag from the supermarket and my pencil case a plastic sandwich bag. He remembered how my male parent kept everything after the divorce (including my school stuff), my mother's possessions, all her memories and photographs.

Actually, this is more important her thinking I hated her: he said several times, "She DID love you." We discussed the anger I displayed towards her leading her to think I hated her and he added, "You know, she knew deep down that you love her." He's having similar problems with one of my brothers - there are no alienation issues, just an angry young man who won't help himself and is slowly wearing out everyone's patience. Neither my stepfather or I really understand what's going on in his head because none of the rest of us are like him, but we are both hanging in there. This brother screams hatred and insults at my stepfather, calls him names, has hit him before or so I'm told, he has a history of self-harming, and even now calls his dad by his given name. Despite all this, my stepfather said, "I KNOW he loves me, no matter what he says or does, and your mum KNEW you loved her deep down, no matter what you said or did".

I need to sleep now but I feel a post about Mum's depression developing. Will probably post tomorrow night.

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