"Was I that bad a mother?" in Why I'm angry

  • Nov. 12, 2022, 11:37 a.m.
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The last time I spoke on the phone with Robin was in 2020, I believe. The last text conversation we had was March 15 when I sent her the photo album from my itty bitty wedding. In this album, I’m stunning, I’m smiling, I’m in love. I’m holding the collar of my late Shadow and a pillow and blanket that bears her picture. I’m with the family that adopted me (adopt is a loose term) as a child and the family that just adopted me through marriage. Not her. Not my brother.

“I’m extremely happy for you both and so proud of you!!! I’ve tried very hard to give you your space as you’ve asked for so many years. You told me to think about why you don’t want me in your life. After weeks and years of counseling and beating myself up, I am still at a deadend. I know I’ve made mistakes along the way. However as my counselors have tried to show me, the tbi’s that I’ve experienced since the age of 2 weeks and going forward, along with all the abuse that I’ve experienced, they’re amazed that I’m even alive. I tried super hard to keep the abusive behaviors from happening to you and your brother that I survived. I see now that I couldn’t teach you to value yourself Because i had no idea how to value myself. I’m leaving this as is but know that regardless of your feelings or your disappointment that I messed you both up. I certain tried not to! Even with my mistakes and I will always Love you both.”

I hate her and I feel great empathy for her. I have all this anger toward her for being who she is (specifically how shitty she is), for the transgressions, for the trauma, for all the times she let me down. For how I could have turned out.

In therapy, we were talking about if I had different circumstances as a child, if I had a family who supported me and nurtured me in the way I should have been… It was the word “should” - an expectation of a good family, a good upbringing that rubbed me the wrong way. Why is a good family the expectation? And why, when I witnessed and felt all the toxicity, did I say “hell no I won’t go.” It’s a choice I’ve been making my whole life, be different than her. Transcend, be above, rise above.

In 2017 she texted me,
“Like I said before
You can’t change the fact that I love you
It seems like you forget where you came from
You can run but you can’t hide forever
I love you”

I believe she views me as an extension of herself and that she forever wants to link me to her. It could also be that she’s a narcissist and needs to be above people. She gossips and talks shit about anybody and everybody, but is the first person to say she doesn’t hate anybody because it takes too much effort.

She seemed to always be at work driving a wedge between me and everybody, including my relationship with her. She needed me, a child, and when I needed her, she either wasn’t there or would make it worse.

When I was a teenager and upset, in a mood, she would ask, “What’s wrong?” Most often, I would say “I don’t know.” Maybe I really didn’t know because I was so poor at recognizing my own emotions, or it would be because I didn’t want to burden her. Could be both.
She would respond, “Well if you don’t know then who does?”
How alone that would make me feel. Here I am, lost and sad, and no guidance. It’s like she didn’t care. Or she didn’t know how to care. She barely knows how to work through her own emotions, let alone complicated feelings from a complicated youth.

So, I had sent her my wedding album and she made it about herself. There I am, happy, but without her. Not just without her, but with the family she envied for so long. She also saw the pictures of late Shadow’s belongings, not having been told that Shadow passed.

“I’m extremely sad that you didn’t let me know as she was my kitty before yours.” ????? You brought her home randomly one day when I was 12, never took her to the vet, barely took care of her, and with your permission let me take her when I was able to then you never asked about her again. GET FUCKED. Then she asked When she can see me and hug me again and if she’ll ever be given an answer to why she’s not allowed in.

I gave her more than I had ever given her in the last several years - I said I’d be willing to meet with her counselor so they can talk to her about it, but I refuse to have that conversation with her directly.

“Was I that bad as a mother?”, she asked after I sent that text.

I wanted to call her and scream YES! I’m so fucking angry with how you raised me, how you treat and view people, how you see that your transgressions are forgiven or okay because it was better than what you had growing up. I’m so fucking angry that I can’t tell her any of this. I have dreams where I lay into her, where I am unfiltered in my anger and get all this weight off my chest. But I can never have a conversation with her about her shittiness as a mother. She doesn’t want to hear what I have to say and come to a reasonable apology or understanding, she wants to defend herself and disregard what I went through, and as usual - make it about her.

“I did the best I could with the knowledge that I had. I’m so sorry that it wasn’t enough or who you wanted me to be. I’ll let you know what and when.”

Again, that was back in March. Since then, I got a Happy Easter and a Happy Birthday text, but nothing about meeting with her counselor(s).

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