I don’t know how long this little Mom series might last… it could be awhile. Today I’ve been thinking about some of my major traumatic memories. My mom didn’t necessarily cause all of the trauma, but she didn’t help ease it, either.
We have always walked on eggshells around my mother. Everyone’s primary job at home was to keep my mother happy–it was an impossible task. She was (and probably is) a wildly unhappy person. She hated her husband but couldn’t leave due to her religious convictions. She battled body image demons and was hospitalized for anorexia a few times. I think she thought that children would save her; but, news flash–motherhood is damn hard and can’t save anyone.
I remember when I was maybe 8 nervously approaching my mom after a terrible, plate-smashing fight she’d had with my dad. I told her it made me feel really sad and scared. She yelled at me, “Well, how the HELL do you think I feel? This is MY LIFE!” and then she proceeded to tell me that I was selfish to only think of myself. My 8-year-old self.
She taught me that my feelings don’t matter, that I am selfish and greedy to have feelings.