As some of you are aware, I finally wrote to my mother to ask about the abuse. I wanted to hear her side of the story. Well she replied saying that she didn’t know that my father had sexually abused me when I was five. She insists that she didn’t know and said that how could she have known and not done anything to help me.
I am naive I think, because I was not expecting such a response. I expected a flat denial of it…. maybe accusations that I was a liar but nothing like what she is saying. She says she is sorry, she is a bad mother and feels like dying and that she and my dad do not have long to go on this earth. My first reaction was to think that maybe I am crazy? Did I make all this up? All these bad feelings? Did I imagine it? My next reaction was to feel sorry for her. Oh poor mum look what I am putting her through. What if she gets depressed? She is so fragile and unhappy already? Maybe I abused myself and am blaming my father? My memories are so fragmented and maybe I am demented?
I was pulled in to it all and felt scared and small again. It felt very familiar. Where have I felt this before? Ahhh yes, it was just like the crazymaking I experienced with my husband (very soon to be ex). It would always end up being about him, how he was suffering and how I was causing his migraines and his head to be ‘not right’. Hang on here, who is the real victim? In all the crazymaking yesterday, I felt the pull to look after her. I forgot that I was the one who has suffered immeasurably from all of this.
She was interested to know who I had told and she mentioned that we need to ‘fix this’. Like ‘this’ is something that can be fixed. 33years of living with this dark secret that has poisoned everything. Even though I said I didn’t want anything to do with my father, she was insisting yesterday that I should talk to him. How could I want to talk to the man who violated me? She had no understanding of the fear I have. She didn’t ask for any details of the actual abuse and she didn’t express any anger towards her husband. If she genuinely didn’t know, then wouldn’t your first reaction as a mother be disgust and anger towards your partner. No, not my mother. She was willing to get him involved and fix it all somehow.
She is saying forgive me but she is also saying she didn’t know about it and that she is not lying.
I cried most of yesterday and I still feel very emotional today. I realiZe the very hard and painful way that my mother will NEVER be the woman I want her to be and that she failed to protect me once and will continue not to stand up for me. I have learnt the painful truth that the internal mother that I am attempting to grow is far more supportive and loving.
I have drawn a firm line for myself and set a boundary with her. I have told her that if she is not willing to ‘remember’ then we cannot have an honest relationship and that I would prefer it if she gave me some space. She is more of a burden to me at this time and will detract from looking after myself. I need so badly to look after myself and take care of me. I am my protector and I stand up for me. Sometimes we have to let go of the people who pull us down with them… even when they are mothers and fathers. I am sad but remain true to myself. I have come too far to let down that little girl that hurt so badly!
My light shines too bright; the light of my truth blinds some and makes others run and take cover. It’s a lonely path; this walk of truth. Let the guilty go mad, I am safe in my truth. It burns its way through the darkness, through ignorance and family loyalties. It cuts its way through the taboos of our society. I stand firm and strong in the belief that I am on the right side, that their words of crazymaking and guilt-making will bounce off me. I am used to not being protected. Nobody has ever stood up for me. I have been pulled down by a sense of misplaced responsibility and shrouded by shame. They are not ready for me. My flame burns too wildly and fiercely for them.