I’m so tired. Not physically, though that as well, but of being my mother’s emotional dumping vessel–which has been my role in her life since I was eleven. You know that saying, “Not my monkey, not my circus”? My mother would trounce all over that statement and throw it in the trash. She once complained about my last therapist because she (my therapist) was turning me against my mother (in my mother’s point of view).
“We were so close,” she lamented, with thet unspoken addition of ‘until SHE came along’. Which was completely untrue. We were never close. She meant that I was more docile before I saw my last therapist–but that wasn’t true, either.
The reality is that my mother and I have never been close in the sense of knowing, trusting, and respecting each other. We are close only in that she has made it a lifetime habit of dumping all her shit on me and acting all hurt and victomized if I dare say that she should not do that.
To make it even worse, a few decades ago, she apologized for it and said that she should not have done that to me when I was a kid. Which, fine, but it didn’t stop her from doing it. In other words, it was horseshit. It’s the same as when she was last here. She would complain about my father and then say that she shouldn’t do it. Then she said she wouldn’t do it again. I finally had to tell her to stop saying that because we both knew it iwasn’t true. And it was just making me angrier for her to keep apologizing with no intent of stopping.
It was the only thing she knew how to do, and it had served her…not well, but she deluded herself into thinking it did. Here is my post from yesterday wihch is tangentially related. The thing is that she has learned she can often get what she wanted by simply persisting. Basically, nagging me into submission. I had to learn that it was better for me to stand up on the big things and give in on the small ones.
Yes, it reinforced her belief that it was the way to get what she wanted, but it also gave me peace about the big things. So going on the cruise for my parents fiftieth anniversary? That was a hard no. Going back to Taiwan with my brother’s family? Hell to the no. I nearly killed myself the last time I went to Taiwan (and that is not an exaggeration), and I was not going through that again.
The story I always give about the last time I went to Taiwan to show how little I mean to my mother is that I asked to do exactly one thing on that trip. I wanted to go to the National Palace Museum because I love museums. I had been there once before, but of course once was not enough. It was the only thing I asked to do in the ten days we were there.