Since I got out of treatment, my mom and I have been working on our relationship. I honestly thought this time was different. I am not sure how much I’ve really mentioned my relationship with my mother on this blog, but it has been superficial.
I love my mom. I want my mom. I know, I am 23 but I still need her. I think I’ll always want her, but I don’t know if I’ll ever really have her. I don’t think I’ve ever “really” had her. I know that she cares, I just think she might not be capable of showing it in the ways mothers usually show they care.
In treatment, we had family sessions each week. In those sessions, my mother and I addressed many issues and topics that were keeping our relationship in a tense place. My mother expressed that she mothered the way she thought was best. She thought signing me up for as many activities as possible was showing her care because she never had that growing up. I think she showed her love through money. I don’t want to sound harsh, but I think she didn’t realize the emotional needs of a child after the age of seven, or she just worked too much.
I know these days women work just as much as men, and that is great. I just don’t think my parents anticipated how much their new company would consume them. I want to make clear that I am not blaming my parents in any way. I am just giving my opinion. I know they did the best they could.
I just wonder why my mom can’t be emotional. I know her parents were distant, and she grew up to be independent, strong, and tough. Not everyone has that personality, though, especially not my sister and me. Not to say we don’t have those qualities, but we are sensitive as well. I am closer to my dad than my mom, and my sister is as well. My sister once told me that she doesn’t have a chance at having a relationship with mom, but she saw that I had a chance. She told me to fight for that relationship. Since she told me that I have fought. I have tried my hardest to have a relationship with my mom, but some days I am not sure it’s possible. Other days I think it is. The worst part in all this is the back and forth, the uncertainty, which leaves an emotionally unsafe place to be in.
Last week I went over to my parents to cook with my mom because that was part of the bonding we thought would be good, and it’s good for my recovery to learn how to cook. When I walked through the door in sweat pants and Cody’s t-shirt my mom instantly criticized the way I looked. She then commented on my hair after insulting the outfit. I was very hurt and felt self-conscious but paused. I didn’t yell or explode, instead, I told her I felt like she was projecting and asked what was going on in her life. She admitted to projecting and talked about the stress. That was something we have never done. That was huge progress. It made me hopeful. She also really wanted me to join her gym and go with her twice a week. I’ll admit I was nervous because that’s a commitment. I wasn’t sure whether our new relationship was going to last, but because she was so confident in her decision I started to hope.
Yesterday I talked to my mom about many things and got to the topic of buying books for class. My dad was being strange about it, so she said she would chip in to help me afford it. I was thinking, “wow, my mom really cares and is stepping up her game.” She asks when she can give me the money, and I said that since we had therapy she could give it to me then. She said she couldn’t make therapy (she also canceled last week’s therapy session). I said that was okay. I also asked if she knew if a dietician was in our insurance plan because I need one. She replies, “You don’t need a dietician Anna, please you are fine. You can do this yourself.” I don’t fight her on that, even though I was crushed and hurt. I then continue the conversation of therapy and when she can come. She, in the end, said she could maybe do therapy once a month but said she feels we don’t need it. Meanwhile, before we talked about therapy, she was asking me to come to work today to help out, and when I asked about being paid she said she shouldn’t be paying me because I am family. In the end when she said she thinks we don’t need therapy I told her I wasn’t coming into work and hung up.
After that conversation, I was broken. I felt scared, abandoned and family-less. I’ve already pretty much lost India since she never replies to me, my mom and I were trying to work it out and I feel as if I’ve lost that, and if I lose mom then I, in turn, lose my dad who will be on her side.
I have given my mother many chances to be there emotionally for me, to be closer, to help, and so on. It’s been three years of chances. I really thought this time was going to be different, and maybe it will turn out to be okay…but I feel hopeless right now since she just lost the trust that was slowly being earned.
I am not someone who trusts easily. Sadly, I trusted my mom and that she wanted a relationship (that’s deeper than a kiddie pool). I am not sure if my mom is just scared of having a relationship or what, but I do know that her actions have been quite hurtful and now I feel scared. I am scared to talk to my mom, scared to hang out with her, and scared to try again. I’ll get over it, but I hate feeling scared. I am sure if she knew any of what I was feeling she would apologize, but I don’t know if she would change her mind about therapy or about a dietician. She always “knows” what I “need” and don’t “need.” When I ask for something and she dismisses it, like she has done for as long as I can remember, I doubt myself and knowing what I need. I just want this cycle to end.
If I could have a relationship with my mom it would be both of us communicating honestly, and openly -no secrets. It would be us being able to say what we each need, and both of us accepting those needs. I guess it comes down to being supportive and accepting. I hope one day we can get there…