On Christmas Day 2013, my mother rejected all of my calls. After I began to worry, I took to Facebook to make sure that she was still alive. And upon navigating her page, I found that I had been unceremoniously de-friended. I found this out at about noon, and I didn’t break down crying to my dad until about 6 p.m. Per her intention, my Christmas was considerably dampened.
This isn’t something new — my mother has waged this type of manipulation warfare before. Because of my mother, I have cried on nearly every birthday and holiday since my parents’ divorce in 2001. On my 20th birthday, my mother caused such a sobbing fit that it caused my then-boyfriend to say to me, “I don’t know why you let it bother you; you know how she is.” Of course I know how she is, but I let it bother me because I’m incapable of loving someone halfway. I can’t hold anyone at a distance; I’m either all in or all out. And so, very shortly after that comment, I was “all out” of my relationship with that boy. I couldn’t carry on with someone who didn’t understand what it meant to love someone who simultaneously caused you so much pain. A friend of mine once said, “I have such a hard time being close friends with people who have normal relationships with their parents.” I’ve always empathized with that.
My mother was never outright emotionally abusive, nor purposefully hurtful in her manipulations. She just always sought to get what she wanted, and what she wanted was attention. I honestly believe that she does what she does without any comprehension of the lasting damage to those close to her.
But last Christmas Day, I reached my breaking point — I just couldn’t do it anymore. I haven’t spoken to her for the past four months, and I’m beginning to consider my long-term plans. Do I accept her back into the fold? She certainly has not changed. Then again, do I continue to ignore her? She is my mother after all. What kind of forgiveness points does a person earn from giving birth to you? If I do let her back in, will I be able to distance her enough to save myself? I think almost certainly not. I am simply not the kind of person who exists with a middle ground. Nor do I desire to be that type of person.
So I am left at an impasse, unsure of where to go next. I just know that in these past four months, it has been an immense weight off my shoulders. And that shouldn’t be how you feel about your relationship with your own mother.