Back in Ireland, and to begin this entry I'm sharing one of the most beautiful songs ever written by an Irish man. It also happens to be one of one of my favourite songs of all time. Please tell me if you like it!
Sharing time. (Sorry in advance: this is going to be a ranty post!)
I feel mixed up after my trip away with my family. It was actually quite taxing, and I feel like it's set my relationship with my mum back about 3 years.
Until about two years ago, we didn't get on. I love her now, but I harboured a lot of resentment towards her which used to filter into every interaction we had. She was a very strict, aggressive mother, who used to hit us for the slightest mishap. I grew up in rigid fear of her, which turned to open rebellion in my teens, which of course made things worse. I stopped doing any school work (she was particularly militant about results), she started grounding me, and I responded by mitching school. A few times I hit her back when she hit me (yeah, she's still hit me as a teenager). Then my parents took me out of the school I loved and was really popular in, and putt me into what we call a "grind school", where school lasts from 9am-10pm, and there's no physical ed. It's all about getting results.
Once I finished school I moved to another city and rarely came home and whenever I did we would have a blazing row. I harboured so much resentment about all the things she forced upon me in my life, and just about who she was, and it seemed like we'd never have a good relationship.
But over the last eight years I've worked on myself a lot, and as I did that my relationship with her improved. I can understand who she is, and I can avoid confrontation with her.
But over this holiday, I saw our new relationship in a different light. She hasn't changed: all that's happened is that I now "baby" her. I'm constantly looking out to see that she's okay; doing my duty as "the good daughter". She complains about what a victim she is, vents about her illness, drinks too much every day and says horrible things, and basically drains the life out of me. I knew all this before spending two weeks in a car with her, but what I really saw on this trip was that she's basically a bitch. I know that's a horrible thing to say about your mother, and I hate to say it, but she is. Nothing any of us do is ever good enough - and anything we do that isn't perfect is like that because we're idiots who should have known better. She's self righteous, unforgiving, and abusive. My dad jokes that she has a PhD in hindsight.
One night I completely lost it, and stormed off. I was just sick of her making every difficult situation more painful by complaining and criticising. I was also mad with my dad and brother, but I won't go into that now - I spoke to both of them the next day and we made up. I didn't speak to her about anything. There's literally no talking to her - I tried that for years and it never worked: the only thing that helped was me figuring out how to let go of all my resentment and love her for who she was.
Now all the resentment is back, and I keep snapping at everything she says. I see our relationship reverting back to where it was because I'm so angry with her again. I can understand now that part of the reason I have so much self hate is because she abused and criticised every single thing that we did, and I internalised this way of thinking. Fortunately these days it's mostly reserved towards my body: I don't hate other aspects of myself as much.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying this in a self pitying way. We all have our crosses to bear, and I don't want to blame her. I love her and know that she did the best she could. Plus she has loads of good qualities: she's extremely generous for one thing, and she really helped me with all the health stuff I went through - she paid for all my tests and medication, so she can be a sweet heart, but that just makes me feel guilty then for not being the perfect daughter cos' I feel like I'm indebted to her. I'm sick of her Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personalities.
Maybe I just need to take a break from her for a while.