I’ve gone back and read much of this blog in its entirety – the last time I did this was before I reconciled with my father.
I feel something – not sure what to call it; it is less than regret, but more than bad, for my part in thirty years of estrangement. I had to do what I did to know the wonderful life I have known, and thankfully he understands that, but I am still feeling that indefinable something.
When I stop to consider, I realize what I feel is connected to all he lost – and what is lost to time is irretrievable.
He missed my wedding, the birth and childhood of my children, holidays, birthdays, graduations, family vacations; I missed being there for him when my oldest sister died … the list goes on and on, and it staggers me – humbles me.
The past several months, since talking to my father has brought me a more complete understanding of my childhood, I’ve compiled a mental list of wrongs committed by mother. I did not intend for this to happen, did not set out to accomplish this task, but I realized as I read back through the pages of Silence Shattered I have done just that.
It’s odd because I don’t have a need to assign blame – I never have. My need is, and has always been, to simply understand.
My mother assailed my childhood, left me devoid of a connection to my family for years and years, made me believe things that are untrue, led me to question my father’s intentions, integrity and sense of morality, turned her back on all three of her children … and she now uses the fact that I have Bipolar Disorder, a disorder she gave me, in an attempt to exonerate herself – to support her denial.
She feels no shame, no sense of remorse. She accepts no responsibility for the lives she has complicated or destroyed, feels no sorrow in knowing the unbearable pain she has caused. In her own words:
” I will take this opportunity to just bow out and save myself the headache of dealing with it.”
That’s what she does, she wrecks havoc with people’s lives and then she walks away – from everyone. A woman who can turn her back on her children is a cold-hearted bitch who is capable of ANYTHING.
There, I said it. I’m not proud of myself for expressing my pain and anger in such a crass way, but there it is – and it is appropriate; I, her only son, am a ‘headache,’ not to be dealt with. Cold-hearted bitch. She is truly vile and despicable.
My need was to understand:
but I am incapable of understanding a mother who is devoid of love for her own children.
Incapable of understanding hatred so deep and all-consuming she would destroy her own children in order to hurt the man she was once married to.
I can’t remember if she ever mattered to me at all;
I think she must have, because I feel betrayed …
She did not win, did not succeed. I love – intensely, deeply and forever. I am not like her. I cannot understand her.
My father, for all his mistakes, loves too. Loves his children, all three of us – and his grandchildren, those he has met and those he has yet to meet . He forgave my need to walk away, even comprehends why it was necessary. In the end, my mother didn’t get what she set out to get – and she lost ALL in trying. She condemned herself.
If not for the pain she caused my father, me, Elizabeth (and by extension our spouses and children, her grandchildren) and Janet, I’d feel vindicated in my final understanding, but …
there can be no real satisfaction when so much was taken from my father, my sisters and I.
It is, however, freeing and cathartic to know that ultimately …
she, Evil Incarnate, did not win.
For now, that’s enough.