When I finally drew my boundaries and make it clear to my mother that I was no longer going to accept her devaluing treatment of me, she walked away. She never called again. Oh she played her usual manipulative tricks including telling me that I could contact her “when I have thought about it” but I quickly told her that I it wasn’t up to me anymore. It was now up to her to decide if she was going to have a real relationship with me based on love, mutual respect and equal value, OR if she was going to continue to abuse me. (An option I would no longer tolerate)
She wanted to just put the whole thing behind us and “start over” I said no and that this time I wanted to deal with it. This time I wanted my say.
She said “Oh Darlene, we have always had our differences but we have always worked them out in the past” and I responded “No Mom, in the past I have always backed down and let you have your way”.
That was the last time I spoke to her. I left it with her and she refused to bend. She refused to meet me half way. She turned me down. My mother abandoned our relationship.
When I realized that she wasn’t going to contact me again, it cut me to the core. I was rejected all over again. By walking away from me she was saying “you are not worth it Darlene. I can’t be bothered working on having a relationship with you”
And that hurts very deeply. That is a horrible thing to realize and accept.
Not being worth it, had always been my deepest fear; I felt as though she proved I was unworthy of her love by not trying to work on our relationship. But in reality, her actions do not make a statement about me; they make a statement about her.
I questioned myself a million times about whether or not I had made a mistake drawing that boundary. But the alternative was just too devaluing. It was at the root of all my depressions and low self-esteem. I wasn’t going to sacrifice myself to her anymore.
The truth is that what my mother actually proved is that she either does not actually love me, or that she is incapable of healthy loving and mutually respectful relationship. (I suspect that both are true.)
I stopped using my suspicion that she was incapable of loving me or herself as the excuse to let her hurt me. There are all these “teachings” out there that when we are an example of “love” we teach love. And the truth is that I was not “being an example of love” by letting her walk all over me. In truth I was sending her the message that she WAS more important than me and that I would accept her nasty behaviour no matter what because she was the more deserving one in our relationship. Like a dog that always comes home to the master no matter how the master regards the dog.
I had lots of grieving to do. In some of the most painful times, I had an image in my minds eye of the wicked witch in the Wizard of Oz screaming “I’m melting, I’m melting” because sometimes it felt as though the pain of my mother’s rejection would kill me. It felt like I was dying.
Eventually I began to accept that this was the way it really was. I had to reaffirm my decision that I didn’t want to live by her rules anymore. I spent months reminding myself what the alternative would be if I lifted my boundary, and reaffirming that I didn’t want to lift it because the alternative was too devaluing to me.
Although I longed for a loving relationship with my mother, I had never had one in the first place; I had no frame of reference for what I actually longed for.
Standing up for myself was empowering. It was like saying “HEY, I deserve better than what you offer” and my actions proved that I believed it. I made giant strides in the following months towards self-esteem recovery and personal growth.
There is no good answer for the question of why my mother doesn’t love me. She just doesn’t. The truth hurts but it has also set me free. I don’t wait around anymore for approval and love from places where I will not get it. Her actions state that she will love me only if I do things the way she wants. She will love me if I do our mother daughter relationship the way she wants.
Unconditional love towards my mother on my part no longer looks like me accepting her devaluing and abusive actions and regard towards me. Unconditionally loving my mother is only possible when I respect and love myself in the true definition of love. Relationship with my mother is not possible when the price that I pay includes sacrificing my human rights, individuality and self-esteem.
Today I am free of that false system and false definition of love! I love in truth and equality. I see myself as equally valuable to all others. My self esteem is strong and healing more all the time!
For years I missed the idea of having a loving mother. I don’t miss that idea anymore. I don’t miss what I never had either. Standing up to the dysfunctional and toxic mother daughter relationship stuff went a long way towards my process of emerging from broken.
Please share your thoughts about toxic dysfunctional mother daughter relationship stuff or any other toxic relationship stuff that this post brings up for you.
Exposing Truth; one snapshot at a time.
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A very hot topic post this week was ~ Adult Children and the Skewed definition of Respect
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