I won’t hear from my mother for months and honestly her silence is a relief. Her laundry lists of the salad bar she sampled, the vacations she took, are painful because there’s no sense of who she is writing to. Throughout my life if I have behaved as anything but her all-accepting, all-admiring audience and savior she has openly treated me as a pain in her ass.
Which is a lot of the time.
But she always manages to reach out when I’m at my rawest. She writes snailmails rather than emails or texts (she’d never call) because she does not want me to be able to easily reply. She wants to be able to say, look, I write my daughter letters, and she’s so awful she ignores them. But all she really does is write the equivalent of her name over and over in fancy cursive on the front and back side of a note card. She does not want to hear my response because my feelings about her–my feelings in general–are at best inconvenient.
I may sound cynical but that is why I don’t talk about her. Part of her brilliance is the victimhood she cultivates, even as she’s abused and neglected me in any way a parent can hurt their offspring. The bottom line: I seem strong. She seems weak. So there’s no question who the perpetrator could really be. Continue Reading →