Parent or Guardian

Laying in bed this morning after my therapy session yesterday I have a lot of anxiety. I am listening to peaceful music, praying and deep breathing- trying to get rid of all my anxiety. I have heard therapy is challenging. My therapist has even told me that it takes courage to heal. My 3rd visit was yesterday and I have met my first challenge.

She mentioned a few key elements that I have always wondered about. A question that is always on my mind is what would my m. be like if she wasn’t mentally sick. I remember her before it got bad and how fun she used to be. My therapist answered that long lost question of mine. My m. would be me. She told me that I am the best part of my m.

I have never heard that or thought of it that way. I have been told I am like her in negative ways but never in positive ways. She said that I am the best part of her and that’s part of the reason why my m. chooses to direct the abuse at me.

If you are wondering why I choose not to right mother or mom and only m. is because I do not call her mother. It is strange for me to hear it, say it, or write it. I normally call her by her first name (not to her obviously) and for the sake of privacy I do not put her real name. My counselor also addressed that yesterday asking how long I have not called her mom. I told her most of the time nowadays I call her by her first name.

When I hear the word mother or just type it- I get extremely sad or depressed. I sometimes think about my step momma who I do call mom sometimes but most of the time it just feels like an empty word. One of my goals in going to therapy is to be able to hear, write or talk about a mom, mother, mother’s day, and holidays without it being a lonely depressing trigger. For awhile I felt like I was mourning the loss of a mother. I felt motherless.

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I am trying my hardest now to not give my m. so much power over my emotions and my life. I took the first step in moving her email address into spam (which is huge for me). I did send her birthday greetings and she responded with requesting I call her sometime soon.

At first I had a rush of hope that she missed me. But being honest with myself I know this happens every few months when she chooses not to contact me. Even without hearing her voice just reading the typed words in the email I know it’s not sincere. I hope differently and try to lie to myself that “maybe this time it will be different”. I began to tell my therapist how I felt about this.

I told her that I feel like my m. just wants to know and she doesn’t really care how I am. My m. values information. My therapist smiled and nodded her head. She told me that that is exactly why my m. sent that response and that I should trust my gut. I knew I was right deep down inside but I have such hope that she’ll change- I blind myself.

Next subject that I talked to her about it when it comes to her birthday, mother’s day and holidays should I send her cards and gifts? My counselor looked at me as if she read my mind. I kinda was fearful to admit my true feelings. She sighed and told me how I have felt about it all these years. It was just like calling her mother or mom- it is awkward.

It is so awkward to feel obligated to acknowledge someone who isn’t there. I don’t want to come across mean or ungrateful. When I was growing up it was said to “honor your father and mother” to not be “ungrateful” to be “respectful of your elders”…  My mind is conditioned to believe if I don’t notice her I am a horrible person. She will become “so hurt” by it. Of course that brings me shame, guilt and makes me feel like a failure. I am almost in tears and I don’t exactly understand why.

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I had a mild panic attack last night for awhile and I am starting to have one now. My anxiety is just overflowing again. My breath is short and my head is hung low. I don’t want to be an ungrateful child. My m. makes me out to seem like I am some rebellious, foul, shocking person and I believe it.

My counselor gave me a challenge to overcome and this triggers all my anxiety today as well. I need to give myself permission to not care. I need to give myself permission to let go. I need to give myself permission to have a thought of my own. Permission to not bow to her. Permission to have my own life without her control.

I do not know the woman. I never really have. I mean I know her pain and why she is the way she is but I do not have a relationship with her. I need to be honest with myself and give myself the permission to go on. As soon as I try to, I have a tremendous amount of shame and guilt.

My chest gets so tight. I am worried about what she will think. I have always been a people pleaser and it’s time to stop. I want to be truly happy and to have thoughts of my own. I even try to please my husband to get affection. For example, I will deny myself food for hours to just wait for him. I never really do anything for myself.

I heard this song the other day, Freckles by Natasha Bedingfield:

“I used to care so much about
What others think about
I almost didn’t have
A thought of my own

The slightest remark
Would make me embark
On a journey of self-doubt”

 That couldn’t be more true. I want to start having thoughts of my own and stop worrying so much about what others will think, if they will approve or accept me. I know this journey is going to be a long one. I am having such a hard time giving myself permission. Maybe I will make little slips out and write down everything I give myself permission to do. That might be a helpful activity and I will place them where I can see them everyday. Until next entry.

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