Rosy Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

You may have read my earlier posts about my struggles in my relationship (or non-relationship) with my mother. Nothing has changed.

Social Distancing has ironically made it easier to cope in some ways: I was not able to visit and, as bad as that might make me out to be, I found that this was a relief. Afterall, if I didn’t have to meet her, there would be no friction.

I made sure to call on my father’s birthday, and I sent bread or food hampers over the lockdown weeks since the bakeries in their neighbourhood were shut. I called to check that things were well.

Guess what? Not even my father (he goes along with my mother to get along) contacted me to say anything about receiving any hamper – just to be clear I don’t need thanks, just an acknowledgement that the food had arrived so I could follow up with the delivery folks, if necessary.

My aunt has since informed me that my mother had ranted and raged upon the receiving the first hamper. She snarked about my sending food for only my aunt and father and refused to touch any because nothing was meant for her. My aunt even had to stop her from giving the second hamper to her neighbours.

The amount of food should have made it clear it was for everyone but I had forgotten about the narcissist’s martyr complex. I had allowed myself to overlook her cruel tongue. And I had deluded myself, once again, into thinking I should care.

My aunt also informed me that my mother has prepared 3 letters to be sent to my father’s relatives, each one detailing my multitude of sins. And she has had her lawyer draw up a new will in which I would get nothing.

Like it matters. I don’t want things. What I want is some measure of civility so that my own family doesn’t have to witness this acrimony. What I want is a regular mom. What I want is a dad who can support me. What I want is a situation where sending bread shouldn’t unleash another cycle of cruel words.

So, tonight, I finally broke down.

Tonight, I accepted that I am going to have to stand on my own, and stand up for myself. I am an unwanted child who has had her reputation smeared to anyone with hearing abilities; even my father has not denied that when my mother visits relatives, she speaks ill of me.

If even sending food because I cannot visit (not that I would have wanted to visit) is a problem, then either I am truly abhorrent to my mother or I am the stupidest person alive to continue to delude myself that being filial matters, and to believe that I have parents.


RDP ~ Rosy Hues

Broken Boughs

My family tree is large and its roots stretch across the globe. I don’t even know how many second cousins I might actually have, much less their parents’ names.

But I’ve often wondered if having relatives even matters.

You see, I have struggled for a long time with family expectations and standards. As the eldest grandchild, I was expected to set an example and my mother pushed me to excel in school and in other activities.

When I did well, I was praised and my mother was pleased. When I didn’t, which was more usual, it was explained as, “Well, she never studied/practised enough and she’s not naturally bright/talented so why should I expect anything from her? She’s useless!” or words to that effect. So I buried my feelings, avoided the stares and resolved to try harder next time.

But school got harder, extracurricular activities got more demanding, the days seemed to grow shorter and my grades got no better.

I stopped trying. I hated school. Hated the other kids (heck, they hated me but that’s another story). Hated always being the one never chosen for the good groups or interschool competitions. Hated always having to play the piano at family events. Hated being my mother’s chance to outshine the kid of Aunt This or Uncle That.

Because my mother also skillfully kept all relatives’ attempts to chat with me at bay, nobody ever knew how I felt. One of my aunts once encouraged me to write to her (she lived in another state) and my mother found out. “Why are you so stupid? Can’t you see she just wants to assess how you write then teach her children? Do you think she cares what you have to say? You’re so stupid.”

Back then, I knew nothing of narcissism or Tiger Mums. I only knew what lay ahead if my mother didn’t look good, or if I didn’t do things her way. I remember telling her off once, that she treated me as a performing monkey more than as a daughter. That conversation didn’t end well.

Most conversations with my mother never ended well. She and I are different personalities. And my father was never strong enough to support his child against her.

I stopped speaking to my mother 15 years ago. She tells everybody that, followed by a litany of all she has done for me and how much money she has wasted on me. And how I am unfilial, worthless, undependable, untrustworthy or whatever.

Family occasions are weird because we’re both present but we stay apart. It works for me because I have nothing to say to her, and she can’t call me any names.

I have started seeing a therapist to help me deal with the unreleased fury and grief I have within me. I want to learn how to cope with how I feel now and how I felt then.

What has this post got to do with branches? Well, there are countless branches on my family tree. Yet not one provided shelter or shade. I don’t want to blame anyone because narcissists are that good at camouflaging the truth, and they probably saw what she wanted them to see.

I have so much to say about my mother. I might share more stories. We’ll see.