DD – My Mom Died

Come back. Even as a shadow, even as a dream.

—Euripides

emotions feelings emotion feeling

Photo by Katii Bishop

 

She has died.

I did not get a chance to say goodbye in person, but I did send a song which she loved: the last music she heard before she passed away.

It’s odd.  After growing up and experiencing all this YUCK in my relationship with my Mom, since her death, I have learned of more of the grades and shades and colours of her life.

I know that she was controlling and hard while I knew her.

But I learned that after I cut contact, and during her experience of being diagnosed with a terminal illness, Mom became softer, kinder and more outgoing. She danced! She accepted change! She showed her true self!

I feel sad that I didn’t get to see her lighter edge, but I reflect, perhaps this came because of the separation between us and/ or because of her diagnosis.  Maybe hearing, “you’re going to die and you cannot change this” changed her view of life?

I attended the ceremony last weekend, and heard stories of her life, from family… I saw other sides of her, and through my own anger and pain, I found love.  I actually felt love.  I know she was in many ways, a “bad mom” and yeh, narcissism sucks.  She was so hurtful and unkind, and i hated her for all those reasons…. but there were, although small moments, times of good.

And you know, she was still my mom… and I miss her.

I miss the times when she was light and happy.

I miss the times when she was silly and fun.

I miss the times we hugged and I felt it was a hug of LOVE.

I miss the times we laughed in authentic moments.

I miss the times we went and saw art together, drank coffee together, walked in nature.

I am beginning to remember some of the nicer things we did together, the moments we shared that were good…. and Z. says these are the things you gotta hold on to, and you gotta just let go all that shit. Naa, that doesn’t mean you forgive all the shit, but that it won’t define you after their death. I am trying.

 

I am having bouts of feeling okay and then times I just start crying.  I miss my Mom.

 

DD – Conflicted Feelings of Death

Dear Diary,

I don’t know….

woman in black long sleeved cardigan

Photo by rawpixel.com

So… Mom is officially dying.  The extended family has been in touch, and my Mom has a few weeks to MAYBE 2 months to live.

Damn you, Mom!! Damn you for dying. The “easy way out”, instead of living and learning to be a better person, she’s dying. When I first heard, I was filled with rage and frustration and anger.  How dare she?! How dare she fucking die and never say sorry…. and dunno, after all my emotional-ness, my pain pouring out of me, my crying in frustration, last night and this morning, i’m just…. NOTHING.

 

I feel…. *sigh* conflicted

I am still angry that she was never the mother we kids deserved, that she hurt me, teased me, controlled me, manipulated me, and mocked me.

I am still hurting from those wounds she inflicted.

I am still in disbelief that she either pretends (or actually believes?) she did none of these things; that she was/ is a perfect mom.

I am still deeply sad that I did not have a real mom, and that I will never get the chance to have that…. even to try for it…. because she’s dying, and then there will be nothing of her left on this world to make a mother-daughter relationship from.

I am still feeling unloved that she never made an attempt to reach out to me, except now, to tell my sister and I that she is on her death bed…

I am still frustrated that she could not… did not… HAS not apologized for anything.

I am still sorrowful that she could not tell us her real feelings, speak her real self— and instead we see forever this stubborn hard woman, right until the very end… where is her softness? where is her regret?

I am still enraged that I was “under the spell” for so long, and believed her put-downs of me, and that today I suffer still from those wounds, those hateful words in my mind, the ideas that I am not good enough— this struggle I fight to find my own voice.

.

.

low angle photography of trees

Photo by Todd Trapani 

_________________

And then there’s THE OTHER FEELINGS–

  • Sadness, that she is suffering and in pain. No-one should suffer, even those who have hurt me… No human ought suffer.
  • Hope, that she finds peace and understanding.
  • Wonder, when she dies, do you think she will realize the pain and suffering her narcissism did to us (her children)?
  • Relief, that finally I can be free.
  • More sadness— to that when I am free, I will be completely parentless and I will raise my children without anyone from my family around them, but me.
  • Sorrow, that we did have a few happy moments, and these will just be flickers of memory.
  • Accomplishment, that I have done so much without her, all the things she said I would never be able to do.
  • Worry, that maybe she will somehow recover from her terminal illness after all and then I have made myself vulnerable again, only to be hurt even more?
  • Concern, on how my conflicted feelings may affect those around me.
  • Emptiness, a sense of knowing I am alone now.

 

I do not understand entirely how I can feel so much at the same time.

 

My therapist said I should write a FAREWELL.  For closure. For peace.  And I am stumped at what to say.  I am not a hateful person, and yeh, i know, at times my blogs may suggest otherwise…. I just hurt…. and I feel so lost right now.  I cannot lie to her as a farewell, I want to speak the truth, but I am all but empty.

DD – Narcissism and Guilt

“NO MORE” was one of the best things I said, and then did, to rid my world of a horrible yucky toxic and manipulative narcissist. It was my Mom.

horror crime death psychopath

Photo by Tookapic on Pexels.com

Growing up with a twisted and controlling parent is hard.  Last year, I decided, NO MORE. I walked away.  She was controlling my finances and I left.  Sure, I had a month or two or basically starving, getting into debt a bit… but I survived.  She always said I never would be able to make it; that I would not be able to do things on my own, that I could never make enough money to live, that I couldn’t do it without her.  But look at me! I can!

Now she is sick.  Dying, apparently.

And you know- I don’t really care.

 

Initially, I felt ashamed at my lack of guilt feelings.  I did not feel guilty.  Should I have felt guilt? The thing is, being a child of a narcissist makes you always question your own sanity before anything else.  “Am I right?” … “I must be wrong”… “Am I crazy?”… but then you realize – that feeling of “no guilt” is not guilt or shame at all.

It’s a sense of CONFIDENCE and belief in “you”.

I deserve kindness and goodness.

This feeling is a recognition of that truth.

 

When she first told me she has cancer, my first thought was, “yaye” and that may seem so unkind, but I DON’T CARE what you think.  After having 37.5 years of being bullied by my mother, told that I am not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not able enough…. that I am never going to be a success, that I will suffer without her, being joked about that I have autism, being attacked for being me, being told that being bisexual is “just a phase” and “a fairytale” that it’s “not real”… After being told always that my sister is the golden child, the perfect child, the brilliant one, the smart one… After having 37.5 years of my life made (with intent) to feel like a nothing, I just don’t care if she dies.

 

Cancer is horrible.  My nan died of cancer.  My opa died of cancer.  My coach’s partner died of cancer.  My friends friend’s are dying of cancer… I get it. It’s nasty.  It’s ruthless. It kills.

But the thing is, if someone you love and trust and respect gets cancer, you WANT to be with them.  You WANT to care for them.

If it’s an abuser… why care?

 

I have read blogs that you need to “be the grown-up and help”, but I disagree.  Since I have cut my Mom out of my life, my life is better.  I have a better job, I feel stronger and better in myself, I am more confident, my relationship is healthier, my friendships are more meaningful, and I feel HAPPY.  I have struggled with a horrid depression for years and years and years…. and yep, it’s still quiet, but it’s not killing me anymore.  Why? Because the main hold on me; the thing that was strangling me was my Mom.

 

I let her go, and I became free.

Now she’s dying, and I will  NOT go to her.  I will NOT return. She can die alone, as she deserves. She pushed us all away with her manipulation, her abuse, her neglect and her selfishness.

I choose happiness.

I choose to say No.

I choose to be FREE.

DD – Autistic and Happy? (yep!)

photography of woman surrounded by sunflowers

Photo by Andre Furtado

Dear Diary,

 

I’m just feeling good.

For the first time in such a long time…. things are actually positive in my life.

 

I feel deeply grateful for:

  • My partner, Z – Who has graced my world with his wild artistic energy and honest streak, giving me a safe place to fall and a safe place to share my feelings.
  • Our beautiful cat, Miss Meowjasty – Who brings leaves and dust into the home on a regular basis (Ugh), but also offers many fluffy cuddles and headbumps of joy.
  • Our new house – Which took a while to find! It is colourful, spacious, feng-shui oriented and has a huge backyard filled with fruit trees and herbs. Yaye!
  • My job – Which gives me ample $$s and also provides me with a platform to do incredible good for the world, in the space of 1) teaching neurodiverse adults life skills, 2) finding meaningful work for neurodiverse adults (jobs THEY love), 3) working in a brilliant team of fellow autistics who shine a light on all they touch.
  • Our friends – Who seem to be the most unlikely bunch of misfits and weirdoes; a loveable group who fill my life with laughs and genuine connections.

 

So. I reflect on this and… I feel quite blessed.

 

It has taken such a long time to come to this point, but I feel good.  And yes, of course there are still difficulties to overcome, challenges that I face– yet these feel like bumps on the road; not traps or barriers.  It is a nice feeling to have these aspects that bring me joy and calm….

DD – I am sick to death of the stigma!

changing-print-stigma

Something that really grates my carrot is how everyone wants to point the finger when all I mention is the word, “bipolar”.  My partner being bipolar apparently means that he hits me, that he’s manipulative, and a jerk.  What the actual fuck!?

Okay, things are not always rosy gardens in the world of making a relationship work with a bipolar partner… but bloody hell, are things always rosy in a world with autistics? Um. No. I mean, we are the ultimate in “special attention needed”.

I am so sick of people stigmatizing my partner because of his bipolar!

I am so sick to death of all this bullshit stereotyping and judging!

 


 

My “Vent”:

A Lifeline crisis worker told me today that bipolar means you are manipulative and dangerous and unable to have a relationship. Then, with my WTF reactions, this worker said he had to end the call because I wasn’t listening to him and “becoming agitated”. Of course I’m fucking agitated. You’re telling me something completely untrue about the man I love!!

Is he manipulative? No.

Is he dangerous? No.

Is he unable to have a relationship? No.

He’s just bipolar.

In fact, “bipolar” and “I’m upset about a disagreement we just had” was really all the Lifeline worker knew about him…. and suddenly, my partner is now some monster? Talk about stigma! And on a mental-health help line, nonetheless!

 


Unthinking responses?

Okay, so this isn’t my first stigma rodeo.  I have encountered so many bullshit responses to “my partner has bipolar”.  Like, when I have told close friends about him, and they say fucked up things like comparing our relationship to a highly abusive one….

I’ve heard:

  • He doesn’t hit you, does he?
  • Ohh, so he’s always angry.
  • He’s manipulative.
  • Sounds like a dickhead.
  • Should you two really be together?
  • You deserve better.

I deeply appreciate a Devil’s Advocate response from a friend, or a concern being aired, but to jump to the extreme conclusion is just…. well… if I may: it’s bipolar.

It’s as if I said my partner was Iraqi, and you were to say “He’s not a terrorist, is he?” or if I said my friend was gay, and you were to say, “Does he talk with a lisp?” or that I’m autistic, and you were to say, “You can’t be autistic, because XYZ“.

 

 


A Solution>>

I have an idea.

How about when you hear something you just take a deep breath, think your first thought but don’t say it, critique that thought and then take another deep breath, and keep listening to that person?

And maybe as the time passes as you listen to that person, you start with a simple sentence:

“I have an observation. I have listened to what you have said and I am still concerned about [stigma/ stereotype]. I may be completely wrong, but have you thought of that?”

And then listen.

And truly take in what the person says.

If they say their partner is not a manipulative jerk, believe them.

It might make your relationship better.

 

Just a thought.

DD – Moving house and cat stress

close up photography of cat

Photo by Amir Ghoorchiani on Pexels.com

Dear Diary,

More house stresses as it seems we’re due to move house AGAIN. Well, in a month or so. I have my eye on some lovely properties out bush, but I feel all out of sorts at the moment, doomsdaying, imagining the worst: what if the place has no internet! no flyscreens! what if I find big spiders in the bedroom! what if we lose the cat in the undergrowth! I know- probably silly things. Last night I was kept awake 6 hours worrying about bills (which I can actually pay), but bills, nonetheless. Then there’s the plants, and moving them… and moving our furniture… again. Ugh. I’ve moved so much over my life (military family), but wow, moving does not get any easier. It still sucks.

Cat has settled in here and has a new favourite spot: the most leafiest, dustiest, crunchiest place under the most polleny tree in the garden.  She likes to go out there on a regular basis, especially after we’ve hoovered, or brushed her… and then she proudly shimmies back into the house and rubs her leafy gloriousness on everything. Last night there were seed pods INSIDE the bed spread – inside! I don’t know how she does it. Talent, me thinks. Talent.

Ohh and moving makes me sad too. I mean, I’m almost 40… and I want a nice home that is mine. I want a beautiful home that I can aim to raise kids in, have dinner parties in, build something…. but alas I am of the generation  X, with our baby boomer parents buying everything up, and our whims of wanting to “be free” and unshackled from the corporate world… yeh, it has left us all with no chance at ever owning a home; forever doomed to rent. My legacy will be a rented property and a memory of a parent with too many degrees. I dunno.  I hate the idea of working full-time, and I dread the concept of a corporate suit (still to this day), but I wish I somehow was able to buy my own home, to be able to gift my (future) kids something special. Hmmm.

Well, coffee awaits. Better go.

Autumn

DD – Asthma yuckies

dandelion nature sunlight

Photo by Nita on Pexels.com

Dear Diary,

Had to spell check that I was writing to you, and not your cousin, Dairy.  Anywho. I’ve not been online much lately as Z. and I have been moving house…. and then add into the mix dust! pollen! dirt! fluff! something-in-the air, and yes, I had an severe asthma attack last night so today was hard. I think asthma is truly one of the most scary experiences I’ve ever had– not being able to breathe is frightening. I slept badly, mostly in fear of choking mid-sleep (something which can happen – eek), and then today, more moving of dusty things and now I’m on the couch feeling tight in the chest and throat, and oh yeh, I got bitten by mozzies; a good 6 bites and being the lucky me that I am, I swell up like a balloon and then feel paralysis for 5-6 hours after.  I have taken anti-histamines but I’m positively feeling UGH. Looking forward to sleeping, hoping it’s sleeping, not deathing. *sigh*  Lotsa work to be done. I love the job I have now, but it’s still bisy work as we push to complete a chapter. Okay, another sip of tea and I’m heading bedward. Sleepy time calls.

Night,

Autumn