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Did you have a difficult parent growing up?

My mom died last month.

My “relationship” with my mother is complicated.

I saved her life from a drug overdose when I was 12 years old.

She was a narcissistic addict who did some terrible things to me when I was growing up, then pretended I didn’t exist for roughly 30+ years. (This is why I don’t have a photo of us together.)

My first reaction upon news of her death was relief. Then sadness. Then anger and hurt.

Being erased has probably been my core wound all along.

I released and mourned my mother long ago, and celebrated the times when she was a mother to me, to the best of her capacity. She did do some things right, and some of her worst failures inspired me to not follow her path.

The peaceful loving detachment that I successfully developed over the decades felt ripped wide open. Her memory is NOT a blessing.

I expected I’d feel nothing at her passing because she has been dead to me for so long. That lasted half a day. Thankfully I have the maturity and support and life skills to revisit her betrayals (more than I knew about at the time) to transmute yet another leaden human experience into gold.

In the meantime I am held in the love of my chosen mothers: my stepmother, my mother in law, my godmother, and my aunt.

I’m specifically sharing all this for the benefit of anyone who has or had a difficult parent so that you know:

1) You are not alone.

2) Your parent’s behavior, no matter how outrageous and egregious, was NEVER EVER about you.

3) Your worth and love-ability are not defined by sick people who don’t really know you.

4) You get a birth family, and then you get the family you choose.

5) You get to have a fantastic, love-filled life anyway.

 

Before I sign off… I had a great insight:

I was not the daughter my mother wanted.

Occasionally I was, but in the end I was not. And that’s a good thing.

Because the cost of being that daughter and buying into the family lies and insanity is not a price I’d want to pay.

Their values are not my values.

So instead I became the daughter my mother wanted by becoming the absent scapegoat for all her own transgressions.

This is a much better deal for me.

I’m just glad to not be part of that world. Clean break.


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