The other day, out of the blue, my mother remarked to me about how I never appreciate her and all the things she has done for our family. She then proceeded to tell me it’s because I’ve led such a sheltered life.
I was so dumbfounded by her remark that I wasn’t even sure how to respond. ‘A sheltered life?‘, I wanted to scream at her ‘how exactly has any part of my life been sheltered?‘ Perhaps to her it feels that way because she has never really been a part of it. She left me. My own mother left me all the time with unsafe, abusive, angry people in places where I was certain I was going to die not knowing when, or even if, she would come back for me. If that’s what she considers sheltered, I’d hate to know what she thinks unsheltered looks like.
Of course I said nothing because my fear of conflict is greater than having hurt feelings so as per my usual method of dealing with her baseless comments, I walked away rather than starting a fight I knew I would never win.
As I sit here and write this post I feel bombarded by a million thoughts and feelings. I have absolutely no clue what to do with most of them but the underlying themes are hurt and sadness. She pours salt directly onto the wounds and rubs it in so hard that it burns and festers even more. It’s never going to quite heal properly no matter how much time passes. It truly feels as though she wants me to know just how much I have ruined her life.
I never realized that wanting to be loved and accepted by your own mother could be seen as an act of selfishness. She makes it feel like I am a constant disappointment and always in her way.
I currently feel caught up in very bad, not-good-enough feelings. When the one person on this whole entire planet who is supposed to love you unconditionally doesn’t, there is nothing out there that can fill the gaping hole that forms.
Not a spouse.
Not a child.
Normally, this is where I would reach out to T for reassurance that she’s the bad person and I’m not quite the horrendous person I feel I am. But he seems so very far away this week and I feel quite disconnected from him. What would I say anyways? What would he? How many times can I whine about the fact that my parents were shit and I didn’t get what I needed and that I feel like nothing will ever make it feel better? And I have to be honest. T can’t fill the empty spaces the way they need to be filled either. He’s not my parent. He never will be. One day, eventually, he will have to go. That’s just how it works.
No matter how hard I’ve tried, it’s just never been right. And for a very long time I never knew why. I grew up never knowing what right was supposed to feel like. My truth is that I feel like damaged goods all the time.
That’s what my sheltered life has done for me.