I built a wall several weeks ago between NM and myself and asked Hubby to be the messenger. But yesterday I wanted to shoot the messenger.
Last month, when I checked myself into the psych ward, I was in such a terrible dark place, full of fear and reliving past trauma with each breath that I needed protection everything in my world, including her constant bombardment of guilt embedded and otherwise triggering words. I wasn’t strong enough to push her back so I asked Hubby to get the emails and phone calls and let her and my brothers know where I was and that I was unable to have any contact with family of origin. I put it out of my mind and felt protected.
Mother’s Day made me a little twitchy, but I maintained the peace and ceasefire by not writing, sending gifts or cards or calling her. If you don’t understand how sending or not sending a simple card can be problematic, then you don’t have a narcissistic mother.
Yesterday I was in good spirits, playing a computer game (in the rare moment I was not dizzy) and keeping up with kids and Hubby talking about their days. It was all fine. Then Hubby says “Oh hey, you’re Aunt died” while barely looking up at me and went back to setting up a text account on his phone.
KAPOW! I couldn’t breathe. I felt nauseous. Lost. Confused. Afraid.
I waited for him to finish talking to kiddo with my heart racing and said, “Umm did you just tell me my aunt died? Just like that? in a very cold manner like it doesn’t matter?” He gave me that typical confused look, and said “yes you’re aunt died, your mom sent me a message. I wasn’t being cold, just telling you what your mom said”
The initial blow softened, and I felt sad, hurt, disappointed and alone. Thoughts started racing and swirling. Hubby was focused on his phone and obviously didn’t think this news was supposed to be any different than saying we were out of peanut butter. I was not close to this aunt any more, but I did love her. I left the room to take inventory of my thoughts and feelings.
I am the only person on the planet that can comfort me. I have no support, not when I really need it. No one is safe or emotionally available for me when I do reach out, so I am back to reaching deep down within. That used to bother me, but I have accepted it now. And when I leave the room to comfort myself – I no longer feel alone. I only feel alone when I’m in the room with others that I feel I can’t connect to. One of the big topics of my inpatient therapy was Radical Acceptance, a theory from Marsha Linehan. I’ve been trying to change things that I can’t change. You’d think with that damned serenity prayer embedded in my brain I would know better. Well, still waiting for God to grant me the wisdom I guess. All of this would be easier if I believed in God of course, but I don’t. I don’t know how.
This aunt that passed was the last remaining sister of my Mom. She had severe dementia for the last decade or so. I wish I could be there to support my mom, but I can’t. I don’t have enough in me to have day-to-day contact with mom, an actual tragedy means she would suck everything out of me. I want to give my mom a hug and comfort her. I want to have a family that would make that simple gesture possible. But I don’t. I want to have a Hubby that understands this is tough news for anyone to hear, and that his reaction is abnormal, not mine. But I don’t.
So today I have some tears for my aunt, though with her age and condition this is the type of death that brings more relief than sadness. I also shed some tears, again, for my family that isn’t a family.
Ending with my positive for today, my own Mother’s Day was sweet and uneventful. Lots of love with my own kiddos.