First Impressions: Seeing things from a different perspective
Book: Coming through a challenging experience, peace, willing to sacrifice society's approval to be true to yourself
Guidance: Be true to yourself
The message I'm getting is to truly stop and see things from my perspective instead of constantly looking at things from her (Charlene's) perspective or someone else's perspective. There is a time and place for mercy, but in order for there to be mercy, the other person has to be repentant. They have to acknowledge their sins. Charlene has never done that and she has continually pulled the I'm your mother card. She hurt me and she hurt the kids and yes she had a horrible childhood and was damaged by her mother, but she has perpetuated the pain. She knew that her mother gave me cheap crap and was hurtful, but she put me in the position of seeing her over and over and over again. She never once said that my kids matter and I'm not going to continually put them in a position to be hurt. Not only that, she knew that it was rotten to have your stuff given away and that it hurt, but she did it to Cam. She didn't want Mike's kid to feel bed so she gave away Cam's shoes. I wish I would have known because I would have blasted her to hell and back and she never would have seen the kids again.
In some ways she is like a conflict or wife beater who doesn't see that their behavior is wrong or that it hurts other people. She is in denial and a big part of that is because no one has ever called her on her bullshit before. People just let her continue to get away with it. After Tony got divorced and she was abusing him by continually telling him he needed to find someone. No one told her to stop after she said hurtful things. No one told her that she was being a bitch. I'm saying no more. She may not stop and she may not acknowledge her behavior, but I will have stopped the cycle by standing up to her and making sure she knows that her behavior is unacceptable and I will not let her hurt the kids or me again.
I do not owe her anything. I'm taking care of my kids and helping them overcome the results of her abuse. that is where my energy needs to go and not back into helping her. There is a part of me that says by breaking off contact in a letter that it isn't fair because I'm not letting her have a say, but the last time I tried to let her have a say, it failed. She just blabbed on and on about me coming to visit her and that she could come and pick me up, etc. ,etc. She treated me as if I was dirt poor and that I wasn't coming to see her because I could not afford it. Her ego could not accept that I did not want to come and see her. She refused to acknowledge and accept that I'm an adult who is making decisions in my own best interest.
In some ways this is like when Cam was manic and kept asking to go and smoke. We would keep telling her no and she would keep saying she understood, but would go right back to asking to smoke. This is what my mother's behavior is like. She says she understands, but she really doesn't listen. She cannot comprehend that she did anything wrong. Instead she just goes into the I'm the mother and I know best routine. It isn't true and I know it, but she can't see it. I have to step back and not let myself get sucked into her crazy. I know there are people who think that I'm a horrible person for "doing this to her" and hurting my poor sick mother, but there are also people who think that murderers can be redeemed. No one can be redeemed until they take personal responsibility. She may not get it in this lifetime and she may not realize how she has hurt me and the kids, but maybe she will get it in a future lifetime.
When she messaged me on my birthday by posting totally inappropriate crap on a post I had made, I gave her the opportunity to listen and understand my point of view, but she fell right back into her passive aggressive bullshit and telling me that she "supported my lifestyle." You mean the one where I bust my ass to support myself and the kids? The one where I've bought a house and taken care of myself? Not sure which lifestyle she was referring to. She does not comprehend that she might be the cause of this situation.
There are days when I feel that I should be kind to her because I would feel horrible if the kids walked away from me, but I have to remind myself that these are two very different situations. I treat my kids like adults and acknowledge when I've screwed up. She treats me like I'm a child who doesn't know her own mind.
I am so proud that I have managed to break out of the cycle and create an environment of respect and civility.
July 6, 2019
Wow! That was pretty deep and intense stuff. However, there is so much growth in that post because I actually stood up for myself and standing up for myself doesn't always happen.
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