This year just began, and I already completed my resolution within the first hour of the new year.
I ended up having a civil, calm conversation with my mom (this was happening as the new year was being rung in) and it brought so much healing to every aspect of my life. I have the strength now to write the truth after trying so hard my whole life to avoid it:
My mother abused me physically, mentally, and emotionally for my entire childhood.
If I made her upset she would grab my arms and twist them until they hurt so bad I would cry. And she would keep going even as I was crying, begging her to stop.
When I was a child, I never knew what kind of mood my abusive mother was going to be in.
When she got mad, I was never sure what kind of mom she felt like being that day. My mom has untreated bipolar disorder and this added to the anger and chaos that I experienced growing up.
I learned how to behave around her, careful never to upset her for any reason. It was an exhausting life. I moved out as soon as I could at 16, after an experience where my mother locked me in her room and refused to let me out. I had to throw something at her to finally be able to escape.
My late teen/early adult years were the most fun of my life because I was finally free from the anxiety I felt as a child. However, due to a combination of genetics and environmental factors (the trauma I faced as a child) I learned at age 25 that I too, had bipolar disorder. The main differences between me and my mother is that 1) I have never laid a hand on my children and I do everything in my power to never yell at them, and 2) I started taking all the right medications as soon as I was officially diagnosed and have been symptom-free for the majority of the time since then. My mother has never taken any medication or sought any kind of help at all for her condition.
This brings me to the conversation I had with my abusive mother on New Year’s Eve/Day.
My mother was harping on me with all the ways that I was failing as a mother, and for the first time in my life, I had the courage and confidence to understand that what she was saying was just absolutely wrong.
I no longer felt the need to try and make her feel better or try to avoid the situation. I know deep down that I am a fantastic mom, and I realized just how much my mother’s mental illness plagued her. The lens through which she sees the world is distorted, and I don’t blame her for that specifically.
Some of the last words I said to her were that I hoped she would seek professional help for her bipolar disorder and that I would be here if she ever decided to do that.
Until that day, I refuse to give power to my abusive mother any longer. I won’t let our past affect my future. I will move ahead in confidence and find the healing I need, and pray she finds healing too.
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