ReAL TaLk

Not Everything is What it Seems

I was always confused growing up—by many things, but since it’s Mother’s Day, that’s what I want to speak about today. I am early middle age now and I am just now discovery words like gaslighting, among others. I always wondered why my Mom told me that my reality wasn’t real. My stepdad beat my Mom with pans. I tried to call 911. Both my step dad and mom hit me for doing that. My mom said I was making up things, that I was too sensitive, that the only people in life one can trust are their family. She said that I didn’t see anyone beating anyone; that I was young and that I didn’t remember (although I now know this is BS). If I told anyone what I thought I saw, she said that I would be an awful, spiteful, disrespectful, and disloyal daughter who didn’t deserve love. What was also confusing is that she was so “fake nice” in front of others. She acted like life was perfect, that she loved her life, and that she liked others. This is how my Mom acted and what she told told me. It was very confusing and caused me to doubt myself. I still struggle with owning my own reality. To my Mom, it was more important to “look good, put on a show, act like everything is fine, smile, make everyone else’s life easy, don’t speak up for yourself, don’t be difficult, don’t cause waves, and don’t be an inconvenience.” I internalized these toxic “teachings”, as a result.

Also, my Mom would occasionally do something nice or be kind to me in private or public. This was her ammunition. Because she would drop a kindness morsel, I was a horrible person if I spoke out against her, or didn’t go along with her made up and sick pathology. She would tell other family members that I was selfish and never thought about her, etc. It was bullshit and cruel.

My mother was/is only sometimes kind to me when I did/do poorly at something or didn’t/don’t succeed at something. If I did well at school, she would say, “you think you’re better than anyone, don’t you?” If I was sick, “why are you so weak, you’re just going to have to pummel through it?! I was back to work after 3 days after having a hysterectomy. Get over it.”

Just this year, I had an ear surgery and was lying in the bed in recovery for anesthesia in the hospital, and my Mom said, “why are you taking so long to come out of it? We don’t have all day. I’ve had to wait here all day. I’m ready to go.” A nurse overheard this, walked in, and shut my Mom down. “Excuse me, mam, everyone is different. Your daughter can lie here as long as she needs/wants. You understand? She’s small, and it will take her as long as it takes for her to recover.” When I confronted my Mom on her behavior, she, again, blamed me. “Katie, you didn’t understand, I was scared. I was worried, that’s why I said that. Why are you so sensitive? Why are you trying to make me feel bad?”

She never has shown compassion towards me, unless others did in public. She is more concerned with how she appears to others than who she is as a person, in reality.

7 weeks ago I asked her if she hated me, because she acts like it at times. She paused, hesitated, and said no.

Even that is chillingly telling.

Both of my parents had kids to fulfill their unwanted needs. My mom wanted some idea of fucked up loyalty and suppression, as well as my Dad.

They wanted submission and obedience, and for you to worship them and do what they said, and to always fill their egos high and make them feel powerful.

As an adult who is just now realizing this sick pathology, it makes me ill to my stomach.

I am going to work on breaking the chains and reclaiming my power, my self, my reality, my compassion, and my life.

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