Two ideas currently tango in my thoughts: helpless and money.
This comes up as I deliberate words for my mom. I haven't spoken with her in more than a year. Our last interaction consisted of a loud disagreement over the phone and then a second, softer-voice phone call that included unhealthy maneuvers from both her and me. She attempted to manipulate my actions, and I remained silent about how her words and behavior hurt me.
Many reasons exist for this situation with her. I could [and sometimes do] describe situations from my past. These stories form certain aspects of my current biases and values. These stories are true and real for me. My mother has her own stories. They are equally true and real for her. They formed her current biases and values. It happens that her stories and my stories occasionally collide in fireworks.
I love and respect my mom. I don't want to hurt her feelings and yet I fucking can't stand her bullshit. I think about telling her things and then I don't know whether it's best to express myself in a particular way. So then I don't say something because I can't think of how to express myself in a way that's respectful and that I won't regret in the future. [Because I'm supposed to act nice and respectful to my mom, right? And obviously nice and respectful does not include telling her about my anger and when she hurt my feelings and how I don't like it that she treats me like a disposable towel. ...this type of socialization thought runs deep in my brain! Perhaps that's a topic for another post.]
The thought process occurs along this basic structure.
To which another part of my brain responds.
I didn't fight much with my mother in my life. We weren't close. If I wanted to do something she didn't like, I'd do it. Sometimes I'd tell her about it. Sometimes I didn't. We didn't talk through our disagreements. We disagreed, and then one of us (usually me) acquiesced. That happened until I simply didn't tell her about things anymore.
I got particularly quiet about six months to a year after my parents divorced. I "accepted Jesus into my heart" and celebrated how God gave me trials and tribulations so I could be pure and holy. At one point, I got involved with an organization I now consider a cult. I learned about Sufi-inspired beliefs; read about and practiced energetic healing techniques; and discovered new ways to observe and define conflict. I took responsibility for my words and didn't speak about anger toward her. I thought I was helping and protecting her. I considered myself the grown adult, above/beyond anger, mature and wise. I considered us close because I spent time with her. Now I view those times as scattered and distant. I see that I sat and listened to her talk. I remember that she did not ask me questions. I recall her behavior as greedy, glassy, glib.
Let's be real. There will be times for anger between a mother and a daughter. Sometimes a mother and daughter cannot be close, emotionally. It is not every mother who will befriend her daughter and vice versa. Sometimes a mother will intentionally hurt a daughter and vice versa. There is a place for saying, "It is not ok to hurt me."
Through all the reasons why I shouldn't, perhaps I should write that letter and phrase it in such a way that I do not ask her for anything. I tell her what is true for me and then I allow her to make her own decisions about how she will proceed with her life.
Helpless money mom. Honest kind just.
Well hello there.