Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hand to the plough

I have had a Christmas card from some family friends. It says 'we hope you are well & that you will go to see your mother over Christmas. She is the only one you will ever have.'
This initially made me angry: she has obviously been telling them that I've made no effort with her (I have), that she doesn't know why I'm not seeing her (that'll be because she doesn't listen), that she's got dementia (she hasn't), that she can't remember anything (she doesn't, but only because she doesn't listen; she has no memory deficits & this is a volitional forgetfulness), that I want her to go in a home so I can have her house (I have a home of my own & need or want nothing of hers). I was minded to ring them up & put them straight on a few things, but it's really difficult to know what one would say in the circumstances. 'My mother has led me a merry dance for the past few years (in fact decades) & I've had enough'? 'My mother is lying to you as she has repeatedly to me over the years'? 'There is actually nothing wrong with her at all'? 'How about you have a go at trying to help her with the difficulties she herself identifies & see what happens'?
Several things have fallen into place for me this year: people who have known her years have told me things that have illuminated things that have happened over the years. I feel, in fact, that my mother may have an undiagnosed personality disorder, which she is now less able to keep hidden. I thought she could be dementing because of a change in personality, but she has tested as negative, so I am forced to see that what I see now has always been there under the surface. The actual effect on me has been what we occultists would call psychic vampirism (I don't know how cowans cope with life).
For me as a witch, how this affects me is that I have to protect myself, because she will quite happily drain the life out of me. I was expecting reactions from family friends because this will be the first Christmas we've been estranged. I'm used after knowing her for four decades, to everything being my fault. I'm also used to people telling me what I *ought* to be feeling & doing. In fact I would consider the people who wrote me the card to be a model of playing at happy families: this is the woman who never bothered telling her family she had had breast cancer till one of her daughters died.
Guess what: I don't feel obliged to justify or explain. I have made a decision which is best for *me* after having tried to obtain the outcome I really wanted & been unable to. Yes, it's selfish, but for the first time in my life it is not being run by my mother. In fact I think this may be the first really grown up decision I've ever made. I've put my hand to the plough & will not now look back.

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