About twenty years ago, I began to feel there was something wrong between me and my Mom. There was an unresolved tension in our adult relationship.
We went to see a therapist together. The therapist invited us not to judge each other, but to try to speak a little more openly. Where we got to was that there was something uncomfortable between us. I said that it was going to be difficult for me to be alone with my Mom.
From that point onward, I pretty much followed the rule of not being alone with her for the next ten years. When the real emotional stuff started to come out, I thought, “Great. Now we are going to be okay.” Unfortunately, that was not the case. There was still more work to be done.
In a book by John Bradshaw on families this dynamic seems to be described in the following passage:
In a family governed by the rules of poisonous pedagogy, critical judgment is not only okay, it is a duty and a requirement. Even the most mature parents will not be able to avoid the “I’m uncomfortable, therefore you are stupid, weird, crazy” distortion. Consequently, much emotional energy that belongs to the parent will be communicated as if it belonged to the child.
For the past few years, this is the burden I have carried. Each time that I think of the uncomfortable dynamic, there has been the voice countering it, creating a distortion and making me the ‘stupid, weird and crazy’ one. As I let go of the distortion, an enormous emptiness looms for a moment. I fear being swallowed into a void. I can’t hear myself and it seems like I become temporarily blind.
I recall how for many years, I searched for things that would make the distortion clearer. Mirrors that I could look into to give me a true picture of reality. There is not much left now. The only place to look is within.
Lose the drama; life is a poem.