It’s been a while since I have been able to write a post even though I have written profusely every day. 6 weeks ago I made this blog private &, when that didn’t feel enough, migrated all my posts to a website with a different name & made that private.
I felt vulnerable & needed to hide &, more importantly, that something catastrophic was about to happen. People who have suffered developmental trauma tend to deal with any threat by withdrawing. In their earlier life no one was there for support or they were punished for being in need of support. It was safer to hide in times of danger.
My partner has a motorbike & I had a premonition that he was about to have a fatal accident, I couldn’t bear the thought of another loss so soon after losing my therapist. I ended the relationship saying that I could never ask him to stop riding his beloved bike but that I couldn’t cope with the potential loss.
He was traumatised as my sudden fear & withdrawal came out of the blue. This happens when I’m triggered & it is difficult to stop the process of cutting off from others, it’s hard wired in from an early age.
The Covid19 pandemic had just begun & even though he has a serious respiratory condition I somehow knew he wasn’t about to die from that. I was wrong, on two levels, but right on one. He didn’t have an accident nor has he contracted the virus as of yet, and hopefully wont, but my mother died suddenly of Covid19.
The way she died wasn’t a shock, she had suffered poor health for many years & was agoraphobic, what was a shock was that I had somehow sensed her forthcoming death which was at the root of my anxiety about an impending tragedy even though we had been estranged and not spoken for 18 months.
The reason for the estrangement was that I couldn’t communicate my anger for her abusing me when I was a child, I had tried but unfortunately her persona couldn’t accept that she had failed as a mother in anyway. I had to accept who she was & her level of awareness & protect myself.
The decision to have no contact with my mother took me a year to make. Children of abusive parents blame themselves, think they are the bad ones and continue to hold out a hope that someday the abusive parent will become the fantasised good parent they so desperately wish for. It was the right thing for me to do, I could concentrate on my healing instead of constantly defending myself from her psychological abuse.
My therapist showed me levels of care that I had never before received & I was able to transfer my attachment from her to him. So, even though her death was sudden I have not felt the acute sense of loss & grief that I experienced & continue to feel for my therapist. He became my parent.
However, what has been difficult to experience are the actions of my mother’s partner, his lack of communication about her death, funeral & him denying me access to my mother’s effects. There is deception in the air.
My mother struggled with choosing good enough partners, this was her third marriage & each of the two previous partners, my biological father being the first, were violent psychopaths, I suffered at their hands. The pattern seems to be repeating again, however, this time I can choose to remove myself from the potential of retraumatisation and refuse to rescue her estate from a deceptive partner and all the legal wranglings. I can see the pattern & step out of the dynamic, for the first time I can remove myself from even more abuse.
This is a relief as the prospect of fighting over an illusive inheritance that has been dangled in front of my nose as a way of silencing & controlling me no longer seems viable. I very much doubt an inheritance exists.
I have managed to be creative through all of this, I paint or draw abstract images then cut them up & rearrange them, a metaphor for how I’m now rearranging my inner life in ways that feel ok.
As part of the releasing process I performed a long review & ending ceremony where I apologised to my mother for any wrong doings & for not being the daughter she wanted. I asked her to forgive me as I forgave her for not being the mother I needed. This helped to quieten an internal critical introject that continually told me how bad I was. This may seem strange for an abused child to apologise to an abusive parent but teenage parts of me had at times been unkind to her and I wanted to help those parts take responsibility for their actions as part of my sense of resetting my moral compass. This was hugely healing & I hope she heard me in what ever place her spirit now resides.
She maintained her persona right to the end, even dictating the whole funeral procedure with extensive instructions & writing her own eulogy. There is still a deep sense of shame at being the daughter of this woman & I hope to continue to work on this in therapy. I now have a female therapist who was recommended and trained by my previous therapist, I feel held and safe.