Today is/was my 50th birthday. Pretty significant birthday and it was harder this year than it’s been the last couple years without my family.
I felt hurt that she hadn’t sent a card. But the last couple years I sort of wished she hadn’t sent one. The conflict is difficult.
This morning the hurt really caught up to me and I was so agitated I took it out on Mr. B. I realized what I was doing though and apologized.
But then we ended up in another misunderstanding, which turned into an argument and then I broke down a little.
We settled everything though, before he left for something he had to go do this afternoon and when he got back he brought the mail in. When I went downstairs I saw two cards sitting on the coffee table and the one on top was from my mother.
I was excited (and apprehensive at the same time) and I thought, “She remembered.” But that was a misfired thought process because…well…of course she’d remember.
I opened the card and read and felt stunned. She had pasted some poetic phrase inside the card that eluded to forgiveness and no longer being angry. It was basically meant to say that I should forgive whatever I’m angry about.
This made me angry and sad and I felt like I was back at square one grieving her absence all over again. It was a raw kind of hurt. I cried, hard. It felt good to let it out like that. But there was frustration in those tears too, because she so painfully and obviously doesn’t get it.
She is asking me to forgive without apologizing. She is asking me to let go of anger without even understanding what it’s about.
It’s tempting to respond with a hand written letter because she also wrote a note under the ‘punch line’ of the card itself. Stating something about how she must have gone wrong somewhere in motherhood. Indicating that she has not a clue that I’m hurt by the manipulation, triangulation and betrayal I last experienced in my involvement with her.
But I’ve been through that. The explaining of things that I was hurt about. Not these specific incidents of betrayal but I’ve explained verbally on the phone plenty, to just have it ignored and minimized. Even the parts she claimed to understand were later disregarded.
Besides, she should know what the fuck she did.
So why? Why should I explain this to her? For one thing, she’s not even asking me to. She’s just telling me I should forgive. And for another, similar shit’s been explained already, so it only stands to reason, if it was disregarded then and continues to be, it won’t get through now either.
I don’t feel like this shit is in my court. The burden of forgiveness isn’t on me at this point. The apology needs to come first and then even after that, time and proven action needs to happen before true forgiveness can be finalized.
I don’t think she understands that forgiveness for such hurtful offenses, is a lengthy process. But if she doesn’t understand that, I don’t really think I should be the one to explain it, especially since she’s not asking for an explanation.
How dare she blatantly tell me to forgive in such a manipulative, emotion provoking way, without even the acknowledgement of her behavior.
Happy fuckin’ birthday to me.
But on a lighter note.
And I really need to add this, because even though it was a rough day, it ended well.
After I cried it out and Mr. B and I escaped into some YT videos, we went out to a quiet little Chinese restaurant for a low key birthday celebration. When we got back, I got a little tough on myself and made a comment about me ‘getting weepy.’
Mr. B said, “Getting weepy? Dealing with the BS your mom wrote? It’s understandable why you’d be so upset.” I’m paraphrasing. He said it in more eloquent way but I am not remembering his exact words at the moment. It was nice to be understood.
After he said that, I realized I was putting myself down, minimizing my own emotion and the pain I feel. So I talked a bit more about the message in the card my mom sent and the way I feel about it and why. I was ruminating really, telling Mr. B, but getting straight in my own head. I’m feeling supported though, something I really needed today.