Bad Day and Birthday Card from the Mother

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.

Its My BirthdayMy mother has sent me a card each year though. They’ve always come a day or two before the actual day and this year it didn’t.

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.

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3 thoughts on “Bad Day and Birthday Card from the Mother

  1. Thank heavens for your Mr. B. 🙂

    As for that card your mother sent… it sounds so familiar. Do these mothers want to make their daughters cry on special occasions? Is that their intention? It seems that way to me.

    Happy day after your birthday. Fifty was an awesome year for me, I hope it is for you.

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    • Yes! Thank heavens for sure. He’s been my rock for a lot of years.

      The messed up thing is that I was so ambivalent about the whole card thing. She’d sent money the last two years as well and I knew I didn’t want that. But I wanted a sign that she loves me.

      Unfortunately just the receiving of a card doesn’t illustrate that, it’s about what’s behind the card, the intention and the feelings and thoughts behind the words written.

      It’s disappointing that she is so clueless and I really believe she is. I don’t think she sees the triangulation and manipulation she participated in. I don’t think she understands at all. Her note indicated that my lack of forgiveness has to do in general with her as a mother.

      That history plays a small part in what is so bothersome to me now. She treated me like a door mat when my father was dying. She sucker punched me (more or less) after listening to what I told her about my apprehension about helping to care for my father. Once she was enlightened to my reasoning, she called back basically as a representative of my sister to guilt trip and shame me into stepping up…on THEIR terms. Of course those exact words weren’t said, but it was the obvious message. I was bombarded with the same basic conversation by my siblings on two other separate occasions about it as well. There’s more, throughout that time, but that alone is enough.

      My mom had done that before. My sister, didn’t get what she wanted from me, she called my mom and my mom called me to shame me into doing what sister wanted. Sick stuff. And they have no idea how messed up that is. Instead they just believe that I’m selfish, too sensitive and live too much in the past.

      Well you know what I say to that…(I’ll watch my language though) lol

      I think this “I want my mommy” feeling may never go away no matter how old I get. Despite it not being realistically possible for adults to be abandoned, it still feels that way. And it’s my mother and her unawareness and behavior resulting from that, that hurts most…in comparison with my siblings.

      “Happy day after birthday.” I love that. It’s like the day to breathe and release all that tension from wondering what will happen on the day of, “Will I get a card, will she say what I need to hear and be sincere?

      Well now I don’t have to wonder any longer.

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