I recently noticed that my mother has this habit of delivering these veiled criticisms. When I was able to name these , something in me clicked , about why our relationship has got so difficult . My mother lives with our family , we have co-habited like this for the last 5 years and it was probably the most unhelpful thing to have done relationship wise, as it has literally destroyed our ‘ friendship ‘ , of course I love her, but I don’t enjoy doing things with her anymore, if that makes sense. Living with someone other than your partner , someone close to you is perhaps a universally bad idea.
Anyway , so these veiled criticisms are very benign, those around me don’t even hear the subconscious emotions that drip from their delivery . .
The most recent one was when my mother spotted some flowers on the coffee table (that I had brought that day) .
” OOH! Husband brought you flowers has he? ” This is perhaps a more nasty version of one of her jibes, as she knows that it is highly unlikely that he brought them , but something in me snapped and instead of my usual honesty and closing down of her comment with a ‘ no , I got them in the supermarket , lovely aren’t they’ , I wanted to wipe the smarmy look off her face , so I just said ‘ Yes, they’re lovely aren’t they? ‘ .
Now I know that his might appear petty , but what I realised after I had this moment of clarity is that she does this all the time . .
” I bet your mum has taken you out for a lovely walk (to the dog) ”
” New bag is it? ”
” Oh , haven’t seen that top before – new is it? ”
” I am sure your husband has it all in hand ”
I could go on and on .
Now I know that these are jibes. They land at my feet and make me feel criticised , irritated & judged. And yet I know it comes from a place of envy & resentment on her part. That she is old, lonely , left out , isolated and she sees me with my husband and my kids and my life as the loved mother. This should make me feel more kind , and it can , but only momentarily . I know with those closest to us , it’s hardest to accept their shit. But the awful thing is , is that I find myself retaliating in the same way ! I want to throw the ball back harder and faster so that it smashes her in the face! I have been reading and trying to do some shadow work , so I am unashamedly admitting my rage and anger toward my mother, because it exists. But it also proves that she too holds this rage in her , the envy of a mother toward her daughter that Freud spoke of is real and tangible in my mother . It’s so awfully complicated and compounded by living together and financially sharing the family home.
So , what do I do to make things better. In the not too distant future she will be dead and I will regret many things. How do I change that now . How do I accept and love her – so many people go on about missing their mother , wishing she was still here, yearning to spend some time with her , ask her questions that they never asked. And yet , my mother and I stand with the big wall of resentment in between us. She would utterly deny this should it be spoken , but it all tumbles out in these venomous statement questions that consistently get asked.