Veiled critics ..

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) .

pink petaled flower
Photo by Frans Van Heerden on

” 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.