Today is the 3rd anniversary of my mother’s death. In the last 3 years there have been periods of ups and down. This is not surprising as my relationship with her was always abusive and fraught with danger. I never knew when she would say something cruel and cutting. Sometimes she could be nice but nothing ever came without a price. My mother decimated my self-esteem pretty much right up until the day she died. I realized that many of my less desirable qualities actually stem from how I was raised.
From the time I can remember, my mother told me I was fat. I look back of pictures, expecting to see this huge child, and I don’t. I was a pretty normal-sized kid. At 8 years old I am taken to weight watchers by my mother and my grandmother. I follow their diet and I gain weight. The brain trust (mother and grandmother) decide I should eat less food than the child and youth diet so they put me on the women’s diet. I still gain weight. They decide I am cheating and from that moment on, they never believe anything I say, especially about my weights. Spending my life not being believed at even the most basic level turned me into someone who would explain, make excuses, rationalize even when there was no need. I have suffered so much anxiety from believing that people are suspicious of me for no good reason. This has also turned me into a people pleaser. I stayed in a job for 5 years where I was consistently treated very badly and didn’t leave even when I could see the affects it was having on my health.
I have also realized that my life probably wouldn’t have been much different if I had been brought up by my birth mother. She was likely no more equipped to raise children than my adoptive mother. Coming to that realization has really helped me to accept that my birth mother will never be who I needed her to be. I needed her to rescue me from the hell that was my childhood.
Ok, on to today’s picture: