This blog was supposed to be my place to talk about the good things in life. But lately, in between the good moments, I have been struggling with my emotions and anxieties and if I'm honest I really need to vent.
I have always suffered from social anxiety and I have always been very emotional. I don't want to go on about how it's been affecting my life lately. I want to talk about the underlying cause.
I want to talk about my relationship with my mum. She had me at 21 as a university student; completely unprepared for starting a family. She never hid the fact that I was unwanted and she always rejected me; sometimes (I think) subconsciously and without realising that I could absorb those emotions even if I didn't understand them as a baby or toddler. She didn't want me so bad that at one point she gave me away to her mum/ my gran, and it wasn't until my dad started protesting against other people raising his child that my parents got me back.
My mum always told me what a terrible obstacle I was to her life plans. How much she suffered because of me. And I spent my entire childhood and youth apologising for my existence; trying to earn her acceptance, her affection - but I was never good enough. I was literally the best student in my primary school, but my mum always said I could have done better. I was the quietest, most obedient child you could imagine, but my mum would always find faults in me, the most common ones being ''why don't you ever smile'' and ''stop being so shy''. It's true that I was extremely shy as a child. I still have social anxiety, but have by now learnt to live with it. Back in my early primary school days though I was paralysed by fear whenever my mum made me go to the shop or to the doctor's by myself. But the more I cried about it, the angrier my mum got.
She would always find ways to humiliate me, and disguise it as ''good advice'' or ''motivation''. I vividly remember a photo of me (not the one below) taken when I was 12 or 13. I was standing in our garden under a pear tree on a beautiful summer day, smiling and looking happy. I was wearing shorts. My mum refused to put that picture in the photo album, because ''my thighs looked too fat'' in it. It was the last time in my life I wore anything short. On a side note, I was never fat as a child. I was perfectly normal, as evidenced by many photos. But I always believed I was too fat - I must have been if mum said so. I became overweight as an adult in my mid 20's and I can't help but wonder if I'm just filling out the image of myself that my mum made me build in my head.
I was never allowed to be seen when my parents had guests round.
I was never allowed to play with my dolls, all of which my mum hung up on my bedroom wall and I was only allowed to look at them. The only permitted toys were books.
I was never allowed to speak unless I was spoken to.
I was never allowed to trust my feelings, e.g. when I was no longer hungry but had to finish my dinner, or when I was deeply hurt but wasn't allowed to cry.
The most painful side of it all was that whenever I showed any weakness, i.e. cried, she would dismiss and/or ridicule my feelings; tell me I'm all ''slimy'' and wash my face with cold water, and complain about having such a stupid, useless child.
All of this has left a giant mark on my personality. I have huge difficulties in making friends, or human interaction in general. I have no confidence and very little self esteem. I am not assertive; I need constant validation; I work hard not because I like it but because I need an excuse for my existence. I have this weird inner anger towards children, because I think deep inside I'm jealous that ''everyone loves kids'' while I was the only one who didn't deserve love. I have had difficulties in my relationships with men; it's a miracle that I have eventually found one who has enough love and patience to put up with my issues.
I have always wanted to see a psychologist. This is no joke; as a child I asked my mum several times if I could see one, but I was just told to stop being ridiculous. Finally at 34 I decided that enough is enough and I need to fix my head before I fall apart.
I recently started therapy and it wasn't until a few days ago that I realised that the way my mum treated me was emotional abuse. Whether she did it consciously or whether she had the best intentions I will never know, but it doesn't really matter - it doesn't change anything. There is no nice way to put it. I was emotionally abused by my mum and I now suffer the consequences of it. My mum doesn't know about my therapy and I have no intention of telling her - or ever confronting her about this. It wouldn't help either of us.
My therapist believes I can get better. I want to get better - for myself and for my relationship. I feel that this is my last chance.