Christmas is approaching. That’s when the old family hurts and feelings start to poke through the facade. Each year I wonder if it is easier to smile and ignore the past? So far it has been, but this year my skin feels a little thinner.
It begins when I start addressing Christmas cards. There are a few years here and there I haven’t had the mental strength to send them out and until now I haven’t realized why.
I tend to contemplate each relationship as I write the name and address on the envelope. I breeze through the names of my closest family members and friends, but then I inevitably have to write the names of those who have hurt me. I start remembering events where I felt like an outsider, feeling misunderstood and just being downright mistreated.
And more hurtful than those names I write is the one I don’t, my mother’s. Oh, my mother is alive and well. Physically that is. To be kind, she is a little “off” mentally. I don’t think this apple fell too far from the tree. The difference is I am well and she refuses to be. Therefore, with whatever mental illness she suffers from she thinks she is better off without me. I miss her. I’ve missed her for decades although it’s been only a year since I’ve seen her.
The biggest hurt was when she stopped sending me birthday cards. That cut deep. It’s been years and I still can’t come to terms with it. We each have our breaking point. That is mine.
During this last year I have been tempted to contact her because, well I still miss her. The idea will come and I will make a plan to call her. Then the opportunity arises and I put it off. Then I put it off again. Next thing I know a week has gone by. I know why I don’t call, I fear the rejection.
I could go on and on about my mine and my mother’s history together, but I really don’t want to. I’m tired of it all. Well, exhausted actually, otherwise I would dial her number again.