We were very close, and it’s the ‘were’ in that sentence that breaks my heart a little. You see, over the past year or so we’ve drifted apart. Well, not so much drifted apart as had a bomb planted that blew us apart.
It was a bomb that had probably been growing over time, with more and more explosives added to it over the years until it just got too big and had to detonate. It has become clear to me that our relationship was a controlling one which only worked so long as she was in control, and I did as was expected of me.
If ever I did something she perceived as ‘wrong’, she would first blow up in a yelling, abusive tirade, bringing up every way in which I may have slighted her over the years, and all the ways she thinks I’m failing in my life. She would never give me a chance to defend myself, and defending myself would have been pointless anyway because she was never, ever wrong.
She was never, ever wrong. Image via iStock.
Following such an explosion would be the silent treatment. This would last for as long as it took me to apologise and play the peacemaker, whether I was in the wrong or not.
And I always did apologise just to get it over with. I know it’s weak, but I’m sure anyone who has been in a similar position with a parent knows the sickening, crippling anxiety that comes with silent treatment, and the guilt they make you feel for not living up to their expectations.
The straw that broke the camel’s back for me came when she exploded at me in front of my children. No child should have to hear their mother being abused in such a way, and the things she said were dreadful.
They were so frightened, and I knew in that moment that something had to give. They had never heard grown-ups fight before, and it affected them deeply.