I don't know for sure, because I very rarely had an adult conversation with my mother about emotions, and because she never talked about her past, but it seems likely that the scars from that stayed with her forever; she walked through a series of short term boyfriends, and three subsequent marriages to assholes (including a man whose niece has described as the most argumentative, unpleasant man she knows, and another man who I remember as having punched a hole in the kitchen wall in a fury upon finding out that my mom had only bought a six-pack of beer at the store rather than a twelve-pack) who were severely emotionally abusive. As far as I can tell, she never had a healthy romantic relationship of any sort, and she never managed to have real, lasting platonic friendships which she experienced as being emotionally intimate.
It must have sucked to be her.
I have no scars from her relationship with my father, because as I said I never met the man; I grew up the child of a single mother in the 1970s and 1980s (albeit she remarried when I was 7. and again when I was 13. and again when I was 17.)
But I bear scars nonetheless.
The most obvious scar is that I am terrified of abandonment. As a child, nobody stayed around - not my mother's boyfriends, nor her husbands, and on some level not even her, because her emotional pattern was that whenever she got out of a relationship, she would rely on me for emotional support, and then when she got into a new relationship, she would stop.
By extension: I am afraid of conflict. I can deal with work conflict, or stranger conflict, but for someone I know and care about to be angry at me? It scares me. In the presence of anger I want to curl up in a ball and hide until the anger passes - or I want to do anything I can to make the anger go away. If someone is angry, they might leave.
Related, I feel like it's my responsibility to make the people around me happy. If I'm not making them happy, they'll be angry, and they might leave.
Worse yet: if someone leaves, it's my fault. I wasn't good enough. I failed to keep them happy. If only I'd tried harder.
And if they leave me? Then I have no importance or value; my importance and value exist only in relation to my husband, my friends, and my family.
None of these are unusual pathologies in children of abusive relationships. I understand that. But knowledge doesn't dispel the feelings, and knowledge doesn't reduce the pain.
This has played out in really terrible ways in my marriage.
I've been seeing a therapist for nine months now - something I decided to do, despite being terrified of it, because it was clear that I needed help in order to stop hurting my marriage, and it's helped me admit to, and put words behind, problems that I've always known I've had; and to start working on them.
I should have done years ago.
But: it may be too late. I may be too hurt, and my husband may be too hurt.
And with that knowledge, I have no peace.
Those of you who read my facebook gratitude post know me to have averred, this has been one of the hardest years of my adult life; the preceding are but a small taste of why.
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