My mother worked hard to isolate me from the rest of the world.
She did it in childhood by instilling into me a fear of the outside. As I grew up, she isolated me by telling everyone else I was crazy and a liar.
I knew for years that she was telling people I was close to lies about me. She was telling people at my work, and people I considered my friends. It was pointless to fight against her. She had her game down pat. She would talk all of her shit about me, and then would tell a sob story about how she was so hurt by my behaviors, how she just didn’t understand why I treated her so badly, why I hated her so much.
Why I treated her so badly? Guess who was paying the bills, cooking meals for the ‘family’, and cleaning up after everyone. Me. Who bought a vehicle for her? Me. I certainly didn’t need the vehicle; I’ve never even had a license. I did all of that because that’s what she instilled in me since youth. If I didn’t support her financially, I was selfish and bad. Yet even when I did support her, she’d still tell people I was selfish and bad. I could never win.
The biggest blow came last spring, when I realized just how low my mother would go to sabotage my life. I woke up to a series of text messages from my mother. My mother allegedly thought she was texting my brother the whole time, and then conveniently realized her mistake a few texts later and then started texting me this sob story about how she was so concerned about me and blah blah blah. I say blah blah blah because that’s all it was. Lies and nonsense. I could see right through her. And I would bet my life savings that her texting me this was no accident. My brother and I have names on complete opposite sides of the alphabet. For a woman so careful in every action of her life, she would never make a mistake like that. She wanted me to read this. She wanted me to know that she was in control of everything and everyone, even the people I called friends.
My mother told everyone she met that I was bipolar, as if it were the main descriptive criterion of my entire existence. She never told anyone how intelligent I was, how selfless I was, how hard I worked…no, instead she told everyone that her daughter was crazy. Even worse, I don’t even have bipolar disorder. She liked to throw that diagnosis around because it came with all the added stigma that played perfectly into her game.
What kind of person tells everyone that their child hurts themselves as a part of regular conversation? I guess she used it to add on to my “crazy” label. But why did nobody question WHY I was hurting myself for the last 19 years? Ten year-old children don’t normally understand self-injury, and they shouldn’t comprehend that type of pain. That is a red flag that everyone just kept ignoring.
Why did nobody question why this woman’s other child, her adult son, my brother, was also hurting himself? What are the odds that a perfectly innocent parent raises two children who end up with psychological problems and extensive self-injury? If I had to hazard a guess, I would say those odds are pretty low. But damnit, my mother just played on people’s emotions like a violin. The odds never mattered because all people could focus on was my mother’s fictitious plight.
She just picks up and leaves without saying anything to anyone! Oh my God, someone call the police! I say that jokingly, but my mother would threaten to call the cops in the rare times I managed to escape from home prison for a few hours unsupervised. But why did no one see an issue with this? Why would her 29 year-old daughter need to ask permission to leave the house? THIS IS NOT NORMAL BEHAVIOR. It angers me that people did not question her at all. It really angers me. They enabled her, allowing her behavior to continue until the day I finally left.
She doesn’t want friends. Wow. I longed for friends. I never had real friends as a child. I was never allowed to spend time with anyone outside of school, and I was never allowed to have anyone over our house. I was alone my entire life. I looked forward to work because that was the only way I could have friendships. Unfortunately, that also meant my friendships were easier for my mother to control, because she had access to everyone I also had access to. I can’t imagine how many people she told these same lies to. I can’t think about all of the people I could have gotten closer to had my mother not poisoned their opinions of me with her lies. I actually had a few people come forward in the months after I left and told me similar stories – that my mother had told them I didn’t want any friends, that I didn’t like anyone, and that I thought I was too good for people. I would be lying if I said it doesn’t hurt me. It hurts me to this day.
She thinks she’s better than everyone else. That could not be farther from the truth. I still struggle with my own self-worth. My problem is I don’t think enough of myself, not that I think too much of myself. I downplay my intelligence and my abilities. I treat myself like shit often because that’s how my parents treated me. I never thought I was better than everyone else. I thought I was worthless and undeserving of life. I figured I never had any friends because I didn’t deserve them. I didn’t realize that my mother played a hand in every aspect of my life, even my potential relationships with others.
The truth is that my mother thinks she is better than everyone else. She believes that she is worthy of respect, that she is above the law, and that she deserves everything to be handed to her.
I can’t find it in my heart to delete these screenshots from my phone. The day this happened, I realized that I could trust no one. I realized that my mother had poisoned everything and everyone around me. It hurt then, and it still hurts now.
It hurts because I know my mother continues to tell lies about me, even to other members in our family. She tells people I have problems, that I make up stories. For so many years, I didn’t fight back.
Today, I have chosen to fight back. I sent a letter to my grandmother tonight. I told her why I left. I told her the truth about me. She deserves to know the truth, and not the lies my mother has continued to tell. I will not continue to be torn down by this woman any longer. I don’t deserve it.