I can’t be like her

I’ve written before about my fear of being anything like my mother.

That fear comes in all forms.

Whenever someone would comment about how much I looked like my mother, it made me sick. I would respond very calmly, “Please don’t say that.”

But they always continued to say it. Because I did look like her. And I felt the disgust and hatred and fear building up inside of me every time. I would run to the nearest bathroom and cry. I’m just like her. Other people are saying I’m just like her. It has to be true. I would punish myself for looking like her, as if it were something I had control of.

I hid my feminine attributes because I figured it would make me less like her. If I don’t look like a woman, I’ll be okay. I’d squish my breasts flat so I could look more like a boy. I’d wear baggy sweatpants and t-shirts. I changed my hair color and style (which didn’t work, because my mother would soon change her appearance to copy mine). I tried so hard NOT to look like her. I hated myself for being a woman because my mother was a woman. But that was something I don’t  have the power to change.

Even though now, I don’t have to deal with anyone saying how much I look like her, I am still reminded of our similarities in other ways. And I hate it.

I continue to try my best to be the total opposite of her.

I involve myself in relationships with types of people who I know my mother would never associate with.

I deny myself the privilege of having children because being a mother would make me my mother, and children don’t deserve to be hurt by me.

I have turned away from God because my mother continually paraded as a Christian.

It’s not even just the major things. I avoid her favorite foods and drinks: cookie dough ice cream, Dr. Pepper, Kit Kat bars. While I know eating and drinking those things won’t change who I am, a part of me believes it brings me that much closer to being just like my mother.I avoid things I really enjoy because they are things that my mother enjoyed. It’s not fair.

I was eating a chocolate Poptart the other day, and out of nowhere, realized that my mother also ate them quite frequently. I stopped eating it and threw it away, completely disgusted with myself. We like the same things. I’m destined to be just like her.

A big reason why I have problems with anger is because I associate anger with my mother. She would often fly into rages; it was her normal. So now when I feel angry, I connect that feeling with being like her, and I try to suppress it. Except that suppressing anger rarely works. Instead it builds up inside, and ends up exploding at some point. And then it proves the point. I am just like her now.

My mother: consumer of chocolate, soda drinker, Christian, woman, mother, narcissist, sociopath, child abuser.

Me: a product of my mother.

I don’t want to be like her. I can’t be like her. But I am.

13 thoughts on “I can’t be like her

  1. KJ: truth teller, intelligent, compassionate, hard worker, authentic, kind, excellent writer, willing to learn new ways to function, seeks freedom rather than seeking control of others. Looks to me like you are nothing like her.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. She shouldn’t have the power to own these things. She is not allowed to ruin chocolate or God just because she abused her role as a mother. You can recreate all these things and make them your own. She has no power over you anymore!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I know this fear you describe so well…of not wanting to be like the someone that I am genetically inclined to favor. I may look a bit like her and share some of her tastes, but my life is free to be what she could never have or imagine. This makes me different–it makes you different too.
    Anna

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hi there. I’ve been reading “backwards” from your most recent post and I’m so touched by your writing. What I want to say in response to this one is this. You are you. There is nothing in the universe, no power strong enough, that could ever change that. You were born you and that you, you remain. Developmentally, you didn’t get what you needed to blossom into the full flower you are. But you can get that now, through therapy, through reparenting yourself, through listening to yourself and taking gentle care of yourself like the precious soul that you are. I say these words, because this is my journey. I hope this is of some value to you. A.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I can assure you that you won’t be like her, because judging from mine she NEVER questions herself. If a person feels they may do mistakes they are not narcissists.

    Liked by 1 person

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