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.