Wednesday, February 3, 2010


As they say, it ain't just a river in Egypt.
This is a continuation of the prior post about my Mom. Last night she came over for dinner and I decided to bring up the fact that she had my brother spend the night. I just wanted to find out where her head is about him. After what happened over the summer (the link to the backstory in my prior post), I wanted to know how she went from there to here.
Well, it was about as disappointing as could possibly be. After Bianca went to bed, I told her I was surprised about Jeff staying at her house. She said oh it was only for a night because he'd had some big blowup with his girlfriend. She went on to say she's so excited for him getting this cute little place of his own. I said well, I just mean after all the stuff that happened over the summer, I was surprised. I asked her where she was with all that. She thought I meant about him cheating on his wife and started saying how that was bad. I said no, that's not what I mean. I mean the big epiphany you had about what kind of person he is...where are you with that? She said well, I'm not sure he's always telling the 100% truth. And I think what he did (meaning to his wife) was awful. He didn't even say he felt bad about that or anything. She totally changed the focus to that situation. And then she said "Do I think people can change?" and trailed off after that. I waited a second and then said firmly "I don't know, DO you think people can change?" And then she went to wash my dishes and didn't answer me. (She cleans when she's upset or nervous)
As she did that, I sat with my laptop playing a game and trying to hold back tears. I realized that when she had that big epiphany over the summer, I felt validated in what my experience of my brother has been for 40 years. And now I feel she's forgotten that and taken it away from me. When she told me about her revelation, she said how sorry she was that she didn't see it before because she began to acknowledge all the pain he'd put me through and how her inability to see him clearly contributed to that. I didn't realize until later (you know, as I was laying in bed unable to sleep because I could not stop thinking about this....), that when she recognized my brother for what he is, for the very first time in my life, I felt like she met me in reality. She has lived in the denial bubble for so long. And her coming to grips with the truth knocked down a wall that has existed between us for years. Now she's back in her bubble and I feel like I need to put that wall up again.
The fact that she was stuck on the cheating on his wife situation, which frankly I could not give a rat's rear about, reminded me how when I told her about the abuse she could only acknowledge what my father did, never able to face any fact about what my brother did. She has selective hearing or memory when it comes to this.
"Hey abused me."
"Yes, your father was horrible to you."
"No Mom, brother raped me."
"I'm so sorry your father was such a monster..."
{{Insert banging head against wall here}}
It's like giving your support to someone who decides to leave an abusive relationship, helping them make sense of it, giving of yourself to help them cope with it and then they decide screw it....I'm going back to the SOB, conveniently forgetting all the reasons they left in the first place. And I'm standing here thinking WTF just happened? What was that all about? And how the hell, after having so much evidence shoved in your face that you could no longer deny that brother is nothing but a manipulative liar, do you manage to put it all back out of your head? Like it never even happened? I guess she's just found the way to retreat back to her bubble where it's safe and comfy. I can't say that there are days I don't miss "safe & comfy" in the land of denial but I'll take reality, no matter how much it sucks, anyway.


Enola said...

Would it surprise you to realize that my next post to be published used a picture of a river and was titled De-Nile - not just a river?.......nah probably wouldn't surprise you. We think alike like that.

(((Hugs))) your mom is living in the Land of Denial. With huge fences to protect her.

April_optimist said...

Whoa! I would be sooooo angry. I'm guessing your brother is her emotional anchor for some bizarre reason. I know my mother turned blind eye to a lot of things. In her mind, her emotional anchor had to be male.

Patricia Singleton said...

My mother was blind to my abuse because if she saw my pain, she would have had to admit to and feel her own pain which she couldn't do. I don't know where her pain came from but I knew it existed when I was 3 years old and I decided to protect her from her own feelings. That is how my silence about abuse started.

For some reason, some people just decide that they can't face their own reality about that lives. They can't see that this hurts their children. When they deny their own reality, they deny ours too.

My mom got angry at me when I confronted her with the abuse. She never voiced it. She did acknowledge her anger with passive-agressive behavior which is hard to pinpoint when a person does it.