This is such a tough realisation, and I’m very grateful that you’ve decided to share it here as well with us. Writing is incredibly powerful, sometimes too much, but overall it allows us to take some distance with whatever we are writing. We see it with a different perspective, almost as an outsider. This mix of closeness and distance can be pretty disturbing, especially when it’s about something that impacts you deeply and has been part of your life for a long time.
I would like to say, there’s no right or wrong way to feel about your mom. As this awareness just hapenned, you will need time to learn to put words on how it makes you feel. It’s a little bit like facing an unknown object. You learn to look at it, to identify its shapes, then more and more details and subtelties that makes it unique. The same applies to how you feel. It’s new, unknown, strange, both comforting and scary. But with time, you will learn to describe how it is for you, you will learn to convey through words how all of this feels inside of your heart.
I’m sorry that your mom has made you feel unsafe and insecure so many times. When we are young, our first and almost only models are our parents. They’re a reference for safety. They’re an example that this world has to offer and we can only compose with what they give to us. As we grow up though, we learn to meet new people, have new experiences and extend our view of the world around us. Going back and forth with this new world and possibilities and the one you’ve always known, you are finally in a position of seeing the difference, and sometimes things that were normal to us suddenly feel wrong. It is a painful realisation, but it’s also a step further in terms of personal growth. You are learning to identify what is healthy or not in a relationship, and you are now able to see it through the lens of a relationship you’ve always known: the one with your mom.
It’s quite disturbing when you feel both loved and hurt by the same person. Humans are indeed complex and can show many different faces. We often think people as being “good” or “bad” but the truth is we can have mixed attitudes, thoughts, emotions and behaviors. What you describe though says something about your mom, who she is, probably how she learned to communicate as well in the past. It doesn’t say anything about you, your struggles, your right to have a voice or to feel.
You are learning to see your mom through the lens of her own humanity, and how you will decide to compose with this in the future absolutely belongs to you. You won’t figure this out in an instant. It’s a process. It takes time. So, before anything, I want to encourage you to give yourself some grace through all of this. It’s okay to feel how you feel, even if it doesn’t seem to make any sense to you right now. Step by step, you will figure out what you want to keep or not from this relationship.
I can tell, right now, you’ve been taking a major step forward, which is to gain a new outlook on something you might have not dared to question before, or at least not the same way.
I’m sending hugs your way. Be gentle with yourself in times to come.