Today Dr. D and I discussed saying “no” to my mother and the consequences of doing so. My teeth began to chatter. I was rocking back and forth. I had to get a hold of myself.
Last night I was in the bedroom and instinctively turned to verify she wasn’t in the doorway but for just a second I saw her. Obviously it was my head playing games, but for a second I thought I saw her standing there, which is why I turned to look. I had a scarf hanging over the door which created a figure in my peripheral vision. Turning to look isn’t new. I have to force myself to not look at the door. I have to tell myself there’s no way she’s in the house, stop worrying, remember I’m safe now. But that’s not enough, I have to look at the bedroom door to ease my mind.
She gave me a fine education on what it means to fear her and fear the world around me. She drilled in my head that she had people watching me. She said we were followed, observed, listened to and reported on at all times. Even when I no longer lived at home she’d tell me about stuff I’d done and I’d wonder how on earth she knew. I conclude now that she was the one following me around not others. I was forever looking over my shoulder. At a time when I least expected it (she preferred it that way) she’d talk about what I’d done that week, tell me where I was and who I was with. She loved to shock and disarm.
Therapy was long and painful. It makes me wonder if I’m ever going to be far enough way from the abuse that I stop getting burned by it. I don’t think so. What therapy and time has done is allow me to deflect some of the flames and be less affected by their heat. I am disgusted by her instead of under her control. She still affects my life. She reaches from the grave and puts her hands around my throat, so to speak, but I can still breathe. I couldn’t breathe as a kid or young adult. Now, instead of control, she has influence. This truth is huge because it gives me room to grow, whereas her control over me didn’t.