In early June, my sister and I took our kids to the beach for a long weekend. While we were together, we talked about momster. My sister has chosen to maintain contact with momster. She says this is how she stays true to herself – she does not believe that a mother should EVER be shut out by her child no matter what she has done. My sister also sees staying in contact as being compassionate – that nobody deserves to be alone.
My sister says she respects and understands my position with momster, and she does not ever pressure me to change my position. She also takes on a lot of responsibility with momster that could cause her to resent me (by my choice not to do it), but she does not seem to hold this against me. As an example, momster has had two surgeries in the past month with a third on the way, and my sister, as next of kin, keeps driving five hours each way to be at the hospital during the surgeries.
My sister does not tell my mother when she and I are seeing each other. Her children love their grandmother (although they get that she is “crazy”) while their cousin (my son) does not know her, and my son has told them that I won’t let him see her because she is mentally ill. My sister’s life would be less complicated if I could tolerate being around momster.
In the course of our conversations, I told my sister I thought it was weird that momster did not seem to be triggering me much anymore. I had received a letter that was pleasant and did not trigger me, and I would have been OK if she had shown up at the graduation. My sister said that I need to remember that I have done a lot of healing work since I last saw momster and that I am not the same person now that I was then. I might not need to keep my distance any longer.
A part of myself has always been in conflict over the separation from momster. Momster is clearly mentally ill and of below average intelligence, and it hurts me to know that I hurt and embarrass her by refusing to have contact with her. If she truly does not know the reason I have cut off contact (at a conscious level – I know that she knows subconsciously), I hate that I am hurting her, but I have to protect myself first.
I have also had various people who I respect tell me that being able to heal myself enough to put this all behind me and then help heal my abuser is a higher calling. My abuser, just like me, was an abused child and knows similar pain. I thought that perhaps I was reaching this place of healing myself enough to then help heal her. Perhaps that was why I felt this pull to consider reconnecting with momster. For some reason, I did not want to discuss that I was mulling this over on the blog or with any of my friends.
Photo credit: Hekatekris