I admit there has been so much anger and close to hatred in my heart. Two weeks after my failed suicide attempt I decided to embark on some research of my family and mental health. I knew of my aunts having mental illnesses and some with idealizations of suicide. I remember my aunt telling me a story about trying to kill herself by leaving her stove on and boarding up her door when her first husband kicked down the door and saved her, I knew of my aunt when I was 9 or 10 slitting her wrists and leaving her phone off the hook and her friend being suspicious of my chatty Cathy aunt not answering her phone. He somehow made his way into her house and saved her.
I needed information to see if my memory had been correct. I had been a little girl when these things happened when they confessed these things to me. I called my mother she was close to all of my aunts. All of my aunts suffered from something whether it was due to a very difficult life or a chemical imbalance is hard to determine, but I needed to know more about them.
I called my mother explaining that I was trying to do some research. Was my depression genetic? when I had given her examples she immediately retorted to”I don’t know, did they?” I tried again to explain why I was asking these questions. She told me to go directly to the source because she somehow did not know or remember what I was talking about which seemed odd and her usual gas lighting tactic. Frustrated I asked for my aunts numbers and yet she did not know them. Again, she talks them almost everyday. She hung up on me.
I called back. I remained calm. “What?” she said.”Mama, I did not like how you tried to play stupid when I was asking you serious questions about our family and mental health” She began to yell. I don’t think I even raised my voice back I explained to her that it was “important to me” I told her “Ignoring mental health stuff does not make it go away! My niece, your granddaughter has disassociative disorder!” She hung up again. It was true. 5th generation my niece is.
We got into a texting war. It has been days since then.
When my mother and I had this argument and conversation I was transported back to memories of getting help and her adamantly running away from me. Trying to have difficult and uncomfortable conversations in therapy only for her to lie and tel my therapist I made it and the problem was I was a disrespectful child! I was bad.
Only for her to chide me after the session about telling our business to these white folks. I needed help, I needed assurance, I needed love, I needed empathy, I needed a mother to tell me that I was going to be alright. Instead I received a mother who shamed me for being depressed, who ignored me when I said I was feeling suicidal, and who berated me for being weak. I know that I could not ever have a relationship with her, I’ve tried for too long.
Lately, I’ve held such anger because my PTSD flashbacks bring me directly back to her! I had to ask myself if I hated her? and it turns out I do not, but do I hate how she treats me presently? Yes. Do I feel shame and guilt for ever feeling like needing a mother at all? Yes. I don’t wish pain and suffering. I don’t fully hate her. SO, WHAT AM I DOING?
So, I sent her a long message apologizing for arguing with her, I told her I forgave her, but I meant what I said about having her in my life. I told her that in order for me to have anything healthy I had to let her go. I wished her the best. Cried while I sent this message and took a deep breath of relief. My future didn’t seem quite bleak anymore.