Thank you so much for sharing that absolutely wonderful story. That time spent with your mother-in-law will be with you forever and it’s memories like this that can give so much benefit and positiveness to us.
I know we’ve all got our evil and horrible memories of terrible past events and they are burned into our memory banks (our hippocampus), but if we can harness in and hold on tight to the wonderful times like you shared with us, I believe that these can go a long way to helping us on our path forward.
Now Stressless (and yes, please try that a bit more often) :) you are not an awful daughter. You simply shared the exact feelings with your mother-in-law about how you honestly feel – totally genuine and true. BUT if your mother was a different person, if she was more like the person your mother-in-law was, then you would have opened up from the get-go about how you felt about her and how wonderful she was, etc etc. But she’s not that kind of person and as a result, how could you feel anything else towards her. She hasn’t given you the chance, the opportunity and that is no-one else’s problem, no-one else’s fault except hers. Unfortunate and troubling as it is, this is just the way some people are – I wish I could know why they are this way, but that’s not to be. (This is the very same situation that Jo is faced with also). And yet if you were to ask them about how they are and how they performed their role as being a mother, I bet they’d say that they were great.
Anyway these words aren’t helping out at all. You have absolutely NOTHING to be guilty about – guilt usually is associated with things or events that have happened that has been caused by the person who is feeling guilty. You have done nothing to cause any event being bad – you need to absolve yourself of these kinds of feelings – because they’ll continue to stab at you and inflict pain to you when there should be NO stabbing taking place at all.
This coming Mother’s Day, my suggestion is to buy a very nice ‘blank card’ and you fill it in from there. Dear Mum, Wishing you a lovely Mother’s Day and hope that you are soon feeling better, love Stressless. (ok ok, you probably aren’t known as Stressless around the family circle, but you can fill in what you feel is appropriate there).
Also, that is just Neil doing one of Neil’s things and providing a suggestion – feel free to do with it, what you will.
Thank you again for your really wonderful post that you wrote.
Ps: I’ve just seen your latest response and thought I’d just chip in with regard to your final part of that post. “I am scared I will never recover from this ultimate rejection and wonder if I am better off staying away.”
I think this is one of the key issues for you and that IS the “going to visit” part or the “better off staying away” part.
Only you can really know the answer to that, however if it’s been a lifetime of disappointment provided to you by your mother, I believe there’s no way that she’s going to change her manner now.
I also think that you WILL recover and you will be able to find peace with the way she’s treated you – it won’t be easy and it won’t be a quick process; it’ll be a little like sculpting a large block of ice – where you’ll just chip bits off along your journey.
The main thing to know here is that you are a wonderful, loving, caring, thoughtful, kind, considerate (need I go on, I’m hoping you’re getting the picture here :) person – AND moreover, daughter to your mother. You’ve displayed this all the way through and yet the same feelings haven’t been reciprocated – and as sad, hurtful, disappointing, awful (need I go on, I’m hoping you’re getting the picture here :) that that all is to you – you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve done nothing to create this.
This is just purely the way your mother is ‘hard-wired’ (and who knows, maybe it was the way she was bought up? – things we’ll never ever know) – this is who she is and there will be nothing that will ever change that.
Whoops, sorry Stressless, my ps: got a bit too carried away with – but I’m just trying to infiltrate into your inner psyche/your inner thoughts and for those technical lovers amongst us, I’m trying to extract from your hippocampus (where long term memory is stored in the brain) these deep-seated feelings of regret that you have with regard to your mother – removing them from there and taking them away to a rubbish bin – or a shredder, so that you’ll be able to move forward without these nasty, stressful thoughts/images.