There is a question I am asked on a very regular basis. The same question is also thought about me or spoken of behind my back but many just will not ask me because they think I am handling things all wrong OR that they would do it all differently.
What am I referring to?
It is my complete lack of contact with my mother. They do not question why I have no contact with her any longer but they know that even 10 years after me leaving that horrible relationship, she still contacts me by phone uttering horrible things. She sits in my driveway and honks her horn. She drives large wedges between other family members and I. She talked about me in a very hurtful and misleading way within our small community. She has told them I am a liar, a cheat, that I have messed around on my husband, that I have used money meant for my children on myself and many more, far more vicious lies. She walks by here with her dogs and stands in front of my house for as long as she can physically manage to do it, she just knows that she is getting right down to my nerves with every single form of contact… yet I do nothing.
I do not call the police. I do not go out and yell at her. I do not defend myself in such a way that I speak of her at all. This is why my full name is not on my blog. I do not speak ill of her no matter what she says in regards to me. When people go fishing for details by asking me “How is your mother doing these days?”, knowing full well that we have not spoken in years but they want the dirt (small town), my answer is “I am sure she is doing well.”.
I do not react at all. Ever.
Isn’t this just allowing her to continue her abuse?
Am I not just avoiding dealing with her?
Shouldn’t I just go punch her square in the face or hurl obscenities at her?
Why not call the police or charge her?
Am I crazy? Well yes, I have a certificate. Two actually. But she caused that crazy. 😉
So why did I make that choice and stick to it for a full decade and counting?
I see my monster/mother as a fire. She burns very brightly at first and seems to be able to burn indefinitely even without any fuel. She is proving this by still wreaking havoc on my life a decade after I broke off all contact. That said? Her fire has been at the same level for a long time now. She occasionally flares up but then the fuel runs low again and she must go back to her normal size fire.
I am the one who holds the logs. I also have some gasoline.
If I speak poorly of her and it gets back to her? I have added a log.
If I am rude in any way? I am adding another log.
Do something like call the police or filing charges? I’ve been through the court system trying to get justice. I’ve had all the facts, the proof, I’ve even gotten a guilty verdict. Several of them (12 actually). Yet is anyone in jail for causing me harm? No. Was anyone truly punished? Unless you count probation as punishment? No. Did I leave the courthouse after MONTHS of pain feeling any better? No, I felt worse. FAR worse. You know what it does accomplish though? It adds gasoline to the fire. Huge logs and streams of gasoline. Her fire gets so bright that it goes from being this never-ending small and annoying fire that is seen by those around her to being a huge bonfire that can be seen for miles in any direction.
So I keep my silence. To the outside world I do not react at all. Even though it causes me a great deal of pain, fear, anxiety, and the occasional psychotic break (oh how I wish I was joking).
The outside world sees a woman who won’t defend herself, won’t speak up or who is powerless to stop the onslaught of bullshit that gets thrown her way.
This is not the truth.
The truth is that I am stronger than anyone knows. I hold all those logs and I keep that gasoline. I never use either. To use them is to give some of my power away and allow my mother to use it for evil once again.
I am not willing to give ANY of my power away ever again.
My silence IS my power.