A loving relationship can be an oasis in uncertain times, but nurturing it requires attention, honesty, openness, vulnerability, and gratitude.
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My mother doesn't know me, nor does she want to. She actually refuses to. In her world, I am but a two-dimensional prop whose only purpose for existence is to provide for and protect her, her feelings no matter how irrational, and be her punching bag so she can say to the whole town and the world "look how special I am - I can do all these horrible things and say all these horrible things about my kids, and they still come and take care of me." She has never acknowledged me (or any of my sibs) as a separate person with real feelings, wants, needs, and idiosyncrasies of my own. To this day, she cannot say what I liked or disliked as a child, what I wanted to be when I grew up, any dreams for the future I had. She has no idea. This all came to a head when a time came where I desperately needed help because of a situation life threw at me while I was still a minor child. Not only did she not help me, but she actively helped the people who were trying to hurt me. It seems to me that it is the job of a parent, having brought the child into the world, to help her child in distress, or if she was unable or unwilling to help, make arrangements for someone else to help the child. What would help me would be if a bomb would fall on her head, she would realize and acknowledge me as the person I am, would actually come to me without my having to prompt it or ask for it (as if I as a person had some actual value and having a relationship with me had some value to her), and would sincerely apologize to me for the lifelong harm she caused me by her unmitigated selfishness. Some sincere empathy from her. But of course that never will happen in a million years. I know that God has forgiven her because he let her live 87 years scot-free from any consequences for the harm she caused. Someone has picked up her slack for her whole life. She has never taken up responsibility, never worked a meaningful job, and someone always comes forward to take care of her and her responsibilities. First it was her parents who carried her leeching ass, then my father, then when they divorced, it was her parents that again picked up her tab, this time with seven children along for the ride, and us kids keeping her "feelings" safe and dealing not only with her nonsense, but also dealing with the serious issues the adults should have dealt with, then it was her second husband, and after he passed, it was us kids again, this time we picked up after her financially, morally, and every other way. As for me, I must not have been forgiven because I picked up her tab. My feelings for her are zero. When I try to look inside myself for any feelings, I face a cold completely dark nothingness. As far as I'm concerned, my mother was dead to me from as early as I can remember. I must have mourned the loss of a mother and moved on. I would have benefited immensely from a heartfelt apology. At least there would be some hope that there might be a glimmer of natural human feeling to work with. At my advanced age I have made peace with every son of a bitch that ever caused me pain, even those who did it on purpose. They were such small people that they had to drag someone else down to feel like a big man or woman. I could almost feel sorry for them, they were so pathetic. I could, and did, cut them out of my life with surgical precision and without a qualm. But not her. So I will even go to my grave without peace. She couldn't even so much as let me have that.
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