December 8, 2011 7:15 PM Subscribe
When I was a a teenager, my mom would stand with her face six inches away from mine and say things to me that struck me as being absolutely dreadful.
posted by serena15221 to Health & Fitness (31 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
She woud stare at me in a completely intimidating fashion and say them in a terrible way, and I just couldn't block her out at the time; I felt every word and awful stare sink in. Of course, she never cursed or yelled. God forbid I could accuse her of such a thing. She was way too far above that (unlike me, the scum of the earth.)
But I can't remember what exactly she said; not only can't I remember now (decades later,) but even shortly after the episodes, I couldn't remember the worst things she said, just the way she looked and my general reaction of overwhelming oppression, anger, often fear, etc.
Basically the gist was usually the unspeakable, unimaginable, unfathomable, stupendously shocking immorality of my behaviour, or lack thereof. She rarely clarified what she was so angry about, but essentially I just wasn't living up to expectations. I didn't smoke, drink, do drugs, date, have sex, anything like that, and I certainly never "talked back" to her. I was just a depressed, essentially friendless teenager with social anxiety having a hard time in school and too embarrassed about my health problems to talk about them.
She made sure to make me feel like I was a mass murderer and she was the Pope, untouchable in the righteousness of her opinion.
Did I actually block the words like you block a bad memory, or do I just have a poor memory for verbal detail? How can you tell if you blocked something out, or if it was just hard to remember due to the stress of the circumstances? I mean, there were times she said just one thing to me, and I did remember, but simply eventually forgot over the years, so that would seem to indicate that I wasn't blocking stuff out.
This may be a stupid question and I know I could use therapy (unless venting here is good enough)...everybody has always thought she was more or less a saint, even some members of my own immediate family, plus she's mild mannered now, and she actually really is a good person in a ton of ways (thoughtful, caring, just probably with a big ego and some blind spots like we all have) so this is bothering me particulary now because decades have passed and I can't even remember so much of what was so terrible, so therefore when I feel angry, as I do a lot lately, now I have nothing to say for myself.