The constant and relentless pressure to perform and achieve to another’s unrealistic standards and expectations takes its toll. A bitter parent with a strong personality and bullying mentality who lives their life vicariously through their child can feel like a steamroller out of control. Trampling over adolescent emotions without care or empathy, then asking her 32-year old daughter to terminate her pregnancy on a daily basis for 4 months before the threat of cutting off all ties stops the onslaught is not conducive to forgiveness in my book and the resentment and anger still fester inside.
Strong words and deeply-felt sentiments and yes, they are mine.
Ironically my mother, the target of this vitriol died suddenly when I was 6 months pregnant with my son William. So whilst I won the Battle of the Termination, she won the war in that she didn’t survive to see me with my child. She got what she wanted in the end and I can’t say that I am sorry after all that was said.
Which brings me fifteen years later, to my dilemma. To forgive, or not to forgive. That is the question.
Because it appears that unless I can forgive her for her behaviour and often callous, caustic and barbed comments drip-fed over a number of years, I will forever remain haunted by her criticism. I allow her a front-row seat and I acknowledge that and I guess that there are a number of reasons why I do. But it has to stop and stop soon.
I realise now that to forgive is not to hand her the victory. It will not change the past, but it will enable me to have a future in which I will finally fulfill my ambitions and potential without constantly looking over my shoulder for the inevitable put-down.
Am I strong enough?
I’ll let you know.