Wednesday, April 4, 2012


I am 42 years old.  Today my mother wanted a hug.  It's been a little rough these past few weeks with some fall-out from a family member who has had to do time in jail.  This matter is connected to our toxic family dynamic and I am feeling protective and angry that there have been too many victims.  I am burned out by the kind of dreams that are propelled by demons past.  It may have seemed to her or to my step father that it was just me who was targeted during his reign, but there has been shrapnel- so much direct and peripheral damage.  I feel like I hold everyone together and yet still, everyone falls apart.

So I could't let her touch me.  I never can if it's her that solicits that kind of intimacy.  If I am in charge, if I initiate, there are embraces at times.  She is so small- truly like a bird in hand.  She feels like a child.  I am always struck bitter by the irony of that.  These past 17 years have been the only years in her life when she has known that this closeness is important.  Sadly, it is too late for her to collect on so many embraces that should have been mine and my brother's long ago.

When my mother touches me, I feel my step father's hands on me.  I feel an ache in my jaw.  I feel a phantom burn of a cigarette on my skin.  I feel pummeled.  I feel abandoned.  I feel a sudden urge to urinate and sometimes I even feel nauseous.  I feel the singe of glass cutting my skin and the cling of fabric to a dotted scab.  I feel the urge to run for my life.  I feel my skin crawl like that of a cat- layers of skin that crawl and slip against each other.  I feel dizzy, blind, deaf and mute.  I feel betrayed.  I smell garbage and think it might be me.  I feel like punching her.

I hate feeling these things after so long, especially that last one.  But I understand and I have long moved past so much of this, allowing myself to just feel what comes and then release it.  I know though, that no matter how much I educate myself, no matter how much I open my heart, I cannot forgive her.  I have decided that I need to allow myself that.  I have forgiven many things and many people.  It is in my nature to do so.  But I need to draw this line with my mother.  We still laugh together.  We talk on the phone.  We have a relationship- on my terms, not because I enjoy proprietary rights, but because that is the only way I know how to do it.

I love my mother.  My soul is healed enough to embrace her in my every day thoughts.  I think she knows that.  When something as beautiful as innocence is so broken and time has not yet healed that completely, the nearness of the heart will have to do.


About Attachment Disorder and PTSD


  1. It is good to have clear boundaries set in your mind - what you will and won't do with her, what kind of a relationship you want, and is safe for you to pursue.

  2. Exactly. It has created a space for us to be as close as we will ever be. Out of all of the people who ignored or dropped the ball, I am most effected by her. I am a mother, and the mother bond is so important that when it goes missing or is badly executed, it leaves a very long lasting bitter taste.
    I am so grateful to ahve the opportunity to make different decisions now as a mother of 17 years. :)