I seem to have gotten my groove back in writing for Medium, so yay for that. My most recent pieces have been curated again for further distribution, too, so I can really tell that I got it back. I just wrote one last night called American Parents are Getting It All Wrong and I’m pretty sure it will also be curated.
All I had to do to get my writing back on track was to stop sharing it with my mom. She basically proved that no, I didn’t really have the freedom to write about whatever I wanted with her blessing, despite her saying otherwise. She has proven herself unsafe, which I am disappointed but not surprised by.
Mentioning that I wrote an article about why parents should apologize to their kids—and mentioning gaslighting in particular (though not calling her out specifically) by denying that you ever said something—was not something she was able to handle.
The fact remains that she is guilty of gaslighting me in that way for my entire life. I can have a relationship with her of sorts but it will never be as close or as genuine as she thinks it is as long as she’s refusing to acknowledge that she did (and still does) that.
I have boundaries now. There’s a place where I go in my head to protect myself from her. No, she probably wouldn’t like knowing that and she thinks we’re much closer than we are.
Honestly, the way she reacted to that and the effect it had on me brought up a lot of the old really angry feelings I used to have towards her. Now, I deal with them in a different way by immediately distancing myself from her emotionally so they don’t completely derail our relationship.
But I also feel like she and I are heading for another fight and I don’t want to take the bait. I think I’m going to stop talking to her for a while. In the very unlikely event that she messages me, I’m already planning to tell her I’ve just been busy.
Is this the right approach? I don’t honestly know. But what I do know is that I can feel that we’re on the verge of fighting again and it won’t be productive, so I’m trying hard to avoid it.
She messaged me last night, an unusual thing. I had a long delay in answering her because I was getting another tattoo. I told her that, acknowledging that I know she generally doesn’t like tattoos.
In the course of the conversation, she felt it necessary to tell me she didn’t think that the tattoos of mine that she’s seen were done with much talent or skill, which I thought was just extremely rude.
Instead of addressing her rudeness, I told her that I agreed and that I’ve since gotten most of them covered up because the artists down here are just better. She said that I was only looking for price more than quality before and no, that’s not it at all.
It’s that the tattoo artists in her smallish town where I used to live all suck. The ones who have any skill move to bigger cities. I didn’t even know that until I moved back here.
I told her that the tattoo artists in my hometown just aren’t very good and she got offended. But it’s the truth and that’s just one of a million reasons I don’t live there anymore.
I recently told her that I’m probably going to stay here even after J dies and that might be the reason she’s being rude to me. Or maybe it’s because she recently returned to work part-time and that’s making her grouchy. Or maybe it’s none of the above and she’s just being rude because she can and it reflects on the kind of person she is.
Either way, I’m not playing along.