Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Mean girl

I had a think about what to do about the book. I'd posted my not-mentally-ill sister her copy. I was considering calling my Dad.

And then I thought "Fuck it."

I think one of the reasons I got stuck so badly in the middle of things when I was 14-15 is that no-one stuck up for me then, and I was too frightened to really have it out with my mother. She'd usually send my father in to soften me up and then shout at me when I was on my own.

I think any relationship dynamics can get stuck in an unhappy rut if people fail in the same way all the time. I couldn't force anyone else to say my piece for me but I sure as hell could say it myself.

Given she's abroad, I texted her saying how upset I was that I'd been told it was a book about my mother's childhood but literally half of it was about my brother dying, how I didn't want any of it going online, and that she shouldn't be sending all this stuff to my ill sister. And that I didn't want to be in the book or have anything to do with it, and I thought she needed to see a counsellor.

True to form, I got a reply from my father saying I'd been too hard on her.

Rather than being softened up, I said it had all been bad enough the first time and I couldn't stop myself being dragged into it as a teenager, but it wasn't happening to me as an adult.

Dad then called - the line was terrible so we could hardly speak - and he said they're not publishing it but it will be an "internal family document". I tried to say I wasn't actually happy with this either but he couldn't hear me. He is calling tomorrow.

I found out later that my mother had called both my sisters and told them not to read the book, and that she "hadn't handled things very well". But that I'd been nasty to her.

Both my sisters have said they were glad I'd stood up to her (I think partly because it'd saved them the trouble), and that they were happy the self publication had been knocked on the head. Neither of them have read it; my ill sister deleted it, as I've said, but my other sister was dreading reading it.

I'd actually quite like an apology for her lying to me about the subject of the book. What she'll probably do is try and get me on my own when I'm feeling vulnerable and have a go at me (she once walked in on me when I was leaving the shower), although I hope this will be more daunting than it once was.

Anyway, Mum is upset, and while I wish the choice wasn't between upsetting her and going along with such a batshit and upsetting scheme, it was. And I think she really needs to consider why her behaviour was upsetting everyone else and why she thinks that's alright but her being upset isn't.

Ooh, the dramz! I'm going to have a nice cup of tea. I'm feeling much better about this than I was a couple of days ago.


  1. blogger? feedly? what did happen to my comment?
    anyway: wow, SO proud of you!

  2. I think it's a major achievement to realise that you don't have to remain stuck in the unhappy rut. Well done for stepping away.

    Hopefully it will be possible for your Mum to find more positive ways of asking for attention. Or, who knows, giving attention to you and your sisters.
    Maybe you can even talk to her / with her (on your terms) when you are feeling strong, rather than dreading her having a go at you?
    And by all means, practice by writing here!
    Good luck, and I hope you sleep much better for it!

  3. Thank you, and I really wouldn't have had the courage to do it without you and Mali and my other commentors. It means loads.

    An update is that my Dad called me today for my birthday and asked me if I wanted to speak to my Mum. I agreed.

    Mum said:

    "Have a lovely day. GOODBYE!"

    And there was a moment of confusion when Dad got the phone back as he thought she'd hung up on me.

    I think I am meant to feel bad, I'm actually enjoying speaking to my father a bit more than normal.

    I've spoken to both sisters and they're fine, but I think aren't brave enough to say anything to my mother themselves.

    I am sure I will get a contact from her soon expressing how hurt she is and bad I am.

    Anyway, a more normal blog tomorrow, I think.

  4. I'm glad that you are feeling better about things. Hopefully things with your mother will calm down and she can at least respect your wishes. Wishing you all the best!

  5. I have to confess I'm glad you did this. Not only for you, but also for your sisters, and especially for the 15 year old Sushigirl who was hurting too. Even if it changes nothing, you've said it, spoken up for yourself and the others, and made a point.

    I think the fact your mother said she "hadn't handled things very well" has to be seen as an unexpected bonus.

    Oh, and Happy Birthday!