My mother is a most abstemious woman. Where ever I get my ‘addictive tendencies’ from its definitely not from her. My father died when I was 21 – and I didn’t really know him as a person at all – he had been unwell for several years before his death. If I had to hazard a guess I would think I inherited the ‘risk taking’ part of my personality from him.
I don’t think my mother likes me very much. I know that she loves me, and I know that to some extent she is proud of my achievements, but I have always felt that a) she dislikes me as a person and b) she disapproves of me. I don’t know if this is because I remind her of my father, or she just doesn’t like me very much. In fact how SHE feels about me matters less than why it bothers me so much, even at 51.
She dislikes me drinking. I have never ever seen my mother drunk , or even tipsy. She literally cannot see the point of drinking more than 1 glass of wine – or two on special occasions; and appears to despise people who drink more than this. She is also amazingly focused on herself. When I stopped drinking in 2013. her response was only about how awful it had been FOR HER watching me drink, which bearing in mind that I rarely drank in front of her was quite something. Not one word of praise or encouragement, not one comment of sympathy or empathy, just comments about how awful it had been for her watching me drink. Writing this down I can feel that I am ANGRY about this response, that is literally the first time I have felt anger about this.
So why do I care what an almost 80 year old woman thinks ? Why do I care that she has never once told me I looked nice, (indeed one of her comments on my appearance was that ‘those shoes make you look like a prostitute’) has always always disapproved of my boyfriends/ partners (all of them) ; cannot understand why I want to travel, questions me about my fiances and is generally passive aggressive.
And why do I feel that this constant quest for approval, that will never come, is in some way tied up with my addictive, anxious, insecure frail personality which wears a coat of armour to face the outside world, and destroys herself behind closed doors.
Answers on a postcard please