Chaos to Cosmos
The path from chaos to cosmos was discovered by telling one's life story

Friday, 7 November 2008

Conditional love

Instead of being given the chance to familiarize themselves with the house, the cats are being prohibited from all rooms where it's perceived they might cause damage. Not that they have done, it’s just expected they will.

(Yes, my mother has had cats herself, who've had the run of the house.)

If the cats do scratch at the carpet, I’ve caught her telling them that she won’t love them if they do that. Conditional love. And it was at that very moment that I realised that the way she views the cats is exactly how she viewed me when I was a child. Well, no it's exactly how she still sees me. For a while I was a little doll to be dressed up, then it was just assumed I’d be naughty. (I wasn't.) I was never a human being. Everything I'd do was going to be wrong – and I spent 50+ years trying hard to do something right and wondering why, despite doing so, I never was right. 

Got plenty of criticism and punishment, but no nurturing and encouragement.

Recently I got an admission (that she'll deny later) why she didn't get me medical attention when I was a child (yes, she openly admitted this neglect and, yes, this is clearly recognised child abuse), is because "all children tell tales."

Not always they don't. Sure, some children do tell tales, some of the time, but not all children lie all of the time, as she seems to think is the only option.

This is what it took me over 50 years to realise. She justifies not believing things I've said on this basis, not because I lie; not because she still sees me as a child (although she does), but because she is projecting. She lies all the time, therefore, she thinks this is normal and that everyone lies all the time.

The way my mother sees things is clearly not reality by anyone's stretch of the imagination and, whether she does this through ignorance or malice, I'll let you decide (although, it ought to be bloody obvious that someone as skilled as she is at manipulating people to accept her singular and most peculiar view, probably doesn't do it by pure accident), but it is absolutely not normal and it's absolutely irrefutable that it's NOT on the basis of anything I did (or didn't) do.

Throughout my childhood, I was constantly told that I “would not be told”. As a consequence, I lived in permanent fear and utter confusion, trying to understand what it was that I “would not be told” and, I trying even harder still to somehow, magically, “be told” whatever it was I was missing. Of course, I never found it and remained confused and utterly damaged by this constant gaslighting.

At 51, I was still struggling with this until I got back to the UK, saw the effects of my mother’s lies and fantasy and realised finally, of course, that I was perfectly well able to “be told” all along, but my mother wasn't and was projecting her own shortcomings onto me. It's clearly for that very same reason that she believes everything every child says is a fantasy. Not because everything every child says is untrue, but because everything my mother says is her own fantasy and she's clearly only capable of an unhealthy, fake, conditional form of love.

Aerosol sprays, allergies and multiple chemical sensitivity

When I was a teenager, I'd had to have Kenalog or Cortisone injections for my severe allergies (now out of favour because of the significant risks - side effects of developing diabetes, weight gain, and osteoporosis - associated with them). As this says, "... corticosteroid injections are a last resort. They are prescribed when other treatments don’t work and symptoms interfere with everyday activities."

Which was certainly the case. Over the years, I've developed some tolerances - I'm still allergic to cats, but it's under control as long as I remain exposed to them - but there are some things, mostly household chemical products, particularly aerosol sprays, that I just have to avoid. They cause not just allergic reactions, but provoke Multiple chemical sensitivity and an exacerbation of Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) symptoms of fatigue, headaches, nausea, and dizziness and I immediately become breathless and start coughing - it provokes chest pains too - when I'm exposed to these substances.

My mother knows all about this, because it all began when I was young enough that she took me to the many appointments with the doctor herself, but has been "conveniently forgotten", because she is not about to change the way she does anything. The other day, she was spraying an air freshener, for a very long time, all around the house. I asked her not to and reminded her about the injections and my allergies. She merely snapped back that "it wasn't much", as though I was being ridiculous or exaggerating. I can actually hear: that spray was going for what would be considered an excessive length of time, even in "normal" circumstances. Even if she had forgotten my allergies – she hasn’t, because on other occasions she’s mentioned them - there's no excuse for attempting to justify this. 

I've heard the spray and smelled air freshener early in the morning when she's thought I was asleep and that alone suggests she knows she's doing wrong.

One time this was broached, she just snapped back that she was "fed up of having to live like this", i.e. asked to make concessions (that she never made), because the tiny inconvenience (for the benefit of the planet too) was just too much.

Yes, she's the same with polish, air freshener, perfume, hairspray ... and I'd be [justifiably] pissed off it it was just the environmental issue I was concerned about. FFS, it would be enough if I just didn't like them, but what sort of person does this - obviously knowingly - when it causes someone such a reaction?