My therapist called me a master pretender today. And then she saw the look on my face, and told me in her no nonsense way that she meant what she said and that someone should have told me that long before now.
We were having a conversation about my mother. I know, I know...it's so cliche, and on many levels, in my mind, pathetic to talk about my mother issues in therapy. But, in order to not to become her and to stop resenting her, it is what I need to do. I told her that I've gotten to a point where I can be tough on my mother when she starts verbally beating me up for not being the kind of daughter she thinks I should be, and when she lays on the guilt trips. However, I told her that afterward, I feel bad and start to doubt myself. I wonder if I am in fact a bad daughter and whether or not I'm "honoring" her. She asked why is it that I can stand up for myself to her in conversation, but then start to doubt when the conversation is over. I told her I don't know because during the conversations with my mother I truly mean every word of what I'm saying, but afterward her words make me feel bad. She told me I had mastered the art of pretending and that I have become a master pretender.
I hated hearing that because I equate pretending to being fake, and no one wants to believe they are fake, especially not with someone you've known all of your life.
We discussed my "pretending" ways with my mother and the topic of emotional blackmail. I've always called the latter guilt trips, but she gave it a real name and definition. The hardwork of being okay with not playing her games or being held hostage emotionally has begun. And, the even harder part of owning what I feel and believe and not letting someone make me feel bad about it has also begun. My homework is to write my mother a PPF letter (that stands for past, present and future) about our relationship and my feelings. I declare that 2013 will be a year of clarity in my relationship with my mother...one of forgivenss, healing, and redefinition (with boundaries).
~ Blissfully Yours