I’ve spent the last several days really struggling with my relationship with my mom and her absence in my life. I struggle with her place in my life when I was younger, the lack of emotional support I received as a teenager, and her inability to make time for me now as an adult. She still doesn’t know about the sexual abuse I endured for 6+ years as a child…. at least I haven’t told her about it.
Last night, I spoke to one of the ladies from my sexual abuse support group. I was talking to her about the issues I’ve been having surrounding my mom. She suggested I write a letter to her. She said I didn’t need to send it, but that I could write it and just get it all out.
So I did.
5 pages in my journal.
5 pages of explanations, sadness, confusion, and pain.
In therapy today, I asked if I could work in my sandtray.
I had an overwhelming feeling today that i needed my sandtray. In this sandtray, Alice is confronting the Queen of Hearts. Now that I really look at it, it also seems like Alice is guarding the most vulnerable part of her life. Keeping it safe from the judgement that the Queen may place on it. The dog is there, providing her with security and compassion should she need it.
After sandtray, the world got blurry for me. My therapist was talking but I couldn’t comprehend anything she was saying. I’m 17 and I’m locked in my bedroom while my mom is screaming at me through the door. I told her I needed space but she doesn’t listen. I’m trying not to cut myself…. my fingernails dig into my wrist as I fight the urge to grab my razorblades.
After some more talking, I pulled out the letter that I wrote to my mom. It was difficult to get the courage to read it out loud. I was afraid that my therapist would judge me or not respond to it with compassion. I still don’t fully trust her again to support me in the ways I need, an issue I’ve had since March.
It was several moments before I could bring myself to read it. And even then, I stopped at one point for a long time, and debated not reading the rest. The tears came eventually, making the words on the page blur together. I was reading from memory, these words engrained in my soul.
When I finally finished reading all 5 pages, my therapist made a comment about the self-worth that I had included in my letter. I couldn’t even think about it, though. I collapsed in a heap on my bolster. I couldn’t stop the tears this time. Curled up under my blanket, I sobbed. And as the tears fell, with each exhale, I felt my whole body relax. I was lighter. Every emotion I had been holding in for all of these years surrounding my relationship with my mom was released in those few moments in my therapist’s office.
When I was able to regulate my breathing, I sat up and looked at my therapist. I was ready to talk again. Today’s work was exhausting. I am mentally and physically drained, but also energized in a weird way – renewed maybe? It feels like I am no longer “stuck” in this place of resentment with my mother. I know this relief may not always be present, but for now, I have done the work that I needed to do.