However, there is nothing like the sting of betrayal by a mother. The very person who you thought you could trust. The woman who gave birth to you and raised you. The one who you had hoped would always be on your side no matter what came your way.
Last year, the illusion of a mother's love came crashing down. In dismay, I questioned how I hadn't recognized the signs much sooner? The back stabbing. The malicious name calling. The gaslighting. The triangulation with my siblings. The division within our dysfunctional family. The denial game. Sudden amnesia of the horrific mistreatment she had done. Most of all, how did I not see the endless psychological abuse?
Awakening to a toxic parent takes time. For years, we may be blinded it. Or it's just too darn painful to admit.
When we're born into an dysfunctional family, we are raised to think that abuse is normal. We don't learn healthy relationships versus unhealthy relationships. We are not taught about forming boundaries. Therefore, we go through life being beaten, bruised, and eventually betrayed.
Once we awaken and acknowledge the truth, we cannot unsee it. We may experience flashbacks, nightmares, and recall details of what had occurred in our childhood, teens, and adult years. When the veil of deception is removed, we clearly understand, yes, we were abused. Yes, it really was that bad.
This new awareness is uncomfortable. It hurts like hell! Who wants to revisit old wounds? Painful trauma? The BS that our mother or a toxic person put us through?
I don't know about you or what you've suffered. I can only speak for myself. Along my healing journey, I've realized that unless we revisit, acknowledge, and work through our trauma, it will haunt us. Forever.
I am a big believer that we must courageously confront our abuse and trauma. We need to feel it to heal it. Like an onion, new layers will surface. Strip by strip, old memories will come to mind. Sometimes it can trigger us, especially those who have Complex PTSD or PTSD.
Triggers are an opportunity to continue the healing process. To not bury the pain, anguish, sadness, or anger. Instead, give yourself permission to feel whatever you feel. It's okay to not feel okay, including with betrayal.
Some abuse survivors find somatic EMDR or EFT beneficial in their recovery. Others do well with traditional therapy, journaling, professional massage therapy, art therapy, music therapy, or tapping into their creativity for therapeutic healing. Do what works best for you.
When it comes to a toxic family and/or betrayal by a mother, there is no right or wrong way to respond. We are unique. The way we react to the betrayal is also very unique. Give yourself time, nurturing, and patience to grieve. You have every right to feel sad, mad, confused, and deeply hurt.
What I've discovered is that when we bravely speak the truth about our past abuse, it's common for our mothers, siblings, and relatives to claim it isn't true. They will verbally lash out saying we are liars. That we are crazy. That we are the "problem" in the family. It's 100% gaslighting! Don't fall for it.
This is a common tactic and part of the betrayal. Our siblings will most often defend the abusive parent. Even if they were also abused, they will deny it, pretend it never happened, and they will place the narcissistic parent on a high pedestal. The veil is still over their eyes. They may very well take their dark secrets to their own grave.
We must understand a few important facts. The denial of the truth will never change the truth. Despite what the toxic siblings and mother say, you know what truly happened. That's all that counts.
What I find most disturbing about my own mother is that things didn't need to end this way. Most people who are battling cancer and who know their time on earth is limited will be open to mending broken relationships. They will want to make peace with their past, with who they hurt, and find peace with the people in their lives. Not my mother!
Seven months ago, when my mom called me on the phone, I didn't want to talk to her. I had already been no contact with her for four months. It would be a huge setback for me to speak with her.
However, when she started leaving a message on my answering machine, I picked up the telephone. We chatted briefly about her health. She mentioned that she was hospitalized and then went to a rehab to recover. She told me that my sisters refused to notify me about this. I wasn't the least bit surprised.
During my conversation with my mom, it could have been a time of restoration. A time to make peace. She could have said she was sorry for hurting me. She could have realized that the clock is ticking and her life is hanging by a thread.
That's not how things played out. Instead of my mother choosing peace, she chose hate. Rather than have humility, she chose pride. Instead of apologies, she chose to blame me. To betray me.
I cannot change my mother. I can't fix whatever is wrong with her. I have no doubt in my mind that she's not a healthy, nor stable woman. I question if her cancer is actually the manifestation of how toxic she is inside. That her bitterness and self-loathing has poisoned her from the inside out.
As I continue my healing journey from child neglect, abuse, trauma, and Complex PTSD, I have come to terms with the betrayal by my mom. I have no regrets for cutting ties with her. Ultimately, remaining in a toxic relationship with her is unhealthy.
The kindest act of love that we, survivors, can give ourselves is to walk away from those who hurt us. Along the recovery path is wisdom. We learn from our past.
We gain insight. We are truth seekers. We learn what is healthy versus toxic in relationships. We offer ourselves respect and we create boundaries.
Today, if you were betrayed by your mother or someone else, I pray for you to find peace within your soul. To know that it's not your fault. We can only take responsibility for our own lives, words, and actions. I wish you the best on your healing journey.