My mother is a toxic person. She has always been a toxic person, and I have a suspicion I know where it started. Her father, my grandfather, was an alcoholic. He demanded obeisance from all his children, he was to be revered and worshipped without question, and my mom didn’t appreciate that. She told me that he was stubborn and demanded “people kiss his ass” and that was why they no longer spoke to one another. It’s ironic, really, that she ever told me that. The apple truly didn’t fall far from the tree. Honestly I was probably at risk for repeating those behaviors if I hadn’t been both incredibly aware of them and unwilling to put my children through that. My relationship with my children will always be one of reciprocity. If I hurt their feelings, I will listen, I will try to understand, and I will try to not continue to hurt their feelings. My mother demands that I be available to her, that I show up as often as I can, and in return I get nothing. She doesn’t invite me to go on vacations, that’s reserved for my ex wife. She won’t invite me to celebrations she has, she won’t invite me to anything. She just demands I be available for it. I’m done. I want nothing to do with my mother anymore. I won’t be available, I am not her pet. She won’t stroke her ego with my broken heart any longer.

In therapy they make you ask yourself, “Is it rational? Is it reasonable?” when it comes to how you feel. So it forces you to process your feelings, and quite honestly, sometimes the feelings resolve without anything more. Other times those feelings are justified and require communication to address. This is what it is to be a human being with emotions.

My mom is built different. She is allowed every way to hurt everyone’s feelings and will make infinite excuses as to why she has complete license to hurt people’s feelings indefinitely. I know you know people like this. Everyone does. You probably have people in your life who are like this. My ex is cut from the same cloth as my mother, and they are two peas in a pod. This is why my mom will always choose my ex over me. She goes on vacations with my ex all the time, and my wife watches photos on Facebook of vacations we weren’t invited to, but my ex wife happily attended. My ex got my mother in the divorce.

It’s time for me to accept that and move on. So this is what I will do. I will work on myself so that my children will always have room in their lives for me, and I will always have room in my life for them. I won’t push them out, ever, for any person or any reason. I love my babies. I don’t understand why my mother doesn’t love her firstborn. Selfishness, I suppose. She’s always the victim, permanently. My mother has a victim complex. It’s unfortunate. So manipulative. So hurtful. All I can do is the best I can for my own mental health.

My wife is such a bright light in a cold and dark universe. She sees the good in everyone, and she even had high hopes for my mother. I think she still does have at least some hope for my mother, but now I think the expectation is tempered. My mom can abuse me for the rest of our lives with no regret, she will blame me for everything bad between us. My mother does not have any emotional intelligence. She is spiteful, selfish, and demanding. My mother expects me to not have feelings, ever. I’m also not allowed to communicate any feelings I may have, because then I’m playing victim, according to her. My mom is absolutely toxic as shit. I need to be free. I can’t have that awful lead weight around my neck any longer.

It had to happen at some point, though. Amber would see my ex and my mom on vacation together and ask me constantly if there was something wrong with her. She would ask me if her mom didn’t like her, and I would have to tell her that my mo doesn’t like me. My mom will never like me. Maybe she loves me, probably closer to “loves” me, but she sure as shit doesn’t like me. Not by a longshot. It would break my heart that Amber would be wondering what she did, when the only reason she’s not involved in her mother-in-law’s life is because of my mom. But now Amber knows beyond a shadow of a doubt how fucked up my mother is. Now she understands. I’m sad that it came to that, I’m sad my mom isn’t capable of personal growth or development, that my mom is stuck in a permanent rut for the rest of her life. But there’s nothing I can do to change that. The onus is all on her to cease toxic behaviors. She won’t. It’s over. I’m finally at peace, though. No more walking on eggshells. I’m free.