Ambivalence About Eventual Death Of Abuser

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Bach

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Ambivalence About Eventual Death Of Abuser
« on: January 03, 2020, 02:39:43 PM »
My mother's death is not necessarily imminent.  She's 81 and though she has physical manifestations of her own trauma, she doesn't have any serious medical issues and I could see on Thanksgiving that there's still a poisonous robustness to her.  She could live for years yet.

Sometimes when I think about my mother, a part of me wishes that she would just die already.  That's not even a spiteful wish on my part, just a desire to get something inevitable over with.  I don't feel guilty that part of me feels that way, and I have absolutely no fear that I will regret not trying to reconcile with her before her death.  As far as I'm concerned, I put that all that to rest when I went through my strange bout last year of wanting to have a relationship with her and then figuring out what a terrible idea that was.  So I'm not even sure what the ambivalence is.  I just know that I'm having increasingly frequent urges towards hoping for her death that I can't quite square with my fundamental humanity. 

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notalone

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Re: Ambivalence About Eventual Death Of Abuser
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2020, 05:05:08 PM »
It makes sense to me that you would want a person with "poisonous robustness" to be gone. After her death, there will be no question at all about if and how much contact you & your family will have with her. Don't know if that's part of your feelings, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

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arale

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Re: Ambivalence About Eventual Death Of Abuser
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2020, 11:17:11 AM »
Hi Bach,

My mum died in 2019. Since her death, I've been experiencing the most amazing growing experience in my life. Many of the things that I knew I should do before her death and I couldn't, for the life of me, bring myself to do - be kind to myself, feel that I deserve to live, feel joy and excitement in life - just have been gushing out naturally. I feel like I am finally getting unstuck from my childhood and being the person, the adult that I should have been for decades by now. I am finally reclaiming my life. Because I feel that she has released me, I could also allow myself to see the good things she has done for me. So, finally, all these years, I could be grateful for her, and release my grudge towards her for having caused me so much pain.

hoping for her death that I can't quite square with my fundamental humanity. 

I know we have been taught that a decent human being shouldn't wish death to a fellow human being. I wanted to share my experience with you because I experienced my mum's passing as a gift. Of course, it was a gift for me, because it released me from her and I finally feel free to live my own life; but for her too, because she wasn't a happy person; she was released from her unhappy life and she was released from all my resentment towards her; and I could finally give her the gift of gratitude that I couldn't when she was alive.

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Bach

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Re: Ambivalence About Eventual Death Of Abuser
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2020, 06:41:28 PM »
notalone, I think that very likely is the root of my vague feelings of wishing that she would die.  Just not having to think about whether I want to try again with her, whether I'll see her at Thanksgiving, whether she will become a burden to my brother if (when) her visibly withering 92-year-old husband dies, what effect that will have on my relationship with him, whether he'll even stick around for it.  I think my real wish is not so much for her immediate death but that somehow she will predecease the man I used to call my stepfather, who never deserved even that title, but who deserves a modicum of gratitude from me for the 50+ years he has allowed my mother to live safely in the world, much the way that My Person has allowed me (I have wondered whether she will even be able to survive without him, the same way I often wonder whether I could survive without My Person).  He joined in my persecution when I was a child, but as an adult, his relationship with her has served to keep her largely out of mine and my brother's hair.  I remember a conversation she and I once had in which she said that she wanted them both to live for another 20 years and then die at the same time.  That conversation occurred around 15 years ago.  I guess I can fairly benevolently hope she gets that wish, although I kind of wouldn't mind moving the timetable up a bit.

arale, that's really deep!  Thank you for sharing.  I don't know whether my mother has ever done anything good for me.  I've been asking myself that question for a while now, and haven't come up with a meaningful answer.  Still, though, that's a very good way to look at it, and something that I will have to think about.  I can see where it would be helpful.  I don't think she WANTS to be released from her unhappy life, I think that she's both narcissistically terrified of dying and pretty firmly devoted to being unhappy, but maybe once she's dead I'll be able to think fondly of whatever bits of her are endearing to me (I know there must be some because sometimes I do still really miss visiting her during the summer to take a walk on the boardwalk and swim at the pool) without my gut starting to churn from the conflict between affection that I do ruefully have for her and my knowledge that I cannot get any of her goodness without also getting doses of her poison.  Part of me wishes that my mother would die already, and part of me really REALLY wishes that I could just visit with her for an afternoon without getting sick afterward.  It's confusing!

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arale

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Re: Ambivalence About Eventual Death Of Abuser
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2020, 07:49:58 PM »
I guess, what I wanted to say, rather clumsily, is that, it's all already very complex - life, death, love, hate, and trying to understand our own story, and possibly the stories of our parents - be gentle with yourself. Don't beat yourself up about wishing your troubles will end soon. It's perfectly human.