I Don’t Owe My Abuser Anything

I have learned to be selfish when it comes to my health. For my mental health, I need to limit my contact with my mother. Talking to her can trigger memories and feelings that I would rather not experience. It can make my depression worse. The interactions with her have a way of slipping past my defenses and making me feel like that small little child again. At times, I have even considered cutting off all contact with her. I don’t know yet what is right for me.

Many people have tried to tell me how I should feel and act towards my situation. Common phrases I hear are “But she’s your mother!” and “Everyone should always be grateful to their parents”. Views like these are seen as normal. These people think they know my situation and have the right to tell me what I owe to my mother. They think that I owe my mother everything because she gave birth to me and kept a roof over my head. She even seems to think so. Being a parent is so much more than that. Having a blood connection with her does not entitle her to anything from me.

I do not think that anyone who has been abused should owe their abuser anything. The abuser shouldn’t be able to get off scot free just because they are a relative or a close friend of the family. So, no, I do not owe my mother a relationship, love, gratitude or forgiveness. It is up to me, and no one else, to decide what is right for me. In the end I am the only one who can make that decision. Each victim will have to decide for themselves how they would like to proceed. I think it is very important to support their needs.

The trauma I went through has affected my life in a huge way, and it was something that was out of my control. I was a child and for a long time I didn’t know that what I was experiencing wasn’t normal. Yet, I have managed to survive all of that and come out a strong person due to my own resiliency.

It is only in the last few years that I have started to reach out and seek treatment. I waited so long because of all these people who didn’t believe me or didn’t support me. The lack of support was quite shocking especially when it was close family members who knew what was going on. They insisted that I had an obligation to remain in my mother’s life. It invalidated my feelings and made me think it was my fault.

While I have not made a final decision yet, I know that I will do what is best for me. If I decide I can handle keeping her in my life that’s fine but it is also okay if I decide that I don’t want her to be a part of my life anymore. Either way, I do not want to let her bring me down anymore. I am healing, I am stronger, and I won’t let her treat me that way anymore.

I encourage anyone facing a similar situation to seek out the help they need because it is easier to deal with when you are not alone.

As I used to doubt but now believe, healing comes with time. Your happiness is worth fighting for.

Nerissa

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