“From that point on,” for awhile, I suppose…

Bub did not interact with my mother for the rest of her life. He didn’t make it known that he wanted to, and I was not going to push him to interact with her (or facilitate it at that point). As far as I was concerned, the person that I continued to provide care for was not my mother unless she apologized to me for her treatment of my child. I was not going to bring it up to her or mention it to her. She had many more periods of lucidity until her death, and she took advantage of absolutely none of them. I did not take back what I said about her no longer being my mother, because in the ways that mattered, aside from genetics, her behavior had escalated to the point that she was no longer my mother in any of the ways that mattered. Coming to that decision — more like realization — was not an easy one for me to make at all, because she had been my mother for the past thirty-three years. It was literally not something that I wanted to do, and I would have given practically anything for her to convey in some way that she was actually sorry so that we could walk over this bridge, Bub and her could begin to work through things in the limited amount of time that she had left, and it was not “something that I did to be dramatic”. She took herself away from me in all of the ways that mattered through her cruel treatment of my child and persistent refusal to apologize, let alone show remorse, for any of it. I had to choose my child over her. I had to protect my child from her in eliminating all subsequent interactions they might otherwise have had. (Remember, she treated my other child quite well.)

As the months that she had left drew on, and I could honestly see with my own two eyes that she was truly not repentant for any of it, that she was “not sorry”, I did the rest of what ultimately became emotionally distancing myself from her. For months after her death, I was blamed for “not being sad enough (that she died) because she was my own mother”. I should have been “more mindful” that she’d had a brain tumor removed, that she’d been going through cancer treatment for a year at that point. Then, finally, I should have “gotten over it” (even though, of those who have said this to me, “wanting to live the rest of my life never having to think about her again” was apparently not the correct answer). I became jealous of friends of mine who had positive experiences spending months with their loved ones making memories before they died.

I knew that I wouldn’t get any of that, and that I would spend years of my life having to forget all of this.

She would live like this for several months with periods of lucidity, being taken care of by my father and myself, not being allowed to talk to my youngest child but making sure that I knew how she felt about him in random conversations that she would have with me (that I would ignore as much of as I possibly could).

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