I knew a girl whose mother had severe mood swings. When the mother was sad, she would experience a total nervous breakdown. When she was angry, she would become abusive. When she was happy, she was hyperactive and cheerful to the point that she was ecstatic and hard to cope with.
In between these mood swings, the mother would have bouts of low energy. She would become very tired and sleep day and night. At the same time, she was always seeking energy. She would take a numerous energy pills, purchase newly advertised low-energy solutions, and constantly drink coffee. And, she would overdose on everything she took. For instance, if she had a headache, instead of taking two 200mg ibuprofen tablets, she would take five. She did this kind of thing with Metabolite as well.
The girl had an immensely difficult time having a normal relationship with her mother considering that she was often abused physically, emotionally, and mentally. If the mother was happy and the girl was not able to match the mother’s level of intensity in happiness, then the mother became angry or depressed and the girl would experience the backlash that came from these emotions.
Growing up in a household where the mother was unbearable and the father was usually either gone or intoxicated, the girl felt that she had no one to rely on. Her family denied that her mother had any problems and chastised her when she made reference to any hardships with her mother. The family, including her mother, felt that the mother functioned normally. Therefore, the mother would always refuse to go to counseling and would not take any medication.
To an outsider, it is not surprising to know that the mother and daughter did not mend their relationship when she became an adult and left home. They could speak with one another for short periods of time, but there was a lot of tension between the two of them. It seemed that the mother was totally unaware of this tension.
Although the mother never admitted that she needed some kind of help, she later apologized to her daughter for everything she had put her through. Literally, she said, “I’m sorry that I was not a good mother.” The girl knew that she would never feel very close to her mother. Really, she was so uneasy around her that even hugging her mother caused her apprehension. Even though she apologized, they could not have a normal relationship because the mother tried to pretend like the first twenty-one years of the girls life never happened and considering that the girl was only twenty-three, she didn’t have any basis for a solid relationship with her mother.
Not only that, the mother would tell people who knew the girl, including her family, how badly the girl treated her. She would say things like, “Hannah was nice to me today“, implying that the girl was never kind to her. She would complain to others if her daughter visited another family member before visiting her first. She would become upset if the girl went out to eat with someone and did not dine with her. She even became angry when she visited her daughter’s house for Thanksgiving and noticed that one of the picture frames did not include a picture of her even though there were other pictures of her in the house.
The girl could not understand why her mother was so hard to please and why she expected so much when the mother had put so little good into their relationship.
In addition to all of this, the girl was never out-of-control or unruly. She went to church three times a week, made good grades, was involved in the high school band and key club, cleaned the house, etc. However, there was one instance when the daughter fought back with the mother. She was holding her down on her bad and twisting her arms behind her back when the girl snapped and began choking her mother. After the woman was gagging for a bit, the girl came back into reality and quit.
When the girl thinks about the past, she wishes that she would have fought back more often and told more people about her circumstances. After graduating from high school, the girl screamed and cussed at her mother as a means of trying to get through to her, but she realized that what she had done was wrong. To the girl, it felt right to defend her herself in a fight, but wrong to cuss at her mother, especially when they were only in a verbal dispute.
The girl was told by someone very close to her to not think of her mother as a mother or she would be disappointed. Instead, she should think of her as a friend because she really could be a friend at times.
This gave the girl a great amount of comfort. She even began to feel strong because she would tell herself that she did not need a motherly relationship; she was stronger that most of society.
Now, the girl is married and expecting a child of her own. She wants to be a good mother, but she almost feels like she doesn’t know how.
Sometimes the only solution is to simply put your troubles in God’s hands. You have to say, “I know what happened, she knows what happened, and God knows what happened. That’s all that matters.” Then, you pray, do your best, and see where life takes you. Unfortunately, just giving your troubles to God is difficult. As a human, I want to be able to have full control over my life when I simply cannot…