Toxic Mom Toolkit Journal Project: Question #5 – Riding Shotgun

3 Feb

As part of our ongoing journal project, here is our next question.

Question #5

You’re in the car with your mom and ahead of you is an all-day road trip. What would you like to tell your mom about during that long, long drive? What would you like to hear from your mom? What would you say if you knew it was the very last time you’d speak to her?

A big part of the frustration with having a toxic mom is always feeling verbally shut down. As we mature, we test the waters by asking questions or demanding answers with mixed results.

If you have a family history filled with secrets, no doubt you have many questions only parents or grandparents can answer. And it’s not enough to ask. A direct question can be deflected, ignored or twisted into an emotional bat, which will be promptly swung in your direction.

Is anything more slippery than a toxic mom?

Are toxic moms the ninjas of none’ya business?

But what if you knew you had six or more hours locked into a rental car with your mother? What if life forced you two into red Buick and set you on a flat dull road? What if you had ALL DAY to sort it out; to ask questions; to listen and take mental notes? What if you COULD call bulls–t on her?

What if you could do all that with the knowledge that it was the very last day you could ask any and all questions that weigh heavily on your heart?

What would you ask?

What would you finally tell her?

And when you arrived at your destination and parted company do you think you would feel sad or satisfied as she shrunk smaller and smaller in your rearview mirror?

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2 Responses to “Toxic Mom Toolkit Journal Project: Question #5 – Riding Shotgun”

  1. cc July 9, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

    Hmm…except I already know she tells lies and twists the truth to get her way and make herself look good in the process, so I’m not sure this conversation would ever take place. I’d rather not say anything because I have nothing positive to say to her, and I’d rather not hear her say anything because she is incapable of saying anything other than lies. The only way I’d be listening to her is if she were someone else. Ha, ha.

    I’d be willing to talk to her if she first made good with my older siblings and took them in and comforted them and help them constructively build up their broken lives. My siblings are in such terrible shape, but my mother will bad mouth them to other people. But incredible, how clever this lady is, too, about how and when she opens her mouth to bad mouth them. Not enough that other people think she is an brutish, uncaring mother. Just enough so people brush it off in their own busy lives as just passing maternal frustration.

    I guess the only way I’d believe her words is if she actually said something truthful, like, “I’m sorry I was selfish and manipulating and hurtful. I’m ready to change, I want to change, and we can continue our relationship if you like or whenever you would like to start again.” And then she should go about her life actually doing something to make a positive difference in the world instead of only talking about wanting to volunteer in an old folks’ home when she retired, but now that she is actually retired, she spends her days working out at a posh fitness club only to bring home gossip and tales of disdain about other people to tell my dad who is still working his butt off to support her. I realize now she only made sure she said that thing about volunteering for the elderly in my presence because she has been brainwashing me her whole life that I should grow up to take care of her in her old age (since she failed with my older siblings), meaning that I would have to cater and be subservient to her every whim and not have a need of my own. And ha! volunteering, my butt. At another moment in my childhood, she scoffed at my efforts to volunteer in the community. She most certainly did not want me helping anyone else except her alone.

    On the last day I saw her before I moved abroad, she told me something to the effect of “Please forgive me if I was a little bit harsh at times,” and her voice cracked with crocodile tears. It was just one last ditch effort to control me and keep me, and I know better than to say what’s really on my mind around her, so I choked out, “It’s okay, it’s okay,” patted her arm without really looking at her and high-tailed it out as fast as I could.

  2. Maria January 22, 2016 at 5:18 pm #

    A long drive of talking it out would be impossible. There is no opposing her, if you do she goes on insane fits of rage, frightening screams, insults and even though I am an adult I dont think she would shy away from physically hitting me. Even with all that, she would still have so much rage against me that she would demand that I leave the car if she was driving, or if I was driving she would victimize herself and ask me to stop the car so she can get out. And she would get out and scream at me to leave, but she probably wouldnt expect me to leave and if I did, she would use that story to victimize herself. Its a weird power play. However if she was driving, she would leave me even in the middle of nowhere, I believe this because of all the times she threatened to kick me out and the two times in my childhood when she actually kicked me out and I just stood in my pijamas in front of the house. She was cruel too, she yelled at me to leave so I just went to the corner of the house where she couldnt see me. She wouldnt forgive me when I said I was sorry, which is something I never understood, she would sort of forgive me only when she had said enough. Even after that she would hold a grudge of course, like I was some criminal and did something unforgivable.
    Sorry about the rant, my point is that a long car ride to sort things out couldnt happen. I cant put my finger on it, I cant explain why you cant have a reasonable conversation with this adult woman, but you just cant. She has an unbelievable ability to express hate and she is always right, I’ve seen nothing like it.

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