I thought letting Claire talk about things would help to get it out of her system, you know, that’s how it works isn’t it? You talk about it. You analyse, you approach it rationally as well as emotionally, you empathise, encourage, listen to what she has to say, and then she learns to handle her big ball of emotion.
But she hasn’t. Positively encouraging her to talk seems to encourage hatred rather than healing. Seems to make her think it’s ok to be permanently angry, and for that anger to be directed at one person. I feel as though I’ve let mum down by letting Claire develop this hatred she has.
I understand that loosing a parent is hard. I’ve lost my dad too. I know I wasn’t 9 years of age when my dad died, but even at 25 I still wasn’t emotionally prepared for it.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to fix her. She’s not broken, she’s just lacking direction, or maybe she’s still mourning. I’m not sure. I don’t have enough letters after my name to be qualified to asses the mind of a teenager (who the hell is?) but right now, honestly, I’m embarrassed by the insolent, ungrateful and downright rude little madam that is currently sleeping in her pit of a bedroom.
Mum (Grandma to Sebastien) has been here for a week. She rocked up in her camper-van with bags full of memories and a heart full of excitement, to be met by a grumpy angry and disrespectful Claire that barely bothers to acknowledge her presence and needs to be reminded to speak when she is spoken to. Claire has spent the week doing the minimum. Ignoring her chores, refusing to tidy her room (despite her phone being confiscated) and constantly looking like she has a sour taste in her mouth. She seems to be using mum as an excuse for her appalling behaviour. Spending all her energy on being angry at something that none of us can change. She’s certainly not nice to be around at the moment, and the way she shunning mum is downright cruel.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m pretty sure, in fact, I know full well that as a teenager I spent time whining about mum. I’ve had some major battles with her. I’ve screamed at her in anger and in complete and utter rage. I’ve tried to run away from her I’ve tried to stay angry for things that’s she’s done (or supposedly done!) but you just can’t. Because under that hard faced exterior is a woman who has done what she has done believing it to be the best. It’s only now as a parent myself that I can see this, that I can see that being “mama enough” is bound to have some major pitfalls. Life is hard. The choices we make and the circumstances we find ourselves in can make or break a person. You cannot begrudge actions borne out of unconditional love. There are still maybe a few things that mum has done that I don’t agree with, or think that I would have done differently, and there have been times when I’ve sworn I will never speak to mum again. (Which at most have lasted a week or two before I miss her!) But I have come to realise that everything she has done , she has done with her children in mind, and that these reactions are simply a Reflection on me, on my (at the time) immaturity and inability to process my own emotion.
I hope that Claire will come to this point too. That she will realise that mum is all we have left. That mum is not evil. She is not unkind. She has a heart of gold, maybe sometimes a misguided approach to things ( don’t we all) but never a cruel or malicious one. I’m upset that Claire is behaving as she is. I’m upset to think that maybe somehow I’ve encouraged it in my own clumsy way with my eagerness to make Claire speak about how she feels.
More than anything. My heart is broken for mum. At somewhere near 50 years of age, she finds herself alone, with a house full of her ex husbands memories, a teenage daughter that won’t speak to her and a house in a different country that somehow has become her golden prison.
Maybe she too is just a little lost and overwhelmed by it all. I hope Claire realises soon enough as I have that mum has done nothing but love us unconditionally.