I got that call I was waiting for, on Monday afternoon. The prosecutor called to let me know the outcome of my mother's sentencing hearing for her felony domestic violence assault conviction.
The results in rational terms: 6 months in jail, 88 hours of community service, 3 years of probation, various fines, will never be eligible to work with kids, the elderly, etc. She must pay for counseling for the minor child that witnessed her behavior until he is 18. She must have a psychological exam and pay for and stay current with any treatment that is prescribed.
The emotional toll: I had pretty much prepared myself for the guilt and sorrow that I knew would come. What I never saw coming was the anger and disgust. The prosecutor took the time to go over the whole hearing with me, line by line. She felt that I needed to know what had happened because she wants to be sure that I get through the reality of just how bad my mother's mental issues are and how that still might effect me. I have to say that this prosecutor has been so good to me. She has taken extra time and energy to truly help me through this. One particular issue that has cropped up in the past that involves me is that my mother sometimes believes that she is me. She has even been known to commit petty crime and give my name. Apparently, the hearing had to be stopped twice so that things could be clarified for my mother. She felt that the papers that the judge was reading, that I had sent in, were all just things that I meant to say about my sister, not her. Then she said, "that's O.K. I understand because I used to be her." My mother honestly believes that she groomed me so well that I am not capable of saying anything negative about her, that everything I wrote was meant to be directed at my sister. She is also still convinced that we are the same person. She has spoken many times about how she used to be me and she is not speaking metaphorically. My mother means that we are one and the same person, as if I am some part that has broken away and needs to be reined in.
If you are not totally weirded out at this point, then I'm sure you are starting to get why this is so hurtful. It's as if no matter what I ever do, I will never truly be my own person in my mother's eyes. She will never get to see who I have become. She will never enjoy me as her daughter. My personality, my emotions, my thoughts are an affront to her. If anything unique and apart from her is seen in me, it is a problem meant to be squashed. I knew this was an issue, but had secretly hoped that one day things would change. The prosecutor reminded me that although things could change one day, I need to live my life as if it doesn't matter if they never do.
It took me a couple of days to digest all of this and get to a point that I can live with. I know my mother needed to be stopped. I hope that she gets some real help. I also know that regardless of whatever she does or does not do with her life, mine will go on. And I will enjoy it. To the fullest. I deserve it. And honestly, especially after some of the things I read on others' blogs, I know that my life is good. I know I am changing the pattern in my family for the better. I will continue to look to the positive and refuse to wallow in the past. My mother may never truly know me. I will share what I have to offer with everyone in my life and trust that my unique gifts will be accepted and appreciated by those who are meant to receive them.