One thing that I've realized about myself since I have started on my path of enlightenment/awareness is that I have a lot of resentment in my heart. I have had many unpleasant things happen in my childhood and early adult years, and I have found it very difficult to get rid of these feelings of resentment.
One of the biggest sources of resentment in my life is my relationship with my mother. Throughout most of my life my mother has been domineering and overbearing- she rarely gave me a chance to express my own thoughts and opinions, or when I did try to express my thoughts, she was very quick to put me down, or try to lower my confidence in my own opinion. The only time I recall my mother supporting my endeavors was when I was doing something that SHE told me to do. Whenever I wanted to try something new, or do something different, she was always quick to scare me away from doing it by telling me that I will fail, or even reacting angrily towards me. Even right now, as a young adult, I have a hard time being assertive, and speaking up for myself. This might just be my natural predisposition (maybe I’m naturally shy?), but a part of me blames my mother for this.
I was bullied pretty frequently in my youth. I’m a pretty non-aggressive person, and I have always been the target of people with more aggressive tendencies. I was bullied a lot in high school, mainly during the years when my mother was working as a teacher at the schools that I attended. My mother was pretty much one of the most hated teachers at the two schools I attended where she worked, and my classmates who had her as a teacher would frequently use me to release their anger on, since I was easier to attack than her.
Here's the thing: With my type of personality, I would have gotten bullied anyway, regardless of whether my mother worked at my school or not. It's just the fact that my mother was one of the most hated teachers at the school that added on the bullying that I would have already experienced. I can’t help but blame my mother for a lot of the pain and suffering that I felt, because honestly her personality was very unnattractive. Like I said earlier, she is very overbearing and domineering, and she also can be very loud and obnoxious in how she speaks, and this frequently rubs people the wrong way. She lacks the basic social skills that are required to fit in and be friends with people, and this might explain a lot of my social awkwardness when I was growing up.
Although my mother certainly wasn’t my favorite person when I was living with her, today our relationship has improved a lot. Ever since I moved out of the house and showed her that I didn’t need/want her presence in my life, she has been a lot more supporting of me and my desires. When she visited me in Korea last year in February, we actually had a pretty good time together. I actually felt like I loved my mother. A month or so ago my mother emailed me and told me that she plans on getting married. She showed me pictures of the guy. He is a dandy, and he has a fashion sense that is very similar to the fashion I wore back in college. One thing that became apparent to both me and her is that I didn’t really give a fuck about her getting married. I don’t really have a close relationship with my mother, so I have very little interest in her relationship with this new man. I'm glad that she seems to have found a satisfying relationship with this other person, but there is only so much emotion that I can give to her and personal life. I'm a pretty hands-off type of person. As long as what your doing doesn't affect me, I'm going to let you do as you please. I wish my mother had this approach with me when I was growing up.
Right now I'm torn between bringing up these issues with my mother, or just moving on and letting the past be the past. The reason I don't want to bring up these past issues is that my mother's attitude towards me has greatly improved since I moved out of the house, and I don't want to risk her regressing to her past disrespectful behavior, or maybe even her becoming resentful of me and cutting me out of her life. I have been practicing this “Release from Resentment” exercises that I read in one of Anthony de Mello’s books, and the exercise has been extremely helpful in allowing me to get rid of my resentful, angry feelings in a safe, non-destructive way. I just don’t know if the exercise is enough to actually get rid of the ambivalent feelings I have towards my mother.
What do you all think that I can do to release myself from this resentment I have towards my mother?
While I was writing this post, I imagined emailing my mother this post and telling that I am going to kill myself. I imagined myself committing suicide several times as I wrote this post. I imagined myself taking a gun and blowing my brains out right in front of my mother, just so that she can have the image in her mind for the rest of her life. I feel very sad right now, but I’m not actually suicidal. I’m just resentful.