I appreciate the many expressions of sympathy about the death of my mother.
The situation is complicated by a lot of trauma at the hands of other, now dead, family members and the many family members (all of them) who enabled or denied their predatory violence. In truth, every adult in my family on both sides was complicit in that denial. Only two adults tried to intervene.
I resent that a lot. The trauma itself is hard to navigate, but the inability of most people in my family to acknowledge much less make amends is almost staggering. And likely in direct proportion to their support of Republicans and Trump.
I needed support to go to a morning funeral that I knew most people wouldn’t attend. I asked some people and they said yes, then turned around and ignored my needs from Friday through the funeral. That is not support. That is leaving me to flail in vicious, violent memories and stew in trauma that is very much real and present for me.
If you support someone with complex trauma histories, especially in a time like a funeral, I highly suggest you do some reading on C-Trauma before you make that commitment – you really need to understand abandonement issues.
I have not a single ally in my family, not a one. That’s how deep the denial and coverup goes. Ands I probably can’t go to this funeral and that’s okay. My mother isn’t in that box.
I’ve had nightmares endlessly since I learned the news. And while hundreds of people expressed condolences, there are very few to whom I can share the real stories. Now that she has passed, I can finally speak my mother’s story. But not today.
When you offer commiseration, understand what you are saying. “We’ll be thinking of you” is the most ridiculous sentiment since “Best” – what good is thinking of me going to do? Do something tangible or just say “I’m sorry”
This is the messy, ugly parts of complex trauma that people rarely talk about. But if you can’t talk about the struggle to attend a funeral packed with allies and deniers of deep intrafamily violence, how on earth are you going to talk about the trauma and find a way to end it?
Life goes on even while some of us mourn. That’s just the way it is. But don’t say you are thinking of me if you really are thinking about parties, concerts, fun times, etc as I’m falling deeper into a dark place.
If that’s your “Best” … why bother?
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