Lack of empathy

Today is really hard, and I don’t know why. I was cycling through emotions all morning, really painfully.

I am also just really, really tired. I fell asleep last night around 6:30 pm, woke up in the night, but not for too long, and slept through the alarm until nearly 5 am. I don’t really know why I am so tired.

I have been thinking how it really was for me growing up. I have been aware of the maliciousness, that my parents actually intentionally, deliberately hurt me. I hadn’t quite been aware of that before. My father, yes. But my mother, no. I hadn’t realized aside from the emotional flooding that happened to her, she was sometimes just angry and wanted to hurt someone and I was there to hurt.

VP Ma’am makes me see this, how some people are just like that. VP Ma’am is a generally unhappy person, very angry and irritable, and very much put-upon all the time. I don’t know how this has happened to her, if everything just touches this old, childhood wound of not being cared about, or what.

We went to C’s school yesterday. There was some important holy man there giving a blessing. Our entire school walked up the hill there to her school, even the kids in kindergarten, and we sat in the sun while he preached things no one had any interest in listening to for a couple of hours. Later, I saw VP Ma’am in the town, and she was telling me how difficult this was, what a burden somehow, that we had to walk up there. It was hard for me to sympathize with her. There are only 3 men in all of Country X able to perform this particular blessing, and everyone is supposed to try to receive this blessing once in a lifetime. It is like going to Mecca or Jerusalem. I don’t personally care much one way or the other, but it’s her religion. Also, I used to walk up to the school 3 times a week in the hot season to see C. I did sympathize with her, but it wasn’t that easy to do so. I didn’t particularly feel honest about it.

Anyway, she’s angry and irritable a lot of the time, and she often feels like hurting people because she’s so angry.

My mom was like that.

The other thing is that my mother probably did not feel safe with us. I didn’t feel safe with the Boy in the house either. What happens when you don’t care for your kids is they continually fight to get their needs met. They aren’t considerate of the parents, they don’t try to be obedient unless they have to be. They are trying to take care of themselves, and there isn’t a feeling of alliance between them.

So my mom often hurt me just because she could. Times when my vulnerabilities were showing might have been times when I could be hurt. It’s shocking to think about this. It wasn’t that I did something wrong. It was just an opportunity. Other times, I think she said or did heartless things because she didn’t think how I would feel. She just lacked empathy for me, and she said what came to mind.

It’s shocking.


2 thoughts on “Lack of empathy

  1. This.shaking November 15, 2016 / 11:28 am

    Ash: I am so sorry. It was not your fault – you know that, right?
    Realizing this about your mother is supremely painful.
    This work IS exhausting.
    How would you feel about showing some kindness to Little Ash?
    I am sending a big bag of kindness to Big Ash. Tenderly – TS

  2. Rachel November 16, 2016 / 10:48 pm

    It is shocking to really grapple with a parent not having empathy for their child. Even more shocking to realize that was your lived experience, day in and day out, for your entire childhood and adolescence. Hard to really believe it could be true, when you are wired for so much empathy.

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