WHAT WE FEEL WE CREATE
The letter to my in-laws
My heart feels heavy these days.
It has been hard re-reading the letter to my in-laws.
It is clearly marked by how devastated I was – and still am – and how guilty I felt.
It’s as if I take on all the responsibility. Today, almost five months later, I don’t feel that way. Not entirely anyway.
Yes, it was partly my fault the relationship didn’t work out, absolutely.
But it wasn’t my fault alone.
The letter also leaves me with the impression that our relationship was one long nightmare for “P”, where I was constantly sour, sulky and negative. Where I had constant fits of rage and where I never appreciated “P” and never showed gratitude or love.
Nothing could be further from the truth…
Yes, the pregnancy was hard on me and it was difficult for me to be excited because I was scared. I was afraid of losing again. Lose my unborn child and all my dreams. Lose faith in myself.
I was afraid that I wasn’t “good enough” and that “P” would leave me in time if I couldn’t give him children.
So no, maybe I wasn’t that positive.
I was in treatment with hormones and had been so for almost a year. It’s not something that contributes to the party mood. It’s tough.
I tried to keep believing that it didn’t affect my mood or me. But it did. Physically as well as mentally.
And yes, there have been one isolated – and really unfortunate – example where I haven’t been grateful. And I am truly sorry for that. I wish I could do it over again. And of course, I have apologized.
Yes, there have been examples where I’ve felt let down, disappointed or left out and it has provoked inappropriate reactions from me.
But I’m only human.
I’m not perfect.
And I’ve always explained – not to excuse bad behavior, but to provide insight and reach an understanding – and I’ve always regretted it and apologized when I’ve behaved badly.
But me “behaving badly” or ungrateful wasn’t an everyday occurrence, far from it.
Remember, we just bought a house and a few months before that “P” had looked at his watch and said “Now’s the time” (that I was ovulating) and lovingly thrown himself at me, and afterwards in the hope that it would help put a pillow under my loin – because he was sure the little swimmers would find their way to the egg if I “lay with my butt in the air for a little while”.
Sweet and funny.
And that’s not something you do if the lady is a horrible monster, is it?
And I became pregnant. In the name of love.
And still, I think the letter gives the impression that I’ve been a raving lunatic and completely unreasonable to be with. It’s unfortunate…
Because it’s not true…
I did the best I could with the understanding, awareness and knowledge I had.
But at the same time I think it shows my willingness to “do something about it”, to “take responsibility” and it shows my unconditional love for the person I was with.
I would have walked through fire and water.
I was willing to “grow” and change.
Change my way of thinking and reacting.
Not just for him, but for myself. For us.
I was determined that we – love – would win.
I don’t know if you can say the fight was in vain…?
I don’t think so…
There is nothing that’s so bad that it isn’t good for something, so now I have to figure out what this was good for…
It’ll reveal itself in time, and I will share it with you.
Maybe just the fact that this blog exists was part of the meaning of it all…?
Before you continue reading, I will once again appeal to you that you look at the content with mild eyes.
It’s hard for me to share, because I love my mom and I love my dad, and I don’t wish to “expose” them or put them in an unfavorable light.
I know they did the best they could.
So this should not cause you to feel sorry for me.
What’s past is past and it can’t be changed.
If it could, I am 100 percent sure my mom would stand on her head if that meant she could do it all over.
But she can’t and it’s time for me to take responsibility and move on. Let go and make peace with a past that I can’t change anyway.
So it’s with ambivalent feelings that I now post this letter.
But it gives good insight to what happens in a person who gets her heart broken:
Guilt on guilt. That’s the main feeling.
“If only I had done something differently…”
“If only I hadn’t said this or that and done so and so…”
This is the letter to my in-laws:
Dear Xxxx and Xxxx,
I am so terribly heartbroken over how things have turned out for “P” and me.
I am so devastated that every breath I take hurts.
I can’t stand being inside myself.
There is so much I would like to say to you, so that’s why I’m writing you now.
First, I want to emphasize that it’s not out of “ill will” that I have removed you as friends on Facebook. I am just so sad and I need to not have the possibility of torturing myself with what goes on in “P’s” and his circle of friends’ lives.
I am so utterly and indescribably sad that I’ve lost the love of my life and with that my two wonderful in-laws.
It’s unbearable for me to think that I’m not gonna see you again and that I’m not gonna be “P’s” girlfriend and have the future with him that I was dreaming about.
I’m in shock and in deep, deep sorrow and I really wish I could save it or that it was just a bad dream.
“P” hasn’t felt appreciated.
I can’t even put into words how sad that makes me. I have appreciated him most of all. I just haven’t been able to express it.
I haven’t been able to express gratitude. It’s has always been there, but I haven’t expressed it enough, because I can’t. I just don’t know how.
I haven’t been able to express grief, sadness or disappointment. Instead, I’ve expressed these feelings with sourness, resentment and negativity.
I haven’t been able to control my temper and more than once, it has let to me having irrational fits of rage. Not just with “P”, but at other people and at things too.
If there is something I can’t find and I’ve been looking for it a little too long, I go berserk and pull everything out of the closet with tremendous speed while reeking of rage.
It’s not pleasant for others to witness.
Or if others don’t agree with me or don’t want what I want, then I suddenly go berserk like a spoiled little schoolgirl.
And if there’s something I’ve never been it’s spoiled.
But I react irrationally and completely out of proportion.
I want to explain something about my upbringing:
I grew up in a home with violence, screaming and yelling.
With a single mom of three who never had any money and who was in constant lack of energy.
She constantly screamed, yelled and told us off. Nothing was ever good enough.
I could never do anything right or satisfy her in any way.
I remember one day, we were sitting at the dinner table, my mom, my brothers and me, and I accidentally tipped over a glass of milk. She got up and hit me – hard – in the head with a knife (the cutlery) she had in her hand.
And screamed and yelled at me.
Because I tipped over a glass of milk...
Another incident I remember very clearly was a day when I had forgotten to clean up after myself in the kitchen. I had made some toast and eaten some raisins.
She screamed and yelled and then she came running into my room (I always became so afraid when I could hear the loud stomping on her way to my room because I knew she would come in and hit me). She came into my room red-hot from rage. She had the toaster and the pack of raisins that I had forgotten to put back in their places, in her hand. She took the toaster, turned it upside down and emptied it over my bed, so all the black crumbs on the bottom of the toaster were now spread all over my bedding.
She took the pack of raisins and threw them around my room.
That should teach me how things would go when I didn’t clean up…
One day I had dropped my keys while I was at school and at after-school care.
I had heart palpitations all the way home. I was so afraid of telling my mom, because I knew she would beat me, a lot. I knew she would scream and shout into my face and hit me with clenched fists in my head and on my body.
I was right. She screamed and yelled, and hit me and she even said that thieves and robbers would now probably find the keys and that they had no trouble finding out where the keys belonged and that it was my fault if they broke in or someone came and hurt us…
For years, I was afraid that someone would come and hurt us.
I slept with my grandfather’s old knife from boy scouts under my pillow because I was so scared. I could only sleep with the lights on, because I was so afraid.
I was always afraid. Afraid of being beaten, because I never knew when it would happen. The slightest mistake could lead to blows with clenched fists in my head, on my back and the rest of my body.
Often I would lock myself into my room, simply because I was so afraid of her, but then she pounded so hard on the door and screamed so loud in such a nasty and threatening way for me to unlock the door that I didn’t dare do anything but unlock it.
And then I was beaten.
I didn’t like to have friends over, because she always screamed, yelled and told us off. It was so terribly embarrassing and probably really unpleasant for the few girl friends I’ve had over.
I remember all those times she has screamed at me how much she hated me. Yes, she used that exact term “ooooh how I hate you!”
She has said that multiple times.
But she never said, “I love you” when I was a child.
The first time I ever heard her say it I was 35…
(It happened at a confrontation we took with her when we had become grown-ups).
My mom never praised me. She has never told me that she was proud of me or that I was good.
Not until very late in life, after the confrontation I mentioned above.
My brothers (“Mi” and “Ma”) have been treated the same way, but mostly one of them “Ma”. The other “Mi” was very often spared compared to “Ma” and me.
It was mostly “Ma” and me who was beaten, and she took everything out on us. Of course, that hasn’t been pleasant for “Mi” to watch and he has been torn up by guilt, which has affected his and “Ma’s” relationship.
I remember once when “Ma” hadn’t cleaned up his room. She took all his toys and threw them into a huge black garbage bag, of course in such a way that many of the toys broke, and put the bag out on the stairway.
That should teach him…
Was her philosophy.
My dad wasn’t really there through all this. He and my mother split up when I was a year and a half.
He was a career man and didn’t have time or energy for me.
One weekend when I was at his house he told me off for something and I immediately ducked and held my hands up in front of my face, because I knew the blows would come.
But they didn’t.
He said, “I’m not gonna hit you!”
And I didn’t understand that at all…
My mom usually did.
My dad has never hit me. He just wasn’t there for me a whole lot. For long periods, sometimes for years, we haven’t had any contact.
If my dad had had the time and energy to fight for me to come live with him, (daycare had recommended that) then I would probably be a whole other person than I am today.
But he wasn’t equal to the task.
He has told me that he didn’t know what was going on at my mom’s house.
He did know that there was constant screaming and yelling, because he had witnessed that himself when he came to get me every other weekend.
He says that he actually confronted my mom about it and asked her what she was going to do if a situation was to occur that really demanded a scolding. “There are not enough swearwords or curses that are hard enough if you constantly yell and scream, swear and curse”.
She didn’t listen.
I remember my mom’s outbursts too. Not just at us kids but at everything.
She could sit and yell at the TV.
She constantly grumbled loudly in the supermarket - and everywhere else – so you felt ashamed of her.
When she hit her head on an open kitchen cabinet door, she flew into a rage and violently smacked the door shut multiple times while pounding on it screaming and yelling.
It took very little for her to get those fits.
It could happen any time at any place.
Besides the very short fuse, my mom was incredibly opinionated, stubborn and impatient.
All this, that’s what I’ve been taught. It’s the experiences that I’ve taken with me.
When she had the twins (my brothers “Mi” and “Ma”) all hell broke loose, because their father “Ca” left just when they were born, and now my mom – who was a student – were alone with three children. I was 5 years old. She has been alone ever since. So I’ve never seen or learned how to live in a relationship.
In return, I have learned all the other unpleasant things as described above.
When I became a little older (13-14 years old) I began in something called Ama’r Total Theater. It was a project for ill-adjusted adolescents and I felt at home there.
Here I also discovered my love of acting, which I dropped later on, mostly because my parents never backed me up in my dream of becoming an actor, far from it actually, and because of that, I never believed that I could make it.
I gave up in advance.
The adults that taught us and looked out for us at Ama’r Total Theater were all volunteers and they were the nicest and most committed people.
Wonderful and safe.
One of them were called Trolle. Trolle was an old squatter and he’d had a really difficult life, but he was the sweetest, most loving and helpful person and all of us kids in Ama’r Total Theater loved him unconditionally and admired him for his kindness and helpfulness.
One day Trolle tried to kill himself. He survived, but we were all so unhappy and tried to be there for him.
But Trolle was feeling awful on the inside and a short while after he succeeded in committing suicide.
I was extremely sad and cried a lot in my room.
My mom reacted by making fun of me and she called my tears fake crocodile tears.
I really don’t know why she did that...
The same thing happened when some of the kids from after-school care were playing in an old factory. One day things went bad and the roof on the old ram-shackled building fell down over the kids who were playing there. One of them – Allan - who I went to after-school care with, was killed.
Even if Allan wasn’t one of those kids I usually played with, I was really sad.
My mom repeated the same scenario as she did when Trolle died.
I still have the newspaper clippings from back then.
The terrible accident affected me deeply and I was really genuinely sad.
There were also grief I hadn’t dealt with from the loss of my younger half-brother “Fe”, when I was eight years old.
The man “Ca”, with whom my mother had my younger brothers, had a child “Fe”, who was my age, from another marriage. He was a year younger.
He died in a horrible accident (he was 7 and I was 8) at the Øresundskollegiet where we lived back then.
A big grate fell down on top of him. He had lost his Star wars lightsaber down the grate. The kids in the playground helped each other lifting up the grate, but it was really heavy, so they could only get half of it up, but he jumped down the hole to get his saber and then the grate tipped down over him…
When they finally determined that he was bleeding internally (his liver was squashed), he had passed away…
I clearly remember the day when my mom came to my room and told me.
She just said that “Fe” was dead, but that I couldn’t attend the funeral, because in Chile (where the father of “Fe”, “Mi” and “Ma” comes from) there’s a tradition for an open casket and my mom didn’t want me to see that.
We have never talked about it since...
No one has ever asked me how I felt or how I was doing and I was in shock and really sad, but no one cared…
No one consoled me…
I moved away from home when I was 16 years old. By then I couldn’t take it anymore.
This is unfortunately not even the whole story. I haven’t even mentioned all the trouble I had in school where I was bullied until I changed school in 5th grade.
I’m not going into that now, because then I could go on forever.
“P” knows some of these stories that I have now told you. He doesn’t know all of them, but he knows some.
I’m not telling you these things to push away responsibility or for you to feel sorry for me.
I’m telling you, because maybe it’ll be easier for you to understand why my reaction patterns are the way they are. Why I can be incredibly irrational, why I am constantly afraid of being let down by those I love, and therefore have a tendency to treat them badly and push them away, and why I’m constantly negative and quickly become mad, why I’m afraid of showing feelings like grief and sadness and why it’s difficult for me to express gratitude, appreciation and love.
I have very low self-esteem, very little faith in myself and I have a terrible belief that I’m not worth loving.
I have forgiven my mom.
I have forgiven my dad.
And now I have to take responsibility for my own life.
I have so much to offer.
I’m a good person with a big heart and I have so much love, caring, gratitude and appreciation that I just have to learn how to express.
It’s in there.
I need to learn how to be more patient.
I need to learn to control my temper.
I need to learn to count to ten.
I need to learn to think before I speak.
I need to learn to say never mind.
I need to learn to compromise.
I need to learn to back down.
I need to learn that I don’t always have to be right.
I need to learn to express sorrow.
I need to learn to express joy.
I need to learn to express gratitude.
I need to learn to show appreciation.
I need to learn to be positive.
I need to learn how to be an optimist instead of a pessimist.
I need to learn that the glass is half-full.
I need to learn to complain less.
I need to learn to accept that others can have another opinion than me.
I need to learn to accept when others don’t agree with me.
I need to learn that some don’t think as I do.
I need to learn that others react differently than I do.
I need to learn that those I love are here for me.
I need to learn to forgive myself.
I need to learn to love myself.
I never learned any of these things.
Sad but true.
I have to learn now.
I WANT to learn these things, so therefor I CAN.
But I need help to learn.
Help from a professional.
I’m gonna call my doctor tomorrow and get a referral to a psychologist.
On top of that, I will try hypnotic therapy, because I’ve heard that it’s really good when it comes to cleaning up old things and traumas.
And maybe some coaching.
I have a lot of insight to myself; I know what I need to work with. I just need to find out how to reach my goal.
I need some definite tools.
That said it makes me indescribably miserable that “P” didn’t say anything to me until it was too late.
I would like so much to give him all the love, appreciation and gratitude in return that he deserves.
It is almost unbearable to me that he won’t let me…
I am devastated to the bone.
I really wish he had said something sooner.
It’s not fair that I don’t know until it’s too late.
It’s not fair to me or to us...
I think he’s been afraid to come into conflict with me, afraid that I would react irrationally and stubborn and be negative and become defensive.
It’s very likely I would have. But I’m also sure – because I know myself well enough for that – that if he had brought it to me in a constructive way and explained the seriousness of it, then I would have done something about it.
Because “P” means everything to me.
I wish “P” had grabbed hold of me and told me, told me with love and told me in a way that didn’t make me afraid that he would leave me.
Grabbed on to me and said, “Hanne, you have to stop being so negative. I feel that it’s smothering me and that I lose a little bit of my love for you every time. I feel like I have to walk on eggshells for you because I never know when you become mad or insulted. I love you and I want to be with you, so you have to think about these things or it’s not gonna work”.
I wish he had done that.
It’s terrible that I haven’t been held responsible sooner.
Then I would have had a chance to change it.
It probably has to do with all the stress he’s been put through at work. It’s been really hard on him.
He simply hasn’t had the energy to fight the battle.
Now he’s burned out and has nothing left to give.
It is completely unbearable because I love him into the universe and I can’t bear to be without him.
I wish so much that he would consider giving me a chance...
You need to know that I have felt so good in your company and that I’ve almost cared more about you than I do my own parents.
It’s unbearable that I’ll never see you again.
But I’m still quietly hoping...
Hugs and thoughts
Yes,…this is how it sounds when you’re heartbroken and desperate.
I believed everything was my fault…
I don’t believe that anymore, but I’m taking 100 percent responsibility for my part…
I feel like saying that of course there were good days at my mom’s home too and that of course there was caring and nice things were said, there was just too much of what I’ve described above.
The letter show obvious signs of my usual role of a victim, and it can come to sound like it was my mom’s - and dad’s - fault alone pretty quickly.
I don’t wish to look at it that way anymore.
The responsibility for my life and my relationships is now my own and I can’t “put blame” for my miserable life on the powerlessness of my mom or the absence of my dad.
I have to take responsibility and look to the future.