My mother’s coloring book

My mother is getting bored because of the COVID-19 lockdown, she doesn’t know what to do with her time. Often she tries to call me to complain about het empty days. I keep telling her to stop doing this, her nagging tires me, for a phone call with her I have to use all the energy that is left in me and I have to rest for hours afterwards.

No matter how often I explain this to her, she keeps calling me every day, and when I don’t pick up, she will send me so many text messages that I can not go to sleep until I’ve called her back. A call in which she is just complaining about herself for at least half an hour.


My mother doesn’t get me, she never has. Often it seems like I am just in her life to make her feel better about herself, no matter what this does to me. She expects me to be there for her, always, and it seems like she always ignores the fact that I am not ok. The same happened when I was a kid, I had to adjust myself to her standard, do exactly what she wanted me to do, when she wanted it, never considering my feelings or needs.


The relationship I have with my parents is complicated. When I was still living with them, when I was younger, my dad was beating me on a daily bases, while my mother never stopped trying to change me into her normal, ashamed of the child I was. Often I was called worthless, incapable and abnormal. I was never good enough good enough for them and they felt the need to express this as often as possible.

When I left for university, things changed for them. I think they started to recognize that I was actually pretty great and suddenly they couldn’t leave me alone, for them I turned into their amazing daughter. For me however, they remained the two monsters that fucked up my first 17 years of life, two monsters that severely damaged me in so many ways. My low self esteem and harsh treatment of myself are just two examples of struggles I still encounter because of how the treated me as a child.


I tried to see them as less as possible, 2 maybe 3 times a year, and all the other days I was able to live my life without the reminder of the pain they caused me. But then my father got cancer and later a heart attack that resulted in a coma, and I was forced to be there. My mother started to rely on me, my sister and grandma as well. I was the only one not overtaken by emotions, I didn’t feel any emotions towards my father’s sickness, and this is why I started to take care of the rest of the family.

For over a year, I spend at least one whole day taking care of my mother and grandma, but often more.. Groceries, cleaning and food prepping, but most importantly I gave them mental support. Everything was too hard for them and they needed me to dry their tears, hold their hands and eliminate their fears. They started to call me multiple times a day when I was at work, because they couldn’t see the positive anymore, they wanted to share the darkness that was taking over, often resulting from a silly problem like the tomatoes being out of stock or a missed phone call from an unknown caller.


For more than a year, they relied on me for everything, never thinking about what I might be needing myself. They never considered me, and when I would tell them I didn’t have the time or the energy to be there for them, they would start crying so much, blaming me for not helping them and eventually I would give in be there for them. They took away all my free time, and they consumed all my energy but never recognized this and definitely never thanked me for it.

Especially my mother is a big part of the problems that caused me to break down. The damage from my childhood and the unthankful consuming of my energy play a major role in me loosing myself. It frustrates me that she still won’t see my needs, even when I’m clearly expressing them to her. I tell her she makes me tired, I tell her I can not deal with her complains right now and I tell her to leave me alone for a while. She simply just doesn’t listen and keeps upsetting me every single day.


All this frustration towards her came to me when she send me a picture of a coloring book she just bought. This little coloring book made me so angry that I scared myself. But this book shows the start of her misunderstanding towards me, it shows the beginning of her selfish connection with me. As a kid I loved to color and paint, however, she would never allow me because she wanted me to do other things and play differently and with other children. She never allowed me to do the things I liked to do because she believed I was not supposed to do them, but now she is doing them herself.

I know her coloring book and my coloring as a child are two different things. Two things I shouldn’t connect with each other, but my ADHD devil, or my angel, does see a link and this showed me the selfishness of my mother. She will never be able to see the real me, she will never be able to acknowledge the damage she did to me and she will never me able to help me to heal. For the next two days I will shut down my phone, and even by the idea of doing this, some peace returns inside me.

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