“… throw roses into the abyss and say: ‘Here is my thanks to the monster who didn’t succeed in swallowing me alive.'” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
‘Here is my thanks …’
When I read this quote a few weeks ago, it really struck me and I was quick to write it down. Over these last few weeks these words have made an impression on my heart … ” … throw roses into the abyss and say: ‘Here is my thanks to the monster who didn’t succeed in swallowing me alive.'”
These words are bittersweet to my soul – it laces my heart with sorrow and yet also with a sense of victory, of valour. I don’t know what I will feel when the day comes when my abusive mother dies, leaving this world for whatever awaits her in the next. I mourned the loss of her a decade and a half ago. At that time, I had no idea that a heart could hurt so much or that eyes could produce so many tears. I don’t ever anticipate experiencing that a second time. I mourned the loss of a healthy mother-daughter relationship for two months. As I have shared before, the Lord gave me two visions regarding her, and regarding me.
I am sure I will never ever attend her funeral. Because of the dynamics of a narcissistic family, there is no way I could show up. My showing up would not be a warm welcome – no. There would be smearing and gossip – that I am only there to see or find out if there is an inheritance. Of this I am completely certain. Little do they know, I want absolutely nothing. When I broke ties with the lot of them about five years ago – not only did I forfeit relationships, I also chose to forfeit whatever inheritance there might be. Why would I want anything of a family who has outright rejected me with their smearing, their disdain, their gossip and with their very last words to me, “We don’t want to hear about any of your crap,” and “We don’t want to hear about it and we don’t want to talk about it.” It should be noted, that I rarely talked about my crap with them because anytime I even vaguely brought it up it made them uncomfortable and that’s when a change of subject was quickly implemented, most often by me. They may not see that as rejection, but I sure do. And my mother’s rejection of me is the worst as her last words to me were, “You were always so hard to love.” Of course, it would be interesting to know what she meant by that because she never did love me – she never even tried – and I wasn’t a troublesome or trouble-making kid. I was probably her most honest and subservient kid. I was never in trouble with the law. There was only one time when I was drunk – well, I thought I was until I learned later that I was drugged for attempted rape. I know I had my flaws, but I know I did not break her heart as much as my other siblings and yet she’d call me ‘her worst kid’ – probably because I was the only one who would confront her on occasion. She didn’t like when I did that of course – it was construed as disrespect. So because I occasionally stood up for myself, which she’d make me pay for at later date by way of humiliation or degradation and or silent treatment of some kind – maybe then to her, I was her ‘worst kid.’
While she was in my life, every time I was around her and her abusive ways – the gaslighting, the silent treatments, the evil looks of disdain – I was drained dry more and more by every visit, feeling more and more diminished every time. Heart trampled and stomped more and more every time. It got to the point where I really didn’t know who I was – I felt like an empty shell walking about without any identity of my own. I tried too hard for too long to be who she wanted me to be that I lost who I was. I’m not even sure I ever knew who I was because even as a young child I strived to be who she wanted me to be … you know, so she would love me. I was 34 years old when God said in a very clear voice, “There is nothing you could ever do or say that will ever make her love you.” And He was right. He’s always right. I knew I had to omit her from my life and from my children’s lives – my fear of her turning my own children against me were one of my greatest fears.
For fun, let’s imagine I did learn of her death and decided to go to her funeral, or my father’s for that matter because I wouldn’t go to his either. His rejection was a stab to my heart as well. In my mind it would be just me visiting their graves soon after the caskets were lowered into the ground. Everyone else would have departed the graveyard when I was there. And then I would imagine myself walking up with red roses in hand. I’d stand at the edge of the coffin’s deep, cold bed, where I’d throw the roses into the abyss and say, “Here is my thanks to the monster who didn’t succeed in swallowing me alive.”
My mother was the monster and even though she tried to diminish me through her many abuses, trying to swallow me alive – she did not succeed. I fought. I broke away and swore she’d never diminish or abuse me again. I swore I would no longer let other family members abuse me by proxy either. I will stand there reflecting, ‘She almost beat me, almost annihilated my very being – but she didn’t win. I did. But not in the way you think – I won based on nothing I did but because of what the Lord did. Because of her rejection, the Lord took me up; He rescued me and restored me. He did something she couldn’t – He. loved. me. He loved me without conditions attached to it.
… and so, as I throw roses into the abyss … “Here is my thanks …”
~ Saoirse Quill