I would like to cordially invite author Emily Giffin to get out of my head. Or at least stop mining my life for tidbits to put in her books. It's never the main point of the story, but in each of her four books, there's been something that hit a nerve with me. In her first and second books, Something Borrowed and Something Blue, it was the character of Darcy that made me realize that in some ways I have been a selfish brat and not the best friend I could be. (See this post.) Then, in her last book Love the One You're With, the main character is a professional photographer, which is totally my dream job. The character talks about being afraid to to go for a career in photography because she was afraid that she'd suck at something she loves so much. That is totally where I am right now about photography. I adore it, feel like I have a little bit of talent at it, but am almost paralysed by the fear that if I quit my job to go back to school for photography, what I will find out is that I'm nowhere near good enough to make that a career. And in the third book, Babyproof, it was an aside when the main character was thinking about cutting her mother out of her life. The character expressed that she thought that breaking off contact with a parent marked both the mother and the daughter. It marked the mother as being unbearable, but it marked the daughter as "being hard, unforgiving, and self-righteous". That quote hit me like a ton of bricks. I have certainly never wanted to think of myself as "hard, unforgiving and self-righteous", but am I? In thinking about it, I've realized that I'm still very angry with my mother for things that she did when I was a kid. I'm FURIOUS with my mother for manipulating me and putting me down when I was too young to realize what she was doing. I'm FURIOUS with my mother for the fact that I'm still hamstrung by insecurity and self-doubt from years of being treated as dismissible. I'm FURIOUS with my mother that I still, in the back of my head, don't really feel worthy of love. So, why haven't I forgiven my mother for all this? Because it's never been honestly addressed. Oh, I've addressed it. Time and time and time again. Yelling, screaming, crying, even bending over backwards to try to please her - I tried everything I could think of. But she has never once addressed it. Her responses have been, "Oh, you're SO sensitive, I can't say anything to you. I have to walk on eggshells around you." "Well, whatever I did, I'm sorry." (said in a really snotty tone of voice). Since what I want is to taken seriously and to have my feelings addressed and to have an actual, honest apology, no, I haven't forgiven her. I guess that does make me hard and unforgiving. Hmm. As for self-righteous, well, I guess it takes an element of self-righteousness to keep this up. To keep believing that you're right and the other person is wrong. And I would add that I really don't want her around my children. I feel very strongly that it is my duty to protect them from people and situations that I know to be dangerous. My mother inflicted more harm on me than anyone else in my life. I definitely consider her dangerous. So I don't want her around my kids. That probably qualifies as self-righteous. It's certainly a justification for what I'm doing. So there you have it, kids. I am "hard, unforgiving, and self-righteous". Yuck.