A Motherly Invisible Conflict


Everyone argues with people that raised them.

It’s inevitable. Being different characters, having differing traits and different opinions and yet sharing the same four walls will always result in one or two polite disagreements a month… and maybe the odd heavier conflict.

Having that one heavier conflict with my mother is an intensely annoying experience.

I have never known anyone argue like my mum.

An argument with my mum is highlighted with a change of tone. It gets louder and suddenly you are shouting at one another. Then it gets harsher and meaner and more personal. And then my mum leaves the room or the house.

Around ten to fifteen minutes later my mum comes back in, her tone having completely changed and her whole temperament calmed. She’ll walk up to her verbal combatant and ask a polite question or begin a completely irrelevant conversation that has absolutely nothing to do with what has just occurred between you.

When I was younger I believed that my mum was faking it, that really she was simply repressing everything to do with the argument in order to stop it escalating any further. I believed she was bottling it up and pretending to be calm again.

However as I’ve got older I’ve realised that she isn’t pretending.

She has genuinely filed away that conflict. She’s filed away all the negative emotions that had her seething and moved on.

I am completely unable to feel that way. If an argument is unresolved I am still full of anger. I want discussions, apologies and explanations. That is my conflict resolution. For my mother, it is to forget that the conflict ever happened and move on.

Which unfortunately means that if my mum and I have an argument, I’m left wanting to hear more about it and air all that negativity vocally, whilst my mum has calmed completely and simply ignores the topic as though the conflict never happened. She’s able to move on within seconds. She’s able to not only act as though the argument never happened, she’s able to truly feel that.

With my mum, it becomes The Invisible Conflict.

With no lingering resentment, no snide whispered comments. Nothing. It’s the conflict that definitely did happen, but, due to her ability to remove hostility from her own mind, it becomes invisible.

Annoyingly Invisible.


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