I have always been very good at repression. I tend to forget a great deal of unpleasant things in my life. During my teens and twens my mother had severe psychological issues, went through years of therapy, psychiatric hospitals, alcohol and drug abuse and so on. Many ugly things happened not only for me also for my little sister. When I think back to this time I realize that I have forgotten most of it, not in general but in detail. My sister on the other hand remembers much more, many more details.
The same mechanism applies for my marriage – or the last years of it. Many things come back to me in bits and pieces but my friends and family tend do remember more of the stuff I told them at that time then I do. What I remember very vividly is, that I knew only a few weeks after my baby was born that this did not feel good. My mother asked me if I could imagine having another child. I can tell you that I totally could, would have loved to in fact but my answer was: „I would have loved to but not with this husband.“ It was clear to me very fast that I was alone in this and that Mr. M did not feel for this baby what I would have wished for my girl.
Correct me but for me it is a matter of how I feel towards my baby if I do not engage in any kind of real activity (besides holding her while playing on the computer) and if I do, than only a few times a month and always with the very tangible goal to be through with it already, to be able to do my own stuff again.
That’s the being there without ever really being there thing.
And it is a matter of feeling and empathy if I lack the need to be with my daughter, to do something with her or for her, to comfort her, to feed her, to do anything. To be there when she is ill and so on….maybe it is shorter to just say participate in her life somehow, besides being physically present.