My Mother...

Trigger Warning: This post is about my mother, some of my feelings for her, an over-view of the situation that led to her and I not speaking, and isn't kind to her. I've been meaning to unpack how I feel about her for some time, but it's very hard to deal with, let alone speak publicly about. She's my mother! I'm supposed to love and respect her, not talk about what a worthless sack of self-righteous shit she is, right? 

If you have trouble with your parents, this might be triggering for you. I do touch on abuse, somewhat. If you are being abused, please please please talk to someone. Call your local police, or someone you can trust to help you escape. Abuse is debilitating, and I hope you never have to be hurt like that. You can go to the National Domestic Abuse Hotline, online, or call them at 1.800.799.SAFE. You can't alone! We want to help.

My mother was 17 when she had me. She turned 18 about two months later; Dad has just turned 20, so they were both just kids. She is 52 years old, and I haven't spoken to her in several years.

I've shared some of her behaviours, her abusive and overly-religious nature. I've talked a little bit about how she embraced fundamentalism and forced it down my throat, how I was supposed to be the perfect christian daughter, I guess to make up for her smoking, narcissistic-self? I don't know. I know she expected me to be everything she wasn't, and yet, she didn't want me to be anything at all. I was her mirror-self, her "second time around" but every dream I had she threw into the dirt. When I have succeeded I am graced with "well, you did fine, this time"; and yet she praised me to the heavens to other people, at least from what I've been told. I have no idea what she said, as she never said it to me.

I was smart as whip, when she wanted something from me that included brains. You know, the "explain this to me, according to my world view, because you're smart".

I was pretty, if she liked the shirt I was wearing, and I was think enough to make her happy. Or if I was wearing something she'd given me.

I was a good mother when my kids were sleeping, or otherwise silent. The moment they made noise as children do, I was horrible, and they would all end up in prison.

She moved out, without any notice in the late summer of 2007. I was living with her and my Dad, and going to school. She told me one night that she and Dad needed some time, she felt like she was losing herself, or some dumb shit. It made no sense to me. She was never home, never spoke to anyone at home. She didn't do the wash, clean the house, cook or anything! I cleaned her house in addition to school, and Dad did her washing. She just slept there, and bitched about her "pre-menopause" symptoms that she went to quackery for, as opposed to seeing a real doctor. [Yes, she saw someone who billed themselves as a natural healer, a practitioner of homoeopathy. Some might be real medical practitioners, but I have yet to meet one who wasn't a complete quack.]

Dad found out, because I opened my mouth. I was feeling really weird the next day, and he asked me what was wrong. So I said, "Oh, just really messed up about you and mom taking a break. It surprised me that you were having trouble. I hadn't noticed, and I figured I would have, because I'm always here."

I knew, based on the look on his face that this was the first he'd heard about their marital problems. They hadn't decided to take a break and get some counselling. She was leaving him, straight up, and lied to me about it.

That day was pretty hard on us, and got harder. I hadn't seen my Dad cry since his parents died. He bawled like a baby on that rainy August day, and I cried with him.

See, my parents were the faerie-tale married couple. The ones who were still so much in love with each other that people stopped them at the store and asked how long they'd been together-- still newly wed after 20 something years. They had those little "love sparkles" flying out of their eyes every time they looked at each other. They had the kind of marriage you don't see very often, but every one wants for themselves. They were consistently affectionate with each other for the entire 30 years of my life at that point (well, near enough to 30). I remember when I was in high school someone asked if my parents were on their second marriage, otherwise how could they be so loving. I thought it was normal!

Then suddenly I learned she'd been lying. It was all a lie. Or well, I don't know how much of it was true, she never told me anything straight. I got these adorable comments like, [With regards to how to tell me kids that Mimi and Papa were separated,] There is no truth for them, there is no whole truth for you! Don't tell them anything."

What the fuck kind of shit is that?! No truth for me?

So I asked Dad, and he didn't know either.

The lies compounded over the next year or so; "we're reconciling" in January turned into, "give me the extra washer and dryer in the basement"; "I am going to see a counsellor" in late January turned into "You're going to get served [the first week of February]." Mental cruelty, accusations of rape, abuse, and requests for spousal support and alimony dragged the divorce out for almost a year.She also wanted to be bought out of the house, for a 100k. Yeah, a hundred thousand dollars...

I don't want to detail everything she did. She terrorised me, showing up at all hours, screaming and shouting, yelling and accusing me of lying about her [right, lie about her? I didn't know the truth, how could I willfully lie!], manipulating the situation for my own benefit [yep, I'd been planning to move to Arizona to get away from her, because she was constantly threatening to get an court order to throw me out of the house, some benefit, huh?] and I can't remember all else. I fully expected to have to testify, the way she acted, and was on the list if Dad's lawyer had to present evidence of her being unwell. I thought she was utterly unhinged!

I saw less and less of her, and was thankful. When she telephoned me, she ranted and raved or alternately sucked up. I never knew who I would be talking to, or even if I could get through-- most of the time she let calls go to her voice mail and never returned them. So I stopped trying.

That summer I fell head over heels for my Love. It was the happiest day of my life when he agreed to move with me, and on 14 November 2008 we set off on a life together. I'm not going to say it was always easy, but it has been so worth it. I feel like he saved me in more ways than I can articulate-- just helping me remember that I wasn't as crazy as my mother made me feel.

She berated me the day before we moved. Dressed me down in front of my children until I held up my hand, took a deep breath and said, "I love my kids, and there is nothing for them here. We're leaving, that's it, that's all. I hoped you'd be happy, but you've shown time and again that you will only be happy if I'm miserable." Then I held my breath and waited for her to hit me. I'd already told Dad if she laid a hand on me I was calling the cops. He knew, and would back me up.

She didn't. She shrugged, told me I was wrong, and that I'd come around, and left.

After almost two years of being completely unable to get a hold of her, of having to leave voice mails, texts, of talking more to her answering machine I got an email. On 10 May 2009,  I got an email with "Happy Mother's Day" in the subject line. It was to my sister and I, and had no salutation, I give it to you now, entirely:

I have made a decision so here is the deal. Until you can give me the decency and common courtesy I deserve as your Mom you need to loose my number and email address. If you need to have someone drop everything and come across country call your dad, see how fast he will arrive to give you help in person.
When you decide to do what is required here and be consistent then contact me.

Today is a gift, embrace it
Don't you love that tag line at the end? She had "You are fabulous!!!" for some time, but stopped when she realised fabulous was more of thing we queers say; heaven forbid anyone think she's queer.
A short time later I got the cutest email telling me she was writing me out of her will. That my brother [who is a completely worthless sack of shit, mind you] would execute it, and there would be a trust for my children. She told me she was done with me. She had said to  my face she "was a wife and mother for 30 years. I am done with it. I am done with you!" All that will changing did was make it official, I guess.
I can't say I was surprised. She always favoured my brother; the more worthless he was, the more she loved him best. I will say, the only thing he ever did right, was marry the girl who is his wife. She's a decent person, and I hope she can keep his worthless fuckhead-ness in line.

My sister and her have since made up. And I'm happy for them. I've noticed over the years that she's happiest when two of her kids are in her good graces, and one of us is the odd man out. I don't mind being the odd one out, most of the time.

Some times, though, it hurts so badly. Knowing my mother uses me as an object of forbearance. The whole "pray for this rebellious daughter of mine" and "see what she's put me through". That really fucking hurts!

it hurts that I can't phone her up and tell her about how the kids are doing. That I couldn't tell her about our house, and how exciting it was buying it, knowing it was ours! Not rented, leased, or whatever, Ours!

It hurts that I can't call her up when I can't sleep, knowing she's up too. I inherited my insomnia from her, and for a long time we'd keep each other company (over the phone or in person) when we couldn't sleep. Now I lay next to my partner, listening to him breathing, and trying not to think about anything.

It hurts that I don't have a mom. doesn't everyone deserve a mom? I have a birth mother. But no mom. The closest think to a mom is my Mother in Law. She's an angel! But it's not the same, is it?

It also hurts, remembering the hateful things she said, and knowing she meant ever syllable.

I am her outcast kid. The one she threw in the rubbish heap; the one she tossed to the side, because I didn't conform. The one who knew the truth, because she saw it with her eyes, and couldn't pretend otherwise. Therefore, I'm the one who isn't wanted or needed. I am garbage to her. I remind her too  much of my Dad, and that is probably the single most unforgivable sin; my happiness with my Beloved is the second sin. I'm sure there are a million more.

She sends me these emails on occasion, or texts. I even got this passive-aggressive Christmas card from her this past year. Her and her boyfriend. How lovely. Her parents sent me one, too. It was just as passive-aggressive, and even more religious. I'll have to unpack them one of these days, those missionaries to the fairs. I guess that way she can say she's showing she still loves me, or something.

Here, I thought love was accepting someone in truth, and in the light of who they really are.
Not trying to make them into something they weren't.

If I'm not myself, that is unacceptable to me.
I refuse to live like that!

So, I'll be unacceptable to her.
And she can go fuck herself!

I know who I am, finally. And I'm OK with it. Sometimes it bothers me that I'm motherless, but you know, I have a Dad who's amazing. Not everyone has two parents, I know, and I guess I can be one of those thousands of people who has one. But my one loves me, and I love him back.

I love the mom I used to have. The good memories. I try not to dwell on the bad ones, that split-personality behaviour. I try to remember the good stuff, and there were some good ones. So I can love the mom I had then. And hope she's happy.

I do hope she's happy. I want her to be happy in her life, pleased and surrounded by blessings. The same thing I want for everyone.

However, for myself, the blessings I have don't include her. The love that surrounds me isn't from her. The good memories I'm making, the new traditions, the fun times, she's missing them.

And it's her own damned fault.


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