Sunday, May 14, 2006

In Which we Find Some Thoughts on Mothers...

I remember when I was a little girl, and my mother was my hero. I watched her raise 5 kids, pretty much on her own when all was said and done for as much as my father helped out, work a full time job and manage a household. And I used to think that when I grew up I wanted to be just like her.

Enter the teen years. There is something about two stubborn headstrong females that doesn't quite click. We fought over the dumbest things. We would get into pissing matches, and the next day I would let it go, and she would hold onto it for a week, pissing and snarking the whole time. It was a long, miserable time before we were on friendly terms again.

When I was 22 I moved out of the house and my father informed my mother he wanted a divorce. What followed that was something no daughter should ever have to go through. My mother, having no one else, turned to me. Her oldest child. Her only daughter. I became the "dumping ground" for her baggage and emotional upheaval. Somehow in all this mess, she seemed to forget that he was my father. Not just the man who claimed to have never loved her. Not just the man who she felt tossed her aside after 24 years. No matter what kind of history I had with him, it was still my parents that were splitting up. My own existence that I was questioning. If he never loved her, did that make my whole life a joke? These were things I was dealing with. I resented every time she called me. Every internet conversation we had. Every time she came over to my apartment and started spewing her poison.

It has been 10 years since that day I left. And for 10 years I have been on the receiving end of conversations about my father, and my brothers, and what is going on with this, and how come so and so never calls, and blah blah blah. And I discovered yesterday, that I still resent it. I still harbor those ill feelings. I haven't seen my mother in almost a year, and yesterday as I went to hug her goodbye until late summer, I felt like a fake. Part of me hoped she couldn't feel me cringing. Having to spend the afternoon in the same house as her and my father, and listen to them "talk" to each other in those snarky I resent every last inch of your being in my space tones.. it was almost more than I could take. If it weren't such an important day for my brother, I would've just left.

My mother has issues. She always needs to be right. She always has a better way of doing things. She tells you something in a real snarky tone, and then when you get upset about it she gets all pissy and insulted. And sometimes, she says things to my kids that really rubs me in a bad way. When she came to visit last year on her vacation we had a big ugly fight and she left to go back to the nunnery with me not speaking to her. I hate to even admit this, but part of me is not looking forward to her coming this summer. I feel like an awful person for feeling this way. What kind of daughter doesn't look forward to visiting with her mother? But I feel like I've been moved out of daughter status. Moved into "friend and confidant" position. A place where she can unload on me like one would with a friend, and with that comes a loss. The loss of a mother to turn to when I need help. Or someone to talk to. Or advice or a hug just because. I feel like I lost all that the day my father broke her heart. I lost my mother long before she left to live a religious life. I didn't realize how much I missed her until yesterday when I realized I didn't have her anymore.

Happy Mother's Day.

1 comment:

Awesome Abby said...

I'm sorry that this is your situation. But I'm glad that you are able to say how you feel and deal with it. I feel much the same way and could have written everything you said, save for the part about splitting up, as my parents rae still married. The rest...that is my mom. And me. I had LOTS of issues when she decided to "help" me THIS time around with the baby...when I (so I thought) didn't need her like I did when I was younger with two small children and she was too busy resenting me to stand up and be my mom. I never said anything,a nd like you, i just cringed inside and tried to act happy outside even though I felt a lot of the things you said....and didn't need her. Of course, I was proven wrong when I landed in Nashville, but still......I know where you are coming from on many of the directions you just wrote about. Hope you had a good day with your kids, though. Cuz, YOU are a good mom. I know it.