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Sunday, September 1, 2013

When Words Are Too Much...

I keep meaning to hop on over to my neglected blog, say a few words...at least...then realize I have too many swimming around in my head and for some reason they are stuck.  Probably one of those bottle-nose effect things.  I mean, I can write a 5,000 blabbering thing about knitting, but when something major is happening, I am just so completely stuck.

Things in my life are topsy-turvy.  But when I try to explain it comes out really whiny, scattered and crazy and I keep trying to find that place where I've talked about it enough for it to all make sense and it's just not coming easy.

Things feel very, very different.

You see, there have been several occasions in my life where my mother and I have stopped speaking.  Big blow-ups where she declares I am no longer worth the time or effort, or that I'm dead to her...and then eventually, enough time passes that she forgets what she was so angry about and I allow her right back in with the unspoken agreement that these "things" won't be mentioned again.

Because....she's my mom.

You know Facebook is notorious for making you feel guilty if you don't have these overwhelming feelings of adoration for the person that birthed you.  SHARE if you LOVE YOUR MOM!!!! And then the..."You better call your Mom because when she's gone, you'll be sorry....No matter what has happened, she is still YOUR MOM!" And whenever I've tried to explain to people that I don't share this sentiment, I get some version of "Well, you'd feel differently if she weren't here..."

People just do not get it.

You know what I get from my mom?  Honestly?  She calls me about three times a week to tell me about the weather, who has pissed her off, what Dr. So and So said on TV and to ask what my children are doing....not that she really cares (she hasn't so much as sent a birthday card for oh...ten years???) it just gives her something to tell her cronies.  A little proof that she actually knows I have children.

She has also given me a memory bank full of craziness, sadness and despondence.  The thing is, my memory is strong.  Very strong.  Hers is selective.  She fondly recalls the dresses she bought me for the school dance, or the times we sat up doing Algebra problems before a test with her friend and mine.  Yeah, when there were other people around, she played the part flawlessly.  When I was sassy...around her friends...she'd laugh  because they laughed, but should I say those same words the next day, I was met with a hand across my face and a reminder of what a "selfish little bitch" I was....just like "your father..." (who I barely remembered...)

It wasn't until I was well into adulthood that something clicked for me.  My childhood was not normal.  I know this because I would tell a few stories here and there about things my mother had done and instead of "Yeah, I know..." or any sort of recognition in the faces of my friends, they were horrified.  And as my children grew, even when I wanted to SCREAM because they were being completely and totally obnoxious, not once did I feel compelled to shove them into their bedrooms and beat them so hard with a belt that there were welts up and down their legs and not once have I ever told them what little a-holes they are or how much I hate them.  I mean...how can you do these things to a child??? To a PERSON?  TO ANYONE?

The thing is, when this is your life, all you can do is rationalize it..."it's not so bad.." I've even heard my own younger brother say these things to me.  "We're not all screwed up.." Same brother that was convinced my 15 year old son needed a truck load of condoms just to go away for a week at camp, because every 15 year old boy disrespects women in general and will just go randomly have sex with any girl willing....even when that boy has a girlfriend and wouldn't do anything to hurt her.  Big shocker there.  Integrity.  Or that he WILL do drugs because that's what EVERY kid does.  The thing is, I know a lot of teenagers.  A LOT.  And I know their parents and most of them (not all) totally expect that their children know better and want better.  They don't accept this sort of thing as the "norm."  We aren't sheltering, we are involved.  Involved enough to know what's happening most of the time and stepping in when we are needed to re-direct and guide and TALK.  Parents who don't do these things are NOT the "norm."  Parents who have no relationship with their children other than to tell them how much they are failing, how much they suck, or to direct them to do the things they should be doing are not normal and it is NOT okay.

Normal parents should not miss the births of their daughters' first babies.  They shouldn't tell their children they are dead to them. They shouldn't exclaim, with glee, that their child "looks terrified" when his mugshot hits the internet.  No normal parents should find satisfaction in harming their child or seeing any harm come to them.

And this is what I've had to accept, little by little, piece by piece.  It's been easy to just do my best to forget all this, move on, have a better life, but the thing is, it's all been replayed over and over again and I have to face it over and over again, each time with a bit more confidence that this was NOT normal.  My childhood was not anywhere close to okay.  I know this because if I treated my children that way, EVER, even ONE DAY, I would want to die.  Seriously, I couldn't imagine my children ever thinking of me...of having the memories *I* have with my mother...about me.

And so here I am.  I am at these cross-roads where I know the only right thing to do is walk away completely.  My mother is not going to change or apologize or even acknowledge this.  She wants me to come over to her side where I agree that things she has done...and things she is currently doing, are the right thing.  But, I can't.  I can't do it.  I can't be one more person in her circle that says nothing when she is harming a person she has promised to protect.

The thing I know is that by playing along, playing nice, playing this part of supportive daughter puts me in the place of every adult who waltzed through my life, too afraid or unaware to help me out of that hellacious situation.  And no matter what, I can't be one of those people for the person my Mom is hurting now.  Someone eventually has to stand up and say "No more..." Someone has to say "You are the common denominator."  And if that person has to be me...

So be it.

It sucks.

A lot.

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