Saturday, September 09, 2006

The immediate aftermath

I survived the party. But it was touch and go for a while. When my parents arrived, 45 minutes early, i had to go upstairs and sit in my bedroom for about 10 minutes with my cat on my lap. My heart was pounding and i COULD NOT be nice to my mother. I had talked to her two days earlier and she said "I want to come 15 minutes early so i can greet the guests." Ok, fine, that's a good idea.

I sat upstairs and realized that i hate my mother. You all can berate me if you wish, because you might be right. But i don't know if i can change the way i feel.

I was talking with the Mister the other night, and i told him that i might be wrong, but i will not be sad when my mom dies.

I can't condense 48 years of life into a single post. But take a breath and be with me here for a moment. My parents never beat me, or abused me, or starved me. But i was never, not once ( and i am not exaggerating, not once), told anything nice. I was always dirty and messy and loud. I never did a good job. I never got an "i love you". And i wish that i could recover from that. I know that other people have had MUCH worse things to rise above. I know it. I feel ashamed that i cannot recover from it. But when my mother is around, and deep inside too, i am still dirty and messy and loud and not girly enough and too big and embarrassing. I want to tell you the story about being taken to the doctor so i wouldn't be too tall. I can't right now, but i think it's important.

Thanks for listening. Maybe a more amusing post on the party later.


Lucia said...

You're just making me want to give you a big ol' hug! I'm glad you survived the party.

Andrea Frazer said...

I am sorry you are going through that with your mom. But your feelings are your feelings. I had the exact opposite childhood... my mom and dad thought I was perfect. Sure, I was tall, but they stunted my growth because I asked for it. In their book, though, six four would have been just fine. And before you hate me for my Pollyanna reflections on growing up, I must say that it has had a big downside in my life. At 36, after the death of my father (and dealing with an aging mother) I am now captain of a rocky ship where, lo and behold, the whole world doesn't think I'm perfect! Even my husband, who loves me, calls me on my crap. Perhaps in a way your mother gave you the best gift of all: learn to love yourself. I might never meet you, but I know you're worth it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, the first thing I want to do is give you a big {{hug}}. I have a hypercritical mom too, so I know what it's like when every comment that comes out of her mouth is finding fault. (It kills me to see her doing it with my daughter.) I'm really trying to deal with this NOW because I'd like to avoid unresolved issues when she is gone. Know that if you walk down that road, you are not doing it alone.

Lynnea said...

Hey I'm hugging you to ok? I had both, physical and verbal. I just want to tell you that the physical was actually easier to deal with and easier to get over. Its visible, its obvious. The berating on a daily basis that continues into adulthood is soooo much tougher in my book. Because you have to fight it inside, you have to heal your heart. And no matter what you've been through, if you're parents did something that deprived you of love, well that's enough to hurt a lifetime. That's all just MHO of course. Hugging again. We always need plenty of those. :-)

amusing said...

It matters as much as anything worse because it is your pain and it affects you.

And anything that throws you back into childhood and makes you feel less than is awful.

I'm figuring out the same thing -- but am worried I might have pick up some of her habits. Which I only realized/noticed once I started therapy. Before that they just seemed to be her "helping" or pointing out reality.

Glad you survived. I did not survive my party.

Anonymous said...

I am standing on a chair to hug you, too.

I was never good enough for my mother. ('Good enough' would be a career in Law following a starred first from an Oxbridge college. Bor-ING)

My mother hated her mother, and they didn't speak for decades (my mother goes silent on people for YEARS: God she's annoying) and in turn, she ended up being a critical mother to me. But you're a good mother to Em! You got out without repeating the pattern. That counts for a LOT in my book.

I hope you don't have any more family visits for the foreseeable future. Do you know the 'La la la I don't care' song? If not, I will teach it to you.

Anyway, stuff what she thinks. We all think you're fab.

Imez said...

Tell the too-tall story. Tell all the stories you need to, it is all catharsis.

And maybe tell a story about how you were able to get your own life together, despite it all.

Josephine said...

Relationships with parents can be incredibly complicated. No one ever has the right to tell another person that they do or do not have reasons for how they feel toward parents.

The only reason my mother has ever told me she loved me is because, after my dad died when I was 23, I began to tell her first. That's 23 years without ever hearing my mother say she loved me. As I said, complex at best.

Marshamlow said...

Me too! One of the benifits of living overseas is that my mom is so far away and spends so little time with me and my girls. I guess that makes me the ungrateful brat she believes me to be. Upon confrontation my mom always turns things around to where she is a victim.

meno said...

lucia, thank you, all hugs are gratefully accepted.

mamap, what? you are not perfect? Well i'll be damned. :) Thank you for your nice words, and i don't hate anyone for being optomistic.

de, thank you for the hug. Good luck protecting your kids from your mom. Mine knew that she would never see Em again if she pulled that crap on her, because i have the power to do that, now.

maggie, yay, another hug! Thank you for your understanding. Usually it's okay because i can prepare myself before i see her, but this time, under time stress, (which i am terrible about) my visceral reaction just blew me away.

amusing, i too worry about the parts of me that might be similar. I really am critical sometimes. But mom isn't even aware that she is doing it. We are, and thus armed can prevent it from taking over our souls.

antonia, thank you for the chair hug! It is fabulous news that the cycle can be broken with some self awareness and effort. The sad thing is, i know she probably thinks i'm ok too, now. But she can NEVER express her feelings, unless they are negative.

esereth, i will tell that story in the near future. I think it's a great cautionary tale.

josephine, i remember reading about that on your blog, you just stared telling your mother that you love her. That's really brave of you. If i did love my mother i might try that. (Oh, snap! as Em would say.)

marsha, distance can be a GREAT thing. Turning things around so that she is the victim is a classic tactic of the mean.

Anonymous said...

You have every right to feel short-changed. You have every right to feel disapointed and angry. You have every right to hate your mother. Thanks for sharing. I recently got my hands on this book: The two-step. The dance toward intimacy. It's by Eileen Mc Cann. Our therapist recommended it. I am mentioning it because it echoes Josephine's approach in dealing with her mom: switching the dance.You can get it on line for about twelve bucks. I do not believe we are under any moral obligation to love our parents. I won't be sad when my dad dies. I am certain that I will cry though.I'll be weeping for the girl who was denied competent, mature, loving parents. Take good care of yourself. A nice glass of wine and a cigarette...I'm going out for the exact same thing. I'll be raising my glass to your health!

Bobealia... said...

Emotional and physical abuse can not be measured... Give yourself a break. I remember when I realized I hated my step mom. I hate hating people. It's not easy.