Written September 10, 2014
Oh Lord, this woman! First she’s pissed at God and now she doesn’t like her mom? Her MOTHER? The woman who gave birth to her? Tsk. Tsk. What a shame.
Yes. I don’t really like my mom. I’m pissed at her too. Go. Figure.
Now I know, there are two sides to every coin and every story, but my mom is dead so the only side you’re gonna hear is mine.
My mother was a good person. As good as she could be. She tried. She really tried. And I think that’s all anyone can ask of another. To strive to be the best person you can be.
Thing is, in my opinion, right now, in this moment (and A LOT of moments over the course of my life) she sucked as a mom.
My mom sucked.
My sweet, “Oh you are so lucky to have a mom like that. I wish she was my mom,” sucked. She was an AMAZING teacher. She was a shitty mom. I think I was in 5th grade when I started to resent her students for using her up all day so that she had nothing left to give anyone when she came home.
My mom tried. I think all moms try. I know I try. I also know that one day my kids will tell other people how pissed they are at me for fucking them up. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.
But here’s the thing. I don’t wanna be pissed at her anymore. Just like I don’t wanna be pissed at God anymore. I want all that anger to go AWAY. So I need to get it out. Stop letting it live inside me, haunting the beautiful places of my soul and turning them dark and bitter. I don’t know if I’ll ever like my mother. But to be at peace with her memory is something I want very much.
My mom was mean. Detached. Cold. She didn’t play with us. She didn’t teach us stuff. She never really took us places unless my Aunt or Grandparents were visiting. She looked at me as free labor to do all the shitty household chores she didn’t want to do or hated doing or didn’t have the energy to do or what ever. All I know is that the older I got the more I was expected to pretty much clean the entire house. At least she did the laundry and thank God I love to cook. I started cooking for my family regularly in 6th grade. Like every night. But I liked it, so I didn’t mind. Now the dishes, and the sweeping and the mopping and the picking up every little thing….well, I hated that shit. And even when I did it right, without fussing or complaining I was never praised. At least I don’t remember ever being praised. “You finally got the kitchen done. Now go work on the bathroom.”
Mom spent a lot of time laying on the couch in the living room, away from everyone else reading books and sleeping. She did this consistently. I have no other real memory of her doing anything but the laundry as consistently as she sought sanctum in that couch. I hated it. I really hated the fact that the only way I could spend time with her (some how I figured this out) was when I’d go into the living room and ask her if I could put makeup on her. Or if I went in there and gave her a facial. Popping her pimples and squeezing out blackheads so that I would have her undivided attention and a way to talk to her. It was nice to talk to her. I liked it. So I didn’t mind the pimples and the blackheads. Now I wonder, What. The. Fuck?
In fifth grade I had a crush on a boy. Craig Hickerson. He was so sweet and funny and kind.
“I like a boy mom.” I whispered. Not sure how she was gong to react, but knowig that daughters are suppose to talk to their mom’s about this stuff.
“You do?” she asked.
“Yes. His name is Craig.I really like him.”
Mom instantly sat up on the couch, leaned forward, almost nose to nose with me and said, “Listen to me. You are not allowed to like a little black boy. Do you understand?”
“But he’s really nice mom. You’d like him. It shouldn’t matter that he’s black.” I fought back tears. I didn’t want her to see me cry.
“You will NOT like a little black boy. I don’t want to hear about it or talk about it any more. That is final.” I nodded.
I don’t think I ever told my mother about another guy I liked until I was 38 years old. I regretted it that day too.
Fuck mom. WHAT. THE. HELL? Even I can look back on that and see how fucked up that was. There were about 1,000 ways you could have handled that better.
My youngest son, came home this year after the 5th grade pool party. He was grinning ear to ear.
“Did you have a good time?” I asked.
“Uh-huh,” he nodded
“Well, what happened?”
“I kissed a girl. Well, actually, she kissed me,” he grinned sheepishly. “Her name is Glanaria.”
Holy shit, my son has let some girl kiss him whose name sounds like an infection you’d need to get a shot for…or a cream…or the doc comes in and says, “Sorry son, your dicks gonna fall off. You’ve got Glaneria.”
“You kissed a black girl!” my oldest son, pipes up out from the back seat.
“She kissed me.” #2 son retorted.
The whole time my mind is reeling and I”m trying to figure out how I’m going to handle this. What I’m going to say. Then I remember mom and Craig Hickerson.
“Alexander, leave your brother alone. He just enjoyed a small peck from a pretty girl. Let him have his moment.”
Maybe I should thank mom. If she hadn’t treated me so when I was in 5th grade, who knows how I might have reacted? Her wound gave me compassion.
But it still pisses me off that I never really got to talk to my mom about boys.
I had come home from college for Christmas. It was actually the last time I did that. I had just turned 19 years old.
“Mom, I need to tell you something.” Because I knew there were certain things you were suppose to talk to your mom about.
“What’s that?” she said.
“I had sex.” I kept my eyes cast down.
My boyfriend and I had been dating for 2 years, and we finally decided to do It. He was a sweet guy who was older than me and round and funny and my mom hated him.
“OH MY GOD!” my mom wailed. “You are going to ruin your life.”
“No mom. I’m not stupid. I’m on the pill AND we used a condom. I’m not stupid. I just thought you should know.”
My mom wailed. The only person I knew who actually wailed.
“How can you stand to have all that weight on top of you? Oh my God. Oh my God. What have you done?”
“It was a mistake telling you.” and I left the room.
Fuck mom, you never talked to me about the birds and the bees. You were always so weird about sex that I didn’t even tell you when I started my period. Then you yelled at me for that. “I had to learn that you started your period by doing your laundry!” You shoved a box of pads in my arms, sat me on the bed, told me I was a woman now, hugged me and left the room. It was awkward. I didn’t even get to ask you any questions. EVERY MOTHER FUCKING TIME I OPEN UP TO YOU, YOU SHIT ON ME. I don’t like being shit on.
Stop shitting on me.
Mom and I fought a lot.
There was a lot of yelling in my house when I was growing up. At first it was mom and dad yelling at each other. After the divorce, it became mom and I yelling at each other.
I hated “Because I said so.”
I hated “Children should be seen not heard.”
I hated “Do as I say, not as I do.”
I hated “I never had nice things like you have.”
I hated “I never got to do the things that you get to do.”
I hated, “I don’t have to explain to you WHY. I am your MOTHER!”
I hated feeling like I didn’t matter. That I wasn’t even worthy of an explanation. I wasn’t a bad kid. Really. I mean I did some stupid stuff. But as far as the BAD stuff goes. I didn’t drink. Didn’t do drugs. Didn’t have sex till I was 18. Didn’t hang out with the wrong people. Did well in school. Was Vice President of my class. Was a Girl Scout. I mean, other than forging a few progress reports, I was a pretty good kid (all things considered.)
I did lie when I was younger. I operating under the delusion that it would keep me out of trouble. Sometime in middle school I figured that one out on my own. But seriously. I was a pretty decent kid.
My mom would tell you that I was disrespectful. My mom would tell ANYONE who would listen (my WHOLE fucking life) how horrible I was. She even convinced my family and her close friends, that if she were to die, I could not be trusted with my brother’s care. That I would be selfish and fuck him over and leave him homeless and penniless. And until the day of her funeral, THEY ALL believed her. Then I overheard my Aunt telling my Uncle and my brother, “We were wrong. Listen to me. We were wrong. SHE was wrong.”
I thank God for letting me overhear that conversation.
But it still pisses me off.
I’m even MORE mad her now that she’s dead then when she was alive. As I have slowly learned the MOUNTAINS OF SHIT she talked about me to others, my stomach soured and my anger increased to a twisted kind of hate for my mother.
How could you say such things about me, mom? Did you even know me at all? What. The. Fuck.
Maybe I was disrespectful? Actually, I know I was. Because expressing anger of any kind towards her was considered disrespect and I was angry at her a lot. My whole life. That woman knew how to push my buttons and make me fuss and yell and beat on my chest in defense of my very being.
Then she’d point a finger at me and say, “Look how you talk to your mother. I would NEVER have spoken to my mother that way.” It was her favorite line. I heard for 39 years, countless times a year. It always pissed me off. “I’m not you and you are not your mother!” I’d protest. “If your mother treated you like crap and pissed you off you should have said something! You’re not a doormat. Don’t let people walk all over you! I’m not going to let people walk all over me!” And she’d just look at me with disgust and heave this guttural sigh and I’d usally start to cry for being so misunderstood and she’d just look at me and do nothing. And we’d both walk away pissed. And I don’t know about her, but I’d walk away indignant. And later, insidiously, somehow without my knowing, I started to feel shame. I started to feel bad about myself. I didn’t even know it was happening. But slowly, like a cancer. All the derision and judgement and disgust seeped into my very being until I just became steeped with inadequacy and self loathing. The pervasive feeling of “I’m not good enough.” took over my subconscious.
I hate you for doing that to me, mom.
I fought her tooth and nail so that she could see that I was good enough…I just didn’t realize that THAT was what I was fighting for. But all the fights didn’t matter, cuz the feeling in my bones and blood is still there and I can feel it with every fiber of my being “I’m not good enough”.
Thinking to myself….
Ooooo. Look at that pretty pair of shoes!
Walk away, you don’t deserve a pretty pair of shoes like that. “I never got to have pretty shoes like that.”
“You are such a bitch!”
Don’t protest too much, cause on some level you know he’s right. You are a bitch. Your momma even told you so.
“Don’t be selfish,” translated in my mind to “give ALL that you have even if it means leaving nothing for yourself.”
“Work hard,” translated into “work hard so that you have no energy for yourself.”
“I don’t wanna hear about it. I’m tired from work.” translated into “Don’t share how you feel. Keep it to yourself. I don’t have time for you anyway.”
So many things were twisted in my mind to make me think that I didn’t deserve what everyone else deserved. That things were not supposed to come easy to me and if they did, someone would be upset about it and resent me for it. That if I reached too high or obtained too much, there would be hell to pay. That I didn’t deserve nice things or nice experiences or nice relationships because I was not good enough.
Well thanks for that mom. That’s why I don’t LIKE you.