My mom. I always have to pause and gather my thoughts when I think of my mom. That is the most complicated relationship ever imagined, let alone lived. Me and My mom.
Where to start? I already explained how she got suckered into marrying a psychopath at age 19, how my dad emotionally abused her until she believed every rotten word he said, that she was stupid, fat, ugly, etc. And then he started in on us kids, all in a different way.
So after 26 years of marriage, my parents divorced. I was 12, and my dad wanted me all to himself at that point, so he threw out my mom. He even told her that he was closer to me than her, and started this disgusting jealous rivalry between us, where she would tell me she used to be young, thin and pretty too. Ew. Until I finally told my mom what my dad did to me every night, when I was 16. And her world came crashing down.
She was in her 40’s, trying to get a decent job with no real education. She found out her husband did not love her, that he abused her children, not just her, and that she did nothing to stop any of it.
Let’s back up some and examine some of my mom’s parenting skills. My mom always took me shopping for formal dances, and I now think it odd she always made sure we completed the outfit with matching silk lingerie. And whenever I was home with a boyfriend, she would encourage me to wear pretty outfits, take lots of pictures of the 2 of us, and then announce she was leaving for an hour, and repeat she would not be home for at least an hour. Never did she come home early. It was like she was giving us permission to have sex while she was gone, which is of course what we did. WTF? As a mom now, I can not begin to comprehend her behavior. She was happy when at age 17 I moved in with my boyfriend, who is now my husband. No one ever said, woah, aren’t you a bit young?
So fast forward through many years, my mom lives with and takes care of my brother with schizophrenia. She wants to retire, but can not afford to do so. She complains daily of her aches/pains, many real, some imagined. And we talk now, and mostly I enjoy talking with her, but never do I take her advice without examining it.
And now, she understands I don’t want to see my dad and that it upsets me that she and my brothers have some sort of fake la-la-land relationship with him that is so unhealthy for all of them. And so my mom leaves gaps in her stories, like “Your brother has lots of errands to run today and then is going to the casino (leaving out *with your dad*)”
And I guess I am fine with this new arrangement. Don’t ask, don’t tell, I can’t control them, so if they choose to have dinner with a psychopathic pedophile, well I guess they can choose to do that. Leave me out of it.
My mom used to say I confused her, because in my twenties, I used to have that same fake la-la-land relationship with my dad, before therapy, before processing every memory, before moving on from the abusive past. Before. And this is now. I have moved on, and no one else did. My brother has panic attacks so severe he goes to the ER sometimes. This brother allows my dad to live in his house.
I try to let go of all of that, and just enjoy the happiness in my part of the world without letting their world get to me. And mostly I do now. I am happy despite all of them.
- Manipulation or not, sometimes I just don’t know (roots2blossom.wordpress.com)