I’ve come to terms with a lot of shit in my life. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ll never be taller than 5’7. I’ve come to terms that I’ll never be a skinny girl. And with Mother’s Day approaching this Sunday, I’ve also come to terms that I will never have that ideal mother-daughter relationship.
I know that I’m not alone when I say this–we all have that one frenemy. We are nice to their face, we get along with them for the sake of certain social/professional circles but we still carry that rivalry. Buried beneath the surface is this rotting hatred that we stomach just for the sake of being cordial. My mom is that one frenemy that exists in my life that I can’t get rid of. She’s there whether I like it or not. And although I wish things were different, I’m afraid that the kind of relationship we’re always going to have is just something I have to get used to.
During my adolescence, my parents worked the typical Monday-Friday business hours. My mom worked as a buyer for an automobile company and my father worked as a machinist for an oil company. (Funny how the two were both working for the automobile industry.) My mother was the ultimate working woman. She was smart, professional and could rock a pantsuit–I looked up to her. I wanted to be just like her. She embodied everything that I wanted to be. She was inspiring me to become this successful, independent, fearless woman. (It feels weird to admit that.) She also took pride in what she wore and instilled the concept that you always had to be put together because;
When I was growing up, I was very hyperactive. For example, my parents had to buy a harness’s equipped with a leash just so I wouldn’t run off a cliff. (I was a lot to handle.) When my mother came home from work, I would pounce at the opportunity to speak with her. I wanted her to know about my day just to see any kind of reaction from her. But instead of that, I was greeted with an exhausted expression and almost a ‘now I have to deal with this shit‘ sigh. She’d take off her shoes and completely brush me off like some sort of fruit fly. It was disappointing to say the least. I felt like my self-worth was diminishing.
She was always too tired and I guess I just wasn’t important.
I never understood why my mother was so angry with me and why she would screech at me. I was just a kid. And kid’s don’t know any better! How was I supposed to know what to do and what not to do when my mother came home? I understand it now being an adult (who is always tired), but looking back on that moment–I wished my mother would have just understood where I was coming from at that age. I was just excited to be near her.
My mom thought I needed to join the Girl Scouts. She said that I was watching ‘too much television.’ (Which is insane because you could never have too much television!) And that I needed social interaction instead of having my eyes glued to the screen all day. To be brief–Girl Scouts was absolute hell. I hated every second of it. Here I was struggling to fit in with a community of girls that did nothing but bully me. And I had to go door to door selling cookies in the heat. You’re meaning to tell me this crap is better than watching Legends of the Hidden Temple and Power Rangers? Needless to say–I was fucking miserable.
But there I was needing her. Starving for positivity and love instead of judgment and harsh criticisms. I got judged and criticized for wearing certain things, having a crush on some random boy that I was into (at the time) and having white as fuck legs instead of the golden brown tan she (somehow) inherited genetically. (Now you know partially why my confidence is in the shitter as displayed on my previous blog post–here.) I needed her to just accept me and embrace me for who I was. I wanted to get close with her without feeling like I was about to be electrocuted. And here’s the reason as to how things began to spiral out of control for the worst…
There it is. That thought alone generated so much sadness in my adolescence. It started out as a thought until I started to believe it. And then once I started believing it, I began to wonder why. Why doesn’t she love me? What have I done wrong? It was as if I was competing in a pie walk. Except with this–there was no pie, you were just walking till you died. And it only made it worse when I was seeing that motherly love being dispensed everywhere else (especially) at home…
Now, I’m not here to point fingers or have a pissing contest. But to shoot from the hip and be real–my older brother will always be her favorite child. Period. I know she will disagree with me and say that she loves both of her children “equally”, but I call bullshit on that. (Maybe because he was her first child, I don’t know.) My brother can seriously do no harm in my mother’s eyes. It’s almost annoying. She shares countless things with him while I’m left in the dark. (Gee thanks.) And maybe this all falls back on the whole ‘mama’s boy’ analogy. Whatever it is, it fucking sucked. In fact–it still does.
At one point, I just stopped trying. It became exhausting trying to get this ladies attention. I stopped reaching for something I knew I was never going to get. It’s like watering a plant even though it’s clearly dying on you. I was tired of holding my breath on having that small glimmer of hope that maybe one day my mom might actually love me for who I am. And that maybe just maybe, she would accept me. And maybe just maybe, she would be this powerhouse of positivity that so many other girls’ got from their mothers. I was sick of holding onto all these dreams that were clearly dead from the beginning. So instead of reaching, I begin to do the exact opposite. I began to distance myself. I distanced myself from my mother which snowballed into full-blown resentment.
During my high school years, my relationship with my mother was ugly. And I mean ugly. Things had reached such a level of verbal chaos that I began to refer to her as the Yeti. This person was a cold, heartless, bitch that my friends feared. And she often wondered why I never brought any of them over…
As I progressed into college and my feelings for my mother were practically ash, I started seeing this different side to her. She tried getting close with me. I know, weird right? She began wondering why I resented her. And not to mention, when I would get close with my friend’s mothers (who opened up their arms to me more than my actual mother) she was seething with jealousy. It almost made me laugh. I desperately wanted to shake her and say; Did you fall on your head? Do you not remember? I wish I had the capability of just transferring my depressing childhood memories into the forefront of her brain. (I’m currently hoping for such sorcery one of these days.) I was hoping some light bulb would come on and she’d realize what a huge, neglectful, bitch she was. How awful she made me feel. How awful it felt to never be good enough in her eyes. How awful it felt not to feel her love.
Now, I’m not a magician. (Even though I do love me some magick.) But I’ll never be able to get over how my mom treated me when I was younger. Period. There’s just some thing’s you can never get over but also accept simultaneously. It plays a huge role as to how I feel now and how I view myself as a person who harbors all this self-loathing.
It’s sad to think how my mom treated me when I was young played a part in that, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t true.
During my process of distancing myself from her, I became extremely selective on the things I’d share with her. And I’d lie to her face a lot. (Sorry, not sorry.) I’ve used it as a defense mechanism. Just like a turtle, I’d retreat back into my shell so that she can only see the surface and never fully know who I truly am and what I was up to. By shutting her completely out I wouldn’t be able to feel the wrath of her judgment. I felt safer that way. And it’s sad to think that for the longest time that’s what I had to do just to be happy.
To be brutally honest (if I haven’t already), my mother is one of the reasons why I will never have children. I don’t want my kid to ever feel the way I felt. I’d would never want them to feel neglected, criticized or judged. And I know for a fact with all the suppressed feelings I have, It would only seep out and I would regret it for the rest of my life. And I think that’s what happened with my own mother. I think there was a point during her childhood where she may have felt that way. Maybe that’s why I got the shit end of the stick. She may have passed it on without realizing the damage it was causing…
I think if I had to give a piece of advice here to any (and all) mother’s is this–shower your daughter with love. Give her positive criticism. Let her know that she isn’t fat. Let her know that it’s okay to like a boy. Let her shave her god damn legs when she reaches middle school. (My mom wouldn’t let me shave my legs and I was fucking made fun of non-stop for being a hairy beast.) And don’t force her to join Girl Scouts. Embrace all her qualities. Don’t judge her–she will feel afraid to be herself, to love herself. Accept her. It will move mountains more than you realize…
The strange thing about all of this is that through all childhood neglect and although it pains me to admit it–I still love my mother. And it almost seems weird and foreign to say. And I think the reason for that is maybe–I’m afraid to. I’m afraid to love my own mother. I’m afraid to get close. I’ve distanced myself so far from my mother that whenever I do say that I love her (it’s rare) and–it feels like the very first time.
I know I know. I’ve pretty much reduced my mom into this heartless bitch. And yes, she is a bitch. In fact, she’s the craziest bitch I know. But she’s my crazy bitch. She’s my Frenemy, my Yeti.
My mom loves lighthouses. And I think in a way, she is my lighthouse. Nestled between the rocks in a violent sea, she stands there unwavering. She continues to stand against the choppy bullshit waves that crash against her walls. If there’s anything that I’ve taken away from her is to–never show weakness (ever). And although I’ve distanced myself from her, she continues to be there for me (even though she still judges some of things I do.) Each battle I’ve endured through the intense waves of a dark storm that I’ve sailed, she’s right there with her guiding light. I could never fully stay mad at her. Whenever I feel lost in my own violent storm, I know she will always guide me home.