Friday, December 7, 2012

A Bit About My Mom & Our Relationship

A few years ago I was living in California.

I was struggling financially then, too, and
was talking to my mom on the phone. I was
saying that I might have to just get rid of
everything and come back to the east coast,
but that I didn't know where I would go, or
what I would do.

Her response?  "Have you taken a B vitamin?"

Huh?  I took a breath, and asked her what
that had to do with anything.  She said it
was helpful in times of stress.

Oh. Thanks.

In the same conversation she tells me that she
is looking to get a hold of someone to make
sure that her grandchildren get their inheritance.

Well. Thanks.  Thanks again.

Let me step back for a minute and tell you
some background.

I didn't grow up with my mother.  According to
her, she was told that it would be in my best
interests to grow up with my grandparents.  She
had gotten pregnant young, and was not married
to my father when I came along.

So, according to her, she did what she thought
was best for me.  Along the way, she married
my stepfather, and we were going to be one big
happy family (including a sister and brother at
the time) when I was around 6, until my stepfather
proved himself to be someone that shouldn't be
around me or my sister.

As a result, we went to live with my grandparents,
and occasionally spent time with my mother,
stepfather and brother and new sister.  I don't
remember much of my childhood.  But I didn't
want to be around my stepfather, and after a time
begged my grandparents to adopt me.

Apparently they could not do that.  But what they
could do was get legal custody.  After that I no
longer had to spend time with him.  But it also
meant not spending time with my mom and the
rest of the family.

I was also considerably "brainwashed" by my
grandmother and two aunts regarding my mom.
I don't know that I ever saw her as I got older as
someone I really wanted to interact with.  I didn't
really know her.

As I grew older there were times my mom would
talk about how her oldest daughter was doing
"such-n-such," as if she was taking credit for it.
At the time it bothered me.  How dare she take
credit for anything I did.  She wasn't around to
take care of me.  My grandparents were in most
regards my parents.  I often feared the day they
would no longer be here.  I felt I would be left

(I later realized that I was wrong about how she
had nothing to do with who I was given that who
I came to be was crafted by what was and wasn't
so about my childhood and how she "played" her
role as my mother and I said to her that "everything
I am and everything I am not has everything to do
with you.")

My grandmother died when I was in 10th grade.
At the time, one of my aunts stepped in to make
sure I got what I needed.  She wasn't fully there,
having to be there for her own family, but she
did what she could.  My grandfather was in no
position to do much.

My grandfather died when I was in college.

My aunt continued to do what she could for me
when I was in college.  If my mother was around,
or did things for me, I don't remember anything.
I am guessing there were things.  Maybe I just
took them for granted since they don't stand out.

At some point growing up my brother accused me
of only going to her to ask her for things.  That
was - and still is - a question I have in my mind.

Am I supposed to ask her for things?  Is there any
reason she would give me anything?  Do I owe her
something for the things she might do for me?

You see, I was so messed up by what I was told
by those who influenced me growing up, I didn't
know how to be around her - and for a long time
didn't want to even "know" her.  At the same time,
if I needed something and she was able or willing
to help me on occasion, then why shouldn't she

I didn't know how to talk to her.  I wrote her a few
letters here and there attempting to express myself,
and at times I pretty much told her I wanted nothing
to do with her and other times there were possible
movements in the "right" direction.  She even came
and spent a week with me when I was in California.

People have asked me if my mom is still alive and
if she can help.  I don't know what to do.  Do I have
a right to ask?

On top of that, she hasn't offered any help.  She
hasn't even asked me how I am doing, and if I need
any help.  When I told her what was going on with
me I got an "I'm sorry to hear that." And recently
got that she would have others pray for me.

And that is about it.

In fairness, she did say she wanted to come for a visit,
but I never got back to her on dates.

When I was visiting recently she saw me make an
omelet with mushrooms, and told me how good they
were for me.

No?  Really?  Thanks for the wonderful help.

As I say these things, I realize that she may not know
what to say.  I realize that she may be helping the only
way she knows how.

One of the things about this situation is that I think we
both got it good when it came to things people said in
our past.   I think we are both at the effect of those

I get all of that.

But I don't know how she could help me.  I would have
thought if she could help, or wanted to, she would have
offered by now.

I may not know where I am going to live, but I do not
think living with her is a good idea for several reasons.
The same goes with living with either of my sisters.
(Not that I know that any of these thoughts are in the
realm of possibility as it has not be discussed).

I haven't had much of a relationship with most of my
family for quite some time because I have not felt like
I fit in.  I have been often judged for my choices.

Given how my situation is right now, I do not think it
would be healthy to be in a situation in which I am
dependent on someone who judges me and looks at
things differently than I do.

It might be a roof over my head, but I feel like it would
cost me emotionally, and therefore physically.

I feel very sensitive right now and need to be in a situation
in which I feel supported, not judged.

If I get desperate I might ask.  But I really don't think it
is a good idea.

Of course, there may be some incredible opportunity here
for something amazing to happen.  But I have yet to see
the bridge to get there. Maybe I have to build it.  But
I just don't know that I have it in me at the moment.

Funny enough, one of the things I have often heard is to
not come from the past.  It makes me wonder how I would
handle this if I ignored how I felt in the past.  But if I
ignore it, am I just setting myself up for difficulty that
ultimately could have been avoided?

Why did I have to be the odd one out in my family?  Why
couldn't I have had the kind of family in which everyone
gets along so swimmingly well?  A family in which mother
and daughter are like the best of friends?


There is a time I would have asked that question with an
undertone of "why me?" or "woe is me."  Now I ask it more
from a place of why with an undertone of  "what am I
supposed to get from this?" And then I wonder what is at
stake if I don't get it?

Someone who read my last blog entry asked me if I was
suicidal.   I can't say it hasn't crossed my mind.  But it isn't
a thought that is more than just a thought that scampers

I have heard that people who commit suicide have a lesson
that still needs to be learned, and if there is such a thing as
more than one life they come back in another one to start
all over again in an attempt to get that lesson.

In case that is true, I don't know that I want to go anywhere
prematurely.  But I also don't want to suffer while I am
here.  So I have quite the dilemma on my hands.  It would
also be kind of ironic that I just went through what I did
to save my life, only to take it.

If you read this and are tempted to help, the biggest and best
help you offer is a conversation with me to see what I have
to offer, and who you know who might be able to take me
up on it.  THAT is the help I need more than anything.

I do not need support groups, and while your money would
be great (and appreciated), getting productive and helping
people would help me in so many ways to getting back on

It is not that I don't appreciate what you have to offer, it is
just that given where I am, I feel like this is the best direction
for me to go, and I am asking you for your support in this way.

Thank you.

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1 comment:

  1. Family relationships can be very difficult and yours has been particularly fraught with not good parenting so you would end with some good tools.
    Why don't you just ask your mother straight out (versus hinting and beating around the bush) for what you need and see what happens? xox