All parent/child relationships hold a certain level of dysfunction. Some, much more than others. And my relationship with my mother falls in the latter category.
Most people don’t understand it.They don’t get how someone cam speak ill against their mother. “She’s still your mother!”, is something I hear pretty often. And they’re correct. She is still my mother. But not all mothers always play the part. Breeding doesn’t automatically promote you to sainthood. And just because you give birth to a human being, doesn’t mean you get a free pass when you fuck up.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my mother. We love each other. But we have the most toxic relationship in either of our lives. The simple fact of the matter is that we just do not get along and never have, not even when I was a child. As much as she is to blame, though, so am I. We both play crucial roles in our relationship together. For a long time, I didn’t understand that. I made her out to be this villain in my head and myself the victim. And for a time, I truly hated her. But after a little growing up and realizing that I was just as much to blame, that stopped.
Like the story I told yesterday of how I called her from school to ask if she would bring me in a tampon and instead of pulling me out of class to give me one, she put the whole box on my desk for everyone to see and laugh at. What I didn’t mention is how I made her leave work, which wasn’t an easy thing to do for her at the time, even though I could have just gone to the school nurse and gotten one myself but was too embarrassed.
Then there’s the story I always rub in her face of when she was driving me to work when I was 16 and she literally pushed me out of the car and left me on the curb to walk the rest of the 7 or so miles in the heart of the summer during a heat wave making me late to work because I put a Tori Amos CD on. But, in all honesty, she turned off the CD at least 4 times and warned me if I put it on again, she was making me walk. So, what did I do? I laughed in her face and pushed play. And so, I walked.
My punishments were always pretty severe. I was confined to my room and not allowed to have anything, and I mean anything other than my bed, sheets, furniture, clothing, and school books. No TV, no phone, no CD’s, no radio. And forget going out. I wasn’t even allowed to keep posters on my walls. Nothing. Many times, I didn’t deserve all that, like when I would get a C on my report card. But many times I did, like when I stole her car and drove 3 of my friends to the Jersey shore with no license.
There are endless stories I could tell which would give someone only one conclusion and that is of her being completely, 100% Crazy. But, there are plenty of stories she could tell the world of the hell I put her through as a teenager, as well. We have a love/hate relationship, equally. We know that and it’s how we choose to proceed.
To me, there is nothing worse than someone who makes themselves out to be a victim. Please. Fucking spare me the melodrama. Everyone is a victim once in a while. But when drama is constantly following you around, chances are, it’s not everyone around you and, in fact, you. It’s the common denominator, simple math. The relationship with my mother is just that. We are both to blame. She is Crazy and I am the product of Crazy.
Still, I will continue to push her buttons and she will continue to needle at me. I will continue to tell people who ask what she looks like that she has horns growing out of the top of her head , a red tail, and carries a pitchfork or that she wears cold cream on her face, a navy blue robe, and carries a wire hanger. And she will continue to be overly critical of my parenting, rely on her “selective memory” (funny how many factual things she completely “doesn’t remember”), and feed on my insecurities.
But, she is my mother. I could call her up right now and tell her that I needed help and she would be here. She’d be giving me a 45 minute lecture on how at 26 years old, I shouldn’t need help, and this is because I dyed my hair so many fluorescent colors, and she told me so! I should have graduated college, and while she’s on the subject, I owe her $17K for the education I completely pissed away just to become a T-Shirt making blogger, for the love of God!…
But, she’d still be here.
That’s how we roll.