Friday, August 15, 2008

Mom's visit...

FACTS: My parents’ marriage was built on love. Love probably remained during and after the divorce. Love isn’t enough. My parents abused their twenty-plus year marriage. Infidelity, jealousy, mistrust, rage, and cruelty plagued their unity. Drugs and alcohol, always main staples, dug deep those last years. Addiction is a family affair. My mom liked to smack me around some nights. Still, I would hide her keys so she wouldn’t drive. I was reminded that I was unplanned and unwanted. A daughter is what she wanted, she’d scream to me and my brother. And though I tried to protect him, he wasn’t too little to be clouted. Police, like the gray goose centered on our porch, were familiar at the house. My father was far from innocent. My mom when pregnant was made to change in the closet, away from his seeing eyes. Thirty years ago, the ocean looked more appealing to my father than watching the birth of his first son. He yelled a lot, too. He insulted me. He seemed to hate the son that wore his name, threw, and walked like a girl. As a small child I didn’t know the definition of fag, though I remember that’s what my dad called me when fighting with my mom. I was an honor student, but never earned the 10 bucks my brother was promised if he brought home an A. Still, he was smarter and more talented. He didn’t go to school, do his chores, or follow the rules. But my dad loved him because he could throw a football and kick a soccer ball. He was so proud of my little brother’s athletic ability; he liked to tell me whenever I accomplished one of my goals. I was proud of my kid brother, too. I loved him deeply, and I tried my best to raise him to be a good, respectable, and loving person. I cooked his dinner. I checked his homework. I woke him up to walk him to school. When he was in trouble with a teacher, I sat in the office with him. And when he was in rehab, all those times, I was there to trough through therapy. Love isn’t enough. He would steal from me. He would punch me. He would insult me. And when the foundation cracked, and the walls had tumbled, I stood in the rubble of a house alone. Everyone else had gone their separate ways before I had the chance to realize that perhaps I wasn’t as strong as I had thought…

TRUTH: Though the above, and so much more, has carved into me, I’m a forgiving person. I’ve learned to forgive through the Grace of God, His love, and His forgiveness. Years I tried to sweep it under the rug, but eventually the rug lumps, unable to hide the dirt and grime. Forgiveness has allowed me to open the door, and sweep it out. At times, particles take flight and the breeze brings bits back in through the open windows. I continue to sweep it back out. I can talk about these things now, not to look back and shutter, but to stand strong and continue to rise.

WITNESS: Forgiveness has made it possible to love, to love myself. That self has grown to love, trust, and respect others, including those that crushed me. Relationships have flourished and I’m stronger for it. Forgiveness of others, and forgiveness of self is all powerful.

FAILURE: My mom failed to find the strength to forgive, to forgive herself. Love that I know resides is trapped in self-denial. It is my fault she does not have more money, because I told her not to destroy my father. It is her brother’s fault that she is depressed, because he died. My brother destroyed her because he killed a man for drug money. It’s the police’s fault that he is in jail, that she can’t have a license for a few too many DUIs. He lost her house, because her mother refused to rescue her from debt. Her abuse boyfriend is blamed for all her items lost in storage, because he wouldn’t go get a job. Even after the visit, I know we do not have a close relationship because I’m a judgmental, “always make the right decision,” only see things black-and-white, opinionated, complacent son.

HOPE: My mom stands in the shoes I once filled. I blamed others for my failures and pain. I held onto a past that could not be changed. I allowed myself to be the victim, rather than the survivor. She is broken, lost, and afraid. I was once those things. Because I know, I still hold a distant hope that she’ll find her bottom and rise above—as my father and my brother have done, each in their own possible ways.

CLEARITY: I cannot change my mother, just as I could not change my father or my brother. I cannot support her, because it only enables. I cannot engage in her denial, because it enrages me. I cannot help my mother, because she does not want help. I cannot protect her, because she is self-destructing. Her support, engagement, help, and protection is in the misery she carries, the stories of denial she tells herself— misery and denial that keep her up at night.

LOVE: Despite it all, I will always love her. Will love ever be enough.

**This is what I've gathered from my mom's visit. worth every penny I spent.

2 Babble-Backs:

Tyais said...

What a dark place you have been. I can't imagine... I believe children are so wonderful and unique, it's tragic your parents denied themselves the pleasure of experiencing all your beautiful qualities, your personality, and love you can give. It's amazing you've come so far, to think where you could have been if you chose differently or poorly. You likely battle shawdows of those memories daily. Sadly, my childhood is similar. It's that reason I eat FRENCH Fries!!!

Anonymous said...

I did not go thru the things you have gone thru. I was emotionally abused with words. I have been told since I can remember that I am not good enough, skinny enough, no one will like me, I am stupid and I am not worth investing time in. I was never hit by someone's hand but I might as well have been. Words hurt. Thank you for sharing parts of your story. I am still working on the forgiveness. It is so hard to forgive when it continues to this day.
When my mom comes to visit it is so bitter sweet. I want her to come cause she's my mom and my kids grandma but to this day the words come and they hurt. Someone suggested that some times you have to end the relationship, I'm not ready for that. But if she were to use those words to my kids or ever make them feel the way she made me feel then it's over. I will not allow her to hurt them the way she hurts me.
Wow that was a long comment, sorry. Thank you for sharing, it helped me!


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