RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Mom

A Cry For Help

Posted on

The other day my mom was telling (complaining) about things my son does while she babysits him. She said something to effect of that she was glad she didn’t have a boy, because they are more work than girls. I replied, “I am glad I didn’t have a girl. They have too much drama.” I was thinking of two young girls I know, who I love to death, but they are full of drama. My mother replied, “Oh, like when you took the knife out of the drawer in the kitchen while I was doing dishes and threatened to kill yourself?”

Um, no mother. Not like that at all.

FYI–that was a cry for help that you ignored for 20 years and still apparently don’t even understand in hindsight. She never mentioned the event at the time or anytime in the 20 years since, but this is like the second or third time she has brought it up in the past year. I guess it is her best example of me being a bad kid? Her only memory of me as a teenager?

As a teenager, I hid almost all my real feelings about everything from her, because I didn’t want to hear her negativity. I didn’t even know that was the proper word for it at that time. It was only the early 1990s. The book The Secret would not be published for like another 10 years. If I went so far as to put a knife to my skin in front of her, trust me, it was not for drama. I was dead serious.

If only everyone carried signs...

If only everyone carried signs…

I knew I was depressed my senior year in high school. I wrote school reports about suicide. I read Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. All my friends had boyfriends, but I didn’t. No boys even looked at me.  I couldn’t remember how to smile or laugh. I coped by writing bad, depressing poetry. I tried cutting, because my friend did it. But it wasn’t for me. I got no satisfaction from it. I found the song “Everybody Hurts” by REM too painful to listen to–it was too painful to think that others were hurting as much as I was. That there could be that much hurt in the world.

Back to the phone call with my mom. I tried to be brave and actually give her a glimmer of honesty.

ME:  “I wasn’t being dramatic. Did you ever think that I might need some kind of help?”
MOM: “No, you were just being dramatic.”
ME: “No, I wanted to kill myself.”
MOM: “Oh, everyone wants to kill themselves.”

How does one reply to that????

I told her I had to go and hung up on her. She then texted me like eight more times that day as if nothing had happened.

I’m sorry, but you just blew off my feelings from a major, horrible time in my life.

And she will say things like “Be glad you didn’t have my mother. I was a good mother.” How can one argue with that?

And today I have to go and see her and make copies for her. I have to continue to pretend to be the perfect daughter. I have to pretend not to notice that she doesn’t accept anything about me or my life, even though by most accounts I have it together pretty well. I have to pretend that I am not a writer, that I don’t have tattoos, that I don’t have a blog, that I don’t go to church.

It is EXHAUSTING! And within minutes of being in her presence, I usually blow up at her about something stupid. She is clueless as to why. Usually, I am too. But, most likely, it is from the pressure of trying to hide my true self from the ONE person in the world who should accept me no matter what. She thinks she accepted me because she let me dress as Punky Brewster when I was eight. No. At the time she would make comments like she should be ashamed to leave the house with me looking like that. She still says things like that about that time today. That is not accepting. God, good thing I didn’t turn out gay.

"...the ones who accept you for who you are."  So, then I have no biological family?  Nice.

“…the ones who accept you for who you are.” So, then I have no biological family? Nice.

It is no wonder I always felt all alone growing up. That I identified with orphans on TV sitcoms. That I still write stories about girls who feel like they have no one in the world, no matter how big the family I write for them is.

This exchange with my mom made me angry.  Angry for me now.  And sad, for teenage me.

The following started as a writing I did in college, a true reflection of my feelings at the time. I converted it into a piece of the novel I am working on. Please don’t steal it:

If Jane’s suffering showed more outwardly, maybe someone would have reached out to offer her help. But her suffering was mostly silent and invisible to anyone who didn’t already know what her regular personality should be. She wasn’t walking past people in the halls missing an arm, leaving a river of blood behind her. To anyone she passed, it would just look like she was having a bad day. As such, if no one person took interest in her, then no one would realize that one day strung together into two days, which then became a week, a month. Depression was invisible. It made Jane invisible as well.

For another depression writing, click here and read THE DRIVING RAIN at the end of the post:  https://imnotstalkingyou.com/2013/02/26/college-sucked/

What I Learned This Week – 10/13/13

Yes, sir.

Yes, sir.

What I learned this week was how the PROs and CONs of my job really add up.

I had been out of work for almost 2 years. My husband had found a job, but it didn’t work out. He left like, literally, the same week I got offered this retail customer service job. I had no idea what he would find next or what I would do about childcare for M. I literally took the job and worked as many hours as I could the first week, because I really didn’t know if I would be able to keep it beyond that. (I, of course, never told my boss that.)

And since she was short-staffed, I kept working a lot of hours. My husband went through two more jobs before settling on the one he has now. Since he has been there, he has worked on two different shifts. Luckily, to her enormous credit, my mom stepped up to take up most of the babysitting duties required. But I can’t help but feel as though the novelty of seeing her grandson more often has worn off. She is a 69 year old woman who uses a cane trying to keep up with an almost 3 year old.

I have had this job almost six months now. And I am still very uncertain about if I will be there next week, next month, or next year. I am a planner, so I am always PLANNING to be there. But if something happened to my car or my mom, those plans could change in an instant. They are beyond my control (for the most part).

Since I first applied to the job posting (and never expected to get a call for an interview, let alone the job), I have had the same positives and negatives bouncing around in my head. I finally put them into writing to see how they stacked up.

PROs
1. I like the job and the people.
2. Looks good on my resume.
3. I am building good references.
4. Extra $ for a new car.
5. Helps with my anxiety.
6. If my husband loses his job, one of us is still employed.
7. My boss is a nice boss.
8. My boss is flexible with scheduling.
9. Has helped me get closer to achieving a personal goal.

CONs
1. I am burdening my mom with babysitting.
2. Wear & tear on my car.
3. I spend more impulse shopping than I make.
4. M being shuffled around.
5. Doesn’t pay well for the schedule hassle.
6. Feel like family/house is suffering.

Well, there you have it. With a score of 9-6, the PROs have it. But that is quantity. Does quality count? And how would one ever begin to calculate that?

I implied to my boss this week that I would be open to less hours. Which stinks, because I already am a very part-time employee. But working less hours would only eliminate #4 from the PROs list and it would lesson most of the items on the CON list.

What does the future hold?

Who the hell knows.

What I Learned This Week – 9/15/13

Not my family, but very funny! Photo: http://www.reddit.com

Not my family, but very funny!
Photo: reddit.com

This week I learned that I am very in need of being a part of something.  I was ridiculously excited this week that the church was having directory pictures taken. Although I half expected for someone to stop my family and be all like “What the heck are YOU doing here?”

It is my asbestos friend’s church. My family has tagged along with her enough times that hopefully they have forgotten that we never officially joined or anything. We were in the previous directory because it was just a list of names typed up by my asbestos friend (who happens to be the church secretary) and she was just like “Do you want me to add you guys?” and we were like “Sure”.

Then the church got a new pastor, so he just sees us at events and hopefully doesn’t notice that we don’t actually belong there. At least, that is how my mother makes me feel about the whole deal. I can’t even tell her when I am going to the church for an event, because she acts so juvenile.

Don’t believe me?

TEXT 9/15/13
ME: C is contemplating buying L & B’s old car that was in the accident that they traded with the pastor for their old car. Somehow I ended up being the one to call pastor Z. 6:19PM
MOM: I read the word pastor twice. Gag me. 6:22PM
ME: You are so juvenile. 6:44PM

She so lives in her own world that she can’t even grasp why I might want a circle of people who are supportive to surround my family.

She grew up with a normal mom, dad, and brother family, with a huge extended family.

I grew up with just her and my grandma. Most of my extended family were already dead by the time I was born. She doesn’t understand where I am coming from, and she never will.

Photo: http://the-bradford.blogspot.com

Photo: the-bradford.blogspot.com

This week I also learned that squirrel’s can be WAY more ruthless than even I had first thought.

Earlier in the week, I had one try to assault me from the air.

Some people have run-ins with bats. My enemy animal is THE SQUIRREL.

I let my dogs out the back door. They raced to the backyard. I heard a scrambling on the roof of my garage. So I kicked the side of the garage and yelled something to the effect of “Get your damn furry ass off MY garage!”

Now, to set the scene for you, my garage is not attached to my house, even though the insurance company classifies it that way. There is about 6 inches between the edge of the house roof and the garage roof.

I was standing directly under that spot, when the squirrel decided to try to run across.

As the back half of his body was hanging in mid-air directly above my head, his beady eyes met mine.

Now I know that I have seen EVIL.

Pieces of leaves and other roof debris were falling on me, as a preview of what was to come. Now, I have had a squirrel on me before. It may have been like 33 years ago and memories fade, but I DO remember that that is something I never want to repeat again.

So I screamed and ran away.

The squirrel regained his footing and made it across to the other roof.

I was shaking with terror that I had come so close to wearing a live squirrel as a hat.

They are evil. Head my warning. Keep your distance from those varmints.

Be careful out there…

Photo: the-bradford.blogspot.com

Photo: the-bradford.blogspot.com

Who Needs S’mores?

Posted on

I often talk smack about my mom on here. But sometimes, she does have a rare moment of happiness or fun. I was toasting marshmallows on my gas stove the other day and it was one of those things that made me think of her.

Toasting a marshmallow over the gas stove.  Not that that is my dirty stove.

Toasting a marshmallow over the gas stove. Not that that is my dirty stove.

We were not campers. I thought S’mores were only something that Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts made to get a merit badge. We didn’t have a BBQ grill or eat tacos until I was in middle school (She was fried steak and potatoes, all the way. Still is.).

But we would use a long meat fork and toast big marshmallows over the gas stove flame. It takes technique to not set it on fire. But it tastes so good when it is done (meaning half or completely burned).

Excuse the blurriness.  Hard to put out a fire while taking a picture.  Not that that is my dirty stove.

Excuse the blurriness. Hard to put out a fire while taking a picture. Not that that is my dirty stove.

Just note that you have to remove the marshmallow from the fork before consuming. Or you might burn your nose on the hot metal of the fork. Not that that has ever happened to me.

My mom did other fun stuff. Occasionally. We would go to the zoo. One time we chased the Goodyear blimp in the car because we saw it flying over a nearby field. She would race up to train tracks (not over them) so that I could watch a passing train. She could make up catchy rhymes about children who died 100 years ago. We would have strawberry shortcake for dinner. She let me skip 5th grade Field Day and took me to the lake instead. She took me to the lake and the pool, although she would never wanted to get in the water herself.

Today is her birthday and I salute her.
Without her, there would be no me.

I already have been known to turn around so my son could watch a passing train. I will teach him how to toast marshmallows on the stove. Just as soon as he gets past the “I don’t want to to be sticky” phase. (Wait…that is only MY little boy?!)

Just don’t tell my mom I have a blog, alright?

What I Learned This Week – 5/19/13

Posted on

This week I learned that my son finds it very amusing when my mother swears.

WEEK-swear

Now, just to fill everyone in, I learned after the birth of my son, M, that if I took him with us when I took my mom for her weekly shopping, we would both stay in a better mood.

I had to take my mom shopping on Thursday night. I had worked all day and had a rough time completing my shift end paperwork, so I was in a very foul mood. My mom was in her usual “all negative” mood.

I took her shopping at Walmart, which is usually not her regular store. So, she had no idea where anything was. I hadn’t planned on buying anything, but I did pick up some large items, such as dog food and a multi-pack of papertowels.

When we loaded up my Pontiac Aztek, my mother complained, as she often does, that my car is not big enough. Now, mind you, this a car that I once used to transport items for my first-ever garage sale. I had the first 25 years of my life stacked floor to ceiling in the Aztek, and it all fit. Now, with the back seats in, there is less space. And a child seat takes up half the backseat. But, trust me, there is still oodles of space in that car. And there should be totally sufficient space for her WEEKLY shopping. That woman buys more in a week for herself than we do for a family of three.

At this time, since it was after I got out of work, it was very late and M was now in a bad/tired mood as well.

When my mom was trying to get the last of her stuff out of my backseat, the plastic bag ripped and she had trouble trying to catch her 2-liter pop bottles as they rolled under the seat. She started to swear up a blue streak. She was sooo p*ssed off.

Then M, who had been crying and whining up to this point, started to giggle at her. And he has a totally adorable 2 1/2 year old giggle. This, in turn, made my mother laugh.

It was very amusing that he found her hissy fit so entertaining.

It also reminded me why we take him along with us.

And maybe why she is still around when the doctor told her she should be dead in 2007.  For moments like that.

%d bloggers like this: