Posts Tagged ‘Mother’

There we were, nowhere and everywhere. Literally nowhere, not that there was enough light to see the endless fields and trees and nothingness. We bumped along in a vacuum of darkness, cut loose and lost as we discussed our lives and explored any road we came across.

Our parents had fundamentally wronged us and abused us.

The continued to do so.

Our brothers were useless.

We were mentally fucked up.

We had no way to fix that.

Nobody would ever choose us first.

There was a rustling in the trunk.

Something was in there with us.

A murderer.

Oh. Shit. Here he comes.

Flashlight disproves murderer theory.

Culprit is crinkly wrapper on water bottle.

I love my sister.

Somewhere on our traditional, late-night drive, I glanced up at my right. In the window, my sister and I were reflected in the stars we had spent so much time admiring. Our little, trembling family of two had somehow become infinite.

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They’re not coming. Really, they’re not.

You probably hid in the bathroom so the other parents wouldn’t insist on waiting with you after the birthday party. You sat on the grungy toilet and held up your feet whenever you heard a sudden sound, careful not to touch the nasty stall. You listened to the endless chatter and friendly goodbyes until, finally, the coast was clear.

Then you waited.

And you’re still waiting. But, Mommy is never going to put you first. So get used to being forgotten. Get used to hiding from the other parents. Get used to walking home. Grow up, because in the end the only person there for you is yourself.

You remind me of myself at your age. I wish I could save you, but I can’t. Even if I called CPS and you moved in with the Brady Bunch, you would still struggle with the ultimate question: Why didn’t Mommy love me the way I am?

So grow up and love yourself.

I can’t save you or Emily. Her mom is sick too. Bipolar Disorder. I see myself in her too. If I had escaped at her age, I wouldn’t have fallen so far.

Emily is a good kid, a coworker of mine. She doesn’t deserve to be mind fucked. Neither do you. At sixteen, she can apply for emancipation now. I’ll support her as much as I can, but in the end it comes down to how much she wants it. It would break my heart if she wound up trapped in her mind the way I am now. God knows her dad isn’t a lick of help.

That reminds me, your daddy won’t save you either. He will always choose your mom or himself.

Please Emily, save yourself. I love you, just the way you are.

Please, just stop waiting.

Health. I’ve always been in tip top physical shape, but my life is beyond unhealthy.

Growing up, I lived for my mother. She lived for herself. I never earned her approval, and even worse, she convinced me that I was such a horrible person that she wanted to kill herself. So she did.

Although her suicide attempts weren’t successful, I fell into a never-ending trap of trying to become the daughter she dreamed of. I changed everything about myself, but it was never good enough. My looks were “atrocious”. My personality was “awkward” and “nerdy” and “selfish”. I was a “damn dyke” in her eyes before I even knew what the word meant. This was a nice day with mommy dearest, and I’ll not bore you with the nastier bits.

I learned how to hate myself and I did a damn good job of it.  I lived life as a teenage insomniac who squirmed in her bed at night with unbearable self hatred. My body literally couldn’t hold all of the disgusting feelings I kept. I eventually realized that all the parts I originally liked about myself were the “unacceptable” bits in my mothers eyes. As a freshman in high school, I couldn’t even recognize myself.

By the time I realized I wanted to be me, I was lost in a world of pleasing others. It was like using a shovel to dig yourself into a hole, then figuring out that a shovel wont help you climb out.

One of my main purposes in life had been to protect my little sister from feeling the way I did. As I transitioned away from living for my mother, I only tripped and fell into another hole, stuck living for another person again.

I threw myself into work and school and lived a full life. Essentially I avoided having time to think about who I was, to put aside the disgusting feelings. I was ugly and I knew it but I planned on doing the best I could with what I had. A pessimistic sort of optimism, huh?

I’m about to be a sophomore in college. This summer I am working as a lifeguard at the local Y. Every day my bikini line shaving job and uneven breasts are displayed to the world. My tan lines are horrific and my hair gets pool-frizzy.

At some point this summer, it just clicked. There was a ding in my mind that said “I’m pretty”. I felt confident and ready, without anything in particular to be ready for. I just felt pretty.

I know that looks aren’t what matters and so on. I know that many people think of words like “pretty” as objectifying. But to someone who has never felt that way in their life, it was more of an enlightening wake up call. I’m more confident with guys and people, not because they might like my looks, but because I like my looks. It’s easier to socialize when you don’t feel inferior to everyone around you.

I started to do more things for myself. I started to let my sister take care of herself more, since I spoil her too much anyways. I started reaching out for the things that made me happy, because I craved that pretty feeling. Living for myself, I think I’m on the verge of a healthier lifestyle.

Feeling pretty is the key to breaking out of my cage, because a good appearance proves that my mom is wrong about me and who I am.

 

People naturally want to protect others. So if, for instance, there really were a velociraptor on the loose, most people would simultaneously hide and call up all their loved ones to warn them.

However, short of a natural disaster or prehistoric beast wrecking havoc, the lines of when to help or allow others to help you is a bit blurrier.

Personally, I lean towards the independent side. I would love to be able to claim it is from this huge confidence that I can handle anything that comes my way. Really, I would. But a lot of the time it’s not the truth. Nobody is that perfect.

In reality, I am just too stubborn, too afraid, and just don’t know how to ask for help.

Maybe it stems from the fact that people are always coming to me for help, even people I don’t know. I need to look like I know what I am doing for their sake and I honestly want to help.

Maybe it stems from the fact that I was always told to keep everything a secret. Problems were not to be shared (especially outside the family)and whining was never tolerated. Not to mention it is unfair to place burdens on people you love. Up until last spring, I never told even my closest friends the most pressing problems in my life.

Maybe it stems from the fact that there was never anybody there for me to rely on, so I told myself I would just do everything myself. Fake it till you make it. Always act like you know what you’re doing and you will find a way to accomplish it. If you don’t do things for yourself, they won’t get done. My first car crash was just a fender bender, but four police officers and five firemen were involved. I was terrified. My dad was over an hour away and I couldn’t call my mom who was five minutes away. She had been unstable the day before, and to be honest I was afraid she would attack a police officer and create a whole host of other problems I had to take care of. In the end, you have to take care of yourself because you never know if someone will be there.

Maybe it stems from the fact that I wanted my sister to believe there was at least one capable person in her life who she could come to. God knows our parents were fair-weather. She looked up to me. Asked me how to do things. I had to explore the world and learn how to do things so I could take her hand and guide her through. Eventually that ended when she got older. Though she still does ask me things, it is as a best friend that I answer her.

No matter why I am the way I am, it doesn’t change the fact that I’m handicapped. In this social world, I don’t know how to accept help from others. Some friends push me away thinking I don’t trust them. I do. I just don’t know how to confide in them or ask for help.

Some friends think I’m arrogant. I’m not. I just pretend I know what I’m doing. I just pretend I’m not scared.

Some friends think they can dump every single little problem on me because I either have no problems or I am mature enough to handle everything. I have problems. I handle them with a good attitude but that doesn’t mean I never get stressed or upset.

Some friends try to be there for me, but I can’t. I just can’t.

Mostly it’s because the less you rely on people, the less you confide in them, then the less they know about you. And if people don’t know what’s important to you, they can’t use it to hurt you.

I learned that one from mommy dearest.

I love snakes and spiders. I find the dark to be comforting. But I have my fears just like anyone else.

1. Showering with the door unlocked.

I’m starting to conquer this fear. Mostly because at my dorm the door to the bathroom didn’t lock. But I still can’t do this at home without standing there petrified, listening for sounds.

The reason: When I was twelve or so my adventurous spirit often got the best of me. Between bike crashes and tunneling through thorn bushes on a whim to conquer, I came home that day looking like a war veteran. My knees and elbows were stripped of all skin and somehow I managed to bang up my shoulder as well. There was a small gash in my shin and my entire body was covered in cuts from the thorn bushes. I liked to think I had conquered them, but maybe they had gotten the best of me that day.

I trudged upstairs to clean off the mud and the blood, vaguely aware of my mother shouting at my dad in the background. They were always yelling. I hopped in the shower and started singing to myself.

I didn’t hear her coming. I didn’t hear her coming at all. I felt a heavy whack to my head. The next thing I know is pain. I’m on fire. Everything burns and my mind goes into overload trying not to feel.

My mother is shouting. Why is she shouting? I’m trying desperately not to cry as I slump on the floor of the shower, my hands running desperately over my skin. I wanted it to stop. I needed the pain to stop.

Her monologue goes on. She leaves after screaming at me to scrub the shower this instant.

A few minutes go by. I dont know how, but I managed to lessen the burning. I adjust my position and my hand bumps into something. I glance over and see a gallon sized bottle of bleach dripping onto the shower floor. The lid was lazily trying to fit down the drain.

My mother didn’t know and didn’t care, but she had literally poured a gallon of bleach into my wounds. I guess she thought the lid was on.

In the morning, she didn’t even remember being angry with me. I didn’t bother explaining. I just learned my lesson and moved on with life.

She can’t remember, but I can never forget the most physically excruciating experience of my life.

A Fantastically Brilliant Read

Okay. I lied.

Hazel Lancaster from The Fault in Our Stars did not say these words in relation to mental illness related memory loss. In my opinion though, she summed up my feelings more succinctly than I ever did in my last post.

“The pleasure of remembering had been taken away from me, because there was no longer anyone to remember with. It felt like losing your co-rememberer meant losing the memory itself, as if the things we’d done were less real and important than they had been hours before.” – John Greene in his novel The Fault in Our Stars

Today, my bipolar mother bawled when she asked why I had glass in my foot during my senior prom last year. I gave her the honest answer: her irrational anger resulted in a broken mirror and there was no time to remove it while taking care of her.

I wonder though, was this the right thing to do? In my hand, I often have the power to give my mother a better ‘truth’, to instill a pleasant memory where she wont agonize over pain she has caused me and the monster she often becomes. She has a clean slate and I have to fill it. Somehow, though, I always give her the honest, non-embellished breakdown as it happened (in a softened and vague manner). I don’t like lies. I don’t like manipulation.

But is this the RIGHT thing to do? Under the assumption that lying is wrong, we have to define the truth. Is it still the truth if her side of the story and her experiences don’t exist? Is it the truth if all she gets to know is how we saw the events? She does not have the chance to know her own pain and torment in that moment. For, even when she is aggressively turning us into victims, her very being is constantly at war with itself. So is it fair to hand her newfound guilt and pain in my blunt and plain chronology of events?

I can’t give her her truth. I cannot tell her the full truth of those times. They don’t exist. So is it a form of lying to omit all that and give her my half of the truth?

These memories only exist in my head. The other person who I shared them with doesn’t remember. It’s as if they didn’t happen. No matter what I cannot give her a real memory, so isn’t it better to give her a more pleasant memory no matter how lonely it is for me?

Age 8:

Mommy was sad again. I could tell. She sat at her computer just like every other day, but she wasn’t doing anything. Each time I walked by, her hands rested in her lap as if trying to hold something easily broken. I finally crept up behind her and rested my hand on her shoulder. She jumped a mile high.

“Do you want to bake cookies? You said it was a good idea the other day,” I suggested, gently gripping a handful of her shirt.

“Don’t ever sneak up on me like that!” The venom in her voice froze me to the spot and guilt flooded my stomach. I obviously did something wrong. She yanked her shirt back out of my grasp and turned blankly back to her computer screen. I kept silent for a minute. Would Mommy get angry if I said anything else? But she was just so sad…

“It’ll be fun…” I trailed off, as she made no sound or move. It seemed almost like she couldn’t even hear me. But still I waited.

I barely heard her response, as she tiredly whispered, “Just not now. Another day.” She refused to meet my eye. I glanced at the back of her head again before soundlessly slipping out of the room. Mommy was still sad.

Austy, Mimi and I all stayed outside playing capture the flag until the other kids had to go home. Then we just went inside and played.

By the time Daddy got home from work, Mimi and I had already crawled, giggling,  into the bunk beds in Mimi’s room.  Bunk beds were more fun than my boring beds. Austin wasn’t tired yet since he was older.

Mommy hadn’t moved a muscle.