Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The road to rainbows and glitter

I don't think I was ever promised any rainbows or glitter in this lifetime. Not sure where I get the idea that I even deserve it. I guess I just can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. Also, not sure what I should believe in. Are we dealt band hands, is Karma playing a role, and if so, why is mine so unfortunate?

I was dealt a mother who's brain stopped maturing at age 12. A father who had no clue (emotionally) that he had a daughter until she turned 23, got married, and had kids. I do not have a terrible life by any means at all what-so-ever. I'm fortunate, I'm blessed, and most of all I am loved. When I tell people a little about my upbringing typically the first thing they say is "wow, and you turned out so normal". The first response I give it "well, through it all I always knew I was loved & wanted". So, in raising my children it's something I make sure to pass on. I constantly tell my kids how much they mean to me, and how much I love them. I may be harsh sometimes, I'm not always the nice-guy, and sometimes I don't pay enough attention to them. However, I always tell them they are my world. Knowing actions speak louder than words I give multitudes of hugs & kisses, I read to them, I look at them when they need me too, and I am sure to always set aside time for just them. I am hoping that this overrides any of the mistakes I may make during their life, and there will be lots.

Some of my mother's were putting herself first with her boyfriends, not her children. Never knowing where we'd live, what school I'd go to, and never getting custody of my half-sister because her dad fought for her. (Mine didn't.) These things made my childhood unstable, and anxiety stricken. Drugs, fights, and unstable moods were some more. Raising my little sister when we did have her, and never knowing what would be in our future at age 12 made me grow up a little faster than I should have. But I need to give credit where credit is due. My mom made sure to teach my sister and I to cook, clean, balance a check book, pay bills, put on tasteful make-up, and be crafty also. I have memories of baking cookies, making lunch, duck parks, holidays with family, and making all kinds of fun crafts with her. We were never denied pets. We wanted a kitty we got one. A dog? Sure lets get 2. Bunnies, rats, lizards, etc... Unfortunately, I think that was because my mom was just as much a kid as we were. I remember her helping me dress for my first school dance (I looked ridiculous, but it's the thought that counted), teaching me how to dance, all 3 of us dancing to Patsy Cline in the living room. I remember getting to tag along when she had her newspaper route, and singing Wild Angels at the top of our lungs together at 4 o'clock in then morning. Sadly, as much as those times stick in my head, the rough times just cut a deeper notch in my life branch. At age 13 my world changed forever with my mother.

Her and I were best friends... until 1996. She lost everything then. We were loving in the cottage of my grandparents house. Her and her 3rd husband (or was it 4th?) had been separated after being evicted from the only like-house we lived in. Apparently cocaine was a much better deal than rent at the time. My mom has never worked. Sporadically here and there, but never long. My grandparents, I'm guessing, were fed up with it. I was in the last part of 8th grade. About to start high school. Middle school was the first time I stayed at the same school ever. So, I had friends I now had known for at least 3 years (5th-8th). A first for me, being that I went to 10 different schools before 5th grade. My mom was kicked out, and we were going to stick together and be homeless basically, but together. About a week before this was going to happen, the reality of living in a tent, and having to go to school without showering hit me. As much as I loved my mom I couldn't be homeless. As much as I had a non-existent relationship with my father, and though he only had a 2 bedroom apartment with 4 people already, it was a roof with a shower. I broke the news to her, and to no surprise to me she was angry at me. 13 and she was angry with me for not wanting to rough it with her. "But I thought we were going to stick together through this?" I will never forget those blaming words. Like I deserted her. Like I was the one that wasn't there to provide for her emotional needs, when she couldn't even provide for my physical needs. I didn't ask for her to provide much for me, and hell I could say I didn't ask for her to have me either. I hated the times she made me wish she hadn't. My sister and I weren't ever the dream she wished we were. The kids, the husband, the house on the hill with the white picket fence. Honestly, she had us because she thought she could give us what her mother never gave her. Love. She did her best, or I like to think. What she gave us in love she lacked in stability and security though.

She didn't speak to me for almost a year after I had abandoned her. At times I wondered if she were lying dead somewhere. (And as my life progresses, unfortunately, it's not a worry I have been released of.) I didn't even know where she was. My first day of high school was without my mother. My caregiver (or supposedly) of 13 years, and she wasn't there. She wasn't there for my first kiss, first boyfriend, first prom, first anything. I think she eventually came around about the time I graduated. She was back at my grandparents by then.

This post could go one for days. I tried therapy to try and figure stuff out, but I'm level headed, and the therapist just agreed with me the entire time. I "turned out" okay. I wish I had turned out better than okay, but okay is better than how she turned out. There is nothing to figure out. It's just how it is. Occasionally I have a tinge of hope she'll change, but little by little I have learned better. Doesn't mean it doesn't hurt. Luckily I have people in my life that fulfill a mother role as much as possible, and for that I am blessed with many rainbows and glitter! There just is always going to be that part of me that wished I had a relationship with my mom. It will always hurt that I don't. I just fear that as much as she tried to be different than her mother, I will try to be different than mine, and I will fail like she did. I'll never really know how horrible her childhood was, I know what mine was like, but I often believe she turned out worse. Not sure her mother ever told her she wasn't ready to be a grandma yet, like she did when I had my first children. That is a broken heart that will never mend. As crappy as she was to me sometimes, I never once doubted she'd be the one there when I had my first baby (in my case, babies). So, when she left without saying goodbye, when I heard from her dad (my grandpa) instead of her that she was leaving town, and from my sister that she had said "I am sick of hearing about the babies, and I don't want to be a grandma" I will NEVER forgive her. Nothing she had done up until that point had hurt me like that did. She could be mad at me for not being homeless with her, and wanting to live with my dad, but you will not hurt my children.

This post has become much longer than I intended. Needless to say, my biggest fear as a mother is becoming like mine. I know we all say we don't want to be like our parents, but in my case I feel it a little bit stronger.

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