tales of loss – episode 6 – my mother

Wow I have put this off but I guess it is finally time to write this. Might as well do it on Mother’s Day, right? Just a warning, this might be a little hard to understand and you might not agree with me, many don’t. So before I start, I just want you to remember that this is my life and my truth. You don’t live it, you didn’t go through it, you don’t live with the consequences, and it doesn’t affect you. So please leave your judgements to yourself. I hear enough of it, believe me.

I never had a good relationship with my mother. I spent most of my life dying to please her and never quite being able to. I was constantly in fear of her wrath and her disapproval since I could never do a thing right. I had a 4.0. I went to a great college. I worked my ass off. I danced. I played sports. I helped around the house a lot, all except mowing the yard which I was not allowed to do because she thought I would run over the cord. That didn’t stop her from yelling at me for not mowing though. It was never enough.

She yelled at me so frequently. Everything was wrong. Nothing was enough. I was afraid to get an A minus. I was afraid to do anything she didn’t like. I was afraid.

She constantly forced her negative body image on me. The first time I felt fat I was 5 years old. She called me out on my weight in college and grad school and just hinted at it before that. Hinted frequently. I was never fat.

She taught me that my entire purpose in life is to find a man. She taught me that my entire self worth should depend on a relationship. She gave me a book when I was young on how to get a man. Every time she was in a relationship, she lost herself. Every major decision in her life was based upon the guy she was dating. Smoking. Quitting smoking. Gambling. Where to live. How much time to spend with her kids. Hell I got used to her not being there when she was dating someone. It was better with her gone.

She wasn’t there the night my dad died. My brother had to call her. She brought her boyfriend back with her. He spent the night. She will tell you that didn’t happen. She lives within the lies she tells herself. I prefer the truth.

Her second husband was abusive. I don’t want to get into it. Let’s just leave it as when I talked about this to her during counseling that I suggested, she said “everyone knew.” That was her only response. Much like her only response to me saying that my first ex was abusive was disbelief that I had a boyfriend.

We went to counseling as I mentioned. This was after grad school. After I had had enough. After she didn’t help with my schooling costs but did help my brother. After she pretty much forced me into the terrible decision of grad school that I should have never done with the associated 90 grand in debt from student loans that I will never pay back. After chance and chance and chance to keep any promise to me ever. She never kept a single one. After realizing and internalizing that my mother emotionally and verbally abused me my entire life. After I knew we were done and I needed to walk away. After she tried to force yet another man into my life that she was dating without understanding that I didn’t want to be a part of it, that those men had ruined my life enough and I had no desire to meet another one even if he were the most perfect human ever created. After she told me time and time again that she wished she never had me and could just leave. I suggested counseling. It was the last straw.

We talked to the therapist who told me what my best friend had for years, that she would fully support me cutting my mother out of my life. That my mother would not and could not accept what she had done, accept the truth, be trustworthy, move forward. She had one last chance. One promise. Make it. Keep it. Make a foundation for us to build upon. Said with the therapist. Compromised by myself which had to be told to her not only by me but by the therapist. See everything is always about my mother and only the way she sees it. She couldn’t see that me removing requirements and changing terms was compromise because to her the only compromise was me bending to her will. But she made the promise finally. She knew when she made it she wouldn’t keep it. Hell she had already broken it. She made her bed.

On the day I found the promise broken, I was done. It was the last straw. I got some of my things. The guy I was dating at the time didn’t let me get much as we were both visiting and she lives in another state. I walked out the door. I was done. Still am.

After that I had to threaten a law suit to finally get paid back the 20 grand she borrowed from me that she had been paying back but stopped (yeah I saved her house when I was in grad school unable to feed myself because I was so poor) and the rest of my stuff which she still has some. I made a contract and made her sign it. My aunt flipped shit at me for that but you need contracts more with friends and family than you do with strangers. It was perfect too. Even numbers of clauses protecting each of us. Consequences. Legally binding. I drove 16 hours to get my stuff then I was going to drive straight back but my brother stepped in and had me visit him overnight before 16 hours back. It was a long trip.

She has contacted me a few times since. Never admitting what she has done. Never taking blame. Never apologising. Despite my best judgement, I gave her another chance. I told her I needed her to admit what she had done, take responsibility, change, and apologize and mean it if there was ever a chance to move forward. She said “the time for apologies is over.” You don’t get to make that decision unless you are the one wronged. But it sends a clear message.

At this point, there is no hope. Never. And I mean that. I am better without her. And I can’t possibly let her back in after she gave up trying. She barely tried. Nothing really. And then that email. There is no chance.

From this I lost a lot of family. Fuck my aunt who threatened me and also helped my grandmother write a terrible letter to me that explained how I didn’t understand my own childhood and had never been abused. Apparently there were drafts. My mother knew and didn’t stop them. So grandmother is out too. Most others are dead or never really were there. All gone now.

My brother and sister in law and nieces are all that is left. He still talks to my mother for now. But he had a different version of my mother. She didn’t treat him like she did me.

It is better this way.

That is the last in this series of tales of loss and I waited so long to write this partially to not be judged. But no matter what I will be judged for everything I do. So I just live my life. Do I wish it had been different? Yes. But that isn’t the hand I was dealt in life. Not all mothers are good. Not everything is forgivable. Not all fences can be mended. Time doesn’t heal everything.

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