I’ve always had a complicated relationship with my mother which was made worse from my lack of a father. The father figure I did have(stepgrandfather) would physically harm my grandmother. So, I dunno.
My childhood was, in that case, a series of her entries and exits. She’d come, and I’d be so happy. But then she’d leave and I’d feel so abandoned.
And I knew that she was trying to better herself through the military, college, and med school. I knew these things, but she was my mom, and well..I missed her.
When I became 13 or so, I moved in with her near the base where she worked. I was so happy! I thought she would be happy also. But, to be honest,my being there seemed a bit of an annoyance to her. I cried a lot(heck I still do), I didn’t like school(I liked to learn, but I just hated school), and I just wasn’t HER.
The one bonding factor in our relationship was our faith. And I naturally assumed(I was a kid here) that if I became a more intense believer that it would help in my relationship with her.
It did not. If anything, it made things worse. Throw in an undiagnosed mental illness on my part, and it gets “fun”.
I was shown “acceptance” at my church, and well, the seduction was there. Everyone was so kind. They listened to my fears, my worries, my doubts. They reminded me over and over how much God loved me. I was treated as if I was normal.
From that, I began to idealize things there, and made the emotional motions to pull away from my mom. The church was my family now, with my youth pastor and his wife my parents.
I honestly felt like they loved me more than any family member I had. The fact that at home, I wasn’t celebrated, I wasn’t told “atta girl” when I attempted to master something. It was always expected, so no, there wasn’t any “I’m so proud of you” moments. I got that at church. So, yes, my being so fervent in my faith was directly attached somehow to the idea, the possible delusion that there were people who loved me more than my mother ever has.
And let me tell you, it didn’t make it any better when mom would fly off the handle at church. It only happened once, and I to this day, I don’t know what happened. But at that time, that moment….I knew that quite a few folks(because of my mom) did not like her. They saw her as too stern(they were right). Too cruel at moments(oh heck yes). They never said anything to me, but it was obvious what happened when I showed up(smiles and waves) and when my mom showed up(same smile, same wave…but with a tinge of fear).
Despite this, I still wanted her acceptance. Because even though I was fully invested in the church to the point of mania, I still wanted to hear the words “You’re alright” and not in the context of “You’re alright, stop crying.”
When I became older(like late teens), I resigned myself to the fact that my mom would never truly love me or accept me. I was her mistake. But God loved me. And the believers at the church we attended did(or so I thought).
When I was getting close to college age, the associate pastor, while praying over me because of the issues I have, told me I shouldn’t go to college. So naturally I told my mother who then said “O RLY?!”. Don’t know if she confronted them, but informed me that no matter how I dragged my feet, I was going to college.
And well, I accepted her word as law. Because I was to obey and honor her. I didn’t know rightly how to do they honor thing, but I did my best at the obeying thing. Yeah, it was a little out of fear, but she got what she wanted right?
I guess so. My college years were a disappointment. I felt like an outsider way too much to really “work”. I did great at Centenary. I think it was because I had no place to run(lol). But as soon as I went to LSU, my gpa(and my mind) deteriorated quickly.
I felt shame for not finishing what I started, but I pushed it out of my mind.
As for church, my mother informed me that we were going to ________. I told her no, that I wanted to go to a Methodist church. She informed me that since I lived with her, it had to be by her rules. So, it began again.
But this time, the relationship was on even more rocky ground. I got really really really really involved in the youth church there, to the point where when I was told my cell leader was my father I did not even BLINK. I was told, as an adult, that my cell leader has more authority to speak into my life than my parents.
The hierarchy went as this: cell leader, everyone else, your parents, then you. I took that yoke upon myself. But it felt that my cell leader was even worse than my mother when it came to being “there”. And because I was so involved, my relationship with my cell leader was literally that of a parent and their child.
Well, if the parent was emotionally distant, always held you to an impossible standard, and accused you of the worst things. He turned me out of his cell group, citing I was rebellious. I told him he didn’t want to take responsibility for his actions, so he’s penning it on me. You can guess how that went.
Yup, another cell leader. And yes, the same pattern except add the accusation of having a spirit of Jezebel.
At this time, I was cracking, I didn’t know it, but I was using church and my relationship with God as a type of band aid, to deal with the wounds that were there.
When I started self harming, my mother told me that I was an awful person, and that if I wanted to commit suicide, I’d not be only taking myself to hell, but her too.
By this time, I felt nothing for her. I felt so burned already that I didn’t dare hope she felt any family loyalty to me.
So when she told me over and over that I was not depressed, but only feeling sorry for myself and demanded that I repent for it, I began to heavily resent her.
So much, that by the time I was kicked out of cell group a second time(I was asking hard questions) and I cracked completely from the aftermath of that, I loathed her.
I loathed her so much, that when I was hospitalized for attempting suicide(I tried to hang myself), that I barely was civil towards her.
The dichotomy of that statement repulsed me. That I would hate and resent my own mother yet want her acceptance.
It made no damn sense.
After my second hospitalization(she told me I was just trying to get attention), I thought of ways to get the hell away from her.
And now, I’m writing about it because if I do not, the words alone will choke me. I never really talked about my mother in depth because I always felt, at my core, like that little kid abandoned.
In the past year, she has done and said things to me that have chilled my blood. She has told me that my step grandfather lashing out at me was partly my fault.
She has told me that I need to “get over” my past abuse and how I felt about my stepgrandfather.
She had told me, on my birthday, that I was a horrible person and that when I was arrested for pot(the charges were dropped btw) she was angry at me because I was ruining her reputation and because I was arrested she thought of disowning me.
That, she told me during my birthday lunch. She negated any feelings I had and scoffed when I cried. Profusely.
It still feels raw, because I believed she was ALWAYS disappointed in me. And I was her only kid. So it really hurt even more.
But because of that, I began making her take responsiblity for what she says to me. Which is helpful because she accused me of being manipulative like my grandmother. So I made her give me an example. She could not give any, and admitted she was just angry because I would call and ask what was for supper.
I told her that I do apologize for that, but you need to mind what you say to people. Words hurt.
I don’t know if I’ll ever have a good relationship with her because I feel that she does not see me as a human as times. But I can try to heal from the scars left by her and my father.
And hopefully, not fuck up so much.