Last night, my mom called me. We very rarely speak to each other because 1) I can never get ahold of her and 2) she’s bitter about my dad’s side of the family and likes to take it out on me. Anyway, unsurprisingly, she didn’t want anything. She only called to tell me she knows I dropped out of school. Okay, and…?
My mom has a habit of doing this, really. Not just trying to antagonize people she doesn’t like, but behaving in ways merely to spite people. She’s done this since I was kid, when I was still young enough to be a bargaining tool.
In short, it’s been twenty years and she still sucks at being a mother.
You’d think I cut her out of my life, at least temporarily, with the way she acts, but I can never bring myself to. I have tried to fix our relationship and all of my attempts fail. I know she won’t change. Why would she? She typically gets what she wants through manipulation. She can’t deal with someone who doesn’t think she’s always right or her word is law. She doesn’t like to admit when she’s wrong either. That’s not to say people haven’t done wrong to her. In fact, her own mother was actually worse to her than she was to me (cycle of abuse, basically).
Years ago, my mom once mentioned how she said she’d never treat her kids the way her mom treated her. Unfortunately, she only got it half-right. She may not have treated my sister and I as badly as her mom did, but her parenting was still abysmal. The only reason my sister is still in her good graces is she follows my mom around like a shadow and rarely questions a word out of her mouth.
I posted about this in a Facebook group and everyone who replied basically told me the same thing: I have to accept she will never be mother I need. And I want to accept that, yet I feel I can’t. The guilt that results from even considering cutting her out is crushing. I have no idea what the guilt is even for, but I feel bound and chained by it. But eventually, I’m going to have to figure out how to break those chains. I’m only 20 now, but soon enough, I will be 21, 22, 25, 30, and so on. I’ve already spent about two decades under her thumb. I do not want to spend the rest of my life feeling guilty and unsuccessfully trying to fix my relationship with her.
Being over eighteen is supposed to mean you’re free from your parents’ control. I don’t even live with her, nor have I for the past four years, and I don’t feel free. I feel like a caged rat.
September 24, 2014 at 4:32 pm
Hun, when I was 9 years old my mother started telling me she should have had the abortion and kept my father instead (the father I did not meet until I was 24). I am 42 now and have never in my life told my mother I love her (why lie?) Nor have I ever heard it from her. I came to accept from a very young age that she never wanted me but the hurt is still there. Especially now that I have my own child who has given me my reason for living, I cannot understand how mothers can be such ways to their children. But… Maybe it’s not for us to understand, only to pick ourselves up and do better. Hang in there darling, you are not alone.
September 24, 2014 at 4:43 pm
Thank you very much. 🙂
I never saw her abusive patterns until a year after I left. When I was still living with her, I honestly thought this is how parents are. I didn’t like it, but I figured maybe they’re supposed to be this way since my mom always preached about life not being fair. I was glad to learn it wasn’t normal at all.
My only worry now is my sister. She’s going to figure it out one day too (I hope) and I think it’s going crush her more than it did me because, even at 17, she still believes our mother is always right.
September 24, 2014 at 5:03 pm
I wouldn’t worry too much. At 17 she still has time to grow and once she does strike out on her own and there is some distance between her and mom, she will see the world outside the bubble is quite different. besides, we came out okay, right? 🙂