I spent my whole life not getting along with my mother. Resenting that she had more compassion for someone on the television, than those of us in her real life. Being angry that she took no responsibility for being an emotional vacuum where nothing was ever good enough. Not realizing that the things she didn't protect me from, like a molesting brother and a drug-giving sister, weren't things she looked the other way about. She is so naive she just honestly had no clue they were happening. Railing against the idea that when my sister called her on the fact that we had never once gotten a hug from her, she responded with, "I was never hugged either" and we were pretty much told whenever bringing up emotional stuff to "get over it." So I just stopped fighting it. I came to the conclusion that my mom wasn't someone who wanted to grow and evolve over time. My mom wanted to live in her emotional misery, and that was okay.
It took me many years to realize that my mom did the best she could. She had had a very damaging childhood. The grammy that I loved dearly, was a horrible mother. I know that now. Some people bounce back from childhoods like that, and others do not. Having a parent who constantly discounts everything you think is valuable, and when you think you've accomplished something good, can be crushing. I know, because that is how my childhood was. If I got an A, it was expected. If I got a C, I was belittled and berated until I cried, and then was yelled at, "What are you going to do now, cry?" I was never physically abused by her. But I know for a fact that would have been easier to deal with. She raised her hand to me once, open palmed. I raised a fist back at her and looked her in the eye with what I'm sure was a look pretty close to hatred and said, "If you do it, I will hit you back. Only you hitting me won't hurt as much as my hitting you back will." She knew I was telling the truth, and never raised a hand to me again. There was zero positive reinforcement in my household, which is why I think I'm so big on giving it to others today.
Since my grandmother passed I have seen a new side to my mom. A side that I know is there because she does not want us to feel about her, the way she felt about her mother, when she died. Don't get me wrong, she loved her mom and was a dutiful daughter to the very end. But she also had many bad things to say about how her mom was when they were growing up. A lot of the same things that I have to say about her when we were growing up. A few weeks back as I was leaving my house I hugged my dad goodbye per usual, and was walking away as my mom yelled out, "Hey, what about me?" I hugged her but it was unnatural. She isn't a "hugger." It was weird. I texted my sister, "Mom just asked me for a hug. I think I may see a pig in the air on the way home." Then on Easter I hugged everyone and as I was walking away she said, "Where's mine?" and I was honest. I said, "You know, this hugging thing is new from you. You have to give me a while to get used to it." I have watched my aunt hug my mom for years, thinking it was funny 'cause you could tell how uncomfortable it made my mother. I for one never found that funny. If something makes someone uncomfortable, I would never do it on purpose. Well, except for sending the video link to She's Like The Wind to my best friend, who can't stand Patrick Swayze. But that's different! I also am VERY touchy feely. I took my childhood and flipped it. My girlfriends who are comfortable get huge smooches on the mouth. The ones who aren't get hearty hugs. Boyfriends always get snuggles and touches and me finding non-verbal ways to say, "Hey, I see you. I care about you." I want to make sure that no one in my circle ever doubts how much I care about them. In that regard, I know I sometimes overdo it, but I don't care. Anyone who thinks there is such a thing as too many hugs, probably wouldn't last long in my friend circle anyways.
My mom has said "I love you" to me exactly once in my life. I was standing in line in the courthouse. I had been sentenced and was turning in my paperwork and fees. I got a text, "Good luck. I love you." I love you by text. The lamest way to get it. But I burst in to tears right there in line. I know how hard that was for her to do.
I now realize my mom did the best she could. I no longer hold the resentments and anger I did for her for so long. I'm disappointed in myself that I held on to that toxic shit for so long. How much time people waste focusing on the horrible things, or the reasons they are totally validated in acting shitty! I never want to be that person again. And I really hope that my mom continues to grow until her last moments on earth. It really makes you feel better, and more at peace, to just let go and try to be a better person. I want that for her. I want her to stop stressing about shit that doesn't matter. Hell, I want to be able to stop stressing about shit that doesn't matter myself. But I want it more for her. She has no friends that she didn't meet at work. I want her to spend the rest of her time here on the planet feeling that I love her, and I appreciate what she did for me, which looking back was a lot.
Happy picture of the day: cheap groceries! I got everything there on the counter for around $20. I got lavender and flax seed for cooking, apples, garlic, a pork roast, tortillas, beans, butter, an onion, and avocados. I love bargains and yummy whole food.