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I have a tendency to unconsciously appropriate other peoples' affectations, leading me to say things like y'all.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The last one for a while

I've been giving this whole string of posts about my mom a good deal of thought and what I feel is that if I keep writing about her, if I really put down the past, then this blog will definitely take a turn I don't want it to.

Rather than dredge things up. Rather than explain how the fight just suddenly happened and why it was such an amazing shock in the context of things preceding it, I think it's better to say that there are 30 years of history which has never been agreed on. And there is a lot of pain for me in the past*. To talk about particulars would start to sound too complainy I think, and worse yet, bitter. I don't feel those things.

My decision to step away from my parents is not an easy one. I've been fighting the thought for years. I have tried again and again to keep things working, but at some point it has to be someone else's turn to try. My mother contends that I too often disrespect her role as parent, but when hasn't she cast that responsibility upon me? When has she actually
behaved enough like a parent to earn that respect?

Sorry, I'm really not trying to cast aspersions. I'm weary from this subject and deep enough into mourning that I'm being remiss about self-editing as I go. I'm choosing, however, to leave everything in because it's the truth.

In our latest attempt to
learn about one another, I made it really clear right away that I was patchy in my availability (both in time and emotion) at best. Because I know myself. And I know my mother enough to know that she wants so so much more than I'm willing or able to give her. I never misrepresented myself.

At the onset of that same attempt, I decided to tell my mother about both my recent eating disorder and my bipolar diagnosis...in full. I thought setting up a foundation without secrets would be prudent and healthy. I now understand that I was too hasty. These personal struggles have become canon fodder.

I'm not a martyr. I'm not special. Being a mom isn't any harder or more exhausting or more time consuming for me than any other mother, and I am not looking for a pat on the back when I talk about how hard or exhausting or time consuming it is to be one. I'm not using Sophie as an excuse to avoid calling my parents (the gmail chats that lasted
all day should certainly prove that there was both a willingness and enthusiasm on my part to pursue a relationship with my mother over the last few months), but at the end of the day I want John. And sometimes I want to unwind by blogging. I don't want to spend half an hour on the phone talking about the nothing new that happened to me in the last 24 hours. I don't even talk to my friends on the phone, because I like and need the quiet of my life when the door closes to the outside world.

I'm still a little overwhelmed by mother's email, which was sad on the one hand and remarkably cruel on the other. I don't mean to give the impression here that she has never done good things as a mother. Of course she has. But her role in my life, in particular as I get older, is progressively more damaging. Our cultural differences and our outlooks and our educations (just in terms of where they happened and how they differed in content and such) seem to widen the gap between us and I feel like my mother has chosen to believe that I am a bad, sick, mentally ill individual instead of someone who naturally grew up and away from her.

My mother swears by loving platitudes, but when push comes to shove she just really doesn't like me. That's okay. I don't think you have to feel obligated to like the people you feel wronged by. Whether or not they are family. I know that my mother thinks I've slighted her and caused her pain and I don't argue that I haven't. The difference is that I honestly feel remorse for the things I've said that were directly intended to hurt her and I feel sorry that at times my honesty had the same effect. I can't really say that my mother's correspondence expresses the same level of accountability.

So, for the time being, this will be my last post about my mother. At least I think so.


*For more frustratingly vague reference you can check out the comment exchange with Kimber on the post below entitled "Response".

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