I Hate My Mother

Not very inspired, I know.

Here's the deal: Now that my Mom is ill and has "retired," all of a sudden she wants to have this super close relationship with me. We were never close - at least, not as far I as I remember it. From the time I was about 10 years old on, I pretty much did my own thing while she pursued various unrewarding (financially and personally) professional positions.

That year - it was 1984 - she lost her job on the police force and she filed for her first bankruptcy. We didn't have a Christmas; she didn't bother to prepare me for the fact that I wouldn't receive presents because she was broke (and my father, not really in the picture, failed to provide anything either). That's how I was welcomed to adulthood.

After that, it was just one bad choice after another, on her part. Instead of attempting to reduce expenses - you know, take me out of private school so we could actually use my child support to live and giving up music lessons I didn't want to take anyway - she continued. As if that was the best use of our exceedingly scarce resources! Don't get me wrong - I get it: Get your child the best education you can... Can AFFORD, that is. Would I have been bored off my rocker with kids my age in public school? Sure, but no more bored than I was with kids my own age in private school! (Catholic schools don't really believe in skipping grades.)

Anyway, she spent all the time working working working, and not really any time trying to develop a relationship with me. I guess she thought the impression she left on me from ages 0-10 was gonna last. It didn't, especially after I left boarding school (full scholarship, thanks) to move in with her and her sister. (A whole other disaster. Her sister's husband had died, leaving her - who had never worked - to run several small businesses, which he'd already nearly run into the ground already.) Those two... They actually had physical altercations I had to break up! I also had to get myself up and ready for school, do the grocery shopping (after I got a license), do the house cleaning and, because my mother stupidly didn't pay herself for the work she was doing for her sister, make money at a part time job so I could keep myself in clothes. Luckily we were eligible for food stamps and other assistance; otherwise, who knows how much worse it could have been.

All that time, I begged her to pay herself or, for the love of god and all that is holy, leave her sister's employ! Her answer? "It's family." Right. Family. Family with whom you were just wrestling on the kitchen floor, family that routinely accused her of stealing, family that eventually pulled out a .38 and pointed it at us, which is when I realized I was capable of murder.

That was the last straw for me, that gun pulling. After that, I had little use for Mom, other than as a placeholder for myself until I turned 18. I mean, I still needed her to sign things, right? I couldn't wait to get to college. And when I finally, finally got there, I told her to her face I was never coming home again. Why would I go back to that looney bin? She laughed in my face; she thought... I don't know what she thought - and I didn't care. I WAS OUT!

Of course, our relationship rapidly deteriorated at that point. She would call me and harass me (as would my erstwhile "father") telling me things like I was going to catch HIV (because I stayed out with boys all night), that I was going to flunk out of school (because I stayed out all night period). After the first semester, I stopped having my grades sent home and had them sent to my dorm room instead. I was paying for my education (thanks, William D. Ford!) and neither of my parents were giving me money, so why should they have access to my private information? Man, she flipped. Not only was I was soon-to-be flunked out *****, now I was a disrespectful, disobedient child!

I stopped calling home.

May rolled around, and she threatened to call the cops and report me missing. Why? Because I'd rented a house with friends, found a paying job for the summer and was refusing to wait for her to come pick me up and bring me "home." After the year we'd just had in emotional abuse, I wonder what made her think I was going back there. On top of that, she'd said we could "re-negotiate [my] curfew." What?! Curfew? B!tch, please. Take your curfew and stuff it. Oh, she called and called. Finally I reminded her of my exceedingly popular name (my first name is the most popular girls name from 1970 to 1984; my last name is the third most popular for the United States) and the fact that I was a black girl living in a predominantly black city and I was a legal adult. You're going to call MPD looking for an adult black female, no last location, possibly not even in the city and not in distress? Do it. She finally came to her senses and realized I had a point: Even if the cops did deign to take the case (a longshot), if they actually located me (a longshot), the result would be cops finding an adult in good health refusing to share additional information with the person reporting her missing.

Things went on like this until I graduated from college. It improved somewhat after that, although I did begin to give her money in my mid-20s to help her out. And then she moved in with me when it became obvious she couldn't make it on her own. Of course, she almost immediately moved out when it became clear that I was determined that the power dynamic IN MY HOUSE would be me, an adult, doing what I wanted to do whenever I wanted to do it, and her, equally an adult, but an invited guest in that home, would have to live with it.

She wasn't prepared to live with it, and so left.

Then she was diagnosed with this seizure condition, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and just about every other preventable disease prevalent in the black community. How many times over the years had I told her she needed to quit eating fast food? Or, you know, visit a doctor from time to time? INNUMERABLE. Did she? Nope.

I let her move in again, after my cousin and her sisters refused to do anything more with her. "She's just so hard to live with!" Yeah, no kidding.

Tumultuous years, man. I tried. She had her SS disability check, but you know those things are so small... So I gave her money. I paid more than my share of the bills. I'd wake up to take her to the ER when she claimed she was having seizures. I'd leave work and go on search expeditions to find her when she'd get off public transportation in the middle of nowhere and get lost. I ate up all my vacation time, all my sick leave, never had any savings... All in pursuit of trying to keep her safe and happy. And all the while... "You don't respect me." "I'm YOUR MOTHER and YOU OWE ME." "I'm going to do whatever I want to do whenever I want to do it." "I wish you had never been born." "I hope Jesus saves your soul then kills you." "You didn't turn out the way I thought you would." She'd deliberately wake me up when she wanted me to be awake - never mind I'm a lifelong insomniac and STAYING ASLEEP is really difficult for me. She'd demand things - the 1% versus the 2% milk argument. I don't like 1% milk. So I'd buy 2% so we could both drink it, thinking this was a reasonable compromise. She called her freakin' sister - you know, one of the ones who refused to live with her because she was so difficult - to tell on me about the FREAKING MILK. Because 1% milk is so much healthier than 2% milk. Really? Well, when you stop eating whole cans of Pringles and other crap you're not supposed to have, please come back and talk me about how much healthier the 1% milk is.

It came to a head after my first year of law school. My mom had graduated from law school, about 30 years prior, right? Obviously, studying is studying. She had experience with that, fine. But she can't just give advice and leave things be, no way. She's got to try to force the ******* issue. "I think you should be up studying." "I studied until 2 AM, I don't have class until 10. I am a night owl. Please let me sleep." "I think you should read ahead." "Our syllabi don't work that way; there is no 'reading ahead.' There is 'reading cases not material to what my professor is trying to illustrate that day,' but there's no reading ahead. Plus, I have 300+ other pages to read from the four other classes I'm studying. I'm going to follow the syllabi." "I want to talk to your professors about your progress." "I'm 33 years old. My professors aren't going to talk to you about my 'progress,' furthermore, it's none of your business." It was ceaseless harassment. CEASELESS. And childish. She'd vacuum at 7 AM. She'd clean the stove - raising the stove top and letting it slam back down - immediately after. She'd go out on the porch - right outside my bedroom window - and yell to the neighbors. She forbade me to bring dates home (which I was fine with because really? I didn't want anyone to meet her). She tried to forbid me from staying out all night, or guilt me into staying home. "What if something happens to me?" "Dial 9-1-1." She was rude to my friends, going so far as to complain about me and getting upset when they'd come to my defense. (She hates my friend Martin to this day for defending me; won't say his name.)

Finally, after second semester, I told her she had to go. She had 6 months to find a place to live because I couldn't take it any longer.

In retaliation, she called her sister (again) who demanded I account for my mother's SS/disability check. Remember I said before I paid more than my fair share of expenses? Yeah. Rent on our 2 BR was $1400; Mom paid $400. Utilities were easily $100; Mom paid maybe $25, and that's if she had it when they came due. And I'm including HER cell phone bill in that. Food - same thing. AND THEN, when her check ran out because she kept (and still does!) buying frivolous, unnecessary crap (like those ugly silk flowers in vases and sh!t like that), I'D GIVE HER MORE MONEY! By the time my accounting was done, it was clear she was running at a $300 deficit every month THAT I MADE UP FROM MY CASH. That shut the family up quick.

I hate her. I wish... I'm sorry her life was so hard - but you know what? Get over it. You did it to yourself. She's still complaining about her childhood and how it adversely affected her and this is why she is the way she is. But her parents have been dead - her mother since Mom was 19 and her father for 25 years. And if I can act reasonably after my upbringing - I'm not calling her wishing her dead on the phone or praying for Jesus to take her away - then why can't she? And why does she expect this "close relationship" and WTF does that even mean?!

I don't want her hugs. I couldn't give a **** that it makes her feel bad. I'm tired, so tired, of trying to figure out a compromise that will satisfy her without undermining my mental stability. Today, as I was leaving (oh, so thankfully), she force hugged me and jumped all over one of the triggers she, HER THERAPIST and I agreed she shouldn't pull. And then she laughed about it. I told her to get off me and left. Because really? **** it. If you can't even follow the instructions/suggestions of your therapist, if you really think it's that funny to do **** you know ****** me off, makes me not want to be around you, then you don't deserve my company. Then you're NOT that sad about it, all protestations to the contrary. I hate her dumb, fat, constant-food-grubbing, relentless gift seeking ***.
s3rp3nts s3rp3nts
36-40, F
Nov 26, 2012