I never truly finished my “Month With Mom Series“, I was working on the novel for NANOWRIMO, and then came back and ran out of steam to finish the blog article series. It’s take me over a month, but I wanted to address a couple comments. The first came from my youngest sister who still lives with my mother and step-father:
Ok well im just going to say what I feel . About the part 2 and part 3 , I feel she should of never ever took him back . He is not a father and doesnt act like one. He does not bother talking to us all the time except for my yonger brother usually. And is mean to the pets . I dont even like him living in the house . And seems like he doenst even try at all . But I still dont get what she see’s in him. When he was in Columbus it was better without him . But thats all im gonna say .
She seems to have some of the same feeling that I do on the issue, at least when it comes to how my mother dealt with my step-father during their separation and the reconciliation. So this is similar feelings coming form someone that is thirty-two and someone that lives in that household and is thirteen. This is also her father, it might be my step-father, but it is her father and this is the treatment she feels that she gets. Don’t forget that I had another sister pipe in on her feelings. My own father has read my series, but thought it would be best to not leave public comments, I guess in some ways he is a wise man.
I’ve been reading these all along and I have to say they’re fascinating, though maybe not for the reasons that you think. I’ll just summarize my thoughts so far:
1. Your mom is obviously a very shallow person. It also sounds like she was a little too selfish and self-centered to be a very good mom.
2. On the other hand, you were all fed, clothed, received medical care, etc., etc, growing up yes? My point being – she may not be a very good mom, but there are much WORSE moms.
3. A lot of your complaints about her sound pretty nit-picky to a third party. I’m sure that to you, just about everything she does is annoying and obnoxious and irritating. But to an outsider, a lot of the things she does sound like…things that middle-aged women do. However…
4. Your opinion and view of her has obviously been colored by the truly negative things she HAS done in the past, and therefore every one of her transgressions is magnified to you.
5. Your mom seems to have a bad habit of using people, but remember: people allow themselves to be used. Your grandparents in particular seem to have no problem allowing her to manipulate them. Is it right? No. Are they adults, and capable of deciding for themselves whether to allow this? Yes (at least as far as we know – if at some point due to age or health they become unable to make these decisions on their own, then there would be a real problem).
I think in general you’re handling the mom situation the right way, which is to just let her do her own thing, as long as it’s not hurting you or your own family. I feel pretty bad about some of the things she said about, to, and in front of your sister. That passive-aggressive shit is not cool, not from anyone, and especially not from a mother. But what can you do about that, other than give your sister your emotional support and help her do her own thing as well? Nothing.
People suck, don’t they?
Ever since I read this comment I thought it would be a good blog post on it’s own for a reply instead of loosing it in the noise of comments that no one would ever read, just like my sister’s comment above. Though she says I’m handling this the right way and can see where I am coming from I wanted to address a couple of the points.
Point number two stated because we were clothed, fed, and had medical care that she couldn’t have been a terrible mom, there are crack addict mothers that can do the same. When I was 16 I had a job where I pulled a muscle in my chest. It kept going for a few days where I didn’t tell anyone that I was having trouble breathing. Everytime I took a deep breath it physically hurt ot breath. Not to the point where I couldn’t breath, but to the point where I thought something was wrong with my heart since it was in that vincinity. Like eveyr male I ignored it as long as possible and finally mentioned to my mother.
My mother thought I was making it up and yelled at me for making her take me to the doctor. Stating she didn’t have the money for it (my parents were divorced by then). I think my grandparents ending up paying for it. It turned out I didn’t have heart problems like i was afraid, but a pulled chest muscle like I said. I had been hyper-ventilating for days, which means taking breaths faster and more shallow then you normally would. I hadn;t noticed since it seems we are taught when you are hyperventilating you are gasping for air. I was proscribed codeine for the pain, every once in awhile to this day the problem will creep back for a week or two and I just deal with it since pain medication is the only thing they can proscribe. My siblings have had similar doctor experiences where my mother only reluctantly took them after we plead the case to my grandparents since my mom thought it was some sort of attention plea.
I never asked for medical attention from my mother. Besides getting teeth pulled for braces the last major medical thing tha tI had done was in elementary school when I got chronic ear aches. So this wasn’t a case of my mother always dragging me ot the doctor and me haivng nothing wrong with me, it was serious to me, I was in tears fearing the worst about my condition and thinking it was my heart.
A similar issue goes with the getting fed thing, my mother has always chosen not work. Because of this she happily took advantage of the free lunch program for the local schools. I can’t say that my sibling are still on it, yet for two years of my high school I was. It seemed to her better to get her kids free lunches then to get a job. She has worked the welfare system so she could go on buying things from the home shopping network and Longaberger baskets, but send her children into the free lunch program. that is selfish and naive, and if she had been cutting back on other things maybe I would have more sympathy and understanding.
So did she keep clothed, fed, and medical care – only when it suited her, she didn’t have pay, it didn’t effect other people’s appearance of her, or she was forced. I still wonder what school officials thought about me wearing hundred dollar tennis shoes (since she wanted us to look our best) while getting free lunchs.
Number three stated I was pointing out alot of nit picky things – I mentioned earlier that alot fo these were small things, things that eventually broke me and caused me to cut off all communication with her. I don’t deny some of hte things were small, but it is also the small things that shape us. The big things we overcome; my mother didn’t beat me, she was the person that cared about herself first and her children second.
Number four stated that I magnify the issues and focus them on myself. I was the whipping boy, after me it the third in line, then the fourth (my brother second in line didn’t get the whipping boy treatment), now it’s my sister that’s fifth in line. I can say what I felt was slights to me and things that I have a right to complain about. If one day my siblings decide to tell their own stories alot of similarities will line up, since this is what they tell me “off the record”. Eventually maybe I’ll get some of them to talk about their own experiences more.
I’m also however not going to deny that I’m writing about the things she did that annoyed me or set me off. These feelings will seem stronger to me then outside forces. Some of it is truly petty, but I needed material to write and I did leave some bigger things off the record for the moment, writing this piece reminded me of the doctor’s issue I mentioned. I’m not saying I’m done with this series, but for the moment I’m done writing about it. I may do some more pieces in the future, but it will be about the larger things she did when I have the time, energy, and motivation to write about them.
If your interested here are the links to the stories so far: