I am not particularly close to my parents right now. As I grow older I seem to be growing angrier with them. More disappointed with them as parents. Which makes no sense whatsoever and doesn’t follow our usual family pattern.
Usually I am the doting, loving, forgiving, attentive daughter that reaches out to her parents and listens to them, understands them, accepts them and loves them unconditionally and wholeheartedly. They live their lives and I am there as needed, when needed, if needed, in whatever fashion needed…..which truthfully has never been much of any kind of demand on me.
My mother and I lost touch with each other the moment my first was born. She was there in the room but I can’t even honestly recall her presence there. I don’t recall seeing her again until she called two months later (even though she lived less than 2 miles from me at the time) and said
“I am mad at you. She took you away from me.”
And no matter what I said or how much I protested that simple statement solidified the truth. I would always put my children above her and we have never bridged that gap.
She still treats my children like 5 day old leftovers you can’t throw away because your roommate would yell at you. At least that’s how it feels to me. So much so my children didn’t call her grandmother when young. They called her mommy’s mommy.
She was the one that provided me with stability as a child. It was only her and I really. She worked full time and put herself through a bachelor and master’s degree. Which is why I was mostly a latchkey kid. But I had a roof, food, clothes and expectations to do as I was told even if no one was there to enforce that. She was an old school parent and even though she wouldn’t routinely beat me, those few times left a huge mark on me.
But no more so than her coldness. To say she was an unaffectionate mother would be a gross understatement. But she tried. In her own way she has given me all she could and she did sacrifice a lot. I don’t blame her really.
She still tries to give me direction and help, in her own way. She did recently offer her (35 years now, live-in boyfriend’s) backyard for me to live in my car with the girls if it came to it. Which 2 of the three girls deemed a better option than going to live with their father. Lol
He wasn’t around much in my youth but prior to my teenage years when he did come around it was a whirlwind of attention, love, gifts and fun. Once I got to my teenage years and became more aware and demanded realness, things went south. He was really good at being a good time, once in a while, dad and horrible at being a real dad. We had a huge falling out at about 16. Long, long story which I’ll spare you but….
when I was eighteen I decided I wanted to have a relationship with him again and I would take the bus and train over two hours to visit him, even though he would drink and berate me the entire time. Gradually he saw I wasn’t hostile and wanted nothing more than a relationship and he gave in and retreated his anger and fear. And we’ve been friends ever since.
He has been the only one to help me financially. He helped cosign my house. He gave me money last year. I am his only blood child he talks to. He has three children (from another mother) he never acknowledged as his own, even though paternity tests proved otherwise. He has another estranged half sister (of mine) and he now has his new, 4th wife’s 19 year old daughter. Who from what I saw cares little for him, but she’s at that age anyway really. She didn’t seem to care much for her own mother either.
I know they love me and I truly do love them. And all my life I have accepted them for who they are….even through my tumultuous teenage years I still loved them. But right now I am struggling so much; and seeing how clearly they both failed me in life has taken its toll on me. Seeing how little support they provide, how little they truly seem to care. I know it isn’t that simple. I know I’m a bit of a pigheaded child. But I had to be. I’ve had to fend for myself for so long now.
This is all very complicated and I know they aren’t entirely to blame for any of this…..for any of my difficulties. I know this and yet…..I’ve just been so mad at them. I guess truthfully I’ve just been mad in general. I suppose that anger helps fuel the fire. The angst that is helping burn the coal.
I always knew I wanted to be a better parent. I knew no sacrifice would be too big or small for my own children. I knew they would be my world.
This year I didn’t bother calling either of them on their respective, appointed days* and I was feeling guilt for it. I have always held them in my heart with such high reverence and this has never happened before…..ever that I can recall.
But right now I just can’t find it in me. Which is to my own detriment, because I have only them to really turn to in life. But I feel so deeply hurt by them, by their actions or inactions I should say.
Which I know makes no logical sense. I am an adult. I am in control of my life. But I guess because it feels so out of control that it now manifests as so much pain. And you always direct your pain at those closest to you or those in your path.
Maybe this is my attempt to push them away. That would be my usual m.o. really. So I shouldn’t be surprised at all and neither should they. But they are I’m quite sure. I know they are hurt by this. This simple thing.
And I know I should rectify this and it makes me cry because I just don’t have it in me right now to even try.
*Mother and Father’s Day.