Saturday, August 09, 2008

Longing

Most days, I can forget about the things that really bother me. The things that break my heart and tarnish my soul. After 39 years, I have just about perfected the act of overlooking my pain. Then, suddenly, something so silly, something mundane or obscure will bring memories flooding back, in a tidal wave of sadness. Today is one of those days.
Mum's backyard in Nova Scotia.




My cousin T took her neice to Nova Scotia for a week this summer. I wanted so badly to stow away with them, I miss the ocean and my friends more than words can articulate. I need to smell the ocean, I need to hug Heather tight, and meet her kids. I feel an urgency to visit all of my old haunts, and to spend a late night laughing with my brother and sister in law.
I try to put Betty and Stan out of mind. I usually do.


Then, T and her niece posted photos on facebook that maade my heart skip a beat and made me feel so melancholy that I am afraid that I will never be the same again.

My Mum and I have always had a noxious relationship. She has resented me from the day that I was born. She married my father to keep my older brother, TMOC out of a foster home, and because, back in 66, you just didn't live on your own with a kid. He was a way out for her, and he loved her more than life itself.

Stan, fishing in his yard.
By the time I was three, the marriage was over and my mum was gone, moved away with our next door neighbour, leaving four little kids without a parent...My aunt Josie, Betty's sister took care of me for about three weeks while my Dad got his life in order. My aunt Josie would later tell me that I cried for the whole three weeks, asking when my Mum was coming back.

She never did. I still saw most of her family, but I seldom saw Betty. When I did, it was usually a horrific visit. She would send me to my room for the slightest infraction ( drinking the last of the milk from my cereal bowl was an instant time out). I hated the apartment, I hated my step father (It would later be revealed that he had been abusing me most of my childhood), and I hated sharing Christmas with my new step brothers, the kids that used to live next door to me. She was gone so often that I couldn't tell the difference between her and my aunt Jackie.


Mum, in her kitchen August 2008


Worst of all, her visitation was hit and miss. I might not see her for weeks, or even months, and then she would reappear, just when I was finally adjusting to life without her.
She moved to Nova Scotia when I was 11, leaving me and TMOC behind.
I saw her twice in the years between 12 and 15. The summer of my 15 th year, I was sent to stay with her and Stan. I was angry, sullen and resentful.

It was a disaster.
Twenty days before I turned 16, I was sent on a 'visit' to her house. When I asked when I would coming home, my father informed me that I was now a permanent resident of Dartmouth.

I loved my Mum. I did. Her expectations were unattainable for me. Straight A's in school - something that I had never gotten in my life. I was expected to be something that I had never been...Her perfect, Miss Teen. The punked out teen that she picked up at the airport was not what she had envisioned.

Things only got worse....She and Stan had a drinking problem. They humiliated me at every turn. She thought that I was the little 3 year old that she had left all those years ago.
Hah. She could not have been more wrong.

On a warm June afternoon, I ran away from home,and never returned. I was 1o days shy of my 17 th birthday. I had all that I could take of the drinking, and the abuse. I was tired of hiding bruises and trying to be someone that I could never be.

Fast forward 20 + years, and nothing much has changed. We argue and then make up. We scream and cry and then profess our love for each other...Until now.

Betty refuses to speak with me. Or my kids. She does everything in the world for my brother, who can do no wrong in her eyes. No matter how badly he screws up, he has her undying love and affection. TMOC gets married and he is a
hero.

My 1st wedding she created a scene and almost ruined everything.

He finishes hair dressing school (she helped him out during that time) and he is big man on campus.

I graduted from my PSW course, second in the class with honours, and I don't even get a phone call.

My Dad dies and again, not so much as a phone call.

TMOC's bio Dad dies and Betty practically writes a novel telling everyone how great he was. She gave TMOC money to get to Ontario and payed his way for the whole trip.

TMOC and I get along very well, until we start discussing our parents. We actually stopped speaking for a year once, because of Betty.
Now? He is a frequent vacationer at her country home.

I had never even seen photos until my cousin posted her photos.
I had no idea that seeing those photos would bother me so much. I thought that I was dealing with the rejection just fine. I really thought that Betty was out of my head, finally.

The truth is, I am 39 and I still crave my Mums love, acceptance and affection. I see photos of her and it all comes flooding back.

I become that little 3 year old girl, yearning for her Mommy.
I doubt that will ever change.

I just need to find a way to live with it.

27 comments:

Chellie said...

Wow. That would be so hard to see pics of your mom posted like that. I don't understand how parents can do that. I don't think we ever outgrow wanting a mom.

Gabriel said...

You don't write often anymore, but when you do... boy!

I don't know what to say, Biddie. I do consider myself as having turned that page already, but my mother hasn't done 10% of what they've done to you, of course. I hope you can find the peace of mind you so dearly need, and rely on the love and support you get from Shawn and your three beautiful daughters. That's your family, and they'll always be there for you, no matter what.

That's how you know that you're a good person, a good wife and an excellent mother.

Biddie said...

Chellie - All three of my girls have been abandoned by their dad(s)
I can never understand it, but somehow, it seems impossible when a mom does it. I wonder how people like that sleep soundly at night.

Gabriel - Thank you. I know that my kids love me,and Shawnie too. Most of the time that is enough for me, but somedays, it just comes at me and hits me hard.
Ugh. I wish that it didn`t.

CJM-R said...

I just discovered your blog today.

I agree that we are never too old to want our mom.

I hope that you can work through your pain and that even the seemingly impossible might happen.

Healing for you and your mom's relationship.

Good luck.
cj

Phoenix5 said...

That's a tragic story, my friend! I must say, though, that your girls are so lucky to have both you and Shawn (super kudos to him, btw) who obviously love them very much and are so proud of each of their accomplishments!

Biddie said...

cjm-r: I would love to have a healthy relationship with my mum. Unfortunately, I doubt very much that will happen..Still, I hold out hope.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope that you will be back again :)

phoenix - Can you tell that I am proud mom?? lol I feel very lucky to have Shawn (Most days :P), and he loves them at least as much as I do.

Gardenia said...

We all need our parents to be there for us. Some never get that. I do think that eventually there is a healing, a peace that comes, even with the abuse. Not acceptance by any means, and forgiveness if it comes does not mean allowing them to do it again, but a peace with who you are and the wonderful strong person you are to have survived that abuse and even became a parent who raised beautiful girls who love you so much and who you love back so passionately. You are a conquerer, now I pray your heart will grab that and healing will come. Blessings to you.

Heather said...

Hi B,thinking of you.

*hugs*

Molly said...

Biddie,
Hopefully, writing about the anguish will help and the love of your own family and friends. Take care.

Burfica said...

Oh Biddie, I'm so sorry it hurts. Something that helps me and Gigantor (him alot cuz his family is horrid)

Is that we realize and accept and embrace that there is a difference between family and relatives. Family doesn't have to be blood related, and Relatives sometimes aren't good enough to be considered family.

Maybe keep that in mind and pour out your love and longing for your "family"

Biddie said...

Gardenia - Thank you. You always know just what to say.
For a long time, I though that I had found that acceptance..of who I am and the fact that she will never change...but then I have bad days again. maybe someday, I will stop having the bad days :)

Heather - Hugs back. YOu coming back to blog again? We miss you !

Molly - Writing does help, and I feel better today about the situation than I did when I first wrote about it. That'a a start, right?

Burfica - I do count people that are not blood relations amongst my family members. Heidi,and her husband, and their kids, are more family to me than my real family - my brother and sister excluded. They have done soo much for me. Heidi has been a constant supporrt system for me,and her husband has been like a brother to me. They rock and I am lucky to have them.
The mom thing is something that I just can't seem to deal with, or get over. The fact that she is so good to everyone else hurts so much, no matter how I try to let it go.
It's a work in progress, I guess.

Burfica said...

biddie as to your comment on my blog. Yes I do collect magic cards. We just started playing hard again.

I will try to find your link to e-mail you and send you my addy again. hehehehe

dilling said...

At 39, I also know the long lasting bullshit of familial guilt/hurt/abuse/fallout. What I gathered after years of self abuse is this....you either live in spite of it or you live because of it. We are here, you and I, still, for a reason. Let it be the right one.
We are Children of the Universe. We have a right to be here.

Biddie said...

Dilling - I am thankful that you are still here. You make my universe a much nicer place :)
I go through phases..I thoght that I was ok, until it git me again.
I hate it.

Biddie said...

git me again?? lol.
HITS me again!

captain corky said...

I miss the ocean too. Like other people said, I can't understand how a parent could treat their child like this. I'll never understand it...

Bunny said...

one of the things I love about reading blogs is finding out that other people have gone through some of the same things, it helps to know we're not alone in certain experiences. (and that we don't have to repeat them ourselves.)
The one thing I always remind myself when it comes to my (similar) relationship to my mom is that my kids (when I have some, anyway) will never have to feel that pain, that they'll always know how much they are loved and cherished.
It couldn't be more clear how much you love and cherish your girls.

little wanderer said...

oh biddie sweetie it's ok to still want your mom's love.
life is so cruel isn't it
just you be proud of the love you have for your lovely daughters and the love they have for you and your man x (((hugs)))

Biddie said...

Corky - I don't understand, either. I look at my kids, and through all of the stages of growing, I think that they are the mozst amazing people ever. It baffles my mind to think of leaving my kids...
I do know that as far as my mum is concerned, I was unwanted from day one. I guess my dad thought that she would get over that eventualy.
I'm still waiting.

bunny - Is it awful if I say that I am glad to know I am not alone in this.
I don't get it. I really don't..HOW can any parent - never mind the one that carried you for nine months, just ignore that fact that you are there, alive, breathing...
I am hoping like hell that I am good mom and that my girls know how much I love them..

lw - I know that I am lucky in so many ways...When I was 16 I was told that I would never carry a baby to full term. I had lost 7 (?) babies, one in the third trimester..I never expected to have any kids, never mind three gorgeous girls.
I'm so grateful for Shawn, too.
Betty is the one missing out.

whimsical brainpan said...

(((((((HUGS)))))))

I am so sorry that you are feeling this way. I wish that somehow you could stop giving a shit about your mom because no offense she doesn't sound like she is worth it.

Biddie said...

whim - You know what? I think that you are right..I mean, I'm not trying to talk trash, but she had three kids,and at one time or another, she has abandoned all of us. She never paid one penny of support, in all of the years that we were raised by my dad...She seldom came to see us, and when she did, there were times that I couldn't tell the difference between her and my aunt Jackie...
So, why do I care?
I dunno.
I just wish that I didn't....

aims said...

Oh Sweetie...You know I feel for you. You know I can relate.

I really really hate to tell you this....but it never goes away. That yearning to please - to be accepted - to be loved. Even after they are gone - you still wonder why.

I'm sorry - I really am. It's a horrible thing to live with and we look at others who have had wonderful childhoods and great parents and wonder why us.

I have no answer to that. Just the words that you aren't alone. And no - it never gets better. And that's the truth.

debi said...

Oh Biddie this makes me so sad. I do not understand how a mother can be that way. She has some major issues and they do not have anything to do with you. I do know that from all the times we have written and talked that she is missing out on a beautiful soul. Her loss.I am blessed to have you as my friend.I love you,

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