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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Ever since I lost my original blog, this one has been rather impersonal. Partly a decision, partly a function of the times as of late...However I've decided to start a "series", if you will, describing the cast of characters in my life. One per day, maybe, but I fear the one I am starting off with could take up an entire blog theme of her own. My Mum, as she signs herself in cards. I was always well fed, relatively well dressed, had nice birthdays, full Christmas experiences, made cookies, and crafts. I was brought up well.

Now follows the But...we remember, perhaps even dwell on the things we didn't have or receive rather than those that we did. That's why I preface this with what I had. O.K. the BUT. It is my mother's birthday in a week and I was shopping for a card and wrapping paper today. As I looked through the birthday cards for mothers, I was once again reminded of how strange my relationship with my mother is. Every card, with a syrupy saying or even a nice and thoughtful saying are not appropriate. Thanks for being the best mother...nope. I can't tell you enough how much I appreciate...nope. Maybe I should just break down and buy one, anyway. Look for her reaction. Her blank stare. She'd probably say something sarcastic like how come so sappy??? Because she can't stand the thought of a real touching moment between the two of us. She is just not that person and never will be. We will never have that relationship. So why buy a card like that and bring on her sarcasm? I again settle for a generic birthday card; Hope you have a great day...yup. Safe, no syrup. No lies. No pretending that there is something there has never been. How do you deal with the fact that your own mother has never, ever said I love you, given you a hug, a kiss, told you that you have turned out to be a great person, said I am proud of you. Nothing. Empty. Oh for heavens sake, don't be so silly. Perhaps the reason why I tend to be an over-achiever, Type A personality, get along with everybody. If I can't satisfy my mother, I can at least try to satisfy everyone else, myself. I am 34 and have achieved great success in life; wonderful job, home, family...here's the irony. In part, I have her to thank for this. Because I needed to acheive. To prove my worth to a mentally yes even verbally abusive mother. She is sick. She has a disease. I thought I knew this at eleven, but wasn't sure. The uncertainty drove me crazy at the time. The certainty makes me feel capable of having a relationship today with her, such as it is. One of my best memories was me about 5, in the shopping cart. We'd stop by the candy counter and she'd order a bag of jujubes. Every time. Hand them over to me and smile. She loved me! She bought me candy, after all. To this day, I am crazy about jujubes. So there is an intro. My family saga begins....don't read it if you don't like it.

  1. Blogger Dr. Deb said:

    My Mom has mellowed over the years, but I'd say there were many moments where I'd diagnose her as having psychotic breaks. I didn't know what they were then as a child, but looking back I can see it. It *is* hard when trying to make a connection, a real loving connection where the other doesn't have the capacity to reciprocate. But we keep trying, don't we.


  1. Blogger Me said:

    You have me hooked! I'd love to read about your family especially in the easy to read prose that is yours.

    Lots of times, folks give credit to a special teacher or a great parent for their success. I understand that a lot of what we eventually end up being, is at least ½ due to those folks who were not Person of the Year. Yeah, we sometimes come out the other side with bruises, scratches and disheveled hair but that is what makes us strong and resilient.

    Please write more about your family and your life. I'll be waiting here to lap it up!

  1. Blogger Cathy said:

    Dr. Deb; thanks for the comment. I think many successful people must be the product of their dysfunctional parents.

    Leslie; stay posted. Yes, I can thank my mother for making me a resilient person, at least.

  1. Blogger riskybiz said:

    You got me thinking about my Mother and my relationship with her.
    Ahhh, nothing wrong there at all!
    My Dad, again nothing!
    But my brother and his relationship with our parents is another story.
    Thanks for visiting my blog.
    Yours is well written and interesting.
    I'm visualizing you and your Mum while reading.

  1. Blogger tim said:

    i think that we all might look at other mothers and wish they were our own. but, your mom got you to where you are now, as you noted, and you seem to be in a pretty amazing place. some other mother would have helped mold you into a totally differnt person. no need to look in the rearview mirror of life and think what could have been. maybe tuck in a bag of j.bees and she will be brought back to that special time and place that the two of you shared. that is much more meaningful than some sappy card that costs $2.50 have a great evening cathy! i look forward to reading about the rest of your family. tim

  1. Blogger Cathy said:

    you are fortunate to have a good relationship with both parents. my biggest problem with my relationship with my mother is that it is superficial. my relationship with my father is different, but that's tomorrow's tale...back to amazing race.

  1. Blogger Cathy said:

    thanks for the comment. great idea about the jujubes. I wonder if she would recognize the significance. And what her response would be if I reminded her. I would really like to know if she remembers those moments. I think I'll have to find out.
    take care,Cathy

  1. Blogger Michelle said:

    Cathy, thanks so much for visiting me "down under"!
    Are you sure we don't have the same mother? My goodness, i too am faced with the card dilema you have. Unfortunately even to this day, at 65 my mother has not one maternal bone in her body.....sad really with 3 grand daughters willing to love her to bits.

  1. Blogger Cathy said:

    thanks Michelle;
    yes, that's just it isn't it...not a maternal bone in their bodies. I do see my mother being more nurturing with her grandchildren, however. Sad for your mum's three granddaughters.

  1. Blogger Heidi said:

    I'm so codependant I just want to give you a hug..I'm hooked and I'll be back.

    Thanx for sharing.

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