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cathy


The impression of a mother....

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


My mother is an impression. An illusion. She is there but she isn't. A cliche to say a shell. But yet a shell of a mother. She is an extraordinarily selfish woman. Consumed with her perspective. She sees nothing from another. I have not spoken since Monday. My disaster of a day. Yesterday was great; we did not speak. Today the phone rings. I don't answer because I am feeding the baby. Call display. It was her. I delay the call. It is her Birthday, although we celebrated it on Sunday. I need to call to wish her Happy Birthday. So I do. Where were you? She snaps. I was feeding the baby. I say with a hint of annoyance. Oh. She is annoyed. Why, I do not know. I can never know. She is unpredictable yet disturbungly predictable at the same time. Happy Birthday I tell her. Yes, hrmpf...She can not receive well wishes. Brushes them off like pieces of lint. What are you going to do today? I ask. Clean, what else? I have to clean....and she launches into her typical litany of all the things she has to do. She is going away with my father for a small vacation on Sunday and someone is staying in their house to house-sit. She feels that she has to clean as if the Pope himself were staying in the house. Another contradiction; she rarely cleans for her and my father, yet if someone is coming to stay she cleans like a woman possessed. A show. An impression. She can't look bad. To strangers. She is talking and I am thinking but not really listening. I am watching my wonderful baby play on the floor near my feet. Could I ever ever be this way with him I wonder? I can not imagine it. What kind of woman is this person, my mother, to be this way with me?

She launches into another litany but this time it is focussed at me; her and my father did not get home until after dark after they left my place on Monday. It took them an hour and a half to get home, she says (it should take about 30 minutes). A crew was re-painting the lines on the road. They got yellow paint on their car because my father drove into the freshly drawn yellow dividing lines. She is speaking with a tone that can only be described as accusatory. Blame blame blame. It's your fault we didn't get home until so late. Dinner should have been sooner; you shouldn;t have made us stay....It's your father's fault for driving poorly, it's the crews fault for being there when we were coming that way....she is speaking faster and getting into a frenzy. Only someone with a mother as crazy as mine can understand...I have not spoken a word for some time; just listening, because that is really all she wants; to vent to steam, to pour out her hatred and anger. My baby is getting fussy and needs to be put into his crib for a nap. I tell her this. She says oh, all right then, hrmpf. bye. She can not even understand this most basic of motherly requirements. How did I survive this woman? What was she like when I was very young? I do not remember.

I am not a shrinking violet. I am a strong and forceful person. Very successful in my career and in life. Yet when it comes to this woman, I do not dare to say a thing. I do not want to bring on her wrath. If I did there would be no relationship, with her that would perhaps be fine with me but it would also send my father away with her and I could not face that.

  1. Blogger Dr. Deborah Serani said:

    It's hard when, as an adult, you still realize that your mom is not an altogether person. There's a lot to grieve and mourn with this. I know it from personal experiences too.

    BTW, I really like your Halloween banner countdown!

    ~Deb

  1. Blogger Cathy said:

    Dr. Deb;
    What causes her to be this way??? A complicated amalgom of things, I am sure. I think her mother was like this with her. So how did I break the cycle? If you right click on the banner you can go the site where they are...and design your own...

  1. Blogger Michelle said:

    Cathy, i remember all too well what my mother was like when i was young. Sadly, it wasn't till i was an adult, i realised most mothers were not like this. Like you, my mother calls to vent. I just shake my head in bewilderment at her. I know why she does it, and why she does and says the things she does. However, because she's my mother, it gets me upset because i am so not like her, and believe she should be acting a certain way...to the collective conscience and she doesn't. I know she never will....still hurts though. Like you Cathy, i too am a strong woman, yet i can't bring myself to say or tell her things she's done that have really hurt me......she'd deny it and say i was making it all up! I vowedi would never ever be like her, 42 years on, i'm doing pretty well.

  1. Blogger Cathy said:

    Michelle;
    glad we've both been able to break the cycle.

  1. Blogger just sayin' said:

    I never realized some major things about my mother until my younger sister verbalized them. 1) She was a scared little girl in an adult body. 2) She emotionally terrorized the family with the cold shoulder treatment. These revelations have helped understand Mom's behavior.

  1. Blogger Cathy said:

    morgan;
    thanks for the post...maybe there's something like mother's anonymous, or some other form of detox for people like us...

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