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Shattered Images of Mom
May 19, 2014
12:36 pm

I grew up idolizing my single mother who devoted her life to me and her other two children as we grew up in what seemed to be poor conditions. I thought it was somehow my fault that my parents divorced when I was seven because Mom threatened to kill herself often for all the things she "had" to do for me and my siblings. She used to nonchalantly inform us that tonight she was going to die and that we would just have to go live with our dad. I would scream and cry "No Mommy! No Mommy!" as she would take a knife out of the drawer and aim it at herself. My little brother once had to yank a knife out of her hand (mind you, he was only 5 years old at the time). Somehow, I blamed myself because my mom said I was selfish. She said my brother was more lovable (physically affectionate) with her and that I was cold. I really started to believe I was. But I felt weird when she asked my brother to give her back massages and I somehow, even then, thought it was kind of sexual or something. But still, I practically worshiped my mom, and even won a city-wide essay contest about "Why My Mom is the Best."
Anyway, as time went on, I was the "perfect" child. I got straight As, practically never spoke, and tried to react the way my mom wanted. Even though I wasn't into clothes or make-up in middle school, I tried to let my mom dress and make me into her desired image and I invited her to do things with my young friends who thought she was the "coolest mom ever." I thought so too. She bought everyone pizza, drove us to the movies, everything most kids probably want. She would also buy me hundreds of dollars worth of clothes (most that were in a revealing style that I didn't like) and she'd remind me of this often. If I didn't do the jig and sing out her praises profusely every time she did something like this, she'd get extremely upset with me and threaten to never do anything for me again! She would pout, withdraw to her room for days, and refuse to tell me what's wrong. She would, again, say I was selfish. I felt bad because I knew most kids would love this permissive lifestyle, especially since we were poor. My mom used her credit cards and child support money to buy herself new clothes every day. She wouldn't be seen without her makeup on and never let my friends come in the house if she didn't have her face made up.
When I was a teenager, my brother and I got into a fight and he took my bed out of our shared bedroom and put it into the garage (my older sister had a son whom she shared a room with). Instead of my mom using her parental authority to tell my brother to give me back my bed, she told me to stop bugging her (when I told her what had happened). I no longer had a bedroom from the ages of 11-18 and had to sleep on the sofa, where people would come in and out all night long (including my mom's boyfriend whom she was just using for money, as she was emotionally abusive to him as well). She eventually kicked her boyfriend out of her room and he had to start sleeping on the other sofa. So here I was on one sofa and her boyfriend was on the other. I was still very innocent for my age, never smoked, tried drugs, drank, etc. Got perfect grades. No sex. etc. Very shy and withdrawn though.
The worst thing was when I began wetting my pants at home and school because I was afraid to get in trouble for needing to use the bathroom! I know this sounds stupid, but my mom used to take at least two long showers a day and she'd get really angry if anyone needed to use the toilet when it was "her" bathroom time. Even the last time I saw her (I'm now 33 years old and I saw her 3 months ago), she rolled her eyes and b*tched at me about how my nephew was just using the toilet because he KNOWS it's HER time to take a shower (which was in the middle of the day...weird). She is very paranoid like that. She thinks that when my husband got really sick with an infection that I was "bringing her down" by telling her my upset. She basically said it was my problem and I shouldn't "do this to her" (confide in her).

The funny thing is that all my life, she has confided in me about her sex life, work problems, boyfriend troubles, and gosspiped about other relatives, making herself out to be a martyr. She used to build me up and tell me I was her favorite child becaause I listened to her and counseled her. She'd say I was the smartest and she was proud of me. She said she didn't understand how some parents could not see thier children and she would never be like that.
She actually did so much more like pull my hair, slap me, embarrass me in front of friends, etc. but she was overprotective of me and I took that as love. She was, at the same time, very permissive about other things.
This comes to the straw that broke the camel's back. I recently moved and needed furniture but was low on money, so I asked my mom for MY OWN savings bonds, which she put away for me over the years. The bonds were WHAT I EARNED from my schools as rewards for doing well. Well, she refused to give them to me. She is living with my grandma, rent-free, not paying any bills, and still she has declared banctrupcy twice. Still, she has a cushy government job and buys all the things she could ever want (she is a hoarder) while I am squeaking by, but paying my own way along with my sick husband. Instead of giving my MY money, let alone any help she could spare, she complained about what a nuisance it would be to go into her cedar chest to get my bonds. That is true. Since she is a hoarder, she has a bunch of her junk piled on top of it and she is too lazy to get to it. But why should I suffer for her hoarding ways? She already spent my college fund (the small amount of it) on clothes for herself. She even receives half of my dad's large retirement pension! But she is still in massive debt and complains about how she has "no money" all the time.

I just got sick of everything. I couldn't talk to her anymore, with her illusions of life. I don't want to be a sick martyr who gossips about everyone and can't even see reality for what it is while I spend everyone else's money and act like a victim. She even resents having to make her 90 year old mother, who is letting her live in her house rent-free and is going blind, a sandwhich. My grandma is scared of her and used to call me crying when my mom would have one of her tantrums.

But the thing is, I have kind of cut off my grandma too because she is a nervous nelly and will defend my mom at any cost. I made her a very nice family history and biography for Mother's Day (and even made my mom a CD), but got no acknowledgement. I send them cards and letters to wish them well, but it is not enough according to my brother.
He says Mom did the best she could, she is hurt by my reaction. Well, I am tired of being hurt myself. She is always playing the "poor me" card and I'm sick of her acting like nothing ever happened and I'm such a mean person for just trying to be open for once.

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