[this got long. plz read.]
So, I’ve had a lot of interesting responses to last night’s question. The addendum I seem to be pondering is thus: Does the answer to the question change if it’s mental and/or emotional abuse?
You know, screw it. I think I’ll just stop beating around the bushes and actually let y’all into my head. This verges on dangerous territory for me — I went and left this “friends only”, but that’s still a large chunk of people, and any of y’all could use this to hurt me. That’s part of the reason I’ve been somewhat hesitant to write at all, and why the writing has come in this closet space instead of out in the open. I hate the fact I’m putting this on the Internet at all — but I need to have other thoughts on what I’m thinking to make sure that I’m not seeing this through my personal cracked windshield.
So here’s the story. A lot of you know that I’ve had troubles with Mom before. A lot of you also know that I’m THIRTY-ONE FRICKIN YEARS old and still live with my parents. I’ve had several people comment on how much happier I seem to be when I’m away from my parents, and that probably should have been the first clue…
But besides the point. Here’s the deal. My mom likes to pull a little stunt that annoys me to no end. If something is not *exactly* as she wants it, she pouts and pulls a guilt trip. Like the other day, I’m at home and she starts bugging me about lunch. Okay, says I, I can take a bit of time to nuke Mom a frozen pizza if it keeps her away from where I’m goofing off. But no, she wants an artichoke. Now, at the main grocery store we go to, they don’t have artichokes and I knew that’s where my sister had gone to buy groceries the night before. So I tell her we don’t have any. She immediately starts ranting at me that my sister’s an ungrateful selfish person who didn’t go out of her way to buy the artichokes, and I’m suddenly trying to defend the kid. And she ends with what I can only call a flounce, and says “I won’t eat anything at all.”
*sigh* Okay, did I mention that Mom’s a diabetic, and she knows damn good and well that if she doesn’t eat, her blood sugar is going to go plummeting through the floor? And then *that* becomes my problem. And it’s just this sort of passive-aggressive bullshit that is driving me absolutely bonkers — and I’ve come to the realization she’s done it for years.
But on the other hand, I also know Mom’s living in the all-depression-all-the-time channel due to a rather fucked-up childhood. Quick bit — mom’s the product of a teenage pregnancy, and my biological grandfather was just nowhere near being ready to take on the role of being in charge of a family. They divorced. Did I point out that it’s 1958 here? Add in the fact that Nanny favored Mom’s little brother over her — yeah, boys have always meant more to Nanny than girls, but that’s its own complicated sordid story. So really, it’s no wonder Mom’s fucked up.
Nanny is an extraordinary control freak and cares way too much about appearances. She’s also the youngest of seven siblings, with a relatively large gap between her and her next oldest sibling. Add in the fact that her father was an alcoholic and they never had much money. Also, something I didn’t find out until the last few years, my great-grandmother was not my great-grandfather’s first wife. He had a whole ‘nother family out there that my nanny only vaguely knew about.
It’s the tale of the sins of the father being visited upon the sons. And so logically, I understand why mom is the way she is, and I even understand that she probably didn’t mean it. I believe with all my heart she didn’t mean it — she tried to be the best parent she could. And yet…
And yet, here we are, where I sit and contemplate horrible things. That’s why I said when I knew the answer was yes, I wasn’t sure how I was going to deal with it. Other than the occasional spanking (when I was younger), I’ve never been hit by either of my parents. I know it could have been much worse. Which is why I’ve probably been hesitant to think of it as abuse. Who am I to blow against the wind?
But I think it boils down to this: the thing a kid tries to do most of all is to make their parents happy. And in my case, my dad was never around and my mom was never happy. That’s not really an environment prone to making a well-adjusted adult, so it really shouldn’t be a surprise I’m as fucked up as I am.
It’s not that dad was out boozing around or anything. He just works insane hours. We joke that he’s married to his job and Mom’s the extramarital affair. (Although, in the last few weeks, I’ve wondered if he’s that way because it keeps him from having to deal with Mom’s harping.) I’ll write more about Dad in the next few days — it’s probably important.
Again, the question is probably irrelevant. As I said, the matter of what needs to happen now is the same as it was yesterday. More on that tomorrow, because I think I just about emotionally exhausted myself writing this.
…I’m also beginning to think that even a general friends-only filter might be too broad. So if you want to hear my attempting to figure out and integrate stuff, please let me know. If I decide to go with the filter option, that’ll be what determines who ends up there.
But yeah, comments are welcome. I’ll reply to some comments on the other thread after I’ve slept a bit, although I think I answered some of them here.