Saturday, 1 March 2014

In Limbo

I've been waiting and waiting for the right time to tell my mother that I know all about the wonderful details of her boyfriend's shady past. The time finally came to say somethning this past week, though be it via text messaging, but hey, at least I put it out there. Sigh.

How did the "right" moment for exposing my year and a half of hidden knowledge come to pass? My mother texted me that, yet again, she had been offered a job in my city, though this time as a manager instead of an assistant. She mentioned that she also had an interview in her city for a management position and that she was to talk  the district manager of that business on Friday(yesterday).

Prior to my mother texting me she had also texted my brother to let him know the news of the yet again possibly impending move. After the whole fiasco two months ago he was not about to be taken in by her definitely maybe attitude so he was very leary of her news. Our mother mentioned the job in our city was largely dependent on if her boyfriend would or could come with her. My brother let it out that he wanted nothing to do with her boyfriend and that I also have no desire for a relationship with someone like that. She was not happy about my brother's dissaproval and didn't understand why he didn't like her boyfriend, I have copies of the texts but have neither the care nor patience to post them here, you get the basic jist of the conversation anyway I'm sure.

Now, I didn't text my mother until the day after, and I played ignorance to her text conversation with my brother. She sent me the same story of the job offer but included that it depended on her boyfriend; she explained how supportive he is, how they're fighting but just because of being unhappy about their living situation at the moment, and that she really cared about him. This is when I dropped the bomb about everything; what I already knew last year when she and I skyped and I gave her the opportunity to spill the beans on her insane antics from the summer before; I explained my conversation with the officer about her boyfriends extensive criminal record; I explained that he's not someone I want to get to know anymore then I already do.

Relief doesn't even touch how much better I felt after letting go of my secret knowledge, it was like a wave of "I freaking did it!" washed over me followed by an immediate release of 1.5 years worth of knotted muscles. Breathing has even been easier. The problem now lays in my mother's lap, she told me that she has a difficult decision to make between coming back to our city with us or staying in her city with her boyfriend. She was apparently unaware of how long a criminal history he has so wanted to talk to him about it before "deciding". It's been 4 days and she hasn't contacted me to let me know what's been happening. I think I can safely say that she will be staying in her city, past experience tells me so.

So now what? When my mother calls or text's to let me know about her decision I've decided I will be cutting ties with her altogether. I have spent the last 20 years trying to get my mother to put my siblings and I first. Since I was 7 years old I have plead with her and tried to bribe her emotionally to see that we were the one's who really needed her and who she really needed. I'm not doing it anymore. I'm not going to spend the rest of my life trying to get someone to love me the way I love my own child. I feel bad enough my niece was exposed to my mother's charms, my mother has barely spoken to her when she had promised to call more often. I'm not going to have my child(ren) exposed to the same empty promises, they do not deserve to be let down by a woman that they'll barely even know. I love my mother dearly, but I just can't play the game anymore. She's taken us forgranted for far too long, most people wouldn't have been given so many chances and she needs to know that.

The wait for contact continues.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Happy Travels

I'm sitting in a Starbucks right now in Toronto, it's a bit windy out but its still fairly mild. I had an appointment with a specialist due to a work related injury so I was flown here yesterday and don't leave until this evening, I have some time to kill!

After my last post I was really fighting through some of the accompanying emotions, my feelings regarding my mother never get any easier todeal with. I think I've come to the conclusion that regardless of whether I "confront" her or not things will continue to remain the same. She's always going to be full of empty promises, she's always going to be lost in some tug of war between her romantic relationships and her past, all while my siblings and I are left to watch from the sidelines. It's unfortunate and it's certainly unfair, but it's also reality.
Reality sucks.

I think my focus needs to be on myself and my own relationships, I need to be the kind of mother my mom can't be. I need to be reliable, dependable, and interested in my children. Having someone who is supposed to be your mom but after 27 years still just doesn't have a clue who you are as a person is amazingly frustrating, I can't afford to be that person and my kids deserve better then that.

I need to focus on being a good partner to my husband, it kills him to see me upset or lost in my thoughts over a woman who spends more time thinking about herself then anyone else. I'd much rather be present in a real and tangible relationship then be lost in something largely imaginary. I've spent more physical hours with my husband in the last 6.5 years then I've spent with my mother in the last 15 years so it's not really a question as to who deserves my attention and presence.

I need to spend more time with my dad, he can be a "selective asshole", but it's never towards my siblings and I, and its usually pretty hilarious. My dad was by no means perfect, there are some things about him I wish he'd change, particularly the drinking and his tendency to bring up my mother in discussion, but he's still the man who raised me. My son needs to spend more time with his grandpa, I want him and my other future children to have a good relationship with a very important man. Who knows, maybe more time with the grandkids will help my dad move on from the hurt my mother caused him, it's worth a try anyways.

I need and deserve to spend more time with me. When I am alone in my thoughts I need to be able to be at peace and not constantly plagued by this or that ordeal my mother has put me through. Like my dad I slip into the past too often, I need to just accept that things are what they are.

Acceptance...it's probably the hardest thing to reach in a difficult situation. It's one of those things that comes with time and a great deal of grief. The grief seems to be worth it though, you can't be upset when you're finally free to be happy.

Freedom, I need to be free.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

New Year, Same Old Story

A couple of years ago I made the mistake of buying into the possibility  that my mom would be moving back to my city. I have made the same mistake repeatedly over the years, buying into something she mentions that she hasn't thought through, only to get my hopes up for something I knew would never happen. Story of my life!

Last Spring my mom brought up her annually announced desire to move back to my city, after the incident from the spring before I knew better then to read into it. Fast forward to this past November and my Mom decides that she's tired of living so far away...again. She brought it up several times and in December mentioned she noticed a job listing locally she was planning on applying for. Now, I know not to buy into her whims, and I didn't think that anything would become of this particular whim, but I made the mistake of telling my brother about it. He, of course, got really excited and texted my mom a few questions and then she let him know she had an interview over skype coming up. Surprise, surprise, the interview fell through and my brother immediately fell into a 3 day anxiety ridden depression. I felt like an idiot because I should have never told him about our moms supposed plans, especially with the holidays.

A week later my mom texted my brother that the interview was rescheduled for the 30th, yet again my brother starts getting excited. Now, prior to this whole apparent job prospect my mom had mentioned more then once that if she came back it would probably be alone, her boyfriend couldnt come last time so she didnt think he could come this time (this admission, that there's some "obscure" reason why her boyfriend can't leave the province, re-ignites the silent rage I have inside over finding out he's some kind of life long criminal that is currently on probation, a fact she has yet to personally tell me...$%#*&!). My brother had offered my mom a place to stay since she'd be alone, he was not just opening his heart to her, but opening his home as well, another heart breaking reason for me to feel terrible about even mentioning things in the first place.

Over the weekend my mom texted me and asked to skype, I obliged as I hadn't spoken to her since the first week of December, we texted on her birthday and Christmas but that was it. I asked her how her interview went and she was hesitant but mentioned she had a second interview coming up. I told her that sounded promising and then she sighed a bit and mentioned her "back-up" plan. She talked about taking a certificate program at the college, one that would help her attain a  higher level position in her line of work. Now, sometimes, more like all the time, my mom thinks she can pull a fast one on me, little does she know I'm a master at reading body language and can decipher any amount of pure bullshit told to me, for that I can thank my dad. My mom told me that the certificate she wants to take is offered at the college where I live as well as where she lives. She then went on to explain that she could take it in either college but that the college in my city has mature students that can audit but not recieve the certificate. Honest to God, if I could have slapped her in the face through the tv I would have. I'm 27, I've been to University, I know what auditing is, and anyone can do it, but to be considered a mature student means you're a registered and paying student. What my mom was trying to do was convince me that it would be better for her to take the course at her local college. This is why honesty is the best policy, you never know who has a functioning and highly accurate bullshit-ometre.

What all this round about garbage about college means is that even if my mom was offered this job, she would turn it down and stay in her city. Yet again, she spoke before she thought about it, and yet again a "definitely, maybe" has become another "maybe not". I'm just so sick and tired of playing coy with my mom, I can't hold in all this anger towards her without eventually exploding. I already apologized to my brother, I explained that I should have never told him because I knew from the moment it was mentioned that our mom was not coming back. What really bogs me down is the fact I even feel the need to apologize for my mom's behaviour, it's just exhausting thinking about it. My husband is also pissed off at my mom again, he doesn't really care for her for various related reasons but he particularly loathes the way she leads myself and my brothers on.

The fact is I'm tired of pretending I don't know what's really going on, I shouldn't pretend either because it just makes my mom more confident about her ridiculous excuses. I'm tired of feeling the need to explain why my mom does what she does, I too need to stop making excuses for her. Maybe this is the year I get a back bone and say what needs to be said, about everything, no more beating around the bush and worrying about her feelings(She certainly doesn't worry about ours).

Then again, maybe it's not.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Pregnant with a Side of Rage

I'm back for the second time today and it feels great :). As mentioned, my husband and I are expecting again and we're very excited, while our 17 month old son remains (expectedly), oblivious. Having a toddler running around being a nutcase while pregnant is quite the feat, I knew it would be a challenge but I'm not sure I fully anticipated the lack of energy I would have! Regardless of my fatigue we're all making due and I love my little scientist-explorer and the ball of energy in my belly.

Over the last several months I have had some above average levels of stress, I had even dropped 9lbs by my fourth month of pregnancy! The main source of my frustrations came from a workplace injury and subsequent harrassment about said injury from a few nosey co-workers. The work business has been all taken care of but I am still feeling the effects of 6+ weeks of pure hell. I have had a short fuse as a result of the negativity and I seem to go from calm to hulk in a blink. I find myself yelling far too often and although I'm by no means a violent person, I would be fibbing if I denied a few moments of recycling bag fury in the recent weeks. Though I sometimes find it funny after the fact, I mostly feel awful for losing control.

My Dad was, and still is, a yeller. I do not want to be the mom who yells over everything, and I do not want to be the yelling wife either. As much as my work environment was the pits, I have also been dealing with my Uncle's death suicide at a distance, as well as my Mother causing my Brother some major disapointment over an interview she may or may not have bailed on. Throw in Christmas and now a family wedding and I feel like I am suffocating.

Every time I start losing my temper I am instantly reminded of how my Mother would yell at us, spank us, and then disappear into her room or sleep on the couch for hours... it makes me *cringe*. When I yell it makes me think of when my dad would explode with rage over what was often spilled milk. Recently, I was pointed into the direction of The Orange Rhino and have found that to be a cute and helpful tool, though I have found talking and writing about my anger to be quite therapeutic as well.

Does anyone know of any good books that deal with anger? Particularly anything related to suppressing emotions and then erupting into non-violent rage? Furthermore, if you have had the experience of losing control(what human being hasn't), how do you deal with it, and what, if any, preventative measure do you try to take for the next outburst?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts, I will be back very soon!
Bye for now,
Leslie Michael

Well, Then.

After a 7 month hiatus I'm ready to continue this blog. There's a great deal of inner turmoil that surfaces once you start writing things down and it's amazing how quickly you can overwhelm yourself with buried emotions.

The last 7 months have been interesting to say the least. I went back to work from maternity leave while already(just barely), pregnant, the month before my uncle commited suicide, we had some major structural renovations done to our home, and not once but twice this year my Mom has talked about "definitely maybe" moving back to my city. Also, The sister I've reffered to and mentioned as being transgendered will from here on out be written in as my brother, I never call him she so why would I call him my sister still. 

I think that although I want to be able to write about my relationship with my Mother, I dont want this to feel like some kind of mobius circle of pain and suffering. I am, generally, pretty happy, so I feel like for this to work for me I need to have a better balance of light hearted posts, I can't do all doom and gloom as it brings me down!

Well that's my mini update, I'll be following with a post about some anger issues I've been having as well as writing about my pregnancy thus far. 

Bye for now!

Leslie Michael


Thursday, 2 May 2013

Having a very mobile and energetic 9mth+ old has definitely made posting here near the bottom of my priority list these days(the very bottom of the list includes but is not limited to, folding the finished laundry, scooping the dog doody in the backyard, and lets not forget, actually bringing the recycling to the curb) Motherhood is a busy but rewarding job for me, it's something I've always wanted to do. It's pretty blatant that my mother's dreams had little to do with mothering. I'm still not sure what her dreams are, I don't think she even knows, though I suspect that deep down what she really wants in life is freedom.

Parenthood on the whole is a crazy adventure. New parents turn to their own parents for advice and tips on child-rearing, they don't always agree with the advice, but often take it with a grain of salt. I know there are many of us out there who don't turn to good ol' ma' and pop' for parenting tips, there's not a lot to be learned from those who abused or neglected us. My mother was not a good parent, she wasn't even really a parent, but my dad on the other hand was pretty amazing considering what he had to deal with.

What kind of parenting skills did I learn from my dad? The important one's. First, I learned that spanking isn't necessary, I received two spankings from him that were very well deserved, but that was it(My mother on the other hand, practically beat me on a daily basis before she left). I also learned that children are not stupid and should not be treated as such. My dad hated the word stupid, so he never used it and he never once talked down to me or my siblings. I always felt special because my dad not only talked to me like another adult, but also because he'd debate with me about social and political issues, even though I was only 11. In contrast, whenever I voiced my opinions about similar issues with my mother she would tell me I was too young to understand what I was talking about. My dad never grounded us, he thought it only encouraged rebellion, and he was right as far as I'm concerned. My dad only ever told us to do something once, we were never allowed to debate his decisions, he stood firm at all times. My dad let us question authority, I was always encouraged to be outspoken, especially when it came to ethics. My dad was supportive as a father, but there are some things I learned he didn't intend to teach me. My dad swore too much and yelled too much, I do remember being scared of him for a time, especially after my mother left us. My dad wasn't home enough; between working long hours or working out of town for months, we sometimes only saw our dad half the year, but he didn't really have a choice. My dad went out too much and put too much responsibility on me at too young of an age.
My dad is amazing and I love him, but he always went to the bar to "sign in" after work, and on weekends he would leave the house by 2pm to go "run errands" and then not come home until 11pm or later, my siblings and I missed more then one activity as a result of our dad's drinking habits. I learned that you really have to pay attention to your children and what they're doing. I was very depressed for close to two years as a child, I would fake sick on a daily basis, I would stay home after my dad left for work, I even did self-harm and had thoughts of suicide. I managed to figure things out for myself, but my dad didn't understand what was going on, he wasn't around enough to see that I was depressed and suffering from extreme social anxiety.
Everyone has their challenges in life to deal with, I'm thankful for my experiences, good and bad, because I know that I will be able to help my children the way my mother, and my dad, couldn't help me growing up. Thankfully I have the ability to empathize to the nth degree, I don't really have any questions as a parent to ask my parents, but I do wish that I could talk to my mother about challenging situations and know she was telling me the truth. Instead I get to listen to her "helpful" advice about what I "need" to do, along with what she tells me she believes she did with myself and my siblings. I guess the only truth I can really count on is my own.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

My brother was over the other day and we were chatting about our Mother, something he's only really just started feeling comfortable with. I was describing the last post I wrote, and how this blog has really been helping me sort through my feelings. My brother told me he still can't process what happened last summer, because he was still mad and hurt that our mother didn't come back "home" last spring like she had promised. It's funny, but I have spent so much time being frustrated with my mother over the fight with my sister and her husband that I completely forgot about the spring incident.

Last spring my mother told myself and my siblings that she would, most definitely, be moving back "home". For about 3 years she's been lamenting to me about how she feels so distanced from us all(because once a week, 4 hour visits for 10 years made us so close), how she misses us, and how she just wants to get back to normal, whatever she thinks that is. 3 years ago my mother ended the relationship she had with the man whom she left my dad for, the longest relationship she ever had. The man she left was a total prick, there's nothing good to say about him. She left him, lived on her own for maybe 2-3 months, then moved in with a new man. Prior to her planned move, I expressed my and my siblings feelings about her boyfriend, and those feelings changed all of her plans. Her boyfriend happens to be an alcoholic criminal, with an extensive record, so, understandably, not one of us, wanted him around. I brought up to my mother a few incidents with this boyfriend of hers last march and she was mortified(Her boyfriend had called both my sister and I while extremely inebriated and crying(on several occasions) about nothing audible while my mother was not even home). She was going to break up with him and move home by herself but apparently her boyfriend really was a good guy and was going to change, so she would be staying where she was; sounds like the earmark of a co-dependent person I do believe.

How did I manage to forget my Mother was supposed to move home last year? I didn't so much forget as I just gave up caring, and of course her lack of help and support through the most important milestone I've had yet-to-date really over-shadowed her last minute change-of-heart. When my brother brought up how my mother backed out of moving home, I remembered how mad I really was. The difference between my brother and I is that I wasn't mad at my mother, I was mad at myself for believing her, after 20 years I should really know better. *sigh*