I have just cried approximately 5 pounds worth of tears. I have listen to Try by Nelly Furtado endlessly. Our song Mother, even if you couldn’t understand it. Even if you didn’t care…
Today I was used as an emotional punching bag and suffered one of the worst episodes of mother-bullying in ages. I don’t want to go into details (they are many, and they still wander in my head confusing me, teasing and menacing…) but my mother basically told me that I had ruined (purposely and evilly) her only dream in life: having me living at home so that a man (any man?) would ask my hand in marriage. I know by now you are thinking: “what the fuck?”. Exactly what I was thinking too.
She pulled one of the most epic guilt trips I’ve ever seen her do (and I’ve seen her pulled very massive guilt trips, trust me) and as usual, I stayed quiet rather than risking saying things that would only hurt us both. She basically snapped after we came from my aunt’s house (where my cousin’s boyfriend was being officially introduced to the family). I guess she saw how “proud” my aunt was of her brand-new son-in-law and my mom wanted (wished she could?) do the same with me: rub my (handsome, rich and successful) boyfriend in everybody’s faces. Since my sister lives abroad and my mom is not very fond of her boyfriend, I’m her only chance of getting to slap back “socially”.
I have been hardwired since forever to think of my mom as a victim, as someone who I owe deeply and beyond any means of repayment. She has made that very clear: we owe her everything. It was HER, her sacrifice, her fighting that got us where we are. I believe it’s true, in some extent. I do appreciate and value all that she has ever done for me. I love her far beyond what’s comprehensible. But for her, loving means submission and I won’t submit myself to her tyranny anymore. I’m
tired exhausted from having to fight the same battle over and over. I can’t take this strain anymore.
Hearing her say that the only dream she ever had for me was having me under her rule until she would marry me off to some random person (no matter how false and mean intentioned) was just crushing. I have achieved so much in my short life. Most times I have to remind myself of all that just to take it in and be able to move on. I have done so much just to make her proud of me, of what I’ve become. I know that I haven’t come all the way from the very bottom, that I have been blessed with a middle-class life and all the perks that come with it. But saying that she has given me everything, EVERYTHING, is just wrong. I have done my fare share to get where I am and I know it. You may have paid for school, but I was the one busting my chops to get the good grades. One of the reasons I moved out is so that I could prove her that I could do well on my own. ‘Cause with her, any achievement, big or small, was possible because SHE had done something. You would never get credit for anything, since what you did was nothing compared to whatever SHE had to do to get you there or to make that happen. She even praises herself for my masters. I got the scholarship myself, I busted my ass studying, and she didn’t even wanted me to go. But SHE says that if it wouldn’t have been for her I wouldn’t have made it to France. What.the.fuck.
All she cares about is what “society” thinks of a young woman living alone. Of what the neighbors, or my grandparents, or the people who they run into at social gatherings, THEM, what THEY think is what bothers her. As if she wasn’t capable of making an idea by herself and assessing the fact that I have been (of her 4 children) the one who has tried the hardest to make her happy. She didn’t even bothered asking me what MY dreams or plans where. Apparently it’s irrelevant for her what I see as my future or how I plan on achieving my goals.
I’m not a chef because she didn’t want me too. She decided she knew better than me, that I was to study something with more prestige: something to rub the neighbors with. And so I went to school to study something that (even as much as I enjoy my work and my field) was not MY choice. She still says she was the one that paid my career. I feel that having to scream at her that she only paid a year (out of 4) and that the rest (a) I paid with my temp-job and (b) I’m still paying on student credit would be like saying “no, you didn’t do anything for me” and that would only infuriate her more (and make me look like an ungrateful bitch), which is not (and has never been) my goal.
What does she wants me to say? That I moved out because I was starting to hate her? That I left before I did something stupid, like losing my temper and screaming at her all the things I know that would hurt her? There would be no turning back after that. Not now, not after I got married and had 3 kids, never. After things like those (like the ones I Know I would say when mad) are said, there are no pieces left to put together. I have chosen (so far) to be the bigger person and just take the blows silently but I’m wearing thin on emotional endurance.
Like Adele says “I can’t give you what you think you gave me (mom)”. I am seriously considering counseling. For me, since I know that it won’t work on her. She has a selective memory (she decided to bring the thesis issue yet again(!!)) and she refuses to take any other version of the facts that her own little twisted one. She basically told me that I’m her biggest disgrace and that I’m an embarrassment for her. That no “decent man” will ever consider me wife material because women who live alone are deemed sluts no matter how decent they might really be. I don’t have to confide in her my many issues regarding boys and I sure as hell don’t need her adding her two cents to my paranoia that I will die alone and single. I don’t really have that paranoia, but I do get discouraged (as any girl would) because men are complicated creatures whose behavior escape my comprehension. Bleh.
I cried so hard, I had to call a friend and talk to her while I drove all the way back to my place. She reassured me that I was taking the right choice and calmed me down. I hate that my mother has such a power over me: that her words (as mean and poisonous as they are) are able to crush me down so easily. I should be better than this or at least I should be able to fight back. But I can’t, because at the end of the day I still think of her as the victim and I can’t bring myself to hurt her even if it is by defending myself.
I think I will take some time away from her, just to let things settle. Maybe tomorrow after I talk with my sister I will feel better and I’d be able to decide what to do about this situation. I feel so much like that Sharon Olds’ poem I published before: “you are going to do things /you cannot imagine you would ever do/ you are going to do bad things to children”. She is my mother and I know she has my best interests at heart. I know she loves me and that she is reacting this way out of sheer desperation. But I made a decision that Saturday night of May 16th 2010: I chose myself, my peace of mind and my freedom to live life as I see fit, above anybody else’s views and opinions. And still today, over a year later, and even if I am emotionally crushed, I still choose myself.