Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Having your mom is important

I cannot express enough in words how important it is for (a girl) to have her mom.  I dont doubt its important for a boy as well, I just happen to be a girl!

In analyzing my relationship with my own daughter I realize all that I have missed with my own mom.  I mean I already knew there were major differences, its just that life happens, and we live it, and then one day we say, hey, wait a minute!  Hold on!  Im not even going to enter my birth mom into this mix.  The birth woman has never said "I love you" or tried to be part of my life, or acted like any mother I've known.

I could sit here and type all of the things I did not get.  And all of the good things I did get.

But its not about the stuff.  Its about the feelings associated with the good stuff, those special moments, the wonderful memories you remember your entire life.  And, the feelings associated with the yuck, ugly stuff.

One of the major differences between my sister and I.  She adores my mom, I see it all the time.  She has actually made comments about how lucky we are to have such a great mom.  I sit in silence, no real response for her.  Sure she's a pretty darn good person.  But apparently we've had different mothers all these years!  

Notice I said person, not mom.  She is a good person.  She just isnt the greatest  mom to me.  I'd have to say in all honesty, being brutally honest, that she has been a pretty good mom to my sister.  Wow, that was hard to admit.

What does this mean?  Does she not like me as much as my sister?  Or did she not bond with me the same as my sister?   I dont know the real answer, only how I feel and what I have observed most of my life.  I dont think she is aware of this so I doubt I will ever get an answer.

Carrying a baby for all those months, childbirth and bonding.  All of these things make a difference.  So you have your baby, the baby looks like your family....another difference.  Similar personalities, another difference.  Oh, and I always hear from people,  a story about  their own family, how this sister or brother was so different and didnt look the same or act the same as them or anyone in their family.  Uh, yeah, but nope, that brother or sister had his/her mom, right?  So...the point is...it is not the same.  

I feel this difference all the time.  Its like the family dance I'm not part of, that I've blogged about before. They are all speaking a language I dont understand.   I dont have the same feelings for my mom that I have for my own daughter and the urgency and bond with mom as I do with my own children.  I realize I am the daughter in this relationship with my mom, but I should feel similarly.  Right?  I should have the same enthusiasm and desire my sister has with mom and vice versa.  I know I should but I cant make it happen and neither can mom.

It is not my fault I feel this way.  I dont even know if its moms fault either.   In 1965 there wasnt the proper counseling to cope with loss of fertility or how to cope with a macho husband who had the issue of not being able to produce baby #2.  I do understand this intellectually, I just dont understand it emotionally.    

Moms just as sick as dad....

I spent a couple of days with mom.  Mainly helped with dad, he's really bad.  Hard to believe he's still here to be honest.  Shocking to see him, my daughter saw him while she was visiting and said he did not look alive.  She is right, its an awful process, being in hospice, and dying.

I dropped mom off at the doctor, and while she was gone dads hospice nurse came.  I was glad to get a chance to talk to her.  There were some questions she wanted answered which she asked in a very proper way.  Once I explained, she understood and things made sense now,  she said.

She was looking at the pictures on the wall,  my wedding picture.  She said oh maybe you look like your dad?  I said no, actually I was adopted.  She said, "Oh, your the adopted one."   I said yes, I am.  Which means my mom is up to her old tricks and telling I was adopted again.  I was surprised when I met the lady she hired to watch dad while she's gone.  Mom made a comment like oh yeah, she's the adopted one, I love her even if I didn't give birth to her.  Made this big fuss.  For once I had nothing to say!  hahaha!  She's never told people I was adopted.  I did not understand why now?

So I figured out why now while at moms house last week.  The hospice nurse told me some things that mom had told her, that were not true.  Lies.  Things that she should not be lying about.  The nurse said oh your mom loves you.  And she elaborated on this, saying how mom talks about us, and our family, as though we lived in a house filled with love.  Mom has painted a picture of a perfect life she has lived with her husband, my dad.  The nurse said how lucky I was, oh LORD I thought.  LUCKY? What does that mean anyhow, lucky?     Luck means "good fortune; advantage or success, considered as the result of chance."  

I paused for a moment, and I said to the nurse, "Yes, I'd like to be able to say and mean what you just said to me.  I'd like to feel that mom loves me, and mean it."  I told her that I was working hard, at being able to see this, to feel it and believe it.  I realized last week, it may never happen.  I may never be able to have those feelings.  I cannot think of a feeling I'd rather have, and I will continue to dig deep to be able to say the words, and believe them.  What I saw of mom last week was her pretending, and lying to the nurse and after speaking with her sister I realized she's lying to her, about everything.

I really believe when the nurse or other strangers come to the house, she paints this picture of her life, that is not real.  Maybe it makes her reality easier?   Maybe it brings her happiness to pretend her life has been happy?  Her sister told me that she asked mom what she thought she did in her life that led her down this road, to be so unhappy for so many years and to suffer this way?  What did you do wrong in your life?  Mom had no answer.   The worst part is, mom tells these people that visit that she has so many friends.  She has people she sees when she goes to church and goes to her exercise class twice a week.   She sees this lady while in church, does nothing with her afterwards or speak to her other times, just while sitting in the pew.  And she talks to people at the class she takes.  Thats it.  She has painted a picture of having friends she see's and is active with.  Makes me sad to think that she has to make these things up, and to paint a picture of a happy life that does not and has not ever existed.

Moms entire life has been make believe.  She has lived alone, and unhappy.  Yet she defends her position, and refuses to make any changes even now, when my dad is laying in bed 23.5 hours per day, unable to see or do anything.  She refused to move a box of lightbulbs to a place she didn't have to use a ladder to get, because she would not move anything my dad has in the house, or throw away anything of his.  She locks the house up like we are living in a maximum security prison, bars on the windows and she still locks the dead bolt around 7pm, locking us inside as dad has done 30 years.   My moms mental illness is like my dads, she IS mentally ill.  This is something I have grown to realize in the past year.  She is just as much to blame for the abuse and neglect I endured as he is.  She is his partner in crime, so to speak.  This is going to require a lot of review in my head.  

Mom is a sick lady, she is not mentally well.  How will I process this now that I am certain that she is as much to blame, if not more to blame for years of abuse?  The times I thought it was just dad, turns out to be that mom was in the drivers seat.  

Saturday, February 14, 2015

its important to examine the past

My birth mom found me when I was 19, in November of 1984.   She contacted my mom and talked to her first.  I was not living at home at the time.

My parents anniversary is in November as well.  

This same year, in November of 1984 was also the last time my dad physically hit me.

It wasn't until just recently I realized why he had this huge blowout, meltdown, and came charging down the hall and punched me in the face, twice.

I had no idea why he did this, he and mom had been shopping for antiques that day.  Came home and I showed up and next thing I know, dad is running down the hall and  I'm almost knocked out.

He must have gone {more] crazy that she had found me and there was an upcoming reunion?

We met the next month, in December and my dad was trying to fix up the house, he actually put up the shutters on the outside of the house he had previously taken down in one of his paranoid rages.  I guess at the time, being 19, I did not give it much thought.  But for him to do this, meant he wanted to make a good impression, and the house looked so bad from him ripping out all of the plants in our front yard, putting up security bars on every window and taking down the cute shutters around the windows.

HUGE LIGHT WENT OFF IN MY HEAD when I realized the timing of my dads blowup.  Here I was, just a kid and I was expected to endure this man cold cocking me in the face twice while sitting down, and expected to know why! Nothing had happened, that I could think of, we hadn't even spoke that day!    If he really was upset about my birth mom finding me, why didn't he just sit down and say he was upset, or worried or something?  And for heavens sake, why was he upset anyhow?  This is the same man that would tell me to stay away from his daughter (my sister) saying that I was not his daughter, while pushing me aside.  He didn't give a darn how I felt, obviously not even after birth mom found me.  Just about knocking me out, at the time and for all these years I thought he did this because of his hatred towards me.

I got up from my chair, pushed him as hard as I could, I was stunned, and he was pretty heavy at the time and I was a mere size 2 if that.   I went storming for the telephone.  I screamed, that I was calling the police and having him arrested.  Mom started crying, saying it was her anniversary, and she didn't want dad to go to jail.  I screamed out loud,  that he would never hit me again, this was the last time.  And I meant it.  Its funny in those days we had the home phone on a super long cord so you could walk around the house with it and talk.   I remember pacing around with the phone in my hand,  ready to dial the police.

Amazing I ever spoke to him again, writing this blog it amazes me that I continued to act out the motions of being the daughter and sister in this family.   Mom even lied about it happening after the fact, made it out to be something different than it really was.  All I knew was that I got punched, while sitting down at the kitchen table, looking at antiques mom had just bought.   There was no way of changing this story into something different!

Whats sick is, mom probably knows why it happened to begin with.  She lived with him, and I guarantee he was spouting off at the mouth about my birth mom coming to meet us.  No way was he quiet about it, just not his style.

During our reunion time I had driven down to the Orange County area to see the birth families on my own, after the initial meeting with my birth mom & full brother at my parents house.  My dad had screamed at me to never talk to him again, that basically I could change my name and take theirs and never have anything to do with him again.  He was fine with this.  As though it was all my fault they chose adoption.

It amazes me, that it has taken all these years to figure this out.  This November it will be 31 years since this happened!  I'd like to say that none of this matters, but that would be sweeping it under the carpet and allowing it to build and build until one day it would come busting out of the seams.  Really understanding and believing that I was and still am a good girl, a nice girl, is important to me.  For years I thought I was seriously defective, a bad girl, and that it was my fault that neither of my parents loved or cared about me.

I cannot tell you what a revelation it was figuring this out.  I bet there are many other incidents in my life, like this I have yet to figure out.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Daughter annoyed by birth moms "Thank You" card

My daughter came home from college to visit this past week, and I showed her the "Thank You" card I received from my birth mom for sending her a Christmas card.  I asked her what she thought.

I handed her the card, and she quickly gave it back to me saying she could not read it, she had seen enough and it was ridiculous that she would send me a "Thank You" card in turn for sending her a Christmas card.   She did not want to know what else she wrote, she somewhat shushed me up.

She is right, its strange that she sent me this card, and I wish I understood her purpose.  She's not written me in years,  has never sent the kids birthday cards, or Christmas cards to us, so why this card?

Why not an apology letter instead?  Apologizing for betraying me?  Clearly she has no plan on sending me that type of card or she would have done it by now.    How about a simple card, saying just "Sorry" - asking to move forward and forgive her.   30+ years into reunion, you'd think this would be easy for her to do, apologize and realize what she's done. I met her when I was 19, and I'm turning 50 on June 8th this year.

Its almost ironic that she wants to believe that I am the crazy one, point the finger at me for what she has done over the years.  Make me into the one that has caused all the problems.  Wish she'd get real, wake up, and take responsibility for her actions.  I have apologized for being mad, in turn, for her craziness.  There is not much more I can do...to make her realize what she has done.  Sometimes I imagine just shaking her, slapping her face and telling her to wake up.  I have even suggested many times to go to counseling.  But honestly, when a person refuses to face themselves, for whatever the reason and can easily betray their own daughter, telling others she is mentally ill and a liar, then I honestly doubt I can shake her back into reality.  This is work she has to do on her own.

Maybe the card is the first step?  Or maybe she just wants something from me?