Mother’s Day is coming up and I can’t say I’m really looking forward to it. My mother always told me that as long as I grew up to be happy, that she’ll be proud of me. But when check came to pay that bill, I can’t sit here and say I don’t think she ate those words without more than a little remorse. And probably a little indigestion.
I love my mother, of course I do. And there are many amazing qualities about her that do I love. My mother is an extremely resourceful, hard-working, quick-witted, loving and generous woman. But- And there’s always a but. Just like she always adds in with me. “Sarah, you know I love Tony but…”– there are always contingencies. I don’t think I’ve ever lived up to my mother’s expectations. I could start off with the fact that I dropped out of high school but I know it’s more than that.
To my mother, I’ve never been considered an equal. Because I don’t have a college education, my sources and knowledge are never good as her’s. I think my mother respects me when it comes to creative arts and working with electronics (she always says ‘Here Sarah, fix this.’ Or, ‘Sarah, I need you to fix the computer/install a program) but, I know she doesn’t respects me on the same level. She’s the one who has a “creative” daughter who writes fluff, and branches out and dabbles in various artistic adventures. But heaven forbid my vocabulary ever be as sophisticated, speak French as authentically, or be as poised as she. Sometimes I feel like my mom is like the white lace gloved lady and I’m a bull in a china shop.
My mother, and my god mother, always think they’re better than me. And it hurts. It’s unrealistic demands, these great expectations upon my shoulders. She thinks because I am the granddaughter of two doctors, the daughter of an engineer, the niece of two nurses, and the cousin to several prodigies, I should be as great as they. But I can only be me. And I know that disappoints her. I have no idea what my father thinks about me but, I’m not sure I want to know. When I tell her my plans for the future, she nods her head her head as if I were still a child telling her I was going to Mars. “Well, hurry up!” she passively tells me.
I suspect she doesn’t quite believe I’m capable of the pressure I’m setting myself up for. I think she hopes to be proven wrong but like asking an atheist about God, they’ll believe when they see. I’m not saying I don’t deserve some cynicism. I have failed a lot. I am not saying that because of all this, my mom doesn’t love me. I know she does. Just in her own warped hypocritical way. I think because my mom was brought up in such a strict love deprived family, expecting her to be perfect, that if she showered me with nothing but love growing up that I’d still turn out like her.
The problem with that theory is that you still need structure. You need inforced discipline, and a routine. And I didn’t have any of that growing up. Not even my diet was regular. There was a year in third grade where she enforced that my homework was done every night but that was more to spite a teacher’s crazy claims that I never turned my homework in. There was also a brief time in 7th grade she sent me to the Sylvan Learning Center to be tutored for math but that felt more like, “Fix her!” Other than that, it was always a mad dash to the art supply store to put together a clearly parent made project the night before it was due. I’m not blaming her but, I was only a kid. How am I supposed to know if the parent doesn’t lead by example?
Even after I was an adult and had dropped out of high school, instead of forcing me to grow up or helping fix the internal weight struggles, she just dragged me by the hand and just forced me into a different program on how to get a HS diploma. She made me feel like I couldn’t achieve anything with my life with just a GED. Apart of her was ashamed of what people would say. My mother should have had a career with public relations as she is very good at putting a positive spin on any negative press. I wasn’t a twenty year old bum who did nothing, I was finding myself.
Despite how ungrateful this entry is beginning to sound, my mother (and god mother) have helped me a lot. They have given me the time I needed to figure out how to get my life together. They gave me a roof over my head when I had nowhere to go. They have fed me, clothed me and given me countless rides to work even when I was simply too lazy to walk uphill to the bus stop. They even gave me the laptop from which I’m writing this entry on. And for that, I am forever grateful. I just don’t think, either my mom or my godmother has ever truly seen me. I don’t think they even hear me when I say thank you. In turn for all their “kindness” I’m expected to be at their beck and call to any whim they demand. I don’t argue the point that some sort of gratitude be paid back. I just rather help because I want to, not because I’m forced to.
The only person I think my mother (and god mother) see me as, is a spoiled, selfish, ungrateful lazy brat who takes and takes and takes from them. Maybe certain traits of that analyst were accurate at one point. If my mother didn’t think those things, then certainly my godmother does! I just can’t seem to find a way to show them how much I do love both my godmother and mother without being reminded of my past. In their eyes, there is no benefit of the doubt, I’m always lying or stealing. There are no more private mother quiet bonding time or special days just for us. I’m always on edge whenever my mother comes into my room to sit on my bed and talk. I fear that the news is never good. I fear what she wants from me.
I mentally separated myself from my mother and godmother about a year ago, after a bitter fight with my mom and calling me a knocked up w***e who didn’t care if I was living on the streets (which is obviously not true as I never came close to living on the streets). But the words hurt none the less. I used to love talking with them for hours and including them in my life. I used to love confiding in my mom and my godmother. But whenever either of us tried, all we ended up doing was throwing our secrets at each other like grenades. It just wasn’t worth the heartbreak. It wasn’t worth being constantly told, I told you so. Now a days, we give each other the bare bones from yesterday’s news. It’s not the relationship I want, of course. But my mom is going through her midde age crisis, a selfish “me only time” phase and all I can do is sit back, sort through my own life and wait.