This entry has been in utero since Saturday afternoon. I wanted to be sure it didn’t come out sounding whiny, emo, or simply plaintive. There’s quite a bit to the back story and I don’t want to go into it all at once, or at all for some of the memories. Without further adieu, the long awaited post:
I am not close to my family. I call my sister in Utah every few weeks to see how she’s doing, my little sister I call maybe every few months. Mostly I check their Facebook profiles to see if they’re still alive and kicking. My family has always been a “no news is good news” kind of family anyway. My brother I communicate with even less. My parents. Heh. I’m working on no communicado with them.
I saw them Saturday afternoon for lunch for the first time since I announced my engagement to Allan last January. So, it was about 13 months between the visits. I got an email Saturday morning telling me that my mother is in rough shape. She’ll be 46 in May and, according to the doctors, she could go any day if her conditions worsens. She was diagnosed with two serious heart conditions, on top of a preexisting heart condition. And I feel neutral at this news, apathetic, even.
Before you go and start accusing me of being heartless, allow me to explain a little of the back story.
Since I was a child I had dreams of my parents dying in a horrible car crash and leaving me, as a young child, the sole provider for the family. This is due to an only too real situation: my father wasn’t very involved, and when he was, he was emotionally and physically abusive to all four of their children. And my mother was cold, reserved, and fluctuated between her image of the ideal stay-at-home-mother to absent. We could never depend on them for anything. We moved more times than I can count on two hands by the time I graduated from high school.
My mother tends towards violence, as well. When I was in 7th grade, she insisted that I learn how to make bread. I was very intimidated because I knew it was a touchy process, or that’s how they always made it seem, and I insisted that I need help if I am to make it. She left me to mix and kneed the dough. At this juncture, I was unsure how to proceed. I called to her in the living room for help. She said she’d be right there. I waited 10 minutes and she didn’t move. I called again and this time got no response. Finally, after 45 minutes of waiting for help, standing at the counter nervous about the outcome of the bread, I gave up and went to my room. A few moments later, I heard her heavy foot steps coming down the hall and she began screaming at me for ruining the bread. I probably said a few choice words myself. Soon after, I found myself running around the block, literally scared to death of her, with her chasing behind me. I had been battered and manhandled and I was running to escape it. Finally, my dad caught me and dragged me kicking and screaming to the porch where I began hyperventilating and covering my head. My siblings, as I found out later, locked themselves in one of the bedrooms and moved a bureau in front of the door to protect themselves from our parents. I don’t remember everything that happened on the porch, but I do remember telling them I was going to call the cops and my father just glared at me. “How can you even dare to accuse your mother of such a dastardly thing?” is all he said and walked away. My mother left, sobbing.
Years later, after numerous other instances similar in nature, another terrible fight occurred. It was the middle of my senior year in high school. My brother was on medication for ADD and he was suffering terribly from the side effects of one of them. He had tried talking to the doctor and my mother several times about them but they told him to keep taking them. Eventually, after months of no appetite, no sleeping, and twice daily nosebleeds, he stopped taking the medications. A week or so after this decision, in which he consulted me, my mother found his bottle hidden in the cupboard and counted the pills. She realized he had stopped taking them for the first time in that moment, and started yelling at him and beating him over the head, for he happened to be standing near her doing dishes. I stood up, and gently told her that her approach was wrong, and that she should try talking to him instead of beating him over the head. This was a two fold action: to confront her about her actions, and two, to deflect her blows to me. My brother had become weak and frail from the medication and I knew she would end up breaking several of his bones and then make up some lie to tell the hospital and town folk.
The ruse worked all to effectively. I received the full force of her fury and the knock down drag out fight lasted for over an hour. At one point, she knocked me down and sat on my back, with all 350+ lbs, pulled at my hair, and began hitting me in the head. I was trying to claw my way out from under her and bloodied my fingers trying to find purchase in the short rug. Eventually, I reached up to the hand holding my head and tried wrenching it away. I was all too effective, again. I ended up breaking her wrist and she caused severe strains in my back muscles. I still have issues to this day with my back from this injury. She got up, told me to pack up “my shit” and get the hell out of her house. This was weeks after my 18th birthday. I went to school the next day a wreck and when I came home, found all of my stuff out on the lawn in the mud. She had also not wasted anytime telling all the people I knew and loved in the community that I threw a tantrum because she wouldn’t let me go to a basketball game and broke her wrist when she was trying to restrain me while throwing a fit.
My father isn’t innocent by any means, but he’s also not the subject of this blog.
Long story short, I have little sympathy for her. I do not love her and I will have no remorse when she goes.
It made me ill sitting there across the table from my parents Saturday afternoon for lunch. My fiance had to do all the talking because I had nothing to say. The whole time they were trying to guilt trip me into returning to the religion of my childhood, and to open the lines of communication. I only went to lunch because, for some reason, I felt I owed it to myself to see them one last time before I cut the ties indefinitely.
(I promise this blog won’t become an emo livejournal dumping ground. I just needed to process and vent this experience.)