Yesterday I learned, that no matter what, my mother would rather hold on to her painful feelings than hold on to me. Seriously, it’s not a surprise. This is not something that I hadn’t already learned many years ago…and over and over again over the last few years. Yesterday, she drove it home, once and for all.
During my divorce, she told my soon to be ex husband, she was not going to help me out “she needs to suffer”. When I brought this up to her, she denied it, as she always has denied the ugly things she says about me to others. At that moment, I decided, I wasn’t going to ask for help. I was going to have to do this without her. So I did. I managed to keep my head above water without her support, without her financial assistance. She told me, all I needed to do was ask, but until recently, I chose not to.
A few weeks ago I decided it was time to ask for some assistance. I could use a little financial help to fix some things on the house. Big things. Do I NEED the help, not really. Could I use it, most definitely. So, I swallowed my pride, and reached out. She was happy to discuss what was going on. Lunch was scheduled…and I went on about my life. As, I stated previously, I am not a stupid person, so I knew exactly what I was walking into with this request, but ultimately I decided it was finally time to see if she was willing to back up all her offers and help the only child she will ever have.
Turns out, the kids would be off the day of our scheduled lunch. That would mean I would have a little emotional buffer. She wouldn’t be nearly as ugly with her words if the kids were there to witness it. That was a curve she wasn’t expecting. When I told her that the kids were coming, she was taken aback, and chose to purchase her own lunch, and leave me and the kids to fend for ourselves. Ok.
We all made a lot of small talk, and it was about time to “get down to business”. She asked what I needed the money for. I told her, she offered to have her own people come check it out. I didn’t turn down the offer, but assured her, I had people too who were willing to help. Then it got personal. Honestly, even after less than 24 hours I can’t remember how exactly it started…but it turned into a battle of why would I ask her for money when clearly I have the money to do the work. So why would she help me if I didn’t really need the money, I just didn’t want to use my own money. I had my reasons, valid reasons, and I did for a min try to convey that. As it got more and more personal, with my daughter sitting beside me, I stopped and said “You are right, I don’t NEED the money, but I don’t have a lot left and it’s all that I have. I decided to ask, if you could help, if you wanted to help, great. If not, I would take care of it on my own. I had to ask, or else I wouldn’t know.”
There were more personal attacks. Did I ask anyone else for money? Why don’t I ask my father, he didn’t pay child support (I’m 44, I think it’s too late to ask for back child support don’t ya think?). Did they give me money? I told her, they have given me some money, and I never had to ask. However, I don’t have the same relationship with him that I do with her. Her reply, “we don’t have a relationship. We don’t have anything.” She’s right. I guess 44 years of being her daughter, 40 years of being her only supporter. 30+ years of being her personal verbal and emotional punching bag, didn’t earn me any credits. There were more personal attacks, and finally I had enough. I told her I hope she could appreciate how difficult it was for me to even ask. I told her she didn’t have to justify herself for not wanting to help, and I wasn’t going to justify myself for asking.
She reminded me of how I kicked her out of my house, yelled at her and told her never to return. I reminded her that even so, I still reached out to her time and time again and let her in. Why would I do that? Her response, obviously because you want something. She said that she knew what I thought of her. I said “do you? Do you really know? What do I think of you?” She replied “I don’t have to tell you.” I told her she was right, and I left.
When we were walking out my daughter said “I was getting so angry. I don’t like when she says things about you that aren’t true.” I told her “to her, they are true.” We talked about what happened. We talked about my feelings about why I don’t want her around her and her borther. I just don’t want her to do the same thing to them that she has done to me. She told me, she was glad I wasn’t like her.
I’m sad, a little. It would be nice if she could put aside all her pain and anger and just be grateful that she has a daughter that would still be willing to let her into her life. She isn’t. I fear she won’t ever see things that way. Her pain is too much ingrained in her to be able to see past it. IT is more important for her to hold on to, than to let go of any of it, and reach out to me.
With all of it, I’m still grateful for what she has given me. She makes me a better person…a better mother. Her attitude and behavior remind me of how never to be to my children.
They say the best revenge towards those who wish you ill, is to live a good life. It’s unfortunate that she will never see, but I do indeed have a pretty damn good life. No matter what, I know I will be just fine.