Thursday, April 30, 2009

"I don't even know her last name..."

...this is going to be a long one...

I was talking last night with S and as usual we were throwing little jabs back at each other. It's not personal and if you've ever been around us, we just tease like that.

S said the ever popular "Your mama" and I'm like "Why would my mama be reading our local paper?"

S replies "So she can see SS listed for being on the A/B honor roll." And I returned with "She doesn't even know his name." Then SS yelled from his room wanting to know what we were talking about and that led to a conversation about how S has never met my Mother.

Yes you read that right. It's true. We have been married 12 years and he's never met my Mother. In fact I haven't talked to her in at least that long. And since she's remarried, I don't even know her last name.

And I'm okay with that.

My Dad & her got married prior to my birth but they were only 15 at the time. Obviously I don't know all the details being that I was very young, but what I do remember is spending a lot of time with my Granny.

Even though my parents were always there my Granny took over because they were so young and not exactly equipped to deal with a baby. I don't know if it's because of this or not, but I always shared a bond with my Granny more like that of a mother/daughter relationship.

Although she tried, I think this irked my Mother and we truly never got along. I can remember coming home from school to snacks, dinners together and a pretty normal life. Her extended family was always around, especially for holidays.

My first sister was born when I was two, so I don't remember much before that but I was old enough to notice a few things when my second sister was born 7 years later. I'm pretty sure she was a last resort at saving their marriage.

And it worked for a while.

Then my Mother went crazy. Literally. I remember her locking herself in the bathroom and then being committed for a psychiatric evaluation. She was only in there a few days but I remember getting stuff from the vending machine when we visited and the crafts she made there...isn't it funny the things that you remember?

Anyway, there was a lot of drama for the next couple years. A LOT. My Dad traveled for work, so every time he was gone it was like she was up to something. In fact, one time she ran off to Florida with another man.

My Dad went to get her. And then we took a vacation together.

I guess that was his idea of a solution to a crumbling marriage and a crazy wife.

I'm not sure. What I do know is eventually she left. She moved in with another man, who in my opinion was way beneath her. He was trash in my eyes, and so was his family. I never accepted this man and I lost all respect for my Mother...well, the little that I still had at that point.

I never went and visited and it was rare that I would talk to her when she called. She had left us. Three girls. What kind of Mother does that? Even if she didn't love my Dad anymore, why did she leave us?

It hurt my sisters a lot more than it hurt me. It just pissed me off. Sure we still had our Dad, my Granny and my Aunt (my Dad's sister) but we had all but been abandoned by Mother and her family.

Then the drunk calls started. A woman who was a size 0 her whole life, and not able to drink one beer without being sick was now drinking daily. She is an alcoholic. She would call drunk and start blubbering on the phone.

I couldn't take it. I told her don't call if she couldn't call sober and started just hanging up on her. I was the oldest so I tried to save my sisters from the drama and took on the role of "mother" in the house.

As time went on, my Granny moved in with us and helped to care for the house. Even though my sisters went to visit, I refused to go and thankfully my Dad never pressed the issue.

Eventually my Dad got remarried and while my first sister and I stayed with my Granny at our childhood home, my little sister went to live with him and the evil stepmother. She continued to visit my Mother on weekends.

When I was 18 I decided that it was time to try to salvage our relationship so I contacted my Mother. My boyfriend and I had dinner with her once or twice and things seemed to be going okay.

Until my Mother's neighbor called one weekend. I won't go into the all the gory details but when I showed up, my little sister was crying hysterically and holding a washcloth over some part of my Mother's busted face. She was consoling my Mother who had gotten into a physical fight with her boyfriend.

This just set me off. My LITTLE sister was taking care of this grown ass woman, who should know better than to act like that when she was there. I didn't care if they beat the hell out of each other, but they sure wasn't going to do it while she was there.

After some screaming and ugly words flying around I went and called my Dad to come pick up my sister since my Mother refused to let me take her.

That was the last time I saw her, except for a brief visit she made to my first sister's house over 12 years ago. I wasn't interested in talking to her then, and I'm still not interested in talking to her.

She lives in NC now, with her trash husband and from what I understand she is still an alcoholic. My middle sister still talks to her occasionally and my little sister did for a time but no longer does. (I think)

I'm told she still asks about me. My reply - tell her don't bother. That may be harsh, but that's the way I feel. She wasn't there when we needed her. She didn't just leave a marriage, she left her children.

To me there's no excuse for that.

I'm not asking for advice. This is not something I want to fix. Actually, I debated writing this post because it is so personal, but it's a part of me and a part of who I've become. Even the bad experiences shape who we are, so I won't hide from it.


Sasha222 said...

Hi there. Your title caught my attention on my dashboard and I ended up reading your entire post. I have to say thank you for posting that. I know it was very personal for you to write that, but sometimes it can be therapeutic to put those kinds of things out there. I know I do it often, and although some people don't like it, sometimes it can hit home for someone else and they dig it, and then all the nasty comments are all worth it. I have to say that I understand your post. It's sometimes hard for people to imagine NOT wanting to talk to their own parent. But those are obviously people who haven't had "not so great" parents. I have a mother with "problems" (to put it lightly) and if it wasn't for my culture and the rest of my family I probably would never talk to her again. I've gone long periods of time not having her in my life, and it was actually healthier then having her in it.
Anyway, it was very brave of you to express yourself and tell your story like that. I'm sorry that your mom wasn't there for you. I know personally, that things like that will only make YOU a better parent in the end. :)

Too Many Hats said...

Wow, I cannot even imagine. I am sure you are much more healthy and happy without her in your life. She obviously did not get the Mama Bear gene.

Carrie said...

Hey you! I think it was very brave of you to write that post. Sometimes it feels good just to let the junk out.

I think there are a lot of people who try to "fix" people with problems, relatives included. They usually end up taking themselves down with that person. When someone isn't healthy and doesn't want to be "fixed," it is a useless cause.

We can love people with compassion without condoning their behavior.

Your Granny--amazing! And a much better mother figure!!!


Xazmin said...

This was a brave post. I won't offer any "advice", but I am sorry your family had to go through this.

You definitely turned out wonderful!

The Royal Family said...

Yeah, you sucked me in too. I can't say I know what your saying or feeling, however I do know how it is to believe that NOT having someone in your life is ACTUALLY BETTER and healthier than having them in it. So props to you, because that alone is a hard step.

I'm going to eat something chocolate now... I hope you have your Reeses PB eggs still! (HA HA like those last this long!)

Julie said...

Wow, stories like that always just amaze me. My life has been so boring and dull (not complaining) and basically drama free, I just can't even imagine. Not that you asked, but I think you picked the best route. You definitely don't need that in your life!

April said...

You are a great person and I get why you would not want her in your life. Seems to me you are doing what is best for you and your family and that is the way it should be.

Denise said...

Like you, I cannot understand how your mother could leave her daughters. I sure never could. But let me tell you, and this you already know, spitting a child out of your womb does not a mother make. Who knows why your mother made the terrible choices that she did but with choices come consequences. Some people (like the talk show host Dr. Laura) believe that you should always be present for your parents, no matter how toxic the relationship. It's a Jewish "Honor Your Mother/Father" belief. But I completely disagree. Parents must earn their child' love and respect.(As opposed to the child receiving unconditional love.) Just because you gave birth/genetic material to a child doesn't get you an automatic pass in the "you have to love me" department. Children trust you to provide, love and protect them. If you fall down on the job they you suffer the consequences.

The bottom line is your mother was really never much of a mother to you. I know you granny was, especially after her death when you shared some of this. Thank God she was there to love and support you.


LiLu said...

There is no excuse for that, and I don't blame you one bit for cutting the toxic out of your life. The fact that the toxic was your own mother may be hard to bear, but not as hard as having her in your life, clearly. You made the right choice.


Aleta said...

When I saw the title to your poem, I started to hum the country song. But that quickly stopped as I continued through the post.

I'm so sorry you went through this. It sounds like you struggled and survived and have become stronger for it, but it never should have happened to you and your sisters.

I'm glad you posted, because someone will read this and be in the same situation and gather strength from your words.

mommaof4wife2r said... have no idea how many kiddos i have in my house in foster care with that same story! you should be angry...but i'm so sad that you can't patch things up too, even if it's not to make a great relationship, but to heal your soul with that old stuff.

big fat boo...i'm glad you let out the reality...

S said...

And that is the reason you are the best step mom in the world. SS and SD really look up to you. That is why when we were joking around he said he would stay with you instead of me. :)

Grand Pooba said...

I don't know what it is about stories like that but I thrive on them. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one with a not so perfect family! And I don't blame you one bit. It was her fault, she's the mom, not you. You shouldn't have had to grow up so fast and that was her fault. Whatever her name is.

Jen said...

She doesn't deserve you or your sisters. You don't leave your children!

Carey-Life in the Carpool Lane said...

You and your sisters got a raw deal with your mom. Luckily, it sounds like your grandmother was a wonderful women. I can tell by the way you write about her that you were loved, as was she.

Your mother may have given birth to you and your sisters but she certainly didn't give you life. That was you and your grandmother and your sisters and your aunt and your dad.

Cathy said...

What a sweet comment from your "s".. what a nice guy.

Sorry you had to go through that. That had to be a terrible way to grow up.. good thing you had your granny.

Queenie Jeannie said...

Some of the bestest, most "normal" people come out of the most horrendous family situations. I speak from experience - 'nuff said.

Hugs and understanding hun!

Brandy said...

I came across your blog from BlogFart or whatever and my name is Brandy too SO of course I HAD to click on your blog. I have a difficult relationship with my mother too. She only calls me when she wants money. really. it sucks. And I haven't written it on my blog because I'm afraid she'll see. It was brave of you to put it out there.

Jules said...

Wow-I's truly sorry . . .it sucks that just because your mother can't get her act together-everybody loses in this situation. Luckily, your granny played a mother role in your life. But they say your experiences shape the person you are and I commend you for not being a victim and going on to be a wonderful stepmom! Hugs.

Mommy of M's said...


I've never met my paternal grandparents, and I'm 31! I don't really know why exactly, I've heard some stories though. It's just the way life is. I often wonder if my Dad thinks about them, but I don't think he cares about them anymore.

It was a terrible experience, but you are probably a stronger person b/c of it!

Kathy said...

I'm sorry you have gone through that with your mom. It is clear that you are strong and well-loved. It's great that you can be the Mom you didn't have.

Lisa said...

I'm sorry you have went through this. No one should have to be without their mom. My "dad" did this to us and it hurt,actually still does at times but I can't imagine a mom doing this. :)

On a happier note... Thanks for visiting my blog and welcoming me! I'll have part 2 up in a day or so. :)Lisa

Karen MEG said...

I'm so sorry you had to go through that, and I think you've done the best that you can do... you've tried to reach out, but that abandonment when you were so young was so inexcusable. It sounds like your mother had and continues to have some major issues that she's unwilling to deal with.

This was a heartfelt, brave post, and I'm sure glad I visited you today. Thanks so much for sharing; I know how difficult it is to get personal on a blog, but I don't know about you, I find it oddly cathartic and life affirming to receive comments from other bloggers, other people, letting you know that, hey, someone out there cares and can empathize.

Jessica said...

Sometimes family just SUCKS.

Mommy said...

Been there, done that, have the T-shirt.

In my opinion, family is behavior, not blood. I wouldn't tolerate bad behavior from strangers, why should I accept it from people I'm genetically related to? Do what YOU need to do to be happy and healthy.

Visiting from SITS...

MaryRC said...

well now we have much in common! my parents were 15 and 17 when i was born, needless to say, it didnt last and my extended family took care of me til my mom tried to grow up when i turned 5. i was lucky they did the best they could with the knowledge they had, and were both involved in my life.. i have an evil (ex thank goodness) stepmother and a half sister who i dont talk to for many of the same reasons you have for not talking to your mother. anyway, makes for a strong person if you chose to be. I call it NOT choosing to be a victim. anyway blah blah blah.. great blog..