Just More Free Therapy…

Police cars, officers with guns drawn over hoods, megaphone message, “come out of the house with your hands up”! She came out with her hands up, but she was laughing hysterically.

For those of you who read my blog post from yesterday you know I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my mother. I’ve come to the realization that she does not want me to succeed in life. It is the most logical explanation for her behavior that I can come up with, and I believe she’s jealous in some ways. People have always asked me if I’m sure I wasn’t adopted and how I came out of that family. I don’t want to sound like I hate my family, I don’t. I don’t hate anyone and I can’t say I have ever hated anyone. I take the word for what it means and I don’t throw it around loosely like so many people do nowadays.

You know we moved from Seattle when I was 11 years old and at that time life was great until it wasn’t anymore. My saving grace was the horse farm, I was able to spend a lot of time there and free riding lessons in return for mucking stalls and miscellaneous yard work. The couple who ran the place took me under their wings and treated me like family, they had no kids of their own together. I was so excited when my mom came and wanted to take a ride on the horse that was “mine”. First lap around the yard, and she did a tumble over the front onto the ground. I can’t even explain how a person could to fall off like that. It doesn’t matter, what matters is that it was “my fault”. Every time she has a pain or injury I get to hear, “It all started back in 1979 when I fell off that horse that Jane made me get on, and I broke my back and neck (her x-rays have never shown a broken neck). I knew I never should have listened to her begging me”. To this day, it’s what she says.

Fast forward a couple of years to when my grandpa passed away, if my dad wasn’t depressed before he was now. He moved us all to Eastern Washington to join a cult. I call it that because it was under the pretense of a “church” in someones house and a lot of people coming and going. I remember getting off the school bus one day to find my mother standing there, which was unusual. She couldn’t wait to tell me that my horse had been swept up in the flooding creek and was found dead. If that wasn’t bad enough she told me we could save his hide, and then she described how they would cut up each leg and down the belly, then would peel the skin off and make it into a blanket, so I would always have him. That might be the moment I realized my mother was sick.

Living up in Washington was short-lived, and we came back to our little farm in Oregon. My relationship with my mother was strained to say the least. She was pulling crazy stunts left and right to try to get attention. One in particular I remember vividly is when she said, “watch this” and shot her gun into the ground to scare the neighbor (my uncle’s wife). Of course the police were called and when they showed up, it was a scene from an action movie. Police cars, officers with guns drawn over hoods, megaphone message, “come out of the house with your hands up”! She came out with her hands up, but she was laughing hysterically. She lied through her teeth that she was shooting at a stray dog. There was never a stray dog that day, she did it to scare the neighbor and get attention. Period.

As I got older and time went on my mother encouraged me to leave school and work even though she knew I had dreams and a life of my own she made me feel guilt over not “helping out” as she put it. I did it because that’s what I was supposed to do, or at least that’s what I thought I was supposed to do. What’s funny to me is her always saying I could talk to her about anything. I tried several times, back then her response was always, “oh, you don’t feel that way” or, “you know that’s not true” so I stopped trying to confide in her. She needed help, and she knew it, yet she refused for reasons that solely made sense to her. I gave up a lot for her and for my family. I’m not trying to complain about it or get sympathy. I guess I’m trying to make sense of her, of my life because of her.

Moving ahead, into the present she’s still the same. I had a super great job that I loved and made me feel smart and like I had a real purpose. I needed that after our last baby left the nest I was feeling lonely and no longer needed. Dad got sick and was given an expiration date, as he calls it. Again, mom put on the guilt trip about how no one cared, and she had no help, and she couldn’t do everything, and she might as well kill herself now. What did I do? I quit my job to take care of them, which in hindsight was a terrible mistake. It didn’t take long for her to run me down and treat me like something that was lodged to the bottom of her shoe. I called her on it, and she did what she has always done, which is blame me.

She said she wanted a good mother-daughter relationship, and she wanted me to confide in her. I wanted that, every daughter does, I think. Over the years I made efforts to try, and every time it ended with whatever I told her being my fault. There was a time when our last child went off the college that my husband and I hit a rough patch and I confided in her, even though I knew better. What she said to me was that everything was my fault and I wasn’t trying hard enough. I should run him a bath at night and bring him a cold beer and have his dinner on the table when he got out. Is that what you tell your daughter? It’s not what I would say to mine.

After my most recent lack of judgment and leaving my job I tried again to talk to her about how I felt, and she did it again. She told me she hoped I had tough times and that she thought I was having them now. She laughed and said she thought it was funny and that I had better get my hormones in order. What happened to create the mess this time was caused by my brother. The one my mother abused physically and emotionally growing up. He was in a car accident that left him disabled and dependent on a care giver (my mom and dad). What he did, is for another story, but my conniving mother knew she could make me feel guilty enough to quit my job and then make me feel even worse because she didn’t appreciate me or my efforts. She has always been hurtful to me and I’ve always allowed it. She is my mother, right?

She is still telling me she wants a good mother-daughter relationship, and she wishes I would talk to her about everything. Hello…. I DID, and she turned it all around to be about her as usual. Out of the blue she said, “you paid the electric bill once and you never bought school clothes for the kids” I never mentioned or brought that up. I wonder if she’s in the beginning stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s sometimes. I’ve asked her to seek help, but she won’t. She’s afraid they will think she’s “crazy”. I’m sorry but I find that humorous because she is crazy. I have stories that would scare the crap out of a sane person, including a recording of her saying she, “wanted to slice a woman’s throat open and watch the blood spray everywhere”. …another time for that one.

I can not do it anymore. I refuse to be treated like a whipping post. I have come to realize that my life is mine. I get to chose who I let in and who I need distance from. Cutting out family is hard, even when it should be easy. To an outsider, it may even seem cruel but no one has lived my life in that situation. If one wants to judge me, that is not my business. I can not control what others think, feel or do. I can control how I react to the situation though. I’m sorry, I am not strong enough to keep trying to fight for the love and acceptance I need from my mother. It doesn’t exist, it never did, and it’s not going to magically show up now. I accept this fate as my own. I have taken what I have learned from her and done the opposite. My relationship with my daughters is my reward and that is all I need.

~ Jane

Just letting it go…

I also remember standing in line for government cheese. People make jokes about that nowadays but government cheese did exist, trust me.

I’m a 12-year old kid but I’m wise beyond my years and more responsible than most of the adults in my life. They say that comes from being the oldest of 4 kids, I say it’s because my mother was crazy. She had everyone fooled including our dad but us kids knew she was on the edge of sanity most of the time. I was the one the younger kids came to when mom was so out of it she didn’t know which end was up and which was down. When she wasn’t telling us how she was going to kill herself she was fighting with someone, a neighbor, another family member, dad, our oldest brother. I don’t know why she seemed to hate him for some reason for which I never figured out. Karma got her on that one though, and that one is a sad, unfortunate story.

We moved from Seattle, Washington in 1979 and that’s when things went wrong for the whole family. Our uncle’s new wife’s son molested my younger sister, she was 3 years old, and he was 7. He and his sister had been severely abused by their bio dad and possibly even their own mother as it later came out. Based on family history, my mom was a little on the kookier side to start with but this sent her over the edge, way over the edge. There was nothing she could do about what happened, and they lived right next door to us on the property that was purchased jointly. She felt trapped and isolated from everyone and everything she was used to.

My dad, who owned his own contracting business and did better than well with it, in Seattle was now unemployed and looking back I can see he was depressed almost to the point of not caring about much. With mom constantly telling him everything was his fault and that he brought us to this “hell-hole” and pretty much that he was worthless, who could blame him? Mom got a job, briefly a couple of months tops, but to this day she makes it sound like she worked her tail off while dad sat on his ass all day. In reality, dad did work at odd jobs farming hay and building cabinets or a deck for someone here and there, but not a real steady 40 hours a week to support your family job.

We were on welfare. I remember sitting in the welfare office for what seemed like hours on many occasions. She figured it looked better if she dragged her kids with her, I guess. I also remember standing in line for government cheese. People make jokes about that nowadays but government cheese did exist, trust me. I remember our mom sending us kids into the store to buy a .20 pack of gum with a food stamp dollar to get enough change to buy herself a pack of cigarettes. She didn’t care that I was humiliated almost to death. I got all the babysitting jobs as I could to buy some of my school clothes and a horse. I put down 1.79 on my first horse and made payments until she was paid off in the amount of $200. I was pretty proud of that.

The morning of my youngest brothers 7th birthday my dad woke me up to help him with something. I thought he wanted me to make him coffee or pack him a lunch because he was going on a haying job. What he wanted was for me to watch my mom and make sure she didn’t vomit and aspirate on it, while he went to find a phone at the neighbors to call 911. Strewn all over the floor were empty prescription bottles. I think that’s when I became the parent, and we started tiptoeing around her like she would drop dead at the slightest thing gone wrong. There was another time we got off the school bus and mom was nowhere to be found. My brother begged me to go check behind the haystack because our mother had threatened to go behind the haystack and blow her brains out so many times. That broke my heart and scared me all at the same time.

The day I turned 16 I got a job at the grocery store. I think they felt sorry for me for all the times I was forced to come in with a food stamp dollar. I worked hard and got a lot of compliments for it. I took extra shifts when I could and worked until close most nights after school. My family had the electricity cut off for non-payment and since they had ruined both mom and dads credit, I had it put into my name and I paid the bill. I didn’t need to start my life with bad credit and I certainly couldn’t stand by and let my siblings do without hot water, heat and cooked meals. Not when I could do something about it.

I remember buying my sister school clothes and my youngest brother toys, our oldest brother, a year younger than me, had a job of his own and bought his own things he wanted or needed. I didn’t mind providing what I could for my family, that’s what families do, right? Eventually, it got to the point where I needed to work more and more and I quit going to traditional school and switched over to the alternative, which was not to my liking, so I went in and took the GED test. I passed those tests with high enough scores to get into almost any college or state university I wanted to attend. I had dreams of making something of myself someday, a large animal veterinarian, or a child psychologist.

It got weird at work when my mom started showing up on paydays looking for me with her hand out. My boss took it upon herself to notice this and tell her I wasn’t there, that when I got off work I left with friends. Then a miracle happened and I met my husband, he saved me, I truly believe that with all my heart. I was able to leave that job and move away. By that time, my sister was 13 and presumably old enough to take care of herself. After all I took care of all 4 of us at 13, right? She wasn’t nearly as mature as I was, and she was a real handful. Mom would never let go what happened to her and reminded her of it every chance she got so of course she was pretty messed up too. To this day, my sister is messed up and I don’t necessarily blame what happened to her at age 3, I blame our mother for making her relive it over and over again.

I never finished college, my dreams changed. I wanted a family of my own to raise in a way that was opposite the way I was. I got married, and we had three beautiful babies who grew up happy and healthy, in every way. I feel like I broke the cycle that my mother lived through and her children lived through. I know that all three of our kids love us and believe they had a normal healthy childhood. They see how their grandma is, and they know that my growing up was rough. When they come to me and tell me how much they appreciate their dad and me for raising them “normal” and that we did a great job, my heart swells. I devoted everything to them and I made sure they had everything I didn’t. Most importantly a mother who loves them unconditionally and is present anytime they need anything. We’ve been blessed with one granddaughter so far, and she will know she can count us for anything too. Family is the most important asset we have, we need to treat them as such.

I sat down to write today with the intention of freeing myself from my mothers latest fight, which she chose to engage me in. Out of the blue as always, random displays of hatred and nonsensical ideas. I found it’s best to let her say what she’s going to say even though, it’s always untrue and hurtful, and let it go. It’s hard on me sometimes, when I need a real mother in my life and don’t have one. I am so thankful for my husband and my children, I don’t know what I would do without them.

Much love to all,

~ Jane

Epiphany of a Larger Magnitude

Funny how a bad day of negative feelings can make you think, make you find peace with past hurts.

It’s been one of those days. The kind where you’re not feeling like yourself and the more you think the deeper you sink. It started with my husband losing his charging cable to his phone. That set me off on the wrong foot because I like to hear from him on his breaks. It’s not that he HAS to text me every day, but he does and I’ve become accustomed to it. The day went on with more negative thoughts that I alone created in my head. This is something I do and I know I do it pretty much every year around this time. Seasonal depression perhaps?

I knew I had to go to town and pay some bills and collect the mail so of course that didn’t help my state of mind one bit. I tried to cheer myself up by talking to one of my cousins for a bit on Facebook and the minute I commented on some decor she was crafting for her wedding my sister had to comment, so I would see it. She is manipulative like that. I had her blocked, but she must have gotten a new account or I unblocked her by accident. She is a sorry excuse for a human being and a total waste of air. She almost gave me some comedy relief until I started thinking about it. She said she was excited for our cousins wedding and hers. Crazy bitch didn’t even attend her own daughters wedding, but she thinks she’s going to a distant cousin’s? Secondly, she is already married so yeah, how does she think she’s going to have a wedding to her new boyfriend who is also already married? Hilarious!!

Anyway, that did get me to thinking about what a whack job she is, my sister. Alcoholic for sure and the probability of her being on drugs is, I’d say, better than 50/50. Our dad is sick and his doctor said he had 3-6 months to live back in March, 10 months ago. Apparently he calls sister nut job on a regular basis. He calls me when he feels like he has to, like when I had surgery. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m totally OK with that except for the fact that she thinks she’s special and brags about it. After leaving the post office today where they crammed my granddaughters book club books into my box, AGAIN, and I had to have them retrieved by the clerk, I was in an even worse mood.

That’s when the epiphany hit me like a ton of pellets. My dad is like his own dad, my grandfather. I loved my grandpa and still miss him to this day, he passed away when I was 12 years old. I used to go stay with him on weekends and clean his house for him and do his laundry and some light cooking. The Best time of my life back then because he lived on the golf course right next to the horse stables where I learned to ride. Funny though, my cousin (not the one mentioned above) come to stay sometimes too, not nearly as often as I did, but she did. Grandpa always seemed to like her more, and she wasn’t even the one doing his household chores and making sure he had clean laundry and no moldy food in the fridge.

As I got older, I realized that he didn’t love her any more than he loved me, he didn’t know how to spread his affections evenly, and he thought she needed “more” than I did because my parents were still together and I wasn’t left to fend for myself as much. What he didn’t know was that I needed him every bit as much as she did even though I didn’t show it. My home life wasn’t all peaches and cream and roses and wine. Not even close.

I don’t resent him for treating me with less concern and empathy, not at all. I see why he was like he was and my dad is the no different. He thinks my sister needs “more” than I do because I have a husband who loves me and three kids who I can count on who like to spend time with me and call often. He too, doesn’t know how to read between the lines and treat his children with the same courtesy and respect. Grandpa had no daughters, so dad had no sisters to learn how to relate to girls, I guess, and that’s OK because I can see through their misgivings and understand that it’s not me, it’s them.

Does it hurt? Sure it does. Why? They both are/were intelligent men who should have figured it out at some point but didn’t. To be honest, my mother is the same. She did special things for my sister who was pregnant at the same time I was. She bought her maternity clothes gave her special attention, like manicures and pedicures because she was pregnant and single. Sure I had a husband and two children but that didn’t mean I had extra money for frivolous extras and I needed my mothers attention every bit as much as my sister did.

I know I should feel bad for my parents, missing out on a lot of time getting to know me but I don’t. I don’t even harbor negative feelings toward them after all they’ve done and said at my expense. I am grateful to them in a way. They taught me how not to treat my children. How to raise them to be close-knit and loving toward one another, not feeling like they were rivals for attention or anything else. I think I did a good job based on how my kids act and treat others, and also, they have told me how much they appreciate me being their mom. I have a hard time picking out Mother’s Day cards for my own mother. It’s a sad thing to have to admit.

Funny how a bad day of negative feelings can make you think, make you find peace with past hurts. In the end, this day turned positive for me with one single epiphany that extended beyond one small thought, to a bigger picture. A reminder of how to live my life, how to treat others and how to accept past deficits in my life in a positive way.

~ Jane

I call BULLSHIT!!

I loved my mother and I felt guilty.

From the age of 9 I was blamed for an accident my mom had where she fell off a horse. I constantly heard her tell people about how I begged her to get on the horse and how she didn’t want to disappoint me. She even went as far as to tell people I knew the horse tripped on occasion but didn’t tell her about it. She rubbed that into my face every chance she got. She blamed me for all the pain she was in and how she couldn’t work because of it. I was 9 fucking years old. I loved my mother and I felt guilty.

I got a job when I turned 16. I felt so guilty because my mom couldn’t work and our family was poor, that I paid bills. Specifically the electric bill  so my siblings could have light, heat and hot water. I was always told how my cousin worked and just gave the check to my aunt and how nice that was and how thoughtful she was for doing that. Can you say pile on the guilt as high as you can get it? I even paid for school clothes and bought toys. Eventually, I ended up quitting school to pay bills because that was what I was “suppose to do”. It was my fault my mother couldn’t go to work.

I guess she started to feel entitled because she began showing up to my work every payday. This didn’t go unnoticed by coworkers or my bosses. They started telling her I wasn’t there even when I was. I finally broke free of that when I turned 18 by just leaving.

More recently, my mother guilted me into quitting my dream job because my dad is dying and she “just couldn’t do all the running around for appointments” because her back and neck just wouldn’t allow it. You know, because of that fall she took off my horse back in 1979. Being the person I am, I did it. I quit my job; because family is first, right? I started taking them to their appointments and what do you think I found out…?

There’s not a fucking thing wrong with her back and her neck problem is very minor (enough to cause discomfort but not really a lot of pain) of course she’s saying she has to have surgery but she doesn’t HAVE to, it’s elective. All those years of being made to feel guilt, quitting school and my job. For what? Because she wanted more “mother-daughter time”? Because she really has no idea what she has done to me? Because she’s selfish? Because she just really doesn’t give a shit about me or my success in life? I will NEVER understand this.

I’m literally about to vomit. How can a mother treat her own child like that? I am so angry. I apologize for the language, it’s not my normal demeanor. I can’t even begin to explain how I feel right now. Her “poor me” bullshit has come to a halt with me, I refuse to put up with it anymore. I’ll probably end up hurting her feelings but that will be an act too. I’m just done.

~Jane

15

There’s a reason for this story and I promise, I will get to it!

This story actually starts at 12 and 7th grade. I had a super crush on a boy that I just knew had no idea that I existed. When Valentine’s day came around I got him a card and in spite of my painfully shy demeanor I even signed it and shoved it into his locker. I can’t remember really but it seems like he thanked me for it later.

The next 4 years were random “run ins” with this boy and shy smiles from across the room, each reciprocated by the other. …then it happened at 15 and 10th grade the moment every young girl dreams of but is also terrified of. The question, “Will you go to Prom with me”? I remember this to this day because seriously, who doesn’t remember their first crush, their first date, their first kiss!? I felt like the room was spinning and I said “yes”, that is all, just “yes”. He said “cool” with a huge heart pounding smile and walked away.

Once my heart rate was back to semi normal and I could focus on moving my feet I went and sat down by my locker wondering what it the hell I just did. I said “yes”. My parents would never let me go on a date at 15! Where was I going to get a dress? Where was I going to get MONEY for a dress!? It didn’t matter, I would never be allowed to go anyway.

When I told my mom, she was against me going in a car with a boy (he was 16 and a junior). When I spilled my guts to her and told her about how I’d had a crush on this boy for 4 years and that he was funny, smart, handsome, popular, QB for the football team, etc… she was still strongly against it. …until I told her he had red hair. She did a complete 360. I know right at that moment she was picturing a dozen red headed grandkids running around her house and she was in heaven. Now remember, I was 15, none of that ever crossed MY mind.

Fast forward a few weeks to prom night. My date and I were double dating with another couple so the boys showed up together to pick me up, met my parents and headed out. (I am sure my mom had a bigger crush on my red headed date than I did!) Here’s where the story gets interesting (for me because I had no idea this was going to happen). At the end of my road we pulled over and the other boy got out and got into his own truck and drove off with his date. I’m sure you can imagine the kinds of things that were going through my brain just about then. Turns out my date didn’t have his drivers license yet!

Fast forward again to last night and the reason behind my story. I had a dream that I was back at work and we were having this huge party and it was for the boy I went to prom with when I was 15, only now we were all like 50, and we were celebrating him getting his drivers license! I literally woke up laughing!

This is a long post, if you’re interested in the rest of the story (the dress and how I got it, what happened when my dad found out I was in a car with a boy that didn’t have a drivers license and how the date went) comment or shoot me a message. I might even tell you about that first kiss.  😉

~Jane