Saturday, 27 December 2008
by Mama Pig
I know you guys have read that my mother and I didn't speak for many years, but I don't know that I have ever really touched on our relationship and why it has always been strained.
I was born three years after my sister. She is actually my half sister, but we didn't know that until we were teens. Another story for another post, but anyway; I was the baby of the family. I was an absolute Daddy's Girl. I could write a thousand blogs about why my dad was the perfect dad and still not cover it all.
I can honestly remember being as young as four and knowing that my mother really didn't like me. She loved me, but she really didn't like me. She adored my older sister Kim and seemed to resent the fact that I was around. It didn't bother me too much, my daddy was right there to pick up the slack and make me feel like the princess he thought I should be.
As I got older it became more and more noticeable. Kim and my mom would sit around and laugh together often at my expense. My sister was very abusive both verbally and physically to me and my mother just seemed to think I somehow deserved the treatment. I can vividly remember being around ten or eleven and having to lock myself in my room because my sister was chasing me with scissors telling me she was going to stab me. Calling my mom at work was out of the question and later when I did get the chance to tell her she didn't respond in quite the manner I had hoped. I believe it was something along the lines of I should have done what Kim had asked so she wouldn't get angry.
When Dad moved out it strangely got a bit better. By this time we had heard the real story and knew that my dad wasn't Kim's dad. From the day that was revealed until the day of my dad's death, Kim never spoke to him again. She refused to even attend his funeral. It seemed that there was a lot of resentment of my relationship with my dad and when he moved out some of the pressure was relieved.
I know you are all thinking; 'This sounds more like a story about your sister' and perhaps it really is, but it wasn't intended to head in this direction.
I married my first husband when I was nineteen. I literally moved from my mother's home into a home with my husband. In the beginning my mom didn't really care for my first husband. She felt he was nice enough, but that I was far too intelligent for him. Which reminds me of the one thing I heard continuously throughout my teen years. "You are lucky you are so smart because Kim got all the good looks. At least you have a brain." Yes, just what every young teen girl needs to hear.
Anyway, Nathan and I had an okay marriage, but it just wasn't meant to be. After eleven years, we made the decision to end our marriage. In the beginning it was very amicable. We were going to allow G to finish summer school (he has dyslexia and was receiving some extra help) and then we would sit down and work out an agreement. Two weeks before he finished school, Nate took the children out of town to visit his parents. While he was gone and my children were across state lines, I was served with divorce papers and he was seeking full custody of our children. I was in shock and immediately called my mother. I was in for an even bigger shock.
My mother was the person to convince Nate to hire an attorney and she paid the retainer. It seemed that my mom hadn't quite gotten past her issues with my father and was taking them out on his closest counterpart. It should be noted that my father had passed away two years prior and upon his death I received a rather small (but huge to me) life insurance benefit. My mother immediately began suggesting it was only fair that I give half to my sister. I refused on the grounds that had she even called my father once in the fifteen years prior to his death he would have placed her as a beneficiary as well. She had finally found a way to get me back.
In what would become an almost two year and more than $20,000 court fight; I won. My mother testified against me and that was the last day I ever spoke a word to her. Two months later I moved out of Texas and considered my mother dead.
My husband would often try and get me to call her, but I just couldn't bring myself to take that step. I harbored such anger that soon it was eating away at me. C was born and I didn't even call to let her know. I did send pictures to my grandparents (her parents), but I never once sent anything to my mother.
When E was born and I spent that first month in the hospital I found myself reevaluating everything in my life. I would spend the hour between 2:00p.m. and 3:00pm in the cafeteria while they did shift change in the NICU. I first wrote to my grandparents telling them everything that was going on including the fact that we were unsure if E would make it through those first really rough days. I mailed it out a few days later and waited. I wanted so much for my mother to call me and find out what was going on with her newest grandchild.
That call never came. It would be three months later before I finally sat down at my computer and wrote her a letter directly. I didn't tell a single person, not even my husband. I just mailed it and waited...and waited. It was almost two months before I heard anything.
Ironically, Nathan was the first one to mention the letter. He called one day and told me that he was proud of me. I had no idea why, but then he told me he had spoken to my mom and she had mentioned the letter. It was still another two weeks before she finally called me herself.
We now speak often. I can't say that I have forgiven her for what she did, but I am trying. She has met E and I'm hoping that she will come to meet C in the near future.
I wrote the poem to her simply because I express myself better when I write. Notice I didn't call her when I was ready to talk; I wrote her. Often it takes me many tries before I find that perfect word and if I'm speaking I do not have the ability to backspace.
I know when my mother reads that poem she will read the love that I am trying to convey. To actually say those words to my mother would just be too difficult for me at this time.
Have you ever been badly hurt by a family member? How did you reconcile your relationship with them? How do you prefer to communicate with people during difficult times -via phone or email?