Friday, January 11, 2008

My Parents: My Mom (part 1)

From the time I was in middle school I knew that my family was an oddity. My parents were still together and they were older than all of my friends' parents. I also realized that I would most likely lose one of my parents while I was young. I thought it would be my mother. For as long as I can remember my mother has been in and out of the hospital because of her father was pretty healthy until he began coughing one week and couldn't stop. For him it was sudden.

My mother and I never had the typical mother/daughter relationship. I do remember being a little girl and sleeping with her because my father worked the night shift. She would sing or read to me and then hug my back once I fell asleep. I can't be sure when everything changed...I only remember snatches of my childhood. I can look back now and see that all the things I hated her for are reasons why I shouldn't have.
I had a friend when I was 8 that my mom didn't like. I refused to listen to her and it has become a stain on my life. I'm glad to say that I eventually caught on - if my mom had a problem or 'feeling' about someone...she was usually right.
I think our problem was simple in the grand scheme of things - but not to us individually.
My mother has had a hand in raising 4 children - her 3 biological and one of my half-sisters (I'm the youngest of 9). All of them are older than me. My mother's oldest will be 40 this year...I will be 27. See the difference in age?
By the time I came along my mother had plenty of things she felt she needed to feel sorry about and would do anything to make things different for me. She explains that she was too hard on them...was too easy on me in a lot of things. She also says that she let them get away with too much so she kept a tighter clench on me. I wanted to go out with my friends - she swore that I was wanting to go party/have sex/drink/fill in the blank.
My problem was that I watched waaaay too much tv. I saw the mother/daughter relationships where they'd have a fight and the girl would run to her room and mom would come in, sit on her bed and make everything right. Then they'd go shopping and see a movie. I hated her because she did none of those things. I knew in my heart that I was afraid of doing anything 'wrong'...I knew I would never do the things she accused me of wanting to do so I hated her for not believing me.

Looking back I see a lot of her in me and I understand her more...but it makes me sad that we're only now seeing things as they were. Now I can see that a 300+ lb woman does not want to go to her child's school concerts, out to eat, shopping or to see a movie because she will be seen and judged. I can remember being a child to a 300+ pound woman and glaring down/confronting people who felt they needed to say something behind her back. I may have been a rebellious, bratty daughter but I cared about her feelings and I would NOT stand for people putting her down or confirming her suspicions.
I always felt she didn't love me because she didn't come to any of my things or want to spend time with me. I can realize now, after living with depression and obesity, that she loved me a LOT but didn't know how to cope with her depression.
She also had to deal with being in the hospital at least once a month because of her chronic asthma. The weight was a product of the prednisone (steroid) that she had been on for longer than I can remember - the treatment for asthma at the time.

Tomorrow - teenage years and beyond. If this isn't interesting you can skip it...its just another one of those things I feel is a necessity to write about.