Sunday, January 24, 2010

Confession: I Hate My Mother

I feel compelled to make a confession, and I am sure that my brutal honesty just might make someone wiggle or be appalled by what I have to say. But I'll say it anyway because it's just something that I have to do to come to terms with some issues that have been hanging over my head.

I think that I hate my mother. Well, my father too, but that's another case entirely.

I know that this is supposed to be something really taboo to say, right? But I just can't help thinking it every time that I speak with her. The hatred has been growing and building up as each year goes by. I keep waiting for the magical time when I am going to have patience, or forgive her, or all that crap that people tell you will happen when you get older. Yet as I get older I tend to dislike her even more.

I've got such complicated feelings about my mother. Sometimes I admire her for all that she had to overcome in her life because she has survived many tragedies. Sometimes I feel sorry for her, because even though she is not alone, she has managed to alienate herself from everyone around her. On other occasions I try to excuse her behavior, because I really think that she is mentally ill. But most of the time I just hate her guts.

Maybe it's not hate so much as the fact that I wish that she would just disappear and stay the hell out of my life.

I once told a counselor many years ago that I would feel relieved if she were to die, because I wouldn't have to continue to deal with her abusive behavior and her ability to make everyone fucking miserable. I was so ashamed to admit it at the time, but my counselor told me that many people have told her something similar over the years.

I later confessed this to my boyfriend, and he said that I "didn't really feel that way" and that I was just acting out because I was angry. He told me that if she were to pass away that I would feel so guilt ridden that I wouldn't be able to live with myself. He told me that I would always beat myself up for not having spent quality time with her.

I think that the only thing that I will mourn when she is dead and gone is something that I never had-a functional, loving mother.

It's easy for him to tell me that I am just acting out, and that I "don't really mean" what I am saying. Yet he never had a mother who pulled out his hair until his head bled because of something trivial, like not having vacuumed in a straight line. His mother might nag at him, but he can at least sometimes have decent conversations with her that don't always resort to name calling, cursing, criticizing and put downs. Oh, I can go on and on, but why even bother?

All I know is that my life is wonderful when I manage to avoid her for months on end.

My mother left home when she was about fifteen years old and she never talked with her mother again until she was forty years old after her mother had a stroke. She never allowed us to visit her mother and wouldn't talk about her mother at all. All these years I have brainwashed myself that my mother was just repeating what had happened to her and it wasn't her fault. The older that I get, however, and the more that I see that she is able to function like a normal human being at work without smacking the shit out of an employee, I refuse to accept that she has no control over her behavior.

I am able to break convention in so many ways and I never give a shit what anyone thinks about me, but for some strange reason I have not completely been able to break away from her and cut off all contact because I have been so brainwashed by society that I am supposed to forgive her because she is my mother and she sacrificed for me in many ways.

Perhaps me blogging about this taboo subject is a small step that I am making towards just closing up my heart and trying to cut off all contact with her.

I bring this topic up because on Thursday she contacted me and told me that she had a lump in her armpit near the lymph nodes and that she will be having an operation on Monday. Someone else might be upset about this news in regard to their mother, but I felt nothing and carried on with my life. She has been calling me with a worried sound in her voice all weekend and leaving messages (because of course I have been avoiding her).

Due to that nagging little voice in my head that has been imposed on me by society, I thought that it would be respectful to call her tonight and chat with her for a couple of minutes since she will be having surgery tomorrow morning. She does have heart problems after all and being put under anesthesia might cause problems. Within the first five minutes she managed to bitch, moan, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch about anything and everything about me. I finally said, "Ok, bye, have a great fucking surgery" and I hung up. It seems like the past two years all I fucking do is hang up on her after speaking with her for more than five minutes.

I suppose that not much more can really be said about this topic, other than what I've already said. I suddenly feel light and free, as if I am moving towards finally being able to close the door on my relationship with her.


Kisha said...

I completely understand. And I hate my mother too. I cut her out of my life three years ago because it was so much life didn't suck nearly as much when she wasn't around.

You are allowed to feel however you need to feel. Don't ever let anyone tell you differently.

I am so impressed by your bravery in writing this. Rock on, sister.

feministified said...

You hate your mom?

Well, I hate my dad. I hate the way he treats my brother (cause he's gay).

I hate the way he acts like he is too good. I hate the things he says to my brother to dehumanize him.

Sure, my dad provided us w/ food and shelter blah blah blah. But as a grown-ass man he cannot accept his children have lives of their own.

When he raised us and praised us to be independent, think for ourselves, speak out and question authority - what did he think was going to happen?

We are independent, think for ourselves, talk back, don't take his or anyones shit.

He is passive-aggressive and controls my mom with guilt. It is his way, always. My mom has always made more money than him, yet he controls it.

It is fucking infuriating.

Anonymous said...

I had to cut ties with my mother 24years ago, when I was 21. We never had a good relationship, she was verbally, phycially and emotionally abusive to me. She spared my 2 sisters this abuse- just didn't like me for some reason. We all agree that I didn't make up the abuse, so I felt pretty sane in cutting her out of my life. And she, like your mother, seemed perfectly normal in social and work settings. Interestingly, about a decade ago she stopped talking to my sisters. I don't have regrets. There have been times when I wished I had a "normal" mother, like when I was pregnant, but for the most part I am grateful that she has not been able to continue to harass me. The more interesting part of the story is that my partner's mother is a whack job too, just like my own mother. He doesn't want to see it, so I have suggested that he maintain a relationship with her, just don't expect me or my daughter to participate. I'm not exposing my kid to what I experienced. I guess the moral of the story is that it's fine to cut out the people who are doing harm, but then you need to get through therapy (or something) so that they don't keep popping up in your life, as mine seems wont to do. Trust your gut!

Wicked Bitch, Latina Fatale said...

@kisha Thanks for the encouragement!

@feministified Uh! He sounds like an ass!

@anonymous Thank you for telling your story! It's a funny thing that you say that you all agree that you didn't make up the story, because these assholes sure have a way of denying everything that you do. Interesting about the part that your sisters didn't get all the abuse. In my case my mom sort of was bad to my brother, but never to the same extent that she treated me. Oh, that's an entire other post because it is a common theme that happens with the women and men in the family. I can only wish that in another 20 years I can barely remember her.

Heather Griffith Brewer said...

I've often said that my worst nightmare is the thought of being in the car with my mother on a long trip.
My mother made many bad choices, but she always loved me and was never abusive. Because of the attempts she made at being a good mother, I am able to forgive her mistakes. I wish she'd make better choices, I wish, I wish, I wish. I love her because she is basically good.
You should feel no guilt in not putting up with the abuse your mother deals out to you. When you were a child you "had" to be subjected to an adult you have a choice.
There is nothing wrong with eliminating caustic people from your life, even if one of those people is your mother. She is not entitled to abuse you just because she gave you life.