It’s been a long time since I posted. The thing is- I don’t lack ideas, I have too many. Too complicated. I want to write something worth reading. I know most of us don’t have time to spare- I read precious few blogs myself, because of this.
Christmas was amazing and crazy. Not bad really… but things happened that on the surface seemed insignificant. Little light bulbs have gone off here and there, however….
See, my mom apparently holds more influence over me than I thought. It seemed like she wasn’t asking much, each time, but it threw me for a loop- and I was right back where I had been all of my childhood- 3 steps behind and no clue what was going on. My mom is just used to getting her way. All the time. We HAD to put all of the ornaments on the tree. All of them. Ooookayfine. No big deal. We HAD to cook three meals. It’s so hard to talk about this- I keep saying to myself- ‘gg why didn’t you just say, STOP.’ Well…. I’m used to doing what my mom wants. Whatever that may be. Even if it ruins the dish I was preparing (had to do it her way) takes the whole day (clean while running a fever? sure, if that’s what mom wants) leaves me in killer pain (who DOESN’t want to do a 4 hour marathon of clean the kitchen, cook the meal, set the table, serve the meal, clear the table right away, clean the kitchen?) and results in me having a meltdown.
I ended up embarrassed and crying, tired beyond words, and being mean to Maximus. Why? Great question.
Like Claire- I don’t hate this woman- this Mother. She is boundaryless- to be sure. She isn’t intentionally rude. She just quietly taxes everyone to the limit. I wanted to hate her when I was a child. After all, I didn’t start out as a 33 year old woman, mother, wife of 11 years, obeying my mother unquestionably about things I already know how to do and do better. No, I started out as a tiny person. Every time I asked by actions and later, by words, ‘can I do this?’ or ‘do I know this?’ she responded in a way that said ‘No!’
Ever see ‘Tangled’? You know what’s scary about that movie? The Mother Graendal’s song (ok- so I know it’s not Graendal- but it might as well be- she’s that evil.) is real. No? you say? Hyperbole, you say? No. vehemently no. the reason the evil witch mother talks like she does, and sings what she does is because plenty of people have had mothers like mine was. Manipulative. Demeaning. Demanding. Intrusive.
Mom had lots of little verbal tricks like the mother in the movie does. “Oh look! It’s a hat that says ‘space cadet’! We should get that for you, GG, you’re always lost in space! …. Oh what are you upset about! It was only a joke! You’re always so hypersensitive!” That example is one of many. It’s hard to explain, if you don’t have a mother like that. She avoids those things, now. Maybe my boundaries with her are not as thick and dark as they should be, I don’t know… you see; I DOUBT myself with her. It is part of my nature, she built it in, always doubt yourself, greenegem, because Mother knows best.
I ignored my boundaries, though. But I honestly didn’t even realize I was ignoring them. I KNEW that if she cooked the chicken that hot it would be overcooked. ‘Oh, no- you don’t know how to use these pans!” she said. She turned it up. I didn’t fight her. (they WERE my grandmother’s pans… I’d only had them for a while, Mom had cooked on them for years…right? ) The chicken was terribly dry. The whole dish was… flavorless. I said so. But by that point there was no point I arguing. I knew I didn’t feel good- but see, when I was a kid and didn’t feel good I was complaining or being overly dramatic, or trying to get out of things. So I pushed myself, way beyond what I knew I could do. I cleaned the toy room. Because my mother was cleaning. I KNEW we couldn’t eat that much food. I knew I shouldn’t be eating bread, but we cooked it and I… ate it… (later- I’ll write about my mom and food. Oy vey) Everything we did while they were here- we had to do her way. Always phrased as a suggestions, subtle- but just as clearly said, ‘oh no, dear stupid girl, you do it THIS way!’ you mean to tell me you’ve been doing it this way all along?!!”
There is a reason Disney wrote the mother the way they did. She is all too real. Alive and well today. Mother knows best.
This is one more aspect of my reason for choosing to find a way to guide my children into reasonable and respectful and responsible behavior in a gentle way. One more reason to always try to remember that my children are tiny whole and legitimate people FIRST, and my children second; That they are souls who belong to the Father first, and my babies second. I do NOT know best- and I won’t pretend I do. Not even to require obedience in them now.
I will not pretend.