Growing Pains

Ah, the self-realization just keeps on going, doesn't it? One day I'm living a blissfully ignorant existence, happy to medicate my depression away with the not-so-legal meds, and the next I'm stone cold sober and pissed off. The balance just won't last.

But in the interest of bettering myself, I know that it takes these moments of pain to get to the better moments. The moments when it is ok that I didn't realize something about myself 20 years ago, because how is an 8-year-old child supposed to tell her mother that she is the mom, and I am the child, so just let me be a kid? It isn't easy.

This all has come to a head in recent days. I've had issues with my mom in the past, but it was never anything that I felt could end our relationship, or I just refused to allow that to happen. It has been a tough couple of years for the two of us, matching and almost surpassing the struggles of my teenage years. Back then, I could just be an immature little brat, and she could be the adult (for the most part, but now I even question that). But the illusion is gone. I have been the caretaker.

She never had it easy, and she constantly reminded me of this. It did exactly what it was supposed to do: made me feel guilty for having a happy life. And to this day, even though I'm old enough to have my own children, this pattern repeats itself with a dreadful regularity that has me as depressed as I've been since the days after my dad died.

She was a child raising children. I can't really blame her; she did the best I could and she loved me. But what am I supposed to do with these feelings? The resentment that immediately makes me feel guilty? The frustration that she still can't care for me as her child? My reaction to all of this, which is to pull as far away from her as possible? My husband and I have recently contemplated moving completely across the country just so I can loosen her hold on me. A hold that is so subtle, so complete, that I never noticed it until now. Until I witnessed one of my dearest friends caring for her 14-month-old son and recognizing my own feelings of jealousy. How could I never have seen this???? It is almost devastating. It might be devastating if I didn't have so many other things on which to focus my frustrations.

And here I am, building a house right fucking beside her, and all of the sudden it comes into focus. Very clear focus. She has bound me to her more completely than I could have thought possible, and I convinced myself that our relationship meant that we were close. As close as sisters. As close as best friends. What a fucking lie. She has cared for me, yes, but she has manipulated me to care for her as well.

"What have I done to deserve my children treating me this way?"

"You have it so easy. You have no idea what it means to have a hard life."

"You spoiled brat."

These are the things that she would say to me if I wanted to make a choice about my own life. And I fucking believed her. Now I'm living in her basement, building a house 50 feet away from her bedroom, and I want to just disappear. I want to get on a plane with my husband and my dog and get the fuck away.


  1. I want to give you a big hug. I know exactly what you're going through. And while a little more distance will help, it takes a lot more than distance. I'm half a world away, and yet I get regular doses of "What have I done for my kids to treat me like this?", "So and So barely fed her kids and they love her more than you love me" and "I suffered every day of my life for my babies, and this is what I get...".

    You know where to find me if you need.

  2. Great big internet hug, sent your way.

  3. If you and the hubs ever do get on a plane my way there's a sofa with your names on it at my place. Yet another internet hug for ya from me. I think you're uttely kickass and when I grow up, yes, I will attempt to be a carbon copy of you. I've already got started with the tattoos.

  4. Then do it. It took you time to plan the house you're building, it will take time to plan moving away as well. Ooooh, big deal.


Spit it, betch!