In my last post I shared a little about what it’s like to be resented by your only parent. What I didn’t share is how that resentment permeates into your being, your self worth, and your life. After moving to Knoxville in 2005 I was awed by the sense of freedom I felt. Imagine spending your entire life living in a house with dirty windows. You never realize how beautiful the world can be until you go outside. It shouldn’t surprise you that I never went back. Continue reading
A typical occurrence in my childhood home consisted of what can best be described as “the mad dash”. Because my sister and i were typical kids we left our chores to the last minute. At the sound of the alarm from my mothers room we would begin the desperate scramble to make sure everything was in its place. Baby, fed and bathed. Dinner, cooked and ready for her to take with her to work. Hairbrush back where she left it. Her chair, empty. We learned eventually what would send her into a screaming tirade about how we didn’t love her and why couldn’t we just BE GOOD?
I know now that none of this was typical. My mother got pregnant with my brother while I was being molested by her husband. Six long months after his birth I would finally confess in a puddle of tears on the top bunk of the beds I shared with my sister, completely convinced I wouldn’t be believed or worse, cast out. Child molesters say some fucked up shit.
Thankfully, neither of those things happened. She believed me, he was arrested and I couldn’t wait to live happily ever after. Except theres no happily ever after when you destroy your family.
My mother became two distinctly different people, seemingly interchangeably. One desperately wanted to be loved and accepted. That version took us out of school for shopping days and tagged along with my friends and I for movies and girls nights. As long as I was doing everything her way she showered me with gifts and clothes. She worked tirelessly to earn our love with overpriced prom dresses and name brands.
But then, and I learned to detect when the winds would change, she would turn on me like the scorpion on the waters edge. Screaming about perceived grievances and slights. It was terrifying. I wouldn’t learn until years later this behavior is common among borderline personalities, which I suspect my mother has. I was left wondering why I was so bad. Couldn’t I just make her happy? After all, she was a SINGLE parent…that sentence always dripping with resentment.
So I tried harder to “be good”; but what I was really learning was to people please, to have no boundaries, and to need NOTHING. If I didn’t need anything I didn’t owe her more than I already did for raising me ALONE.
So I got a job. Then two. I bought a car. Applied to college and got the hell out. The day I left she didn’t even say goodbye.
Being resented by your parent for existing is like living with a boulder balancing on your hat. Eventually you get used to the weight but it makes all of life so much harder. You have to be very careful of making any sudden movements and you’re constantly aware of how much space you’re taking up (too much).