Like the corners of my mind…
Misty water colored memories…
Of the way we were…
Um…did I just quote a Streisand song?
Fucking old, I am!
I was around four or five years old at my aunt’s house standing in the doorway dreading that my mom was about to be there to pick me up. I stayed at my aunt’s house while my parents worked and I loved being at her house. My cousins were there, and we were always at their activities after school…pep rallies, practices, their friends were always over. My aunt had the luxury of being a stay at home mom, and I had the luxury of benefiting from her parenting as well. Every day when my mom picked me up, I cried. I begged to stay at “Me-Me’s” house. I loved being in the center of the hub-bub that went on there.
It was nothing personal against my mom. I didn’t hate her. I just loved staying at my aunt’s house. When the image of motherhood popped into my head as a young girl, it was my aunt’s rendition of motherhood that I wanted to emulate. Again, nothing against my mom, my aunt could afford to be and had the means to be the kind of mother I admired. Now that I’m thinking of it, maybe it was a bit personal as an older child…but, as a four or five year old, I’m convinced I was innocent.
There I stood in the doorway, already negotiating with my aunt to allow me to stay. My mom walked through the door, weary after a long day at work and I could see the disappointment on her face. I could see the, “I just don’t want to deal with this, for the love of all that is holy, child, just get in the damn car and make this easy on the both of us,” wrinkled up on her brow.
Yet, one thing about four and five year olds, is that they are extremely selfish. It wasn’t in me to respond to my mother’s needs, I wanted to fulfill my own needs. I began to cry and pout looking back and forth between my mother and aunt. The daughter in me desperately not wanting to disappoint my mother, but, the kid in me just wanting to have fun.
My mother erupted, “FINE. STAY. YOU’D RATHER BE HERE WITH HER ANYWAY,” she turned, left, slamming the door behind her.
At the time, the little girl in me felt horrible. It was such an awful feeling. I’d gotten what I wanted, but, I’d hurt my mother. I felt guilty. I felt sad. But, that little part of me was relieved that I’d gotten what I wanted.
Looking back on this memory now, as an adult, I’m the one who feels angry. Angry that my mother placed her misguided emotions onto the shoulders of a five year old child. I was too little to carry those for her, yet she dumped them on me, and left me there to soak in them. She took it personally that I wanted to stay, and she dumped all of her feelings onto an innocent child. Purposefully.
This is the big problem I have with my mom. I know she does these things purposefully, yet I don’t know if she’s aware of the impact of her actions. Even when I try to explain to her what this memory means to me, she says that I’m blowing it out of proportion.
It’s just that. My memory. My perception that makes it my reality…of the beginnings of this dysfunctional relationship between my mom and I.
Misty water colored memories.
Like the corners of my mind.