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Memory Lane is a Dead End Street


DeeBear

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It was a simple question, with a simple answer.  But it brought my life into focus.

Mom had just spit venom at me, something I'd gotten used to.  I don't remember what for, and it really didn't matter.  I'd gotten so used to being yelled at that it didn't even phase me, it was just the normal routine.  It didn't even embarrass me that this outburst was in the yard, in front of several of my friends.  Mom stomped away, and one of my friends turned to me and asked "Why does your mom hate you so much?"

That question shook me.  I told him that I guess I reminded her of my dad.  Looking back now, my friends probably knew more of what I was going through than I realized. Mom yelled at me constantly.  That is, unless my stepdad was around.  She tried it in front of him and he backed her into a corner physically and told her to leave me alone, that I hadn't done anything.  That's the only time I ever saw him get physical with my mom.  I was thankful when my stepdad was around.  When he wasn't I was just a target for mom's anger.

Mom had a hyperactive thyroid and was irritable to begin with, but I felt like she resented me.  I felt like I was a reminder of my dad, who she hated (and still does).  Fortunately I had friends in the neighborhood and I spent very little time with my mom.  Until we moved back home to Mississippi.  Then I was trapped.  My stepdad was always at work, so it was open season on me. 

Mom was ripping me to my grandma in the kitchen, and my grandpa got up and went into the kitchen and told mom to leave me alone.  That was great, but when it was just me and her, there was no one to intervene.

I used any excuse to get out of the house.  I began self medicating a lot.  I did a lot of things I regret.  Anything to stop feeling.  I wish I had been treated for depression back then, I might have had a better life and made better decisions.  

Mom and I have a good relationship now, but I still all too often feel that I am as useless as she treated me.  It's no coincidence that we're both on antidepressants now.  Too bad we weren't back then.

Edited by DeeBear

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Reading this reminded me of a counseling session I took my adult niece to at our church well over 25 years ago. She was crying, dramatically telling the pastor what a horrible mother my sister-in-law had been. Compared to the way you and I were raised, her childhood was a fairytale, but I realized even then that it was all about perspective and that my niece had some serious emotional problems.  I'm sure her mom was at the root of many of them. At one point the pastor looked at me and asked, "What do YOU think about all of this?" I told him no one had to pass a test to be a parent. Sadly, anyone can do it. There are no job interviews, background checks, references required, or skills needed. It doesn't matter if a person is physically or mentally unfit, morally corrupt, financially unstable, or a serial killer. Anyone qualifies. We need a license to catch a fish but anybody can deeply scar an innocent child for life. I find that heartbreaking. You and I are in that club that no one wants to a member of. 💔

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Yeah, I never applied to be a member of this club.  It's more like a prison sentence than a club.  I just wish I could get out on parole.  

I feel torn because I have a good relationship with my mom now, but sometimes I want to say something about those days...  There are things I can't forget.  I'm sure you understand.  And I'm sorry you understand.

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