Tuesday, August 11, 2015

On having my mother.


I was just reading an article on the amount of 20-30 something's moving back into their family home.
In an era of sky-high tuition and soaring housing costs, they argue the group known as Generation Screwed can help unscrew themselves by moving home to pay off debt.
I pay rent, but significantly less than I would on my own. Instead, I'm able to put large chunks of cash on paying off my debt. I'm 2,000$ away from that goal. Then, I'll be saving up, and be in a position to have a down-payment I could never have saved up while paying 800$+ on rent and living costs.

I'm grateful to my mom for not kicking me out when things were really rough for me. I'm also lucky that she and I get along well enough for this to be possible for me. Sure, sometimes she watches Ancient Alien Secrets Revealed and it drives me nuts, but other times she bring me her iPad so I can see a video of a baby goat playing with a puppy.

It can't be easy being the parent of someone who is suffering from unipolar depression. It's taken over a decade for me to get a handle on myself, and there were periods of my life where I was so despondent and miserable. I can't really imagine what that's like for her.

I've asked my mother about her mother, my Nana, and she's often expressed that she didn't feel especially loved or wanted by her mother. She kind of felt like her mother didn't want to be a mother. I've never felt that with my mom. First, she tried for four years to get pregnant with me. But mainly she was always present and loving and kind. I always felt loved by her.

We've had some tough moments. I remember overhearing her one night when I was in the depths of things, and I had just gained a lot of weight, she was expressing not being able to recognize me, and used the term "disgusted" in my weight gain. It hurt me tremendously. She was drunk, and talking to her best friend.

Maybe that added to the pile of shame I was already feeling.

Another time, while I was unemployed I decided to get my hair done. It ended up being lavender, and a little rock and roll. She freaked out. To her, it was an expression of "not giving a shit" and making it harder on myself to get a job. She has the same reaction when I get tattoos. The hair though, on top of being unemployed, burst a dam, and she screamed at me and cried. I ended up staying with a friend for a few days.

But, those examples are the exception.

I have much more in me about her rubbing my back while I was having a panic attack at 5 in the morning before a radio show interview. Or her presence throughout my childhood, at hot-dog days and bake sales.

I remember her tucking me in, and cuddling with me.

I remember my throw-up bucket when I was sick. lol.

I keep telling her not to do my laundry, but she keeps doing it.

Maybe the opposite of depression is a mother's love. A mother who loves being a mother. A mother cradling you in a warm, loving hug and rocking you back and forth. Real comfort.

You were wanted, and you're here, and they celebrate you.

I sometimes wish I had more siblings, so she could have other children to be proud of, and to gain from. She got kind of a dud with me.

I often feel a lot of guilt for being such a burden on her all these years. It's hard not to carry that with me. I'm going to try and look forward, and hope that the worst is behind me.

If all of this worked my empathy muscles, and my ability to relate and appreciate, maybe it'll make me a better daughter, as well as a better person to be around.

Nostalgia My S animated GIF

I'll never know what it is to feel that. I've only ever been on the receiving end of it. I've never wanted children, and though I can feel protective and maternal towards my nephews, or towards a baby, I do not have any desire to have one of my own.

When I see my friends going through it, I see the distinction between those having children and those who want them so badly, and get them. My friend C tried for years, and now that she has a newborn, I couldn't be happier for her. And no doubt, she'll live in the vein of motherhood lived in my by mother. Some people fit their vocations and passions so well, and I think for my mother that was motherhood.

She is not perfect. She is not a disciplinarian. There were times as a teenager when that's what I needed. But since my father died when I was 13, both she and I were left on our own. She married my father at 21. That's unimaginable to me. She was completely dependent on him. Also unimaginable to me.

As the fog of my depression lifts, I hope to continue to improve my relationship with her. I hope to remain grateful for her. I plan on spending as much time with her as I can. So much of my history is lost to me. There are so few memories. I want to enjoy my mother. I want to remember her, because she'll eventually leave me.

I'm grateful for her. And I can't even think about where I'd be without her.

I might not always be happy I was born, but I'm always happy she's my mother.

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