Martyr to mother

26 Aug

Lea called me the other night.

Remember Lea? The one who knew my mother? Apparently she’s committed to filling me full of memories of my mother, what she knew, how she knew her. It makes me incredibly uncomfortable in some ways.

I am most decidedly uncomfortable with anyone who tries to mother me. I find myself feeling like  little girl, out of control, helpless, weak. So I get a little weird. It’s likely why I distance myself from most women. I don’t have the common language, and any women older than me, I automatically defer to.

At one point, she asked me why we had never connected in order to grieve together before. I said I didn’t know. She guessed that it was because I seemed so bloody independent and strong, like I didn’t need it or didn’t care.

Isn’t it sad when things work too well?

I could have used her memories years ago. Stories of how my mother doted on me, loved me, she loved me! How I was the daughter she wanted. How she loved my father, even when he infuriated her. How my father was under her thrall. How she lit up speaking of me. I can use it now.

But I know why I never went after those stories. Why even now I’m scared to.

I’ve developed a picture of who my mother was. I’m secure with that picture. She’s perfect there, unchanging. She won’t surprise me. She won’t scare me. She won’t change.

Adding to the dialogue about who my mother is means I have to change the image of the mother I believe I had. It means I have to possibly take my mother from her martyrdom, and into a person who made mistakes, got angry, was sad.

I’m of two minds. Part of me doesn’t want to answer the phone again.


7 Responses to “Martyr to mother”

  1. Gabriel... August 26, 2007 at 9:21 pm #

    …maybe ask her to write them down as individual stories? It might give you the ability to choose when you look at them and maybe it gets her off your ass for as long as it takes to write them. Otherwise try telling her to shut the fuck up until you’re ready. One of the last things you need at this point in your recovery is someone remaking your memories. Basically you’ve been sober for two months and you don’t need someone inviting herself over with wine and cheese.

  2. thordora August 27, 2007 at 8:15 am #

    That might be a good idea. She wants to help, but I’ve created myself based around my memories. Shaking that ground might be a weird thing.

  3. radicalmama August 27, 2007 at 9:20 am #

    Well, in the end, the truth might help you. I agree that the written stories might be nice. You can react honestly, and take it as fast or slow as you need.

  4. Mogo August 27, 2007 at 12:56 pm #

    ^ I like this one

  5. Gwen August 27, 2007 at 1:33 pm #

    As scary as it is, maybe learning that your mother was a real person, with flaws, with her own crazy beauty, will make you go easier on yourself.

  6. cherylann August 27, 2007 at 1:37 pm #

    New stories about your mother might have you discovering wonderful things about her that you didn’t remember. They also give you more stories to tell to your girls about someone who was so important in your life. Just tell her that you want to know stories of your Mom, but that you want to take it slowly because it is still painful for you. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable… your mother trusted this woman… I’m sure she has nothing but the best intentions. Remember that when you want to run away or ring her neck.

  7. Gabriel... August 27, 2007 at 9:40 pm #

    The medications — getting treated — has to come first. You’re already maxing out your stress levels by working fulltime while being a fulltime mom and wife. Starting now to deal with family stuff which may prove disturbing would just be too much stress on someone just starting treatment (“I find myself feeling like a little girl, out of control, helpless, weak.”). That kind of thing can come later when your brain is able to deal with it in the manner the problems deserve.

    The priority has to be the treatment — taking the pills, which will take time to really take effect. Once you’re able to think clearly and after it becomes apparent you can deal with disturbing life issues without falling back into the manic depressive routines, then it’s time to really start dealing with the clinical depressions.

    Recovering from untreated manic depression takes a certain level of brutality when it comes to relationships. It’s very much like recovering from an addiction, people who dump problems on you or add to your stress (best intentions or not, there are people who enable people with manic depression) have to be told either to cool off or take off…

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