it's a question of motherhood

just a quick note to see how you are. your son has been asking for you... ps. you're going to be an aunt in late sept. miss you... love you, mom.

three mothers mentioned on that little sticky note placed into the box i received from my li'l sister *t* today. it had my christmas present inside (very prompt, i know, but it's hilarious), and a half dozen packages of my favorite chili in the world which, to my everlasting dismay, is impossible to find up here.

but i digress. the bio-mom has sent me another message. the last one arrived over a year ago, a small note saying "love you, miss you, thinking of you" stuck onto a small, private christian press book about daily blessings. i knew she was trying, but unfortunately in the wake of those words she spoke before my handfasting with *j*, it just didn't really seem to matter. my rage has cooled, as has my hatred, but the hypocrisy of her entire life still pisses me right the fuck off. in the three-or-so years since i've been rebuilding my relationship with the bio-dad, i've noticed how much divorce has agreed with him. he's really mellowed out, he's happier, he does things he enjoys. he bought a motorcycle, a big ol' hog he rides around town with *aj*, my little brother (who has a crotch rocket of his own). my bio-mother, on the other hand, went wild and turned childish. of course, it probably was her first taste of freedom, and she just finally had her chance to be seventeen while in her mid-fifties. scary.

but the hypocrisy enrages me. it still hurts to this day that i walked away from my dream of being someone's Mommy. there are bigger things out there than mommyhood, namely not abusing the shit out of your kids. it's taken me years of hard work to undo what was done to me by the adults in my life i wholeheartedly and unquestioningly trusted. i recognized the dangers i posed to my precious offspring, and i said goodbye to the whole thing. yes, my bio-dad beat us. my bio-mom let him...to save herself.

if you ever wanna see me go from zero to sixty in nothing flat, just bring up the topic of child abuse.

as a mother who sacrificed her motherhood, i say hers was the greater crime. no amount of denial, insecurity, self-doubt --nothing-- can justify throwing a child to the wolves like that. especially when it was her own children. giving birth is an unspoken promise to the universe you'll sacrifice whatever's necessary for the sake of that new person, from your dreams to your security to your very damn life. it's just what motherhood is.

i sacrificed my motherhood to be a good mother.

for the past couple of years i've been thinking it's high time to write her another letter. my first one, a few weeks after that fight we had, went unanswered. her weak attempts at reconnection over the years has been confusing. i am purely confused about the woman. and i've been holding back from writing her because i know i will still rip her a new one for her audacity, hypocrisy, and disrespect. i am a better mother than she ever was.

at the same time, thoughts of the iGoddess-hatchling has made me think excessively of li'l *c*. i want to be raising him soooo badly, and i know i never will. i want to be more active in his life, and i know i can't afford to. big *c* expects me to pay for all his travel (contrary to our agreement beforehand), bitches at me about money (while living rent-free with his mother in a gorgeous house in sacramento and driving a paid-off 2000 pontiac grand am), and cops attitude with me whenever i try to call my son. it gets to be such an ordeal that i end up nearly in tears by the end of it and am heartsick for days afterward. they never initiate phone calls, like it's all my responsibility. "oh," they say, "we never thought we'd hear from you," they say when i call, and yet they have my fucking phone number, too, the assholes.

sometimes i fantasize about being so rich i can afford a league of lawyers on retainer and sue the shit out of my ex for custody.

unfortunately, it's not my son that makes me sick. it's his father, and dealing with all that stupid shit associated with him. i've only now, in the five years since i left him, finally repaired my credit enough after the damage my marriage did...to include my ex's bankruptcy that ripped my credit a new one.

i've debated legally waiving my maternal rights, thinking it would be better for li'l *c*. the gods only know what he thinks about my rare contact with him. either way, i know it won't be until he's much older before he hears my side of anything.

and part of me wonders if i should give that chance to my bio-mom, to explain her actions. before anyone agrees because it's "just the right thing to do" (and subsequently makes me puke), i also have to wonder if her motives matter at all when what she did was throw her children into the lion pit to save her own sorry skin. fuck fairness. fuck maturity. and damn well fuck enlightenment and "being better than her." FUCK it. she can face the godsdamned firing squad and see how she likes it.

oh, she fought for one of her children, yes. her firstborn, her daughter, her favorite. after that, it was too much work. she told me that once. it was too much work for her to protect me when i was too small to protect myself. i was as fucked up, abused, shamed, and humiliated as i was because it was too much fucking work for her to protect me. what the absolute fuck?!

i can't forgive that. large parts of me were damaged beyond repair. i had to completely remake those parts. does anyone know and appreciate just how much fucking work that is? how much courage and strength it takes, and how much fucking fear i had to face? talk about looking into the face of terror. how much better of a person would i have been, if i hadn't had to spend so much time playing catch-up? what sorts of chances would i have had? would i have met someone special, the right man, a lot sooner if i hadn't had to spend so much time fearful and distrusting of abusive men? would i have been fucked up at all, if my role model had been someone who was strong enough to stand up for her children, thus teaching me i was worth something? would i have had to waste so much time re-inventing self-esteem, if i had been taught i had worth?

so many questions. i think it's time to write the bio-mom a letter, but not quite the letter she's expecting. i'm confused. i can't resolve her hypocrisy in my mind. i can't forgive her judgement of me as an unworthy mother, when i gave up my very motherhood for the well-being of my child. she failed me. better i'd never have been born than to have my mother fail me like that. true, people can say that i wouldn't be the wonderful, Funkalicious diva i am now if all those things hadn't happened, and they'd be absolutely right.

i'd be someone even better. and i deeply resent being robbed of all those opportunities.

[ps. my bio-mom is the woman in red. the handsome gentleman standing on her left is my li'l bro *aj*, and next to him is my li'l sis *t*. the giant next to her is her bf, and the two women on the far left of the pic is *aj*'s ex and her mother. this was taken at *aj*'s graduation.]


Ravyn said...

Dearest, while my problems with my own mother may not have been as severe as yours...after all I didn't tell my mother the abuse I went through because I was afraid she'd get herself killed trying to protect me. I mean I threw myself to the wolves to protect her and I know what it is like to have that spit upon. I also know that a three page long e-mail ripping her a new one certainly helped her to see the light of day.

Sadly, 'being a better person' aside there are times when you cannot heal from an abscess eating away at you until you lance the fucker. It will hurt. Both of you. But it just might save whatever chance you have at a relationship. That's not to say that it will not take time...I lanced the boil that was my mothers resentment of the fact that my stepfather hurt me.

Yes...she resented me and your mother may well do the same. She may resent the beautiful butterfly you have turned into despite the poison that was your childhood. But if she can come to terms with that resentment than maybe there is a chance for something there.

If you cannot...I will not think less of you in any way. I am amazed at the strength you showed in forgiving your father and building a relationship with him. To be honest your attempts were part of what made me try one last time to reach out to my mother...your inspiration saved my relationship with my mother and for that you will always have my admiration.

Whatever you choose to do I will be here to stand by your side through the shit storm that may come. Even should it become time for your mother to become dead to you I will support you through that as well. I only ask that if you think it could do any good at all...for either of you...write that letter.

Your sister

Anonymous said...

Jeeze, I've missed you! I've been so negligent in visiting my favourite blogs...forgive me.

I still have a ton of resentment towards my mother (aka -psycho queen from hell), and she's been dead for 10 years! I would say to you, write that letter! Say what needs to be said and then do not give her anymore of your energy...ever.

I wish for you peace and clarity... and I promise you that you will surprise yourself with how much stronger, healthier, more loving and fiercely protective you will be, of your own hatchling. You have such terrific insight.

Remember that everything happens for a reason..and in it's own time.
As far as little "c", you made the most selfless choice a mother can make...I wish you could see that as clearly as I do. You were a young and naive mother maybe, but peel back the surface and see the wisdom you had even at that time in your life.

You are the most awesome, honest, strong, real, solid, and self- healed mom a kid could ask for!
Time for you to BELIEVE IT!!!!

Rock on,
luv ya!

Michelle said...

None of us is perfect but your mother, mine and quite a few others that I know of did a piss poor job and deserve to know it. Write the letter and then let it go. You're a great writer so it'll say what needs to be said.

You are an awesome mother who made a sacrifice that incredibly few would even contemplate.

Love and hugs.