Thursday, August 18, 2005

Bitter and hypersensitive.

As I was brushing my teeth, those were the words that popped into my head. I’ve been doing the ritualistic bi-monthly calls to my mother. My last call was Thursday. I ended the call after the third mention of children not caring for their parents.
I thought I’d feel guilty about ending the call abruptly but I didn’t. It’s strange but instead of feeling angry or guilty I felt slightly liberated to the point of chuckling. I’m not sure if it was a nervous chuckle but it was something.
My husband was proud of me for not letting her get to me like I usually do. I suppose I was too. It doesn’t help the situation but I don’t anything short of my mother’s strange and high expectations would make it better, at least for her.
Now it seems as if she’s expanded her bitterness towards my brother. It seems the ‘loss’ of her daughter and the beginnings of a life outside of my mother for my brother have opened up another can of resentment in her.
She once told me that if it weren’t for me, she’d be free to do whatever she wanted. Now even as a young teen, I knew that was untrue but I now know that her resentment wasn’t just on me but on her life. I may have been the only physical thing she could lash out at.
She was uprooted from all she knew during the beginning of her adulthood into a foreign country. She felt lost and afraid but couldn’t share that with anyone. She repressed her feelings towards her parents. Everything she thought would be her life was turned upside down.
Through marriage she was able to retain a little bit of her past but as my father’s desire to acclimate to American society grew, she became more and more confused. Soon my father fond his passion and began vigorously studying. She didn’t understand my father’s passion.
She began retreating. Now what I see is a woman who is bitter and hurt. She finds herself in circumstances that she couldn’t imagine. A mother to two adult children. Her parents gone. Her first husband gone. The people she clung to when she came here at the young age of 18 have ‘abandoned’ her to fend for herself in America.
I can’t change that for her. The only thing I can do is try to reiterate time and again that I am her daughter and although I have a life outside of her, she hasn’t been discarded. Her anger and contempt though hinders our relationship. My hurt hinders our relationship.
Some people come out of this world with a strong sense of self and self discovery. Everyone has a story. What we do with our story and how we grow is the true test. As I try to open my eyes to why my mother and I are so different I hope my self-awareness grows.
I’ve always questioned, why the pity party? Why can’t she look outward and not in? Maybe I need to look in.