My Karmic Retribution (what did I ever do to you, karma?)

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When I was 15 I left my mother. Packed a couple of my things and left.

Now my 13 year old daughter is doing the same thing to me.

I suppose it is the most basic and direct form of karma the world has ever seen.

In hind sight, my mother was not BAD to me. She was not abusive or negligent. She was a tired, over worked single parent and she leaned on me for a lot because I was all she had. My older brother was in the Marines and then working in New York City. She was trying to keep a house hold and two young daughters afloat with very little help and even less sleep.

But I was selfish, as young girls are. I was thinking of myself. How my social life was suffering because I had to come home directly from school and baby sit for my little sister as my mother went from her first job to her second. I felt alone because she worked so much and no one else was really around to tell me otherwise. And I was angry because I saw my friends with regular, fully staffed house holds who were allowed to go to the mall and to the movies and didn’t have to check to make sure they weren’t on little sister duty that night.

So, in looking back, she was actually a super mom. A mother who still found time to make dinner (sometimes four at a time) and stick them in the refrigerator so I could warm them up for myself and my little sister Sam. On the days when she had off, although I’m sure she was beat from her 70 hour work week, she brought us to do things so we could still have family time. She made us cookies in the shapes of Christmas trees and hearts for holidays, she made sure I had hand sewn Halloween outfits and that we always had everything we needed, even though money was tight and time was even tighter.

But I left her anyways, in pursuit of more freedom and less responsibility. Funny thing is, I ended up crashing at my boyfriends house, becoming pregnant, and found myself with LESS freedom and MORE responsibility.

So now, fast forward almost 14 years later, and I finally feel like all my hard work has paid off. The many years of moving myself and my daughter from apartment to apartment, job to job, searching for the right place and time, we have arrived. I’m married, have a good job and we just bought our dream house. I was able to rest easy for once knowing that I was going to move Nev into this house and it would be her HOME from then on. Even when she went to college, she would always have her room to come back to in that house. And when she got married and had kids of her own, she would bring them to that house and they would walk around the same floors she walked around when she was a kid.

As I was breathing easy, she had plans of her own. Plans of maybe going to live with her father, because living with us has become a stressful place to live, and she isn’t happy.

This obviously hit me like a blow to my stomach. All the years that I had worked two jobs while going to school and still doing the best I could for her just so I could one day give her the life she deserved. The youth that I had sacrificed so I could be the kind of mother she deserved. How could all of that not mean anything to her at all? How was she so ready to turn her back on me when I had spent the better part of my life NOT turning my back on her.

So we fought. I took my hurt and frustration out on her with my words; biting, cruel words.

I don’t think that her logic is right or good or that it makes any sense at all, but it is her logic. My reasoning for leaving my mother when she had done so much for me was not sturdy. But when I left I wasn’t thinking about what she’d done for me, I was thinking of what she wasn’t doing for me. I was thinking of my friends who had mothers that seemed to constantly be around, interested in what they were doing in school, waving from the side lines at the soccer game. I was too young to grasp that she wasn’t at the soccer game because she was at work so we could have food that week.

And I almost have to laugh through my tears now. Your mother always tells you, “just wait till you have kids, I hope they give it back to you as good as you gave to me”, almost like a curse.

I’m getting it almost exactly as I gave it. And it hurts. Imagining that little baby girl who I held in my arms when she was born, knowing I would never be able to do anything less than give her the world. This is the type of hurt that I can imagine will never go away. The kind you have to get medicated for in order to not have it creep into your brain while you’re falling asleep.

Maybe I should let her go… I just always figured it was the two of us. No matter who came and went, it was us. We had been the original two, living together and creating our own routines and dynamics. Like a modern day Gilmore Girls, we did our own thing and it really didn’t matter what anyone else thought about it. I guess I felt that even if the dynamics changed, she would still have my back, she would still stand beside me, she would know the ways that I had sacrificed and loved her since the moment she was born.

So… maybe I should let her go. This is my current problem. Finding a way to let go of person who has always been my motivation and drive for everything I do. If she feels like she needs to be somewhere else, for her own best interests, how can I argue with that. Lock her up, throw away the key… sure. I’m thinking of it.

But, maybe I just need to let her go.

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When to say when.

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This is about relationships…

The most talked about, most trite, most exhausted topic that exists. And yet, this is my blog and it’s what I choose to write about tonight. I’ll try to keep it original.

Having been in my fair share of them, I consider myself a quick study and a self-proclaimed expert on relationships and the types of people in them. I can usually talk with a couple for a short time and know whether or not it’s going to last. It’s a gift and a curse, because although you can see that guillotine coming down… what can you really say? No one wants to hear that they are incompatible, or that they have work to do on themselves before they can be in a functional relationship.

My little sister has been in an on again, off again relationship with a young man for a few years now. At the start of it I thought he was good for her in comparison to her previous beau who once referred to the Spades in a deck of card as “the pointy ones”….

But, as is to be expected, they have grown apart because she has grown up. She has developed a greater sense of self, and a better feel of the world while he has pretty much stayed the same.

Here is my unsolicited, self-proclaimed expert advice to my baby sister and all young women like her. Learn from those of us who are older and wiser… again, self-proclaimed.

  1. If there is a trait about this person you don’t like, it will only become exacerbated with age: So he is a homebody at 23. Expect him to be Howard Hughes level of reclusive by 30. You’re going to have to start ordering your groceries to be delivered to the house. Eventually, he won’t even come out of the bedroom because he has everything he needs there… PS4, HBO, COD, and all other letters associated with being a couch potato. If he’s a bit of a neat freak at 25, one day you’ll be waking up next to Howie Mandel. He’ll hook up the pipes to actually spit out hand sanitizer instead of water, and he’ll shave his head just because hair can and will get dirty!
  2. If you look at him now and feel repulsed (even for a minute, even just a little stomach turn), that doesn’t go away. He is the loudest eater you have ever met. You literally are starting to believe that he wasn’t born with the insulation normal people have in their cheeks. Every once in a while he’ll say something to you with a little whine in his voice, and you have to leave the room in order to not punch him right in the face. You’ve started watching those pseudo-documentaries about “women who kill” in order to get some tips. Right now he’s young, he can still be considered cute (in the right light). Take all those little things that are the emotional equivalent of nails on a chalkboard for you, and add a beer belly and receding hair line. Without the redeeming qualities of youth and good looks, you might actually find yourself as the subject of one of those documentaries.
  3. He talks down to you… This one pretty much speaks for itself. But I’ll say some stuff anyways. Men generally think they know more than woman. It’s not their fault, it’s the way they were brought up and the culture we live in. Every once in a while you will come across the very special, very enlightened man who will *gasp*, give you credit when it’s due. He will also have figured out, in that rare instance when you are wrong, how to speak to you in a way that doesn’t make you feel like a cocker spaniel. If he is 22 years old and already pulling the “I am man, hear me roar” garbage on you, his overly inflated head will only get bigger. Eventually, even the most expensive marriage counselor won’t save him from the most expensive divorce lawyer.
  4. He loves his mother… he REALLY loves his mother. A man showing his mother respect and love is absolutely an amazing thing, and their relationship should be treated with reverence. There is a fine line, and you’ll know when it’s been crossed. If he has moved out and his mother still calls to tell him goodnight, the line has been crossed. If he has a job and a significant other and his mother still buys him underwear, the line has been crossed. Imagine being a contestant on one of those reality shows where you are on a desert island, fighting to survive. Now imagine that instead of that experience lasting a month, it lasts forever. The rest of your life. Until you die. On the bright side, if you like being in constant competition and usually losing, this is the right guy for you!

This list could become very lengthy, but I think I’ve made my point. No one is perfect, but there are HUGE, GLARING warning signs that should not be ignored. The benefit of youth is learning from your mistakes, and trying to not make them again. Not only do people not change, but they usually get worse. If you don’t agree with my point of view, if you think I’m all cynicism and no romance, marry the person I have described above and then send me the link to your blog entry.

I can’t wait to read it. 🙂