3.19.19 – A Lot of Lemonade
I’ve been sitting here for a while now with my thoughts, and I’ve not quite figured out how to say what I want…what I *need* to say. So, I’m thinking I’m just gonna say it, and if anyone reading knows my mom, so be it.
I feel as though I’ve never been enough for my mom, and certainly feel she’s never really been proud of me. She did not attend my sporting events. She did not help me with Senior Year expenses or go shopping with me to find my prom dress. I’m 42 years old, by the way, so there is plenty of missed opportunities. (Wait, 42..when did that happen? Different blog post.)
Anyway, my mother has never been overly affectionate with me, and she’s not one to give compliments, say any ‘atta girls, give praise, and she doesn’t seem to recognize when someone goes above and beyond in order to help her.
Now, I’m using the correct terminology by saying things like, “I feel…” but it’s not just me that notices this. I will say that this only exists in our relationship, not in her relationship with my son. That’s important to mention because she lives with us and has to be taken care of after her last back surgery, and she gets along with my son beautifully, constantly thanking him, heaping on the praise and love. She hugs him. She tells him she loves him. The two of them have had a close bond since he was born.
So, one thing led to another, and I sat down to have a conversation with my mom today. Now, I’ve touched on this before with her…several times actually, but I’ve never just put all the cards on the table and asked her to please do the same. I told her I feel like…no, that’s not an accurate description…I told her I *know* I’ve never been good enough, done well enough, and that I feel unloved. I asked her if she has *ever* been proud of me. Again, 42 years worth of material there.
She stared at me and chewed her food – the dinner I had just cooked even though I’m disabled just like her. She said that there are things she’s proud of but couldn’t think of any at the time. Guessing she could make what she thought was a valid point, she asked if I could list things that I loved about my son, things that made me proud. I spoke for at least 10 minutes about him until I realized we had gotten off course.
Now listen to me. Don’t throw at me that she was taken off guard, blah, blah. As I said, some things led to this conversation, and she could tell it was coming today, and also recall that I explained we’ve had similar discussions in the past.
Look, even my son sees how she treats him better than me. Treats my husband better than me. Treats the caretaker who helps us get her showered better than me. She actually talks and laughs with this lady for half an hour or so, which is a big deal for Mom. The caretaker that we’ve known three months. She’s here maybe an hour, twice a week.
I’ll share something terrible with you. Sometimes, in what I guess is a dark corner of my heart, I think to myself that Dad died when I was 15, and he and I did everything together. He would often praise me and was affectionate. Even though they divorced when I was two years old and only seeing Dad every other weekend and six weeks in summer, my relationship with Dad was filled with such love, joy, comfort and a sense of well-being. Mom is not affectionate. She doesn’t even say good night, just disappears. Well, let me amend that. She says good night to my son.
Anyway, sometimes I wonder if I had to lose a parent, ‘why my dad who loved me?’ I feel terrible even thinking it. I told you it was bad.
It’s not me wishing my mom passed away instead of my dad. It’s me missing Dad, and it’s me wishing Mom could be proud of me. It’s really a little girl wanting her momma’s love, I guess.
What the heck does any of this have to do with Bipolar? Mostly, that I want to share that though it hurts, I put the pain to good use. I am certain to shower my son in even more love. I am sure to constantly tell him he’s done a good job, and we always joke and laugh with one another. We hug good night and pray for each other. He too has Bipolar and we help lift the other when we’re down low.
Plus, it’s my blog. I can write what I want…LOL! No, seriously, sometimes it’s good for us, healthy even, to vent.
So, am I squeezing lemons into lemonade, here? Am I endeavoring to be a better mom because I feel I don’t have a mother that communicates with me? A mom that doesn’t love me? Yes, perhaps I am doing just that.
And you know what, I like lemonade. A lot.
(Image credit: cartoondealer)
“In struggling against anguish one never produces serenity; the struggle against anguish only produces new forms of anguish.” ~ Simone Weil
(Accurate description of anxiety felt with Bipolar Disorder, in my humble opinion and experience.)
Here’s a thing about my Bipolar. Sometimes “difficult” times are beyond difficult, beyond dark. They are black. Though it’s not popular to say in most crowds, sometimes I would like to disappear in that blackness, that dark secret release, wash away in the current of a beautifully obscure river.
Just fade to black.
So instead, I’ve gotta cry. Find a different release for the time being.
Cries because of stress-induced migraines, sick with a virus for almost two weeks, not knowing where I’m going to be living, sleeping for a while and then nothing at all for days, chronic-physical pain that often makes me think I cannot go an inch further…not one step further…not one moment further.
The river. The black. The peace. The quiet, save the gentle sloshing of the water. All on hold.
I am not yet going home. I cry. I sob. I wail. I scream into the pillow. I beat that pillow when I see every single thing wrong splattered across that fluff.
Eventually, I feel better. I know it will come, even during the bad times, which is why I float, but do not allow myself to drown.
There is help.
There is love. There is kindness. There is empathy. There are those who care. There are those who have been where you are right now. Just reach out. Just talk. Just believe you are important. Just believe you have the right to be happy. Just know you make others happy.
Just know you matter.