Tuesday, 29 August 2017

99 Days

I think about the amount of time I've already spent with my kids and how quickly the time goes. I have spent 5 years raising my children, over 1825 days. That's a lot of time and a lot of energy being put into parenting my children, it's hard work, but it's also joyous and I love it intensely.

My mother left when I was 7. After just over 2555 days and 3 children, she called it quits and moved on. I can not for the life of me imagine being with my children every day of their lives, raising them and watching them grow, and then just walking away and giving up any form of custody of them. I understand having to share your time with an ex husband or ex wife, but to just throw in the towel and walk away, I can't even comprehend that, it's mind boggling. I guessed once, how much time my mom spent with us after she left, I thought it was under a years worth of days. maybe around 260, I was off by a lot. From the age of 7 to 18, my mom visited with us a total of 99 days. about 8 days a year, that doesn't include all of the cancelled visits.

I started thinking about all of this recently when I saw a discussion where someone was struggling to have their children's father involved in their lives. She wrote about begging her ex to come to a game, or call the kids, or send a card. Just begging to have this person devote time to their kids because the time they didn't get from their father was breaking their hearts. It reminded me of my dad doing the same to my mom. Offering to drop us off at the mall to go window shopping and  giving money to take us to eat somewhere. Trying to get her to come take us for a walk or go do something beyond the 4 hour visit she obliged to for us every week.

She did go to one of my brother's hockey games, one time, in 10 years of hockey. She sat there like some stone cold bitch, my dad tried to make chit chat about my brother and his hockey skills, my mom just rolled her eyes and forced a smirk and an obviously bitchy remark. It was painfully awkward, and the worst part is that the game was at an arena that was a 5 minute walk from her house. My brother played hockey at the arena regularly, but I guess an extra 2 hours at even one hockey game a month was too much to ask. The only good outcome that came from my mom going to the game, was that the other parents stopped judging my dad so much. I guess some of the mothers assumed that my dad didn't "allow" my mother to go and support my brother, it was the only reasonable explanation they had for why my mother wasn't going to games. I guess those women assumed my mother was a reasonable and supportive parent...she proved them wrong.

It's almost been a year since I sent my mother an email saying I needed to take time to reassess the relationship. I think from time to time that maybe I should contact her and try again, but then I am reminded of another reason why I'm not participating in our relationship right now. 99 days. 99 days, most of those during a pivotal time of my and my siblings lives. 99 Days of longing, of pain, of questioning, of the most unimaginable heartbreak of your life. 99 days of irreversible damage. 99 days of sobering reality. 99 days and not a day more has to be spent wondering why my mother doesn't value myself or my siblings more then the man of the hour. Those 99 days are over, and it's been 4745 days since those 99 have been done. Yet, it only takes an instant, to remind me, of every single one.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Hello again

Wow! I can't believe how long it's been since I last wrote, doesn't feel as long as it's been. 2016 was incredibly busy. We had another baby and did a ton of work to our home. The year was really rough for me emotionally, I isolated myself from friends and family and was more depressed then I realized. I did start medication for anxiety finally, it was a LONG time coming, I finally feel myself for the first time in ages. 2017 has been off to a much more emotionally stable start.

On the mother front, I have finally taken a hiatus from the relationship. I was having a lot of anxiety about her planned visit late last summer, I was dreading it like the plague that is gastroenteritis. A month before she was supposed to fly here, I let her know of a couple motels she could stay in(the year before she had said she'd get a hotel somewhere so she could "actually relax" next visit). Well, those suggestions led to radio silence from her. I finally found out she was not flying to town after my brother talked to her once her vacation started. Fun conversation they had.

My mom has been doing this "woe is me" pity party for the past 10 years. She starts out talking about how she couldn't do any better, then moves on to not knowing how to be a mom, poor me, MY life is hard. While I know her life has been hard, mine has not been some walk in the park. What really gets to me about her meltdowns is that she has never once turned to any of my siblings or myself and said "I'm so sorry for not being there when you needed me". Not one time, it's always how sad she is, or how hard she had it, or how she didnt or couldn't or wouldnt do something. It's all about her. When my brother spoke with her last year, it was the same old yearly pity party. He told me about it and it finally just hit me like a brick wall, she only cares about herself. She only does things to benefit her, to make her the most comfortable, and to boost her ego. If I ever hear the phrase "I didn't know how to be a mother, I didn't have a mother" again, I'm going to explode. Guess what? I DIDN'T HAVE A MOTHER EITHER! Yet here I am, 3 kids later, momming hard, no excuses. That was the catalyst for stepping back from the relationship with my mother, and it's been a calming 7 months.

Some people are really uncomfortable with the idea of cutting off a family member, usually it's because they've been indoctrinated with this idea that family is family. I'm calling bullshit. Sometimes family is toxic, and it's okay to put that relationship on hold, or disolve it altogether. If someone is hurting you and are manipulative/narcissistic/co-dependent/emotionally abusive/gaslighters or any other form of toxic, do not be afraid to stand up and say ENOUGH!

I don't know when I'll speak to my mother again, I still cant think of her without feeling angry and resentful. Maybe one day I'll try to speak to her again, when the anger subsides, though I suspect this may take years, my emotions are very intense when it comes to her. Regardless of when or if I speak to her again, I can unequivocally say I regret nothing about backing away, I need and cherish the distance.