Thursday, April 12, 2012

AtoZ/Day12 - letter K

K is for Kim.  My mother's name.  And this blog-post is a tribute to her. I want to honor her for all that she has done to help make me the person and parent that I am today...
Dear Kim: You are the reason that I go out of my way to trust the things my son says, to always rally with him, not against him.  Yes.  You taught me, first hand, what it feels like to always have my word questioned.  I know exactly what it means to get in trouble at school for something I did not do, but spend the whole day in fear, knowing that you would take a stranger's word over mine, knowing that I would have to endure your innocence.  Hey! Remember the time when I passed out - unconscious - in the fourth grade?  Remember the bruise on my back from falling against the metal support bar of my school desk?  Remember how you accused me of doing it for attention?  Remember how you came into school to "investigate" and the school nurse looked at you with such disbelief and horror as she insisted that what she witnessed was a genuinely terrified and confused child and how no nine year old could possibly be that good of an actor (oh, i remember that, because the school nurse became my hero that day); but on the way home, you STILL yelled and screamed at me for faking it, for causing you such inconvenience.  And I cried.  Not because you were yelling at me again -god knows, i was used to that by the age of three - but because I thought something might really be wrong with me.  Do you remember what time of year it was?  Because I do.  It was winter, in December.  I remember because your response to my fear that I might be dying was: "Okay, fine.  I'll make you a doctor's appointment.  But first I will take back every Christmas present you were going to get, so I can pay for it.  Does that sound good to you?  Is that what you want me to do?"  At nine years old, I had to choose between having a Christmas morning and my possible impending death.  When I didn't answer right away, you said, "Well?  Should I take ALL of your presents back or not?"  I shook my head no, to which you responded, "That's what I thought, you little fucking liar."  Thank you for that.
Also, I want to thank you for teaching me how to allow my son to make mistakes.  Oh boy.  Which mile marker to begin with on the ol' memory lane?  How about the time when I was about eleven, and we were planning a day at the Renaissance Festival with one of your MANY  boyfriends and his two adolescent children that my brother and I had never met?  Yes.  Let's start there.  A girl at school - the week before - had given me some of that new "liquid" eye shadow (a horrible invention, I must admit, but it seemed excessively cool at the time).  It was bright blue.  As an eleven year old girl, I wanted to look my best upon meeting your boyfriend's kids (and for everyone else at the festival), but I had never applied make-up before.  I did my best, but man oh man, that liquid stuff REALLY went on thick.  When I came into the kitchen to boast my new sassy look, you had one of your monumental meltdowns...all over me.  You jerked me into the bathroom and shoved my face into the mirror, screaming that I looked like a whore, a clown, and again...a whore.  Remember that?  Maybe this will help jog your memory: you said, "You know what?  I was going to make you wash it off, but instead I want you to walk around all day looking like a slut since that's what you want.  All day today, people will stare and laugh at you, and that is exactly what you deserve."  And you were right.  When your boyfriend and his children arrived, I'll never forget the way they looked at me.  And that's how the rest of the day went for me.  Thank you for that.  And then there was the time that I made the world-shattering mistake of borrowing one of your over-night bags to use at a sleep-over.  Remember that?  Yeah.  You were going to spend the night at a girlfriend's, and Shane was going over to one of his friend's for the night, and I was going to a slumber party.  When I got home from school, I had to quickly gather my things, because my friend's mom was coming to get me.  I took your blue over-night bag, which had within it some cosmetics and other random toiletries from the last time you used it, so I dumped them on your bed, and rushed to throw some clothes and toothpaste in it.  Away I went.  I had the best time, too.  For about an hour.  That's about the time you showed up and ripped me away from the party.  You screamed at me the whole way home about what an inconsiderate little bitch I was.  Then, when we got home, you struck me repeatedly with a belt.  And you left.  I spent the rest of the night in an empty, dark house.  All alone, scared, and wondering what the hell I had done.  I was ten. 
You were such a good teacher.  You also taught me to never quash my son's personality and his connection with the people he meets.  Remember when you signed Shane up for the Big Brother Program, and he really, really liked it?  He got an awesome "big brother" that he adored.  Remember how you started to date his "big brother," and as a result they could no longer be partnered up?  I do.  I remember how upset Shane was, but more than anything I remember that his used-to-be-big-bro-turned-your-boyfriend-of-the-week was coming over to pick the three of us up for a day planned at the park.  He was driving some cool sports car, and when he saw how I was admiring it, he took me out in the driveway and showed it to me.  He told me all about it and let me sit in the driver's seat.  Then he said, "Hey!  Why don't you ride up front on the way to the park so you can really see how fast it goes?"  I nodded my head in quick succession, thrilled at the prospect.  So, we went back into the house.  Everyone was ready to go, and I said, "Guess what, mom?  Suchandsuch says I can ride up front!"  And you made the day completely memorable, even though we never made it to the park.  You were good at that kind of thing.  Remember?  You yelled at me, and you yelled at him, saying things like, "You are going to let HER ride up front and put ME in the back?  Are you fucking kidding me?  She's always doing this.  Taking the attention of my boyfriends.  She's doing this on purpose, you know?...blah, blah, blah."  What I recall the most is how he stood there, with his jaw hanging somewhere around his knees.  Then he said -and I love him to this day for it- he said, "You are absolutely insane."  And he left.  Unfortunately, the excitement was only just beginning for me.  I had to listen to you go on and on about how I was always deliberately stealing your attention away from men - grown men.  I was eight.  Thank you for that.
I could fill a book with all of the things you taught me, but I would write it just to burn it, so I'll just wrap it up by saying: in addition to the above lessons, you also taught me not to use humiliation as a disciplinary tool; you taught me that kids, adolescents, and adults make one is above making mistakes, except you; you taught me not to try to strangle my son (I REALLY appreciate that lesson); you taught me how horrible it is to strike a child in the face; you taught me to let my son be who he is and love him -not in spite of it, but because of it.  You taught me how to be the mother I am by setting the supreme example of the mother I should never be. 
And, despite your greatest efforts, you taught me how strong I am, and good, and honest, and worthy.  So, thanks for that.


  1. Okay, this doesn't relate to your post b/c I've had several glasses of wine and can't read but was DYING to share with you comments I got from my friends re: your comments on my blog:

    I LOVE THIs MEssAGE sOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    that woman is obviously your identical twin sister separated at birth that your mother never told you about. The two of you ought to get together, adopt a tard and co-write a sit-com. (love this idea btw)


    1. adopt a tard and co-write a sitcom?! r U kidding? best idea EVER! except maybe the adopt a tard part. maybe we could just rent one so we look all compassionate and shit. besides, after my lovely childhood blog (and porn addiction) and your obvious alchoholism, we might not have a good chance at adoption.

  2. well. wow. I don't even know what to say, think or write, but I do know that I am filled with RAGE, ANGER, tears, and extreme sadness- somewhat to the point of losing my breath (thanks for that) ;)
    Even though you haven't seen or spoken to her in ages, do you feel like a part of you can't move on or heal due to the harbored (and rightly so) hatred?

    I certainly don't know how you or anyone could forgive that type of abuse and so I am curious as to how one would attempt to heal a relationship with someone who had NO regard for their child (ren's) well being.

    Keep being the stellar example of a mother and best friend you are, b/c THAT makes ALL the difference in the world and
    I LOVE YOU- so thanks for that. :)

    1. yeah. probably wont be forgiving her in this lifetime. that's what the xanax is for.

      i've tried. it's much harder than it seems.

      Maybe chad is the universe's way of making up for the whore that gave me life? I often wonder how and why I should deserve him. Like the chicken crossing the road, maybe i just stumbled upon the answer!

      I love you, too (and I might be owing you 20% of SOMETHING -prob like $5, but still. It looks like the examiner is picking me up for their ATL edition & I found them b/c of the link you mailed me <---so thanks for THAT!).

  3. well, A-FUCKING MEN. Congratulations!
    your talent should be read by the masses. truth be told. no sugar-coatin' bullshit.

    Long live VERITAS!

  4. That was hard to read. Very tearful. I bet it was harder to write. I feel you. It's very hard to learn lessons that way, but you are so right that they make you strong. I too refuse to be torn down.

    My dad was hurtful in many ways and the same kind of teacher. He was not physically abusive to me, but he was to my mom. He was also verbally abusive and has a drug addiction (still does in fact). He was not in my life many years and moments. My parents divorced at age 9 and I lived with my mom but still saw him as often as he made the time, which wasn't often. Our relationship is very strained, to say the least. I try to be kind and forgiving but he makes it hard. He continues to be hurtful to me and himself, and when he does I have to back off.

    Thank you for your honesty.

  5. I also feel the same way, that I refuse to raise my children with fear, pain and insults. They are the most precious things in the universe to me and my husband. My father taught me how not to raise them!

  6. So, you became the person you are today. Not because of your mum, but despite your mum. That is what life is about.