Monday, February 18, 2013

From there to here

When I was little, the only people I remember having around were my mother's eccentric, foreign friends coming from every last corner of Europe. I think it had a lot to do with my intellectual development because I was forced to talk to and carry on conversations with these older people before I ever even a had a close friend my age. By then, meeting a kid who wanted nothing more than to talk about cartoons and play house was boring to me compared to the cool lady from Switzerland with the crazy stories and foreign toys who came to visit from time to time. It's no wonder that I've spent most of my life feeling uncomfortable in my own skin. I feel like I'm not very relateable to most people my age. I thought it would go away the older I got but I've found that it's something that's followed me. I'm such a lucky bitch.

I feel like that came off far more pompous than I intended. I don't mean to make it sound like I had a superior outlook on the world than everyone else, but more so a crippling one. I was worried about finances before most kids were even aware of how much money controls everything in this world. Has it made me more responsible? No. If anything, all the strides I made to be a responsible, self-reliant person when I was young have seemed to vaporized when you see the women that child grew to be. I know nothing of the direction I'm going. All I know for certain now are the same things I knew all along: My mother is older than most and probably won't be with me much longer. I don't want children. I'm 98% sure that not even marriage is something that interests me. I just want to run. I have this warped, teenage outlook on there being some kind of romanticism attached to the idea of getting the hell away from everyone without any explanation or reasoning. Just to simply take off and to keep on doing that forever. I'd like to think that this too shall pass, but I'm also not holding my breath. I was bound to have a fragment of craziness from my mother inside of me somewhere. I think that whole "running away" bit is it.

I used to love the way my mom told me about her life before me. The places she lived, the boyfriends (though, not many) she had, and even her previous marriage. She talked about these people she loved like she had no attachment to them whatsoever. I found that quality admirable somehow and wished I could be the same. For me, I think I was always too sensitive and caring for all the wrong assholes in my life, which in turn made me feel weak for letting them effect me so much. So, yeah, naturally the thought of not caring seemed like a relief that I'd never be strong enough to experience, myself. It's only now that I'm older and I listen to all the stories again that I realize just how fucked it all really is. Every serious, loving relationship my mother has ever had, she has run away from. She ran away from my grandma knowing fully well that once she left Communist-occupied Czechoslovakia, she'd never be able to return. She left men she'd been in serious relationships with without an explanation. She left what was supposed to be her first husband at the alter. She left her actual first husband, whom til this day I can say is the only man she ever really loved, with just a suitcase in hand. The next week she was on a plane to America. She never looked back. She's kind of awful in that sense. It breaks my heart to think of ever breaking someone else's heart like that.

And that's how I know I'm not a complete cunt.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

"Where a mother ends and a daughter begins" Part 2

This is the part where I feel like more of an asshole than I usually do.

Today is my mother's birthday. She's 68. I haven't called her yet, and I'm not even 100% sure if I'm going to. I haven't been home in weeks and we haven't talked at all during that time. I've tried calling here and there and left a few voicemails, but she hasn't called me back. Ordinarily, with her declining health and inability to take care of herself, I would be worried leaving her for a weekend, let alone for several weeks. I can't explain my lack of caring right now, though. It's actually frightening to me. My whole life, the one thing that has caused me more stress and concern than anything else ever, has been my parents. If it wasn't financial on my father's behalf, it was abuse on my mother's behalf. If it wasn't one or the other disappearing, it was both of their abusive alcoholic tendencies. I've felt like a goddamn referee in a game of adult retardation since  I was old enough to understand what fighting is (and when you're an awkward, only child, you pick up on that stuff a couple years sooner than most, I feel). I guess this is what the breaking point is.

I always imagined the day would come where I've had enough, but I didn't think it would come along with this feeling I have of simply not giving a shit anymore. I almost like the fact that we haven't talked because I know that when we do, the guilt trips will come again. I know her so well that I can hear them all already. I know the twisted, backwards way her brain works and I can predict all the blows. After being hurt by them for so long, you almost have to learn what to expect so you can prepare and protect yourself from letting it sink into your brain and effect you. That probably sounds stupid (and maybe I'm just too sensitive) but it's been working for me. Anyways, bottom line is that I'm scared of the fight that's going to come along with communicating with her, and frankly, I don't deserve it or need it.

My father got a hold of me yesterday (very strange because we never talk living under the same roof, let alone on the phone). I couldn't make sense out of what he was trying to tell me, but I gathered it was about money for some kind of bill. He said my mother told him that I "refuse to talk to her" (Jesus fucking Christ) and that I should call up the electric company and pay them because the electric got turned off. I haven't been home in almost three weeks and shit is obviously already hitting the ceiling. Funny, he can't call me in 20 years to say "happy birthday", "merry Christmas" or even (and it would fit so much more realistically with our family dynamic) "go fuck yourself", but both of them are so good at picking up a phone when they need money. It's like I'm perpetually raising toddlers with a teenager's financial needs. There I go getting off track and taking and detour to bitch-fest again..

I guess what I took from the conversation is that at least I know she's alive and okay. The rest just left me cold.

I know I need to find a place to live now because I can't keep on haunting my friend's couch forever. It has been nice to feel what it's like to be part of a family for the past few weeks, though. Granted, I never had an interest in having a family of my own (more on that in a future entry) but it's sweet to get a taste of what it's all about. I like waking up to noise and interacting with kids*. I like it when the youngest one draws me pictures of neon dinosaurs and hides them in my luggage. I remember doing things like that for my mom. I like that the hug you randomly sometimes and say "I love you" without a real reason. Funny, how much that changes the older we get. I've never really spent much time around kids in my adult life and I had almost forgotten how pure and fun the world is through their eyes. It's been refreshing to me. Maybe I just needed some positive energy and simplicity, or maybe it's all just coming along with this odd numbness I've been feeling, but I really am grateful for my time here. I'm grateful for friends who let you into their lives without hesitation. And I'll never forget how lucky I am to have such good people in my life.

I've gone so far off track yet again, I really need to get better at organizing my thoughts rather than just bloviating. Please pardon my lack of form, but I think the more I write, the better it will flow eventually. I've kept so much inside of me without writing for so long that it feels more like word vomit right now than anything even resembling structure.

One day, bitches...


 *As much as I say I "hate children", I mostly mean I hate the idea of having my own. Oh, and I hate shitty, misbehaving ones. And babies. Seriously, if it's under the age of four, I'd prefer to keep it away from me. All they do at that age is cry and the fact that they're crying for any number of things that they still can't quite articulate is both terrifying and infuriating to me. It's like dealing with a woman on her period. "Oh, come on then now. Is it your feelings that are getting you down or is the chocolate bad?" I don't like guessing games when it comes to tears. The fact that a baby could be hungry, thirsty, bored, soiled themselves OR just crying for the sheer fun of it all? No thank you. You are all of my worst nightmares rolled into a tiny human being.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

"Where a mother stops and a daughter begins"

11th grade. It was spring and prom was just around the corner. I had money stashed in a secret spot in my room and I had plans to buy a dress that weekend. I came home from school one afternoon only to find my room had been torn apart. The money was gone. My mother was too.

My mother disappearing from time to time for days on end was nothing new to me. I don't recall her ever doing it for more than 4 days, but she did it since I was probably around 13 or so. At first it would upset me or worry me but when I'd confront her about it, she always used the excuse that since she has no rights (being illegal in this country) this is the one way she felt free. I understood it and respected it, but mostly because arguing with my mother never got me anywhere. I never mentioned it again. Until this day, I still don't know where she went all those times. I doubt I ever will.

This time was a bit different.

My mom left me for about 7 months. At first I was a mess (actually, I think I'm still a mess), but then I became numb. My father was home more during that time than I ever remember him being before. Not really the most ideal situation since we never got along. I spent time away from home as much as I could and became completely detached from the idea of my family. As much as I tried to get along with him under the same roof, he was constantly drinking heavily and fighting with me. One night he completely broke my door down over some stupid argument and I honestly remember being scared for my life. It was one of the things I mentioned to the police when I filed the missing persons report for my mom. They didn't seem to react to it, though. Imagine that.

Christmas time came and I tried to decorate the house the way my mom always did. She does have such a way of making a house a home even if it's only by looks. Nothing I did seemed right. Nothing felt right. I found myself unable to remember many things she told me about her life. I hated myself for not having paid attention more because now I had nobody else to talk to about it. I never had any other family from her side, so it made it even more difficult. That Christmas I walked to church during a crazy snowstorm to go to midnight mass. Not because I had any religious beliefs but because I just simply wanted to be around people. My father (being the fucking poster child of Catholicism, as far as he was concerned) hated the fact that I was going to anything other than a Catholic church. As I was leaving, he called me a whore (whore to religion, or what? I don't know..) and said I was going to hell. haha. I think my parents both being so quick to call me awful names has left me pretty resilient to anything cruel that's been said to me since. So, if for no other reason, I thank them both for that.*

All the time that went by without her would have hurt so much less if she would have just picked up a phone and told me she was okay. I could make peace with her leaving and having a break from the life she hated, but I can't excuse her for not at the very least communicating with me somehow. I personally don't understand how you can love someone, especially family, and leave them like that. I've never made peace with the whole thing, and I don't know how. Anytime I brought up the subject with my mother, she turned it around and said she wished she never came back at all because I seemed to be so much happier without her. Makes no sense considering she never talked to me during that time. I seriously can't think about it all too much without feeling like my fucking head is going to explode. It makes me sick. But even more so, sad.

So why am I writing all of this right now?

It has a lot to do with the current situation I'm in at the moment. But I'm going to have to explain that in the second part. Perhaps tomorrow..

*Is it coming across how pissed off I am as I write this? I'm usually not so negative about my mother. Not until recently when I got the chance to sit and dwell on all she's done that I never even got to get angry at her for, and yet she was always the first to put me through emotional hell for things that were not even remotely close to being as big of a deal. As big of a deal as abandoning your kid without contact whatsoever for half a year, I mean. I'm not proud of myself or pleased with myself for having this much anger right now, but I just need to finally get it all out.