How come this movie Flipped makes me feel so miserable? it was voted as one of the the top feel good romantic movies… and yet, here I am. Miserable. When did me watching this movie start getting consumed by thoughts of my past, of my mom? Usually when I watch depressing romantic movies, it triggers thoughts of ex-boyfriends. Or times when I was bullied/sexually harassed by men. But this time… there was none of that. It was a different kind of consumption. A worse kind. One filled of memories of my mom. I thought about my life, and what a huge train wreck it had been. I began thinking about how interesting it would be to see what my life would look like as a narrated film, just like the movie Flipped. My friends and I would always joke (at my expense) how my life was like one of those horrid, predictably depressing LifeTime movies. But isn’t that what everyone says? So many of my friends could be quoted saying “I swear, I could like, totally make a tv show off of my life! its just, like, so crazy how it can be. So many coincidences. You just wouldn’t believe!” …..yeah, I’m sure.
I just realized something though. I’ve been miserable for as long as I can remember. My childhood on Whidbey Island wasn’t all so bad actually, now that I think about it. But the second my parents moved my siblings and I to Edmonds…what changed? What happened to me? I stopped living. Something died inside me. Especially when I was in 7th grade. 12 years old and my mom started consuming my life. Stealing it from me. And she kept doing so. Month by month, year by year. Yes, my dad played a huge part in this also. Was Jessica right? Have I never had a healthy relationship with either of my parents? Would it be better to just cut my ties with both of them and move on with my life? With a fresh start?
I feel like the longer I live with my mom, the longer I will waste away. I’ve already allowed myself to waste 12-18, almost 19. 7 years. 7 years of my life spent doing nothing that I wanted to do. Not enjoying it the way I wanted. Not shared with a significant other (a boyfriend) or best friends. It was more of a 7 year long pity party. Depression. Anxiety. All caused from, guess where?! my parents. Or more specifically, my mom.
I know in order to start my young adulthood life and not waste another near decade that I would have to stop visiting or seeing her. I just can’t be around her anymore. She makes me sick. Watching her. Observing her. I can’t pretend that I don’t know that she’s an alcoholic anymore.
Why do my parents keep throwing me in between them? A free-for-all, really. Or use me against one another. Like I’m some sort of pawn. Or the second I mention to one that I’m appreciative of the other, or have grown closer to them recently, they reveal a hideous secret of each other.
Enough. I can’t take it anymore! I don’t want this to happen, for it to be this way. I don’t want to share with my dad that I love my mom and that she and I are closer than we’ve ever been, only to have him show me essay long texts from my mom. All, in detail, about how she’d given up on me. How she didn’t want me. That my dad could have me full time if he wanted. That she stopped caring about me since she believed I had turned into this hideous human being. She kept going on how disgusted she was with what type of person I grew up to be.
My feelings as I read these texts: Sick. Stunned. Shocked. Exhausted. Followed by the ever so familiar feeling of numbness. And all of that….that killed me.
Or when I accidently slip to my mom that I’m glad my dad is who he is. That I believe he is a really good parent. The second I let these words leave my mouth, all hell breaks loose. She starts yelling about how selfish he is. How horrid he can be. How he is too controlling, has anger management issues, can be physically abusive, etc. And then she leaves the best part for last: a few days prior to this conversation, my dad apparently pushed my brother. Out of his wheel chair. When he got frustrated at him, and just walked away as his son laid on the ground, helpless. Did I mention we were in the middle of a restaurant? I just feel bad for the four couples around us. Definitely made all of their dates awkward. But hey, at least it was a night to remember.
Perhaps the biggest, most hideous slip was from my dad. The night my brother was hit by a car, we never received a call. Not from any doctor, police officer, or friend. How did we found out? Twitter. An old acquaintance of mine texted me after seeing a series of tweets about my brother and a car crash. Later we found out that there was only one phone number on my brother’s emergency contact list. Only one number all of his friends had for his relative. My mom’s. She was too busy getting drunk with her boyfriend in 3 cities over that night to answer her phone. I don’t remember if it was later that night, or one of the following nights… but when my dad finally decided to tell me that my mom was an alcoholic, I felt relieved and utter despair at the same time.
How could this be? How could I feel polar opposite emotions at the same time after being told my mom was an alcoholic, and always has been one? How could I feel anything. How in the world could a parent even do that to her children? Does she even understand how that effects us? At all? She’s been a heavy drinker since the age of 14. I knew that of her. She was a free spirit with European immigrants as parents. It was understandable. But even after she had her kids? My siblings? And still continued drinking at the rate that she does? That she would do it so often, often enough for us to think that her drunkeness was just her being normal? Or her regular, emotional self? We grew up with her drunk. We don’t know the sober her. So we weren’t able to recognize all of the times she was drinking, driving and drinking, or was drunk. I don’t know which of my childhood memories are real or not. If those were her intoxicated, influenced compliments, or sober ones…intoxicated insults, or sober ones….what part of her relationship & mine was real? What parts was she sober in? And what parts are the drunk, distorted ones? How am I supposed to know? To trust my past with her? To trust my present or future?
It feels lie it was all just one big fucking lie. Like she stole my childhood away from me. I know I’m overreacting by saying this. But first she robbed my pre-teen and teenage years. Now she’s risen up and decided to go even further than that, and snatch my “innocent” child years as well? What the fuck am I left with then. Who the fuck am I. Who the fuck is my mom. What the fuck is my family. My life. Do I even have a life? I used to think my life was similar to silly puddy or molding clay. Sure, it was hard to work with at first. But once you warmed it up, it became fun to experiment and try new things with it. See what you could make with it. Form it into. Build with it.
But now, my life just seemed like that silly puddy that was messed with too much. Overheated, as if someone left it in the desert dry sun. Now it was all drippy. None of the particles were sticking together, holding any shape or form. It was just a liquidy mess. No matter how hard I tried to get control of myself, to reclaim my life, it just kept slipping through my fingers.
Now, the more time I’m around her and see her, each time I see her even the slightest bit tipsy I get consumed with rage. Its like in that moment that she’s intoxicated, she’s taunting me. Purposely throwing it in my face. Lying to me. Trying to deceive and trick me into thinking thats her. That’s the normal her we’ve all grown up with. What we were raised with. You fucking liar.
I can’t even feel sorry for her. No sympathy. No….anything. Just resentment. I think the reason why I felt relief and despair when I first was told she was an alcoholic was because on some level, I had always known she was one. I just hoped to the God that I don’t believe in that I was wrong. That means that the only couple of good memories I have with her, and I do mean a couple (three total motherly memories), could be fake. This means that no matter what I do in the future, no matter who I become or what I accomplish, she will always treat me the way that she does. It doesn’t matter who I am. What I do. What I can achieve. She will always verbally abuse me. Maybe I feel relief knowing that it isn’t really me she’s saying all of these things to. Or that it isn’t really her saying it; its the alcohol. Maybe I feel relief knowing I’m not crazy nor have I ever been when I used to feel like I had done nothing wrong. Nothing to deserve or explain her behavior towards me. It wasn’t my fault. And I think thats the despair feeling that follows this. Me realizing its not my fault she acts this way. Which means I won’t be able to help her. To put an end to her suffering or her behavior. Since I’m not the reason she is like this, me stopping or not living with her any longer won’t make her become a better parent to my siblings. A better person in general. She’ll be the same. Completely unaffected by me not being in her life anymore, or by my change and success. This saddens me to such a great extent. Why the fuck do I feel sorry for her now? Just moments before I didn’t feel anything for her. Or….wait. I don’t feel sorry for her. I feel sorry for myself. Hahaha, the pity party continues. Great…just great. I think I feel despair because in this life, I will never know what it feels like to have a mom. Yeah. That’s it.
I had always hoped that one day my mom’s behavior would change towards me. That she would become a different person once I had become a different person myself. Once I had made the necessary changes, I thought she would as well. But she won’t. And she never will. I will never have a mother. A strong bond with someone I can call “mom”. I don’t want to think about this anymore or I might start crying. Stupid. Why does this make me feel so weak. I won’t have someone to go to when I need help. Advice with boys. With friends. Go shopping with. Get ready with. Go out to eat with. Get advice on school with. Have someone to support me and encourage me even in my most darkest moments. I won’t ever have this. I never have, but its different from going from believing that one day you will, into realizing you never will. I’ll live this long life without any of that. I feel as if I’ll be missing a piece of this puzzle in life, one that everyone around me seems to have. And I’ll always just be an outsider because I was born without that missing piece.