My mother probably shouldn’t have become a mother. She needed all the attention focused on her, preventing her from giving too much of it to little kids who needed plenty of encouragement, affection, and emotional support. She was pleased as punch to tell everyone, “Geri was toilet trained at 10 months old.” You read it right. 10 months old! The quicker she could get me out of diapers, the more time she’d have to focus on herself. It annoyed her to change diapers. That was mom all the way. If I invited her somewhere that was important to me, and it interfered with her social activities, she wasn’t interested. When my son was born, she reluctantly came to help me out but I told her to leave after one night because she really wanted to be home with my father, not with her new grandchild.
But have a child she did. She had three of them, as a matter of fact. And while I had to figure out, on my own, how to take charge of myself and grow up in one piece, I went to enough therapy to learn how to be in the same room with my mother without cringing. Having a supportive mother-daughter relationship would have been nice, but alas, I didn’t have one. Although I’m certain her personality affected mine, I wasn’t going to change it, no matter how hard I tried. And try I did. I’d get angry as hell at her when I thought she was acting selfishly. I even stopped talking to her for six years because I couldn’t be in the same room as her. She really didn’t care.
At the end of the day, we’re all on our own. If we don’t get the nurturing we need when we’re younger, we can A.) Let it ruin our lives B.) Try all different ways to make up for what we missed, till we hit on one that helps (besides alcoholism and drug abuse. C.) Endlessly blame our parents. D.) Permanently erase our parents from our lives.
I chose B. Although my mother was self-absorbed till the day she died, she eventually told me she loved me. I believe she did. The best way she could.