Sorry, I took a few days off. I’ve been on vacation from work, and feeling a little down lately, so I needed some time to recharge. In my time away, I witnessed an event that really gave me something to come back and talk about.
All my life I have been one of those, “blood is thicker than water,” people. I’m really not sure how I ended up that way, considering my family’s constant feuding. I really believed there was something special being genetically connected to others. The older I am getting, the more I realize that is horseshit.
My mom’s childhood story sucks. Second youngest of six, parents divorced when she was young, and somehow she managed to be the one that stepped up. Dad wasn’t around much after that, and Mom was out looking for love in all the wrong places. Getting drunk and guilt tripping the kids was my grandmother’s forte and it’s pretty obvious that it took a toll on my mom. For whatever reason, she has grown up thinking that she owes her mother something huge.
My mom would have done anything for my grandma. She took her car away from me at age 19 and forced me to purchase a brand new one just so grandma could have a car following her car accident. She paid grandma’s bills. She furnished the woman’s apartment. Finally, she took her in under her roof, totally rent free. I told her it was a bad idea. I knew what grandma was going to do. She would become a total dependent. She wouldn’t do anything for herself because she didn’t have to. There is nothing wrong with the woman. Perfectly capable, makes more money per month off of social security than I do working. Any decent person would offer to chip in, or pay for food, or at least clean the house. She couldn’t even let the dog out. What a crock.
I predicted all of this, and watching it unfold before my eyes both broke my heart and took a load off of my shoulders to know that I wasn’t being harsh and unreasonable, just realistic. All of my grandma’s sarcastic commenting and inability to lift a finger in the house led to my mother’s demise. Finally she realized how draining her own mother could be. She couldn’t take any more. She told my grandma she didn’t want her there anymore and we could all help her find a new place. My mom tried to handle things as civilly as she could, knowing that she never should have made the move in the first place. My grandma proceeded to tell my mother that she did not want her [$1500] couch [that my mom is still paying for] back when she moved because she didn’t like it anyway. And my uncle said he’d get her a new one. As small as that seems, it was the last straw for my mom and she lost it. She even screamed at my grandmother to get the fuck out of her life in the middle of an apartment parking lot. She demanded that my grandma get a hold of one of her other children and leave her house immediately. My mom was bawling. She didn’t want to have to end things that way, but her mother disrespected her and her family for the last time.
What kind of mother can’t accept the kindness of her own children? How can your child give you everything and it’s never enough for you? My mom even said, she hasn’t done as much for me, her only child, as she has for her mother. Her mother never deserved anything from her, yet she expected it. I was proud of my mom that day for respecting herself enough to remove herself from that toxic situation. I can only hope she continues on that path, as it is hard to watch her get her heart broken over and over.
All I’ve learned from this is that blood doesn’t mean anything. People who support you and respect you are the most important. We all need to have people in our lives that have our back. It’s a tough world out there, and its even tougher when you are constantly being beaten down. I hope all of you reading this can find your people. Get out there and connect. People have gotten so far away from others that we don’t know how to treat each other anymore. Please get out there and practice compassion, and by all means, start at home.