Thursday, 23 June 2011

Mom, my anger issues and me

What would a blog be without one of those emotional posts that I really had to reach into myself to write. I think that's the point of this for me anyway. I want to express myself and see just how far I can push myself. Maybe while you're learning something new about me, I'm learning something new about me too. Creativity is a hell of a thing no? This is going to be one of those posts fair reader. I'm going to push myself here, it will be funny yes of course, but also an emotional post. An emotional post for you to read, and certainly one for me to write. Everyone got a kleenex or hanky handy? Good, then here we go.

The first memory I have of my mother I think I was probably about 2 or so. They're all jumbled together so I'm really not sure which came first. I remember my sister and I looking out at the dining table and it having lots of gifts for us from Puerto Rico where my parents had gone for holiday. I remember there being a little paper mache frog for each of us, and I know there was other stuff as well but that's the one thing I remember clearly. Don't ask me why I don't know. Mine was navy body with green spots and my sisters was yellow body with orange spots. I remember her telling us that we had to wait for our Dad to get up so that we could look at all of our gifts that they had brought us but we could have these little frogs. I also remember going to Toronto (Although I think I was little bit older, and someone forgot their room key. I was told to slip through our room (our door had the 'rape chain' on) and then go into the adjoining room (my grandparents room) and unlock the door. I did it, I don't remember how old I was, I just remember my Mom being very pleased with me for doing exactly as I was told and not getting distracted along the way. (ME??? NOooo!)

When I was about 5 my parents separated and divorced. For 2 summers (which also blend together) my sister and I were sent off to Toronto to stay with my cousin, Aunt (Mom's sister) and the Man she was married to at the time (While I called him "Uncle" at the time it's something I refuse to do now). I flat out hated it there. Every morning we were sent outside into the backyard, and we were not allowed back inside until evening. If and ONLY if we had to go to the bathroom were we allowed back inside and then ushered back out to the backyard where we had a card table, 2 chairs and an above ground pool. That's it. Sometimes paper and crayons...but that's about it. My Aunt would bring us our lunch out to us at the card table. I prayed for rainy days. Rainy days meant we could stay inside. I missed my Mom. I was very young, very confused, and VERY VERY unhappy. My cousin (older than we) was allowed to go out, and play with his friends. But because we were young, and we were in Toronto, my Aunt (supposedly) feared it unsafe for us. We did the touristy thing on occasion. CN Tower, Casa Loma, etc, but it seemed few and far between. It's funny in every picture though, and every slide I've ever seen of those two trips both my sister and I have smiles on our faces. I guess it was one of those Pavlovian responses. Camera comes out, you smile. I hated it. And by the end of the two summers, I began to hate my Mother for sending us away.

I grew up angry I think although I hid it VERY well. The first time I ever remember completely losing my shit was when I was about 13. I had loaned a tape to my sister. One side had Wham! - Make it Big on it, the other side I had recorded Duran Duran's first album (if memory serves - I know it was Duran I just don't recall which one). At that point it was the only copy of either that I had. My Mom worked a lot of 3-11 or 11pm-7am shifts and this was one of those nights. My Mom was at work, I had asked my sister for my tape back and she dragged her heels. I asked her for it back again, and she stomped into her room grabbed the tape, came out and started pulling reams of this tape out of the casing. I went completely mental. Full on frothing at the mouth mental. The events that happened next are not something I'm proud of but to be honest should have been a tell tale sign for my Mom to put me in some serious therapy. I remember I grabbed the tape out of my sisters hand, threw it on the floor, shoved her up against the wall with my left hand (I'm right handed) and LIFTED her off the floor by her throat about 5 or 6 inches and held her there. I remember she choked and her fingers came out and she tried to scratch and claw at my face. I remember screaming at her "ARE YOU GOING TO DO THAT AGAIN?" while her arms flailed wildly at me. I remember shoving her out the door and slamming the door in her face. That wouldn't be the last time I did something like that to my sister, and again it's not something I'm proud of. A learning experience to be sure in retrospect, but definitely not one of my finer moments.

The next time I went off on my sister I was about 15. I had been at my friends house, I had stuff in the washer that I needed to dry. So I came home for about a half hour to dry some clothes and to hang out. Our Mom was in hospital (part of her downward spiral in her health) in a completely different city, and I was staying at various friends houses while she was gone. I came home for only a half hour, but I am ashamed to say it was not a peaceful reunion between my sister and myself. I came in with two of my friends, put my clothes in the dryer, and stepped out on the balcony for a cigarette. My sister had a friend over for dinner and movie watching, and to honest we had NO interest in interfering however my sister felt that just by being there, even for a half our we were doing just that. I think I came back in from the balcony to check on my clothes when my sister asked me to have a 'chat' with her in the bathroom. I remember walking into the bathroom with her and for whatever reason it got ugly. Fast. The door was closed and the finger got pointed in my face. I don't remember exactly what was said between us, I just remember the out come. I went from 0 to about eleventy in .0005 seconds. The end result being me beating the hell out of my sister (again). Only this time I grabbed her by her hair (right at the front) and was slamming the back of her head against the CEMENT (we lived in a highrise) bathroom wall. I don't recall what I said as I was doing it. I just remember being VERY angry, and her CERTAINLY NOT deserving what I was dishing out. I don't remember how the rest of that played out, however I DO know she spoke to my mother and I was informed that if I EVER, EVER touched my sister again I would be charged with assault. I was an angry baby.

I don't remember how or why or what made me change. Maybe it was just something that came with age, maybe it was meeting the love of my life and the man I eventually married. I don't know. I can tell you I have never touched my sister again. I have had a couple issues since then, but not in many MANY years. It was like a light switch just turned off and I just stopped. Maybe it was because I had kids, I don't know. I'm just glad it's over with. I still have a temper LMAO that's not gone, I just don't want to fly into a rage anymore.

When my kids were very young (2 and about 6 months) I remember my Mom phoned me up one night just for her weekly chat. She had been to the doctor's that day for her yearly physical, he had told her that he was sending her for a mammogram has she had never had one before. I don't know how, or why but I remember I knew that they were going to find something. I remember I dropped the phone on the floor, and I refused to pick it back up. My husband picked the phone up and quizzically asked my Mom what was going on. She had no clue what the problem was as I didn't tell her. And to be 100% honest it wasn't until almost at the end of the road that I finally told her. It was like a wave washed over me and I without a doubt knew that not only were they going to find something, it wasn't going to end favorably. Sometimes I hate it when I'm right.

Fast forward about 4 years later. My Mother is now struggling with bowel cancer that stemmed from the breast cancer that they had found 4 years prior. The cells had broken away and traveled to her bowel and she was struggling to survive. I remember about 2 weeks before she passed was our son's 5th birthday. He wanted to see his Nana for his birthday and I called to tell her that we would be coming down and we would be bringing the kids up to see her. I remember her saying she didn't think that that was a great idea as unlike the chemo treatments before when her hair hadn't done much except become baby fine and curly, she warned that her hair had thinned considerably and she didn't think she could handle it if the kids were to freak out over her change in appearance. I managed to reassure her that that would not happen (although I honestly now can say I wasn't so sure at the time), and miraculously it didn't. The kids saw their Nana, not the fact that Nana was sick, she was just their Nana. That I think was the last time she coherently saw them before she passed away 2 weeks later.

I remember I didn't cry when she passed away. I don't think I even cried at the funeral. There were only two times I remember crying and I wouldn't even say I cried the first time. My friend and her husband had driven to Sarnia for the visitation, and I walked up to the casket (which was closed) with her. She became overwhelmed and began to sob. I felt badly for her, she'd known my Mom since I was about 9 or so and I remember my eyes brimmed...but nothing came out. I felt a little cold and callous because I didn't cry, but I remember my sister being so overwhelmed (and My Dad actually as well, which was odd since my parents divorced when I was 5) that I felt I had to keep it together I guess.

The first time I remember actually CRYING was because of a dream I had about a month after the funeral. I had this dream or portion of a dream that was perpetually every night on repeat. I remember getting ready to go to bed and I would pray to the Gods that I wouldn't have that dream. And every night I would wake up with a start silently sobbing my eyes out. I didn't want to wake anyone, including my husband, because I didn't know how to handle what I was feeling every time I woke up. It was beyond any sadness that I had ever felt up until that point. It was impossible to describe. I almost felt like I had been abandoned. I was angry. I was angry at my Mom for dying, I was angry at God for not saving her. And to be honest...he and I haven't spoken since. I just refuse to take his calls, even if he does call collect. (Dead Poets Society reference, if you haven't seen the're missing out). I still miss my Mom every day. I know she's proud of me though. I know she's proud of my kids. I know she's proud of my husband. And I know she's proud of Us as a family. And I am too.

On this coming Saturday I go for my first mammogram. I'm not filled with dread as I thought I would be. I'm anxious because I don't like pain...well not BAD pain. KIDDING. I just want to get it done and over with. The ONLY thing that sucks is I FINALLY manage to get a Saturday off where there's really nothing going on after my mammogram...and my husband works. Bollocks.

One Last Glimpse,


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