Monday, February 26, 2007

family matters?

so, like most people, my family is a little fucked up.

my relationship with my mother is tenuous, at best. i think she is immature and stupid. she feels like i don't respect her (i don't). but she wasn't around enough when i was little to have damaged me too much with her erratic behavior though ken and i were always the victims to her inability to be responsible with her money, and her insistence that we were the cause of everything bad in her life. when i was seven years old my teacher was asking each child in the class what we worried about most. my response? "my mother's finances." and yes, that's fucked up.

but ken and i had two great women who did the majority of raising us. annette and tina. sisters who had a little daycare center in their basement. really italian. best. cooks. ever. they had me reading books at the age of four. and they taught me how to ride a bike. and drive a car. we loved annette and tina.

but because my mom, brother and i didn't spend much time as a family, we've never been all that close. i often feel like an orphaned only child. but i'm wildly independent and i'm happy that way.

but the time we always did spend together was christmas. me, ken, mom, and my grandparents. then at night i'd go to kate's and have pie with her family (who did their lion's share of taking care of me once annette stopped sitting us, probably around junior high).

but ken had to go join the marines so we spent a couple years in san diego for the holiday sans grandma and grandpa and, instead, with my mom's sister (estranged from her parents/my grandparents). then my mom had to go move to california and so i've continued to fly from my east coast home to the other side of the country to be with them on christmas. but this past year, my brother moved to houston. and in november he decided he "just didn't feel like" going to see my mother at christmas.

i was confused because i never felt like we had the option. i consult with my mother. i ask, "mom, we're a family. we HAVE to spend christmas together." "well i'm not going to tell ken to do anything he doesn't want." that initiated a HUGE fight about how we all baby ken, he gets to do whatever he wants. why was i the only one who cared that we spent christmas together? and why was i fighting with both of them to want to see me and each other? that's when kate called. "jazz, we haven't seen you at christmas for 6 years. we want you here with us. my parents want to see you."

and it was simple as that. i knew where i was wanted and appreciated. and it wasn't with my own goddamn family. and my mother and i haven't spoken since. that was in november. and my christmas was good. and i got to spend it with kate's fam and my grandparents. i saw annette and tina. all the people in my life who've been consistently supportive. and i was back home. even if there wasn't any snow, it felt good to be in a cold place at christmas.

but i got an e-mail today. mom is moving. she wants to know what of my stuff she has in the house out there that she can toss. she's moving to san pedro which is right on the water and near LA. a much MUCH cooler place to be than in the desert where she was before (both literally and figuratively).

it's weird to not be talking to my mother and it's weird that i don't feel like i care (maybe i'm repressing it or something). i never think about her. frankly, i got her email and it was like, "oh, yeah. her." maybe it's just weird to really see how little i've ever needed/depended/been able to rely on her my entire life. i'm not sure where this post is going. whether or not there's even a point to it. guess i'm just ruminating a bit. venting. i dunno...

8 people who played with me:

Blogger Ale said...

i heard that kids sometimes assume the role of a parent and then end up feeling guilty for the failed relationship.. but you gotta remember, you're not the mom, and she is a grown woman. she must make her own decisions you cant force her. and just cus they're parents doesnt mean they automatically should be good at keeping it together, its unfortunate but thats how it is.

dont be mad, just accept her-- this would make it easier for you

2/26/2007 4:20 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

yeah, that's rough. my parents were semi-normal when i was growing up, but then checked out in my late-teens. my sister bore the brunt of their craziness since it really started to blossom after i moved out, but it was still no picnic having a looney-toon for a mom, even as a young adult.

all you can do is love them. when i get upset about my family's situation - specifically my mom - my grandmother always tells me that the only thing you can control is how you respond to the way others treat you.

and know that they love you, even if they have a shitty way of showing it. because they do, really. the thing is, they have their own way of loving you, which might not match up exactly with the way that you WANT them to love you. this is the big one that i have had to learn.

any time you need to commiserate about crappy parents, just lemme know :0)

2/26/2007 5:21 PM  
Blogger rob said...

Great story, I too identify with it. I think I see where it's going, you're casting off unneeded baggage, it must be a relief.

Your commenters' advice to love and accept makes sense, but it's hard to do.

With my own old dear I went through a long period of "oh, yeah, her" and it was great. After years of nonchalance, I have recently been able to build a new friendship with her (though still only by phone, the f2f stuff is still jinxed for now).

PS those Italian sisters sound like real darlings, how fortunate that you had them (and that your old dear fixed you up with people better able to nurture you)

2/26/2007 6:19 PM  
Blogger Nadia said...

There's a shitload I'm repressing. I'd rather not think about why I care so damn much what my parents say or do, why I have an obsessive need to please them, why I'm 18 and still feel trapped like a child...

Denial comes in such pretty colors, so I wear it quite well.

Ignore this, and just take the good advice from the earlier comments.

2/26/2007 7:24 PM  
Blogger The Stormin Mormon said...

We all have someone in our life that corresponds to that parent. In my case, it's my dad. So much has changed in my life since the last time that I saw him, but I haven't really made the effort to drop him an email and just keep in touch. And on the other side of the coin, he hasn't made the effort to do the same with me, and as a result I don't feel any guilt.

And every time that we do somewhat reconnect there are always the same empty promises to do more to stay in touch, and every time it's the same the letters back and forth just slow to a gradual halt, and neither of us are that concerned.

I don't know where I'm going with this comment, it isn't exactly positive or reassuring. I guess, just know that you aren't the only one...

2/27/2007 12:07 AM  
Blogger Joefish said...

There are two kind of people. People who have family issues and people who are lying about not having family issues.

2/27/2007 12:09 AM  
Blogger Syar said...

I am a daughter without a mother, but I can't go on about how you should appreciate mothers while they're here cause it sucks with them gone. Sure it sucks, but my mom passed away when I was 8. I never really got to know her and fight with her and loathe her and feel guilty about her and love her beyond instinct. I severely, intensely dislike my stepmother but I have this weird feeling that if my mom hadn't died, she and my dad would've divorced, and my life would be slightly sadder.

I also feel like I wouldn't have been this person I am today if she was still around. This isn't to say that I wouldn't give anything to have her back, but it makes my thoughts complicated when it comes to contemplating the many "what if's"

And most times, if I look at my dad too long, I tear up because I repress this inevitable sadness I have an abundant amount of when it comes to him, linking back to his loneliness, and his death like my mom's death and how he knows nothing about me and I know nothing about him.

There's so much to say and feel with families. There isn't much advice I can give, however. Its your family, its the way you feel, and its the way you personally deal. Vent if you must. We're all hear to listen.

Sorry for my own torrent of selfish feelings. Your upside is that you have a great other family to balance what's lacking from your own. And you have us. That's something, right? :-)

2/27/2007 12:21 AM  
Blogger cadiz12 said...

there is no rule that the people whose genetics you inherited are necessarily your family. that title has to be earned by sticking with you during the tough times and giving you love and support, not making your life miserable. but even those relationships aren't perfect. what happens to you as a kid shapes who you are. you'll naturally want to spend time/do stuff for those you feel deserve it. and no one should ever make you feel guilty about that.

2/27/2007 11:23 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home