The Horrible Mother by Angenita Childs

When I think of a horrible mother, I think of the drunk, doped up, partying, and promiscuous woman who has time for everything in the world but her kids. But what about the scholarly mom? The workaholic mom? The angry mom? The abused and abusive mom? The gullible mom? The selfish mom? When does the line get crossed?

I was a victim of an angry, abused mother who gave me hell. Sometimes, I feel like it was my fault. I am the reason she got into that mess of a marriage. I did get pregnant at fourteen. She was extra hard on me; giving me ultimatums, calling me selfish. Making me take and accept responsibility for my actions. She also gave me head shots, and feelings of low self worth because I got pregnant early, often making my cousin a “perfect” daughter. I felt like nothing at times; tears made their home streaming down my face. I wanted and longed to be close to her, but was ignored, brushed off, belittled. I wanted her to love me just as I was: a mixed up, messed up, teenaged mother.

My only solace was school. My grades were something to be proud of. She made sure school came first. She made me quit working when my grades slipped; showing me that an education came before everything. I wanted to go to a four year college out of state, but settled for a local community college because what kind of mother leaves her child behind for the grandmother to raise? A horrible mother.

I graduated with an Associates degree, and held mundane job after mundane job. So I decided to go back to college at the age of thirty-one. Mom said I shouldn’t because that would be too much. I had to work and take care of my kids. School should wait. I didn’t listen, it was hard, but I made it.

Raising my son was different. She didn’t uphold my decisions when it came to parenting. She paid him for good grades after I pleaded her not to. I wanted him to be proud of himself for making good grades, just like I was. My son was in the gifted and talented program from third through fifth grade. Smart guy; made me proud. But when her money ran out, and it got to the point where she couldn’t pay him, he went from a gifted kid to a dumb one, just like I knew he would. Punishments were a joke; she never upheld them, even though I begged for her backup. I worked so she kept him. I depended on her. The Smart Guy knew there was a gap he could manipulate. He still uses that gap; now I’m a horrible mother.

Was she a horrible mother? No. She was a woman who did what she could with what she had. Obviously she wasn’t properly taught the dimensions of raising a daughter with loving, kind words. She hurt me often, more emotionally than anything, but I bore it, and I know what not to do to my daughters, although I’m guilty of saying hurtful things. I guess it’s gonna take more work on my part. I don’t want my girls feeling like I did. Thank goodness I know how to apologize.

Although she denies it, she favors the boys. Don’t think she ever made them catch a bus. She will break her neck for them. She didn’t charge me to keep my son, but she does for my daughter. I guess it’s really true that most mothers raise their daughters, and granddaughters and love their sons, and grandsons. I tried to raise my son like she raised me, and I was wrong for it. I almost feel like I’m being paid back for being that naïve, love-seeking, foolish fourteen-year old because I gave her another mouth to feed when she was already struggling. My bad…a few conversations about real life may have helped that, I don’t know because I “never listened,” but neither did she.

There is a distance now that I maintain. She raised me. She loves me conditionally; as long as I do as she would like, and don’t challenge anything, it’s great. But I can’t fault her, and although I feel she doesn’t love me the way I want her to, I know she does care in her own way.

Maybe no one listened to her. Maybe she was lost amongst her four sisters and three brothers. Maybe somewhere deep down inside, she resents me, for being a burden more so than a blessing. Maybe she was never taught how to love a daughter without conditions. Maybe.

Advertisements

2 comments so far

  1. Twitted by LionessVizions on

    […] This post was Twitted by LionessVizions […]

  2. Pearl on

    Wow…You could be telling my life…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: