Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day

I had forgotten about Mother's Day until Friday night when my friend Lori and I were parting ways on the corner of 86th & 2nd. We had attended a screening at The New School of media, films and animation, that was to include her animation of a fairy tale involving bleeding frogs - it did not. Boo & humbug to those who put it together and did not include hers! Grrr. Her other short film Foot-age* was included and is very funny, but still... I wanted to see the bleeding frogs she had worked so hard on that she had aggravated a nerve in her elbow. C'mon people, she endured pain to make those cartoon amphibians bleed - the least they could have done was include them in the program as planned.

Okay. Sorry. I get very defensive and angry when I feel my friends have been dissed in any way. Probably why I like pitbulls. And dogs in general: loyalty, baby, loyalty.

After the screening and a bit of the bitching, we had dinner and then headed home. We hugged good-bye on the corner as mentioned above and a somewhat 'altered' (whether by illness or drink is hard to determine) homeless man jumped in for a group hug with a toothless and cheery greeting of "Happy Mother's Day!". Hellllllo? Well, it was certainly unexpected, completely inaccurate (as the only creatures either of us aspire to 'mother' are dogs) and while a teeny bit off-putting it was still oddly amusing. It also reminded me that today is Mother's Day.

My own mother has been gone for nearly 6 years. It is no secret that I do not miss her. I know that sounds icy as all hell, but it is true. Call me a bitch if you must, but at least I'm honest. A trait I did not learn from her. Throughout my childhood, and in fact right up until the day she died, I dreaded her passing. And then she was gone... and I felt nothing. This, of course, makes me sound like the devil incarnate. Oh well. The truth is I do not miss either of my parents, and while that is a shame, it is also the honest truth.

Our relationships were hard. There was a dearth of affection, loyalty and love coupled with an overabundance of co-dependency, violence, disappointment and pain. Despite this I was 'dutiful' which of course led to much resentment and a LOT of anguish. The sad truth is that the only escape for a 'good daughter' was for them to pass away. It's hard to miss people who refused to give you what you wanted, needed and I'm going to say it: were entitled to. A child is entitled to its parents love and affection. This is not something I received. I stopped trying to get it at a very young age... although if I'm honest, my 'dutiful' behavior proves I did continue to try, albeit in a somewhat passive aggressive way.

A lot of children of alcoholic parents become the parents in the home. I know I'm not alone in that. Sometimes it's only one parent, sometimes, as in my case, it is both; but regardless, a 'home' requires parents and if the adults aren't doing it the child will. Often it is the oldest, or the only child who takes on the role (and God knows if you're a Capricorn child like me, you're already 3/4 of the way to being an adult at birth so you really have no choice). I may not have supported the household, but emotionally I was the adult - it's an awkward position to be in. And it left me feeling out of place in almost every circumstance as I felt neither that I was a child, nor an 'official' adult. You learn to avoid stepping on toes. You learn to work it from behind the scenes. And eventually you become invisible: certainly to the people you want to care the most.

So while I do not miss my mother, I do miss what I used to yearn for. A mother who was not an alcoholic; a mother who cared enough about my safety to get out of a house of violence and terror; a mother who would at least acknowledge that she was sorry she allowed me to grow up in that horror show; a mother who would actually hug me, or at least attempt some sign of physical affection; a mother who made me felt cared for and safe, and even loved... a little bit. I miss dreaming that I could have that. I know it is impossible, but it would have been nice.

I know many people who have very loving mothers. To them I say: Happy Mother's Day! And I do mean it.

*FYI: if/when Foot-age is uploaded on youtube I will post it here. Hint, hint.

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