re·form: (r-fôrm) v. re·formed, re·form·ing, re·forms v. tr. 1. To improve by alteration, correction of error, or removal of defects; put into a better form or condition. 2. To cause (a person) to give up harmful or immoral practices; persuade to adopt a better way of life.
ma·ma or mam·ma also mom·ma: n. (also m-mä) Informal. Mother.

6.02.2006

Honor Thy Mother...

Okay, so my family is about as dysfunctional as they come. Seriously. No exaggeration. Perhaps the hardest commandment for me to obey is, "Honor thy father and thy mother." I honestly have no clue how to do that.

I'll just share about my mom today though. Goodness knows I could write for days about our relationship, as non-existent as it is, with her.

My mom was sent to live in an orphanage when she was like 7 yrs old. Her dad couldn't take care of her and her siblings after my mom's mom died. When mom was 16, her dad sent for her. A few days later while he was at work, his new wife put my mom back on a bus to FL and told my mom that her dad really didn't want her there. We later found out that was not at all true.

That's about as low as a person can stoop if you ask me. I only share that, because I do think that those few details about my mom's life offer a great deal of insight into the things she does and who she has become.

I do have some compassion for her because of her childhood, but I also have a hard time with her based on my childhood and on choices she has made.

I understand that she had NO one growing up. I have no clue what life was like in the orphanage. My mom has NEVER spoken to me about anything remotely serious, let alone her childhood.

That said, I don't think that things that happen TO us give us a "get-out-of-jail-free" card when it comes to our actions and/or choices. We still have opportunities to become better people and to break cycles that run in our families. We are NOT condemned to a life of abuse and poverty based on the lives of our parents.

Again, if that were the case, I'd be alot worse off than I am.

There were things my mom did when I was a child that hurt me deeply. I think I have forgiven her for those things, but once in a while, those old war wounds give me grief.

I'll spare the details of my childhood and just say that it wasn't pleasant.

My parents did fight a lot. When I was 18, mom decided to leave. She moved in with Mike and had contact with my brothers, but not me for 2 years. Then when I was about to gradate college, she suddenly wanted to be a part of my life. She and Mike helped me out with some financial things, which was nice, but I always got the feeling I was being bought.

Mom had done the same thing when I was in high school. She tried to buy me off. I think she did that because she had no clue how a mother wsa supposed to interact with her daughter.

It made her happy to be a part of my life, even if it was a rather small part of my life.

Later I found out she had told Mike that dad had abused her. That was a load of mess. My mom and dad fought a lot, but he never abused her. And I'm sorry, but you can't hide physical abuse from the children in the home, I don't care how hard you try. Kids are very perceptive.

She actually told Mike a lot of lies. Mike was, ummm... crazy anyway and I suspect he abused my mom. I know he verbally abused her. He tried that on me a few times. By that point in my life though I had decided I had suffered enoug abuse, so he didn't get so far trying that stuff on me.

Mom was with Mike for about 10 years before he did 2 years ago. My mom has always, in some form or fashion, sought approval and love from someone. When my brothers and I offered her our love as children, she didn't know how to respond. When we became adults and offered her our love cautiously, Mike got in the way. Mike either prevented her from seeing us or Mike and one of my brothers would get into a fight. There was always SOMETHING.

Mike had been ill for years. He had Hepatitis and we knew his time was limited. I tried to share Christ with him. He thought he and "JC" were pals. While he and Jesus were "pals" Mike demonstrated no love for Christ, no changes in his life, no assurance of salvation, no love for anyone or anything but his beer.

I also knew that when mike died, the remainder of my mom's life would become even more sketchy than her life had already been. My mom depended on Mike for love, even though it was obvious that the kind of "love" he offered was not the kind of love she needed.

Ever heard that song, "Lookin' for love in all the wrong places, lookin' for love in too many places..." That song is about my mom.

As soon as Mike died she started going online to meet men. She met a guy and moved in with him within 2 months of Mike's death. I know she wasn't done grieving for Mike though. She told me so.

That relationship failed and mom moved in with another internet guy. Then she ended up back with the first internet guy.

Through all of this, my mom's money management skill have been horrid. She only has a 7th grade education, so her job opportunities are limited. And she stopped doing things like brushing her teeth and eating well when I was a kid, soI fully expect(ed) to get a call saying that the St. Petersburg Police had identified the body of a homeless woman as my mom. I still would not be surprised if at some point that happened.

My mom has always kept in touch via email, and sometimes via phone. I usually hear from her about once a month. I never know how to track her down, but she is usually pretty good about emailing periodically -- even if it is to tell me how horrible my brother is or what wretched thing my dad did.

In Feb. I received an email saying that she was moving on from her current relationship (and place to live) and that she would email me when she landed. I tried contacting her again and was unable to.

On Mother's Day she sent me an email saying that her life was getting better.

Yesterday I received a link to a job listing she sent. The job is in her "field" and is in Charlotte. Mom, to my knowledge is still in FL.

Ed and I fully expec to have to financially support my parents. We believe it is our duty biblically to do so. I admit that it;s not something I look forward to. I have always had to be the adult in my relationships with my parents.

When/if my mom comes to live with me, I will have to treat her as a child. She's 52. I don't know how to lay down ground rules and not dishonor her. I don't think I would be honoring her though to let her live her and still continue in her sinful ways.

And I won't even begin to discuss the financial burden this will put on us. We are already strapped.

I always wanted to have a good relationship with my mom. As a child I thought that when I grew up and made money and had anice house, everything owuld be magically fixed. HA!

Even though things are tight for us now, Ed and I are far better off than my parents have EVER been. I would love to share our blessings with them, but I'm scared of being burned again.

1 Comments:

Blogger Lindsey @ Enjoythejourney said...

Bev-
Hugs to you...I had no idea...I had heard you say snippets of things here and there in the few years I've been at RMBC, but I never really knew.

You know, I think the fact you are doing as you see fit, and parenting Eddie-bear to the best of your ability, that alone is honoring your mother. You are doing what she was not able to do fully.

My best childhood friend had an awful example as a mother. Her mom was emotionally abusive and just plain absent. She was hooked on painkillers and now is in shambles. She tries to have a relationship with my friend Misty, but it just is too hard for Misty. Misty has just moved on. She has told her mother if/when she is clean, they could talk about trying again, but that was a must.

Sometimes kids just have to call the shots, even when they're all grown.

Hugs to you...

11:27 AM

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home