My mother has never been able to control me. She couldn’t when I was a baby, a toddler, a child, a teenager, an adult…never. I was always a constant source of frustration with her, one that she has commented on all growing up. I did what I wanted regardless of what she said and she was powerless to control me.
I have expressed in previous posts my thoughts and feelings about growing up with my mother. How, though I never felt that she didn’t love me, I felt that she didn’t accept who I was. Instead of letting me be who I am, she was always criticizing me, comparing me to the other girls. I told her to stop when I was about nine or so, and she got a lot better at not comparing me to my peers, but she didn’t stop.
“Why don’t you take care of yourself?” “You need to lose weight, you’re not healthy.”
“This is what I would do if I were you…” “You look good in that, it makes you look smaller.” “You should wear make-up more, you look better.” “why don’t you curl your hair?” “Why are you so crazy?”
Really, I could go on. I don’t suppose those are things that most mothers don’t say to their children, but when you never felt like you had your mother’s approval, that you were always a source of disappointment, those things are a reminder of the child your mother wanted, the one she didn’t get.
Adoption is a tricky thing. You can match a child to a home by skin color easily…black to black, white to white, Hispanic to Hispanic, Asian to Asian. I am Spanish and Cherokee, my mom is German and Irish and my dad is French and English. I have fair skin that has a reddish tint, we all have brown hair, fair skin, and mostly the same mannerisms that tie me in with them. I remember when I found out I was adopted and told people, everyone was so shocked because everyone always said I look like my mom….and I do, if you don’t look too close. Unfortunately, its hard to match a child to a home that will fit in personality.
My family is very normal, and in comparison I am very not. I like dark things, I am fascinated by things most people try to ignore (I have a slight fascination with serial killers and the people that hunt them). I like horror movies, Dean Koontz, and british comedy. I am what people call “quirky” or “eccentric”, I am sarcastic, cynical at times, and people say I’m a bit wild which I still don’t understand because I think I’m pretty boring.
I like to drive fast (except when my baby is in the car, then I drive like a grandma), I like to explore, and I’m not afraid of people so I can be fairly outgoing if I’m in the mood to be. I’m spontaneous when I can be (which means, m-f is routine, but weekends are up for grabs), I like to fight (in the ring), and I like to color with my child.
I don’t see anything wrong with this, but my mother does. I have always been wrong, and she has always tried to control me. I brought this up to her one time, and I asked her why she tried to smother all the traits that she praises me for in adulthood. She said that she was concerned for me. I didn’t have very many friends growing up because I had such a big personality and was a bit…different. The girls in my elementary school didn’t like to play Star Wars with the boys, and that was my favorite thing to do. I don’t know if my mom was more concerned that I didn’t have very many friends, or that the friends I did have were boys. Who cares, that was 30 years ago.
It just amazes me that it seems she still tries to control me, and I’ll be 40 next year. Admittedly, I don’t make a lot of money, and mom has been helping me with my daycare, which is $400-500/month for part time ($100/week). Not A LOT of money, but really more than I can afford. Well, mother has become concerned with my spending habits, and she says that she learned in Al Anon that by giving me money for daycare, she is enabling me to be financially irresponsible. In order for her to continue giving me money for daycare, I have to show her my bank statements every month. Its something she WANTS to do for me, but she thinks its hurting me right now.
I smiled and nodded and said I understand. After our talk I gave her a hug and a kiss, told her I love her, and tried to enjoy the rest of the weekend because I didn’t want her to see me freaking out. I was able to put it out of my mind for the most part, because I had decided when she was telling me her conditions for helping me with my daughters daycare that I wasn’t going to do any of the things she wanted me to in order to keep receiving her help. See, in my head, if you want to help someone you help them, but you don’t give them conditions.
I will be the first to admit that I am not the most financially responsible, but I make sure all my bills are paid. Sure I buy things I don’t need, but I’m not running out spending money on crack. I take my daughter to Pretend City, buy decorations for her room, I buy my clothes at the thrift store and buy her clothes on ebay because I can get the stuff I want for much, much cheaper. I shop the sales. I will, however, prefer to buy my daughter clothes than take my car in for an oil change. Its just more fun. My bills are rarely paid on time, but I’m never more than a week or two late, and its not because I don’t have the money to pay them, but because I forget, or remember and just am too busy to get onto the computer…..and then forget.
The loss of the money from my mom every month shouldn’t prevent my daughter from continuing daycare, but its going to make things much tighter around here. I’m not going to be able to afford all the extra’s for my daughter that I have had the luxury to afford with my mom’s help. I have spent the day applying for part time remote coding jobs, something I can do at night and/or weekends to supplement the loss. We’ll see what happens, but I’m NOT going to show mom my bank statements, and I’m NOT going to ask her for money. If she asks I’m going to say I’m fine and I don’t need it.
I’m also not going to let this ruin things between them and my daughter. I will still go up there once a month so they get to spend a weekend with their grand-daughter, and I still love my mom. I will admit that I am hurt. Ever since I began coding and advancing in my career, mom has been telling me from time to time how proud she is of me. That she loves me and that she is proud that I am her daughter. That she is proud of the mother that I am to my daughter. What hurts is that this new situation makes me feel like that she didn’t mean anything she said.