Thoughts from a Weird, Strange, Funny Girl
The other night I had a conversation with my mother.
It’s not an odd occurrence, especially since I’ve moved back home last Thanksgiving. I almost always talk to her for at least a few minutes every night after she get’s home from work. Mostly to not only catch up on four years of mother-daughter bonding time but because I have genuinely missed my mother. But about half way through our conversation it hit an odd snag. We had been talking about how to set aside personal time for just the two of us when the conversation had taken a slight detour. I mentioned if one of those outings could be going back to this plus size clothing store, Catherine’s. My god mother, J and I had gone a couple of weeks prior so I could buy a couple of pair’s of pants for work. At the time they were running a great deal on underwear, buy three get three free. Catherine’s can be a little pricey, especially if you don’t have any of their coupons or deals and at the time I was feeling more than slightly penny pinching. I was downright anxiety ridden about my current state of cash flow (still am if I am being honest). I really needed the underwear but willing to wait out the odds.
“No, what you really need are shoes!” My godmother interrupts.
“No, J. What I really need is underwear, I only have five pair’s!” I barked back perhaps more than a little unkindly than necessarily but the past few weeks of her have really been grinding on my last nerves.
“How many pairs of underwear do you need?” my mom asked me in almost an incredulous tone.
I stood at the end of their bed speech less, watching my mother calming sitting cross legged in her pajama’s, picking the dirt out from underneath her nails with such a calm cool demeanor that I wondered if she had been taking lessons from Don Vito Corleone. The sentence alone itself sounds so simple and so innocent except how she emphasized “do you need.” As if I had finished maxing out daddy’s credit card and was pouting not receiving another. As if my closet was floor to ceiling covered in underwear. As if owning five pairs of underwear that ranged from five to ten years old in various states was asking for a two ctw diamond. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I mean I know I shouldn’t be shocked. After almost thirty years, I am repeatedly shocked at certain behavior my mother displays with little to no empathy and yet I always am. And I always feel like such a fool. But I digress.
“Well I’d like to start off with owning at least enough underwear with the same number of days in a week,” I retorted. “And as a real luxury, I’d like to have at least a pair that matched or didn’t have a hole in it.” The truth of the matter is, it didn’t matter what I said. To them, it didn’t really matter what I would have liked or felt I needed. My mom might have made a joke about spiritual underwear and I might have pity chuckled it off to be the “bigger person” and not start an argument but I was still hurt and neither one of them cared, like they usually don’t, about my feelings. About what I need.
And it keeps happening. It’s easier to be angry with the current situation because it’s right here in front of me. Like how my god mother keeps making snide underhanded remarks about how I’m currently not having to pay rent or any bills any time I bring up my money worries and stress. Even though I was invited to stay with my mother and god mother as an open invitation to try and recoup and get my life in order. To pay off my creditors, to save, and eventually go back to school and figure out a career. To just figure out where I wanted to go with my life. But no. Ever since I’ve gotten here, to this day, she loves to remind me in her own little way how I don’t have real problems. That my financial worries aren’t really a burden. Or how she keeps making sly comments about how much I eat. Never about my weight or even what I am eating, just the amount. It’s her little way of nit picking at my weight. We’re both fat but I am significantly fatter than she, thereby it’s been my conclusion her right to nitpick my eating portions.
“It’s really rich, so you don’t need very much.” She said the very same night as the underwear. I had just very clumsily spilled a full bowl of hot soup and there was just enough for another bowl. She had told me to just get another one but I had seen how much was left and it would be just enough for a single bowl. I had wanted to leave it for them and said so when she replied with that double edged message. I remember putting a hand to my head and the other on my hip. I bit my tongue to what I really wanted to say and just went into my bedroom.
Those are only a couple of recent examples but if I am being honest here… I have always had a hard time getting people to understanding just exactly what I need. Even with my current relationship, Monkey, there are times that can be frustrating but, at least he is the only one to ever constantly at least try to listen. We might get into arguments about our communication with each other that leaves the other very frustrated but, it can be said that he never makes me feel stupid, spoiled (even when I legitimacy am acting it), or ungrateful. Despite everything he still treats me like an adult. Like a person. When I express my needs, they are not belittled, thought down upon or outright dismissed.
And that, when you get down to it, is what I need. I need them to just listen. To not belittle or make me feel like my problems aren’t problems. That I am an adult. That I am a person. That is all I have ever tried to get either my mom and god mother to do. I understand that it can be hard for a parent to take their child seriously at times and in their own ways they have both made leaps and bounds in this regard. But it’s not enough. It’s never enough. Sometimes I feel like I made a huge mistake for moving out here, under false pretenses. Sometimes I wish they would remember that I gave up everything to be here. Everything. A lot of it being things that were hard to give up. To be here. With them. The things I gave up were just things and possessions can mostly be replaced and the sentimental possessions that can’t be replaced, will always have the memory of them which in turn, let’s me let go. It doesn’t make it any less easy to do so but it is doable. But in turn, I have very little to nothing. A lot is being dependent on my mother and god mother and a lot of simple luxuries I have learned to live without as I am slowly trying to rebuild myself as well as my life. I was doing mental backflips over spoiling myself over a twenty dollar bottle of eye cream when I have yet to even purchase a shower liner. I am completely dependent upon them and thereby have been feeling very vulnerable.
Instead I get a case of the gimmies from them. Make sure I return a towel I borrowed. Make sure to be tit for tat with money. They get mad if I eat their food that they offered… that I eat too much. Even though I offer any of the food I buy for them. They get upset if I eat a bunch of banana’s they bought that were going to waste. Everything in their fridge is going to waste. Because of how greedy they are. Mine, Mine, Mine, should be their tombstone engravements and yet I am the one who is to them ungrateful. If they buy Monkey and I dinner out and our portion was twenty-five dollars, I better pay it back. Yes you can use buying a Christmas present for Monkey from “us” as payment. How much was it? Twenty-three? Then you should still owe us two dollars from that dinner. Okay now that you mention the tax I guess it can be a wash. Let me remind you again how we spent $1300 for you to come out here and how we canceled our cruise for you. But that’s okay, you’re family. Remind me again how you are just lending me the sample eye cream you didn’t even pay for. Why do you keep saying it was fifty dollars for the Christmas ham we asked you to pay for and not the forty-seven. Fine, we’ll pay you back fifty. Yes we will buy yet another outrageously expensive Christmas decoration we don’t need, that we can’t afford, and then yes we will borrow money from you to splurge on a dinner out we can’t afford with a relative and use whatever we don’t spend on eating out for the rest of the week. Then we’ll take our time for three weeks to pay you back and bark at you for daring to question the amount.
I am not trying to say life back with my parents has been awful but… it has had it’s difficulties.
I try to do as much as I can to help around the house but it has been hard while trying to manage my depression at the same time. And sometimes I just don’t think they believe me about my depression. For some reason I get a vibe that I am faking it. Because I am constantly trying to combat it and put on a cheerful face and not talk about it. It’s my pink elephant, my burden to bare, and yet because I choose to smile through it, I am not really ill. But who knows. Already I have wondered far off my point.
My point is that I keep trying so hard to express how I am feeling only to be slapped in the face constantly over again. To be told that I am not good enough. Will not be good enough. And that no mater how hard I try that I will always be a burden and never a person to them. To have my feelings respected or listened to.