Via NYMag, an excerpt from an upcoming memoir:
… Mom’s own childhood was marked by trauma and abandonment. In Chicago her parents fought frequently and divorced when she and her sister were young. Neither parent was willing to care for the kids, so they were put on a train to California to live with their paternal grandparents in Alhambra, a town near the San Gabriel Mountains east of Los Angeles. The elderly couple was severe and unloving. One Halloween, after Mom was caught trick-or-treating with school friends, a forbidden activity, she was confined to her room for an entire year, except for the hours she was in school. She wasn’t allowed to eat at the kitchen table or play in the yard. By the time Mom turned fourteen, she could no longer bear life in her grandmother’s house. She moved out and found work as a housekeeper and nanny for a kindhearted woman in San Gabriel who offered room and board plus $3 a week and urged her to attend high school. For the first time she saw how loving parents care for their children—it was a revelation.
After graduating from high school Mom moved back to Chicago in the hopes of reconnecting with her own mother. Sadly she was spurned yet again. Heartbroken, she spent the next five years working as a secretary before she met and married my father… She built a new life as a homemaker, spending her days lavishing love on me and my two younger brothers.
When I got old enough to understand all this, I asked my mother how she survived abuse and abandonment without becoming embittered and emotionally stunted. How did she emerge from this lonely early life as such a loving and levelheaded woman? I’ll never forget how she replied. “At critical points in my life somebody showed me kindness,” she said. Sometimes it would seem so small, but it would mean so much—the teacher in elementary school who noticed that she never had money to buy milk, so every day would buy two cartons of milk and then say, “Dorothy, I can’t drink this other carton of milk. Would you like it?” Or the woman who hired her as a nanny and insisted that she go to high school. One day she noticed that Mom had only one blouse that she washed every day. “Dorothy, I can’t fit into this blouse anymore and I’d hate to throw it away. Would you like it?” she said…
Some of our parents had loving parents who, whatever their circumstances, passed down that caring and attention. Some of our parents grew up in chaos and dysfunction, got lucky or not, made better or worse or equally terrible choices in their partners, and still did their not-always-adequate best to do better by their own kids. Here’s a salute to those mothers who tried to write better life stories for their kids — even the ones whose signal contributions was letting us know we had the choice not to pass down our damaged genomes and inadequate socialization skills to another generation!
My parents are amazing, my mom especially. She had a tough path to walk, making it from a farm in NE to a single-mother-law-school-professorship (in the 80s no less!).
Anyway, apparently I have a shiny new mental disorder (never ever work two jobs and do grad school at the same time, folks), so it’s off to the doc to talk about benzo’s, I guess. Ordered a couple different formulations of GABA supplements too. Anybody experienced in this department?
Well done. Not every mom is the Hallmark type, buying the card can feel so inauthentic. My own mother lost her mom early. Our interaction wasn’t great once I became a teen. Now, decades later, I have raised my own children. I haven’t been perfect, but I consciously made a choice to do some things differently with my own children.
The real bonus is, now Mom and I are much closer. Our visits are filled with love and laughter. My own children are filled with a love for learning and for adventure, and have lots of self-confidence.
“even the ones whose signal contributions was letting us know we had the choice not to pass down our damaged genomes and inadequate socialization skills to another generation!”
moar Mother’s Day blogging from my wifey
Here’s to understanding Mothers as actual people with all their strengths and imperfections and quirks, as opposed to Hallmark projections meeting the stereotyped needs of others!
Not every parent is qualified for the job.
And a salute to everyone who is kind to young people who seem to need more kindness in their lives. Apparently, it can make a difference for generations.
I am lucky to still have my mother, who was a people loving, caring person. She never shied away from reaching out to people who needed help. The two mentally ill hoarder brothers who roamed our neighborhood were invited in for coffee more than once, the elderly neighbors who needed help were assigned to one of us children, and one of my earlier memories was when she helped a black woman who’s child had fainted while shopping in what was then a all white and hostile Evergreen Park Plaza. My mother was the only person who stopped and offered to hold the womans baby and toddler while she tended to her 6 year old in the bathroom; and I remember people spitting on my mother for that.
She was my model, and when my own children started bringing home the kids left to fend for themselves in the parks, we made room and added more plates at the dinner table, sometimes for years. One of my hardest tasks was to help those kids understand that it wasn’t their fault that their mothers (and fathers) didn’t seem to love them, but that those women just had issues that kept them from being able to be good parents.Not sure I was always successful, but I always hope that in a small way I helped those kids see past what they grew up with. Excerpts like the above help me feel like it made a difference, even if I can’t see the results.
edited for typos
You want to fish, you need license.
You want to drive a car, you need a license
You want to cut hair or polish nails, you need license
You want to dump another life onto this earth – HEY! Have a ball!!
My mom was pregnant before she graduated high school, in 1940. Dad was employed but emotionally unable to be a dad or much of a husband. Mom did her best & dad stuck around which was a mixed blessing. We never went hungry or without shoes. But anything I am I owe to my mom & several other people who showed kindness to me.
Never underestimate the good you do – nothing you do for a child is really wasted.
@Schlemizel: You want a gun, FREEDUMB!!!
@J.Ty: Careful with the benzos. They’re helpful, but unless you want to become dependent, don’t start. It’s a bitch to get it out of your system. I was prescribed clonazepam and eight months off, I’m just getting to feel like myself after hallucinations and depersonalization.
@Schlemizel: Are you saying women need a license to give birth? What a strange comment.
@ulee: I’m thinking just a little bottle of Xanax for acute issues (had a 3-hour clusterfuck of a panic attack on monday) and adjusting the antidepressants to be less stimulate-y, I don’t want to start taking them either.
@ulee: I’m thinking just a little bottle of [censored fast-acting & fast-leaving prescription benzo] for acute issues (had a 3-hour clusterfuck of a panic attack on monday) and adjusting the antidepressants to be less stimulate-y, I don’t want to start taking them either.
I have always been in awe of my Mum. She was deserted by her philanderer of a husband in the 60s with two kids under five to raise on her own. Her parents had both passed before I was born and therefore she was basically on her own. As I have told before she rented a small two up and two down house (with an outside toilet) until she saved up the princely sum of 5 pounds as a down payment on a house. She was on the Brit equivalent of welfare but still worked 40 hours a week as a cook at the local university cafeteria to be allowed to earn a pittance above her welfare check. (Whatever she was given in welfare was deducted from her paycheck per week, whatever was left she was allowed to keep). Her mortgage was 4 pounds 18 pence a month. She paid 5 pounds in order to get it paid off quicker. We were clothed from thrift stores, I earned money sweeping the front of the local store, we picked left over veggies from the weekend market, and collected left over coal from the trucks turning at the top of the hill.
And you know what? I never went hungry. I never felt that I was not dressed appropriately because Mum had a sewing machine and if hot pants were in fashion then she could make them for me. I remember when crocheted ponchos were in fashion my mum got out her needle and all her bits of spare wool and made me one. It was my own “coat of many colors” that I was so proud of.
Several years ago she sold the house that she put a 5 pounds down payment on for one hundred and sixty five thousand pounds. I’d say she did quite well for herself. Not bad for a mill girl from Carnforth. My Mum rocks.
@J.Ty: I take 40mg Prozac a day for depression. It really does help. I’ve had terrible shaking gotta leave work panic attacks for years. Clonazepam helped break that pattern, but it makes you sleepy and forgetful. If you’re really struggling, please find a benzo. Anti-depressants won’t work. Benzos do. But like I said, there is a down side.
A special tip of my hat to the memories of my maternal and paternal grandmothers. My Dad’s father was an abusive lout who eventually abandoned his family completely. My Mom’s father died from lung cancer when she was only 10-years old, and left my grandmother a widow with 5 children ages 4-14.
Both raised their children to adulthood on their own, at the prevailing “woman’s wages” of their era. Remarkable women both, and I miss them every day.
Great story! My mother (gone 34 years now) made all my clothes too, including some crocheted tops that were quite popular with the boys, IIRC.
I do not have much experience on the pharmalogical side of the Rx’s for mental illness. When I got out of in-patient, 11 years ago, I was put on Zoloft and Risperdal and I recently had Wellibutrin added, because of anxiety issues.
I really do not have a lot of experience in managing medications, because I’ve been on the same drugs for some time, with only changes in the dose.
But as someone, who went undiagnosed in my 20’s, and survived a suicide attempt, I am glad you are getting treatment.
I’m pulling for you.
Mental illness is tough, but you are not alone.
I had hallucinations for awhile. God, they are the suckiest suckiest suck that ever sucked. Took me years to get my confidence back after having them.
I’m glad you are doing better.
@ulee: On bupropion 300mg a day at the moment, which is basically legal crack (not chemically, I know). Gonna ask about maybe lowering that and augmenting with something like prozac… like, a cup of coffee is enough to send me trembling to the bedroom right now, so cutting down on the baseline daily stimulant is probably a good move. SSRI’s tend not to work in my family though, my mom’s had amazing luck with a low dose of amitryptyline though which is one of the ancient tricyclics, for stress and migraines and stress-induced migraines.
We’ll see, this is why we have doctors, right?
@gene108: Yeah, unfortunately this is a shiny new additional mental disorder. I was talking to the shrink about it and he mentioned that trembling and numbness are often associated symptoms and I was like “oh, wow, I just assumed I’d rapidly developed diabetes.” So time to see somebody with a prescription pad…
Honestly just having a diagnosis is making it ten times easier to handle. Don’t fight the arm twitching, and then your arm is less sore and so you worry less about your arm being sore, which reduces the twitching… I’m pretty experienced at talking myself out of negative stuff from depression treatment, so knowing the exact symptom cluster is crazy helpful.
Unfortunately my mother is a void for me. She died 40 years ago and never knew her grandchildren. I have no memory of her at all. It is a never filled space except for a photo album and so have no reason to celebrate the holiday. Our children adore their Mom and send things and call from far away. Why are husbands required to supply just the “right” gift once the kids are able to do so? Why not call it wife’s day? Humbug
also thanks for listening semi-random strangers on the internet
I just posted a note on my Facebook page about how on this day we should also hold in our hearts women who have had or will have abortions. I am sure I just earned myself an epic de-friending, but fuck it.
@J.Ty: Buproprion is an effective med, especially when mixed with lexapro. Lexapro will kill your sex drive but it works for depression, for awhile. Under no circumstances take citalopram, the Lexapro generic. It’s toxic. But really, if panic attacks are screwing up your life, xanax or clonazepam will save your ass in a hurry. Just be careful.
@J.Ty: The Mood Cure, by Julia Ross, is a great resource for such.
Also, it sounds you might have stressed your adrenals, which borks the whole “stress chemicals” factory in your body. Search engine “adrenal fatigue” and see if anything rings a bell.
@Fuzzy: Because you’re thanking your wife for being a great mom to your kids.
I dunno how my mom managed it: met my crazy dad in a refugees camp in Italy at the end of WWII; had a kid at 22; got to The States via Chile before kid #2 was born; had 3 more kids while putting up with my crazy dad AND the early onset of a degenerative nerve disorder; finally got us out of that crazy house and got a divorce; and, finally got the nerve “fixed” (deadened, actually) and landed a real job despite not feeling a whole side of her face and part of her tongue.
She left us way too early, just as she was reclaiming her life after so much hardship, and I can’t let her story fade away if I can help it…it’s partly my story too. The 90th anniversary of her birth was a month ago. Happy Mothers Day, Mommy!
Thank you, AL.
Reading that excerpt gave me an entirely new insight into the author of the memoir. Now I may just have to buy and read the entire book, although I hadn’t planned to.
You described me on Father’s day. He will have been dead 40 years in July.
My own mother had a horrible childhood with a tyrannical father. It has been my privilege to give her helpful perspectives on this which has made her happier.
I now know that however difficult my own childhood was, she successfully created a much better experience for us than she got.
@Suzanne: well said.
Today has been surprisingly tough for me. My mom is…not a great mom. She’s an adequate mom, but not warm or nurturing. If we get together it is because I initiate. In this year plus since Kate died, she has not checked in on me at all.
I always thought my father was my worse parent. All the uncontrollable rage, the threats to kill my pets, hitting, kicking me out of the house. And then I realized that my mom allowed all that. She allowed him to treat her kid like that. She never put her foot down, never took my side, never defended or protected me.
In those tough moments in life when we all kind of want our mommy, I think to myself, “I wish I had a mom I would want when I want my mommy.”
So today’s a tough day. Acutely feeling what I did not get from my mom and feeling pressure to appreciate and thank her as though I did. On a day like today you have to go through the motions. You have to make the Facebook “Happy Mother’s Day” announcement. You buy the gift. You buy the card and arrange the dinner. You put more time into being concerned about her feelings and tending to her needs that it seems she ever does for you.
I’ll be glad when this is over. As it is it will drag out until Wednesday because although she told me we had plans this Sunday to go to my grand parents’ house, she instead decided to go up to the lake.
@Gex: It’s like Christmas. You will participate.(really, sorry for your sadness)
My mom died at 35, but her sister and my dad’s sister and then later, my most excellent stepmom helped fill in the chasm for me. I celebrate all of them today.
My mom, rest her soul, had some issues she passed on to me, but as they say, your parents did the best they could, and if they could have done better, they would have.
Today I called my stepmom and dad, and got the answering machine. I whispered to my 3-year-old to say “Happy Mother’s Day” and he cheerfully shouted into the phone, “Happy Mother’s Day, Pop!”
Hey Ulee. Good to see you again. Hope things are going a bit better for you.
@Gex: trust me, I know what you are feeling. Hang in there.
The older I get, and the more stories I read or hear from other people, the more impressed I am with my (maternal) grandmother.
Within a period of just a few months, when she was in her mid-50s, her father died, her husband died, and both her daughters got divorced, leaving a total of five little kids. So, a four-generation female-dominated household: us five, my mom, my aunt, my grandmother, and my great-grandmother, all living under one roof and not a man in sight. In addition to coping with her grief, and her humiliation over having two divorced daughters (this was the 1940s, and divorce was both rare and very much frowned upon), she had to deal with iffy, unpredictable finances, including a mortgage her husband had just taken on a few months before he died.
She worked as head buyer of the children’s clothing department in a locally-owned department store. I didn’t realize until years, maybe decades, later, that just about all our clothes were manufacturer’s samples, or at least bought at deep discount. My aunt worked in the head office of a women’s clothing manufacturer, which took care of dresses and suits for her, my grandmother, and my mother. And my mom herself took over management of the bookstore my grandfather had founded. It didn’t make much money, but we never lacked for reading material!
Somehow, my grandmother (we all called her “Butch” which is both wildly inappropriate and a whole nother story in itself) managed to head up this strange household, pay off the mortgage on the house (an early Frank Lloyd Wright house at that), and sock enough extra away that she left each of us five kids a few thousand dollars when she died. She and I used to lock horns all the time, and I definitely didn’t appreciate her when she was alive, but toward the end of her life, and especially in the 30 years since her death, I have come to have tremendous respect for her.
So, while I always remember my mother with enormous love and affection, when it comes to Mother’s Day, I raise a grateful glass to Butchie.
@Morzer: You are too kind, considering all the nonsense I’ve dished out on this blog. As long as the pupdogs don’t run out into the street, I’m not stressed.
A tough Mother’s Day for me; Mom died in January at the age of 91. She’d been in a nursing home in Pennsylvania for three years; we drove up for two days every two weeks, took her out for meals, sight-seeing drives, shopping, etc. I’ll always have a little jewel of happiness inside that we did that — so many of the residents never left the premises until that one final time. I called her on the phone at least once a day, still have that little alarm that goes off in my head, “time to call Mom.”
Hear hear! Good for you!
Holy crap what a couple of horrible fucking people.
@SiubhanDuinne: Your grandmother sounds like one of mine (although we rarely locked horns. She thought us grandkids were perfect). My grandfather left her broke when he died (not that they weren’t broke before that), leaving her with three kids and a sister-in-law who wasn’t capable of looking after herself. Gran went to work as a waitress and worked her way up to manager and finally co-owner of the joint. She was tough and brave and really funny. My other grandmother was a primary-school teacher and eventually became principal of the school. They both lived in the little town where my parents grew up and were good friends. I loved visiting them both, especially when they got together and told hilarious stories about all the crazy people they had known and events in the past (although I imagine some of those events weren’t so funny at the time). I’m happy to have my mom, who has always been loving and supportive, still with us but I also raise my glass to those two grandmas who were just the best.
Reading some of the above, leads me to wonder if all cultures fetishize an imaginary perfect family construct to the extent that we in the US do (during the last 3 generations)? So many concerns and deficits noted up-thread seem quite cultural and time specific (sort of a “Duh!” statement, I know).
Sometimes, we forget that our parents (while actively parenting) were young people engaged with a world that was just as confounding as the world that confronts us (and likely more so). It is so fascinating to study social history and see how different the dynamics of past family structures were from the image we have created in our imagination.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
@J.Ty: Benzos are quite a double edged sword, and should be prescribed – and taken -with caution. Better discussion may be available with additional details.
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): Probably just gonna ask for a very small amount of [censored cuz blog comment] for acute instances and then look at dietary options and stuff. Thanks for the warnings though everybody, they’ve been coming through quite clearly.
@Keith G: That is true. I used to be very judgmental toward my mom for some things that happened when I was young. The older I get, the more forgiving I’ve become.
On the whole I’m pretty lucky. Mom surly would never be on a Hallmark card and yet I never missed a meal, always was taken care of when sick, which was a lot, I had enough clothes and shoes. But we didn’t live in a happy home. We lived in one where the kids were responsible for all the family problems, which of course were all her problems. Like not having enough money to live in the home she felt she was entitled to. Like she couldn’t go out whenever she wanted because she had to take care of the kids. We were her burden. And she never let us forget that. We lived in a home without any obvious love whatsoever. And everyone of us could not wait to get out the moment that was possible. She took care of us, she did not raise us.
But as I said up top, I was lucky. Many kids I’ve met had it much worse, a few had it lots better. Kids up the street came home from school to find mom and dad dead, shot in a murder/suicide. Other kids went hungry or were beaten. Two girls I know moms died when they were 11-12. One then raised by her drunk, heroin addict dad. A friend in school lived with his grandparents, he killed himself in his late twenties. These are just some of the kids I knew and I lived in a middle class, suburban town.
So as bad a job as mom did, I’ve seen lots worse. Not a rousing endorsement but she did what she knew how, in the manner she understood.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
@J.Ty: Check with the p-doc about whether an SNRI would be more effective, or if adding even or switching to lamotrigine (requires a really slow titration) might work. Folks with some sets of alleles don’t metabolize some meds in such a fashion as to make the efficacy good.
I have recently had some anxiety like symptoms that are more likely an artifact of the MS than BP, as they are quite new. So I have a script for a 2mgs of a famous benzo, to take PRN. I tend to average 6-8 mg per month. If anything I get scolded for being reluctant to take them when it would be useful.
There may also be some activation with the increased sunlight of this season also. So you might want to ask if that could affect the dosage. But you’ve got a doc who’s paying attention, so you’re ahead of the game. Be well.
My parents shouldn’t have had children and they had four. They were horrible parents – particularly my mother who had a nasty mouth and was verbally abusive. My father enabled her. The four children finally “divorced” our parents about 15 years ago. We all maintained minimal contact with them in the ensuing years. My father died in a nursing home in 2007 and my mother died in the same nursing home in 2012. I was laughing when I was at the funeral home making arrangements for her burial. The guy helping me must have thought I was nuts, til I explained that I was not at all sad about her death, and was actually quite happy about it.
But all four children have done well in life and three of us have had children, who we adore and who adore us. (I swear!) The bad parenting gene was not passed along, thanks god.
I realized, when I was an adolescent, that the single best thing my parents ever did for us six kids was be totally honest about their inadequacy for the job. They should never have married in the first place, and they certainly shouldn’t have listened to the Irish Catholic invocation that “God would give you the number of children you deserved”, but they both hung in there and did their best to keep us fed & clothed & educated. All of us went to college, most of us have the professional careers our parents could only dream about, and if none of us have bequeathed our genes to a new generation that’s objectively a positive for humanity!
Many of the most screwed-up people I’ve known in the ensuing forty years had parents who theoretically were more “successful” but weren’t as honest about their own shortcomings. Both my parents are long gone, but I still honor their honesty even if I can’t honor their child-rearing skills!
another sweet and funny post from your wife.
Interesting assumption on your part. Last time I took biology I was told it took both a male and a female to create a baby, why would you assume that the woman would need the license?
Wow, I’m surprised I’ve never heard this about Hillary’s mom before. Chelsea looks a lot like Dorothy Rodham.
Anyhow, I can totally relate to not finding appropriate Hallmark cards. I love my mom but my mom is just not a huggy lovey person. Mom was the eldest child in her family. Her mom had totally out of control diabetes with maybe looking back, a little diabetic dementia??? My memory of my grandma is sitting next to a victrola kind of radio. Mom dropped out of school at 12 and looked after my grandparents and the other kids. Even after she got married my mom would ride the bus everyday and either take food to or cook for her parents. Mom basically brought up her two younger sisters and one brother, along with her own six kids. She’s made a move to two continents with a rudimentary knowledge of the language. Mom will say some stuff sometimes that just surprise me. We had a Walmart open in the neighborhood – Walmart has a price match deal so a lot of people go to Walmart because of that – my mom says “If everybody goes to Walmart the other places will go out of business and then they’ll increase the prices.” Mom’s super tight and it drives me crazy. I don’t think my mom has ever bought anything on a whim, even though my parents did very well for themselves. She still takes the grocery bags when she goes grocery shopping so that she can get her five cents off. We’ll buy her new kitchen stuff and she’ll put them away and say “I’ll use it when I have company!” She hates us getting flowers for her because they’re wasteful because they die anyway!!! I started buying her flowering plants instead of flowers and she told me not to that either!!!
My maternal granddad was a pretty amazing man ahead of his time. Two of my aunts have PHds – unheard of in the 50s in my culture. Even when my parents sent my eldest sister to college, my dad’s side of the family laughed at my parents because my sister “why are you wasting money on a girl who’s going to get married anyway.” Thankfully, that side of the family has progressed since.
@Schlemizel: ok, yes.
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): on Wellbutrin already (May be a contributing factor actually). Responded well to straterra in the past, with pretty minimal side effects compared to Wellbutrin. But I needed it to stim my ass out of bed for a year or so, might be time to phase it out. Sigh. Thanks again everybody
anon for this
@ulee: some of them do, they really do.
My mother was one of them. She never wanted to be a mother (life before roe v. wade!) and she made sure I knew it.
I skipped motherhood as a result. I still find it exceedingly hard to believe that anyone, anywhere, actually wants it.
The fertility industry is like the drug trade: why doesn’t everyone understand it would be better for everyone if this were banned, for good, for all time?
anon for this
@Suzanne: not from me
There are so many great stories in this thread, yours included. A novelist searching for ideas for the next book would need look no further than some of the comments here.
I’m glad you had such a good relationship with your grandparents. If circumstances hadn’t intervened, I think I would have too, but Butch became very embittered and I think she learned to be afraid of loving anyone too much because she had been socked in the teeth with it. A damn shame.
Mother’s Day for me is a day of reflection on the three different Chinese women who gave birth to my daughters, and then for some reason, abandoned them, one as a newborn infant, the other two as toddlers. I wish they could see the three beautiful, strong, thoughtful, loving and intelligent young women their daughters have grown up to be. No matter their reasons for giving up their daughters, in my heart I still believe it was not an easy decision for them, or maybe not even their decision at all, and that a piece of their heart still yearns to know of their girls. I thank and love each one of those women, and wish we could be celebrating together today.
The Fat Kate Middleton
Oh my. This gives me such a new understanding of Hillary (and her family). I’m still wiping tears away. What a wonderful woman.
This thread has made me feel unbelievably lucky. I have a mother who has never been anything but supportive of me. She also had monumentally high expectations and pushed me hard toward them. Adding up the balance sheet on my mom, we end up monstrously in the plus column. With my grandmothers, I have two types. One who would have hidden me not matter how many people I killed because I was her grandson and she loved me and another who would have hidden me because I was her grandson and if I killed someone, that person obviously needed killing.
@SiubhanDuinne: I’d love to hear how Butch became Butch.
@J.Ty: be really careful with benzos. A week or two for an acute episode, fine, but more than that is risky. My son lost a year of his life to benzo addiction and withdrawal.
@Schlemizel: exactly. And yet when women decide they aren’t ready to be a good mother and want birth control or abortion, conservatives do everything in their power to force her to become a mother anyway.
@Anne Laurie: six kids and none had children?
@Gretchen: That I know of :) !
@Anne Laurie: Probably for the best.
There are happy families who celebrate this day because they love and appreciate the moms who are a part of their family unit. I spent the weekend with one of them.
God, this Eeyore stuff can get annoying.
@Gretchen: I’m measuring ‘acute’ in hours here. I got on top of this particular meltdown quickly and aggressively. Which is to say, my motto’s been “Not today! I’ve got LEGS, motherfucker!”
I mean I still feel pretty shitty but this ain’t my first rodeo.
And you people in your happy families should be grateful enough to let the rest of us congregate in one little thread, right?
Nobody wants to make anyone in the happy families less happy — that’s why I waited till the tag end of the weekend to post — but your experience doesn’t negate ours, either.
@Anne Laurie: Fair point. My apologies.
The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion
Mother’s day is . . . complicated. My mother is (these days) a very sweet and affectionate woman. She made heroic sacrifices to keep us clothed, housed and fed as children. She was also mentally ill for the greatest part of my childhood, as was my father. Some of the complications from that were horrific. So holidays like this generate a great deal of mixed feelings. I work now with mentally ill and emotionally disturbed teens, many of whom come from environments that make the one I grew up in look like the Cleavers, so on the whole, I’m grateful.
My old man was angry, abusive at times, and often threatened violence, but on the whole I have to give him credit for giving a lot better then he got.
*His* old man was a first rate alcoholic a**hole who beat the entire family every day. leading dad to run away from home for good at age 13.