Thursday, April 18, 2013
My mom. Sigh. Does anyone else have a mom that when you think about her you just sort of… sigh. My mother is an angel, devil, dumb, smart, critical, encouraging, insane and totally normal. While I am 5’10” and 314 lbs, I consider her miniscule at 5’4” and 163 lbs – she fits neatly under my arm. She wants to lose weight (or so she says) – she often points out that she weighs what she weighed when she carried me to full term (I was a 10 lb 4 oz baby). And yet as often as she points out this flaw in herself and says she wants to lose weight, she always has an excuse about why she can’t (too old, can’t move enough, hurt too much etc. etc.).
She knows that I’m working on creating a healthier lifestyle, improving my habits and getting more exercise. And inevitably whenever I have done this (and trust me, there’s been a few times), she will eventually ask what I’m doing and want to do it too. Most recently that was Weight Watchers a few years ago. She joined too and I think she lost about 15 lbs. But she gained it back and now wants to lose it again. And yet in spite of knowing that she’s looking for things that will help her lose weight, I don’t tell her about SP. Instead, I directed her to an iPad app where she could easily track her food and activity but I didn’t invite her to SP. Why is that? Because it’s the only place I feel like I can write about whatever I want, my struggles and feelings about persons, places or things, about my upbringing, about my past and my future, and about her too! This is my space and because I know how critical she can be I feel like she would invade it and I would start censoring myself consciously or unconsciously because I knew she was reading whatever I was writing.
Don’t get me wrong, I do love my mother and as far as mothers go, there’s plenty worse. My mother adores me, she would do anything in the world for me to make me happy. But she also drives me up one side of the wall and down the other. We are completely different people with regard to almost everything – styles, colours, politics, books, movies etc. We don’t have much in common. And no one can get me from 0 to 10 on the anger scale as quickly as my mother. I have so many examples but one recent one is we were looking at the 3 bridesmaid dresses I had worn in previous weddings and talking about the dress I will have to wear in my brother’s wedding in September. I made a joke that I should send him and his fiancé pictures of the dresses and tell them to just pick one so I don’t have to get a new one. Her comment back is ‘well, none of these would fit you now anyway.’ Now first of all – THEY WOULD so how big does she think I am now compared to then?? Second of all – WHAT did she accomplish by noting this? She tore me down for no reason other than to ‘point out a fact’ (which didn’t actually happen to be true). She has this insane habit of making comments like that. I think some of my screwed up conception of what I look like comes directly from my mother’s comments all my life. This is a woman who still says things like ‘well, you know dear, larger girls shouldn’t wear horizontal stripes’. (grrrrrr – I buy striped shirts just to piss her off I think). And I believe she makes these comments because in her own twisted way she’s trying to help. I have talked to her several times about this, more so as I’ve gotten older and had more confidence with her. I’ve pointed out when she makes a remark that was unnecessary. Usually she tells me I’m being too sensitive, sometimes she admits that there was no real reason for her to make the remark except that it entered her head. I’m not innocent – trust me – we all make remarks out loud that were better off just in our head. But she has this sort of twisted view that making them is helping me somehow.
Anyway – I guess this is more of a rant than I first intended. But my point is, I don’t tell her because this is my space to be me. To work through this journey on my own. In this space I don’t want to be censored or chastised for what I think or feel . I want to be able to express it, send it out off my chest and free myself for better things.