Assumptions, My Mother, My Friend, and Me

My (partial) email to my friend:
My mothers last less than brilliant idea is that she move down here and live with me. While this would solve financial problems, it would create a whole new set of probably worse problems. And I ended up telling her–after she made some insulting comments–that I’d rather live on the streets in the truck with the cats than with her.

My friend’s response:
I have learned that others can see my character when I think I have it well concealed, especially children. But truthfully now, do you suppose your quick and angry responses are betraying something in your character that potential employers/friends/others can see? That’s a rhetorical question.

I can’t tell you how many times I have written very honest letters or responses, mailed them, and regretted it. Email makes it too easy to just hit the return and it’s gone out there! The feel-good doesn’t last as long as the consequences.

Rhetorical or not, my friend made a lot of incorrect assumptions when making those rather insulting comments.

I have a serious issue with the comment in the above email about my ‘quick and angry responses’ being the reason I am not getting a job; I would dearly love to understand my friends reasoning that it is MY fault that I am not getting a job because of ‘my quick and angry responses.’

How in the name of all that’s holy does an employer get a ‘quick and angry response’ when all they receive from me (usually but not always online) is an application, resume, cover letter, supplemental documents, or any combination of the aforementioned?

Has my friend ever interviewed me?

Does she have a clue how I present myself to an employer?

The answers to those ‘rhetorical’ questions is NO and NO.

And this is a woman who up until yesterday repeatedly praised my ability to find jobs easily.

What changed in one day, other than HER attitude?

The reason I am not finding a job is the economy, pure and simple.

My mother says that Bend, Oregon was always (and I quote) ‘a crappy place to try to find a job even when the economy was good.’

My mother was born and raised in Bend, and lived here until 1975. I think her take on the situation is much more realistic than my friend’s inaccurate and not very nice comments.

But THIS blog post is going to be mostly about my mother and her long-standing history of insulting, belittling, demeaning, and otherwise emotionally/verbally abusing me for at least the last 35 years.

The facts of the matter are that my mother made the *insulting comments* 1) before I said anything and 2) when she already knew I was grumpy because she woke me up (after all it was 10:30 pm on a Sunday night and I knew I needed to go to the Deschutes County Tax Assessors office early on Monday to discuss my back taxes.)

And if the *insulting comments* had been a one-off I could possibly have ignored them or at the least considered the source.

However, my mother has made a habit for at least the last 35 years (if not longer) of continually belittling, demeaning, insulting, and verbally/emotionally abusing me. That history is going to play into my responses to her no matter how much I might wish that it did not

The high points (or low points, whichever you prefer) of years of emotional and verbal abuse are:

When I was very very young (3-5 years old) my mother told me that she had seriously considered aborting me.

Telling a child that you considered killing them before they were born is not a way to make that child feel loved and secure, but it is very clearly telling them they were NOT wanted.

When called on this years later she said “I only told you so you would know if you got pregnant out of wedlock–which she did but thats another issue–that you have options”

Well even if this was true, there are options other than abortion (adoption for example) that my mother never ever mentioned.

And give me a break: A 3-5 year old female child is NOT going to get pregnant in or out of wedlock, its a physical impossibility for most normal female children since they aren’t capable of ovulating at that age.

The comment was ABUSIVE pure and simple, and was fully intended to make me feel insecure and unloved. IT WORKED!!

An unplanned child can still be wanted and loved.

However, it was always painfully clear to me and everyone else that I was NOT wanted by my mother; she felt trapped from the moment she figured out she was pregnant, and that is the way it is!

When I was 30 years old I found out that her considering aborting me was common knowledge in my extended family (ie my third cousin–her second cousin–who she had never been emotionally or geographically close to actually KNEW!!); this tells me again that it had been seriously considered and mentioned to others.

My mother gave me to my grandparents for 6 weeks when I was 3 weeks old.

She wanted my babysitter to adopt me.

She returned me to my grandparents house when I was in 7th and 8th grades knowing full well–because I had actually TOLD her–that my grandfather (her father) was sexually abusing me (of course, she always blamed ME for the sexual abuse too) and yes the sexual abuse continued.

She no more wanted to take responsibility for me than she wanted to flap her arms and fly to the moon.

When my father died 2 1/2 years ago (in December 2007), my mother said ‘you should have bargain-shopped for his cremation.’

Yes, lets ignore the dead man’s last –and very specific–wishes (expressed repeatedly to me, not her) in favor of the opinion of someone who’d been divorced from him since 1974 (33 years before he died–for those who are keeping track) and who had NO input into his cremation or memorial service.

When I started this blog back in October 2009, this was her comment:

She very rudely said to me “Who is interested in what you have to say?”

Its very clear exactly WHO is NOT interested in anything I have to say, isn’t it?

When I tried to explain blogging to her she repeatedly and rudely interrupted me to the point I gave up.

This is a pattern with her, anything that I am doing (blogging, being on the computer, reading books that she doesn’t like, doing crafts, even eating food that she doesn’t like or hasn’t heard of, etc) is automatically dismissed and often in a very rude manner.

I’ve gotten to the point that I don’t even tell her about new hobbies or interests as nobody wants to be made fun of, demeaned, belittled, insulted, or verbally/emotionally abused about every single thing they do.

In April 2010, she called the cops here in Bend on me because I wasn’t answering my phone or returning her phone calls. Not only that, she gave my cell phone number to the police as well as to a friend here in Bend, without my permission.

My mother has violated every confidence I’ve told her in the last 30 years, and when called on it her response is “you have no right to tell me what to discuss with your father, grandmother, cousins, etc” Perhaps not, but I do think I have the right to expect that when she agrees to not tell someone something that she will abide by the agreement.

In addition, she discusses me with her friends and other family members, usually painting me in the worst possible light. Some of her friends are past masters of inappropriate behavior too, to the point of nagging me about how I treat my mother in a sympathy card sent to me when my father died.

Also this is a woman who has a serious problem with the fact that I email a cousin in the same town where she lives, she assumes we discuss her (that is mostly true) and considers it a violation of her privacy.

Well, well, well, hasn’t she done the same thing for 30 years or more?. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, stop violating MY confidences left right and center–and I might consider not emailing my cousin and talking about YOU!!

In addition she says one thing to me and other things to my cousin.

She told me that my cousin had her admitted to the local looney bin (which is where she belongs most of the time if you ask me).

When I asked my cousin about this admission to the looney bin she said of course I didn’t–I don’t have the legal right to admit your mother anywhere even if it was needed.

It turns out my mother had gotten furious at my cousin and taken the power of attorney/medical power of attorney away from her.

When my cousin asked my mother why she’d said that, my mother totally denied ever making the comment.

The woman twists the truth to serve her own purposes, and if she can’t twist it enough, she makes things up out of the whole cloth. She’s done that for at least the last 50 years so it is NOT a function of old age. Its a function of a manipulative mind which she inherited from HER mother.

For all of my childhood and adolescence my mother destroyed my clothes, posters, and other personal belongings in fits of rage.

She still has a strong tendency to put NO value on my belongings (normally calls them junk and says they should be thrown away) and overestimate the importance and/or value of HER belongings.

The wisdom according to my mother is that I am responsible for her physical and emotional ills. The reason she has a skin condition is because of her stress over my situation. The reason her hair is falling out is again because of her stress over my situation. The reasons for her depression (even though she’s been clinically depressed for most of her adult life) are because I treat her badly, ignore her, etc.

Lets just ignore the fact that she’s 81 years old, has Type 2 diabetes, has high cholesterol, has been clinically depressed since she was in late teens (first diagnosis of depression was at age 19, 11 full years plus before I was born when she was nearly 31), has had various ailments since she was 19 years old, has been diagnosed as neurotic, has had repeated UTIs, was addicted to valium for close to 20 years–none of that is of any importance since everything is MY fault.

And lets not even talk about 13 years of physical abuse, bruises from mid back to mid knees due to being beaten with a metal pancake turner (among other things), hair pulling, scratching, slapping to the point of leaving bruises, breaking glass bottles over my head, etc.

But its my ‘quick and angry responses’ that created all these situations? I DON’T THINK SO!!

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  • Snoopy says:

    Oh my dear, I feel for you 🙁
    Sadly, this post of yours makes one treasure good family relationships and be grateful for it. All those disputes one has suddenly appear tiny in comparison.

    Sending you a hug!

  • Coupon Queen says:

    I came across your blog in a PTR and LOVE it. Your a great writer, don’t listen to what your mom says. I grew up with a mom who was similar, she was verbally abusive and an alcoholic, although thankfully she never was physically abusive. I adored my dad but he was a workaholic so he didn’t have to deal with the situation, so it was all up to me to take care of. Your mom sounds like she may also be bi-polar as well as depressed. I am just guessing, but she seems to say what ever is on her mind just, like mine did, it can be very hard!! Even with my mom gone for over 2 years I just had a dream of her telling me I was a waste of oxygen. I am so glad you can write about it and hopefully it helps. I am looking forward to following your blog adventures.

  • Such a well written post.. Thx for sharing this post!


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