Mother, I made it up from the bruise on the floor of this prison.
Mother, I lost it, all of the fear of the Lord I was given.
Mother, forget me, now that the creek drank the cradle you sang to.
Mother, forgive me, I sold your car for the shoes that I gave you.
So may the sunrise bring hope where it once was forgotten;
Sons can be birds taken broken up to the mountain.
- "Upwards Over the Mountain," Iron and Wine (Creek Drank the Cradle)
Sorry for the stream-of-consciousness emotional vomit that is to follow.
What is it about mothers and their ability to destroy their children, single-handedly, without any thought about it?
I forgot to bring back a nice skirt to wear for juries. I wrote it down in my planner, but I didn't check my planner while I was home over the break, who knows why. I guess I just didn't feel like checking it. I guess that's my fault for not worrying about my school work while I was on vacation. I know I should worry about it more. I guess I should.
I called my mother this morning to ask her if she would go look in my closet and see if I had anything to wear. I didn't know why I called. Moms usually have good solutions, answers for their kids when things go wrong. Mom usually helps me out, mails me things. I appreciate that, I am indebted to her for that.
She told me I had some black skirts she could send. I suppose I was a little wishy-washy and difficult, because I didn't know which skirt would be most appropriate, in a bit of a panic, but I didn't think I was being beligerent. (I don't know how to spell that word.)
She asked me why I didn't think of this when I was home, why I didn't get them while I was here, don't I think about these things? The usual. I got a little angry. I shouldn't have raised my voice, but I did.
I told her that I tried my best. I wrote it down in my planner so that I would remember. (She has been telling me for five years "Write things down". I suppose I hoped this would pacify her. It did not.) I just didn't check my planner, I don't know why. But I do try. I am trying.
No, you aren't, she said.
I didn't hear anything after that because I hung up.
I emailed her to apologize for hanging up. I reiterated my prior points. I am hard enough on myself without anyone else adding to it, I said. I could ask someone to take me to the mall this weekend. If it was enough of an inconvenience for her that she felt compelled to lecture me, I would be happy to spare her that and get it myself. (I can get by.)
She emailed me back, and said that she wasn't angry, but that listening to her rant was my penance for her inconvenience.
I am not sure that she realizes what she's doing when she does that. Perhaps she really does believe that I just don't care enough to make an effort about these things. Perhaps she really does believe that when bad things happen, I just expect other people to clean up after me and to float on by.
What do I tell her? That I didn't go to my afternoon classes today because after I started crying in the girl's bathroom, I couldn't stop? That when I left my phone charger in that hotel room, I was so lucky that V was here because otherwise I would have just destroyed myself like I always do? That when I misplaced my folder of music because I had been practicing on Monday, I cried through 30 minutes of my voice lesson on Tuesday? That the last time I lost an ID card, I fought the urge to self-injure all day and didn't take a bath that night because I was truly afraid that I wouldn't be able to keep from drowning myself in the dark?
I wouldn't do this to myself if I could avoid it. I know some of that must seem like an overreaction to most of you, but you have to understand that I have been losing and misplacing things my entire life. I have been deemed irresponsible by more people than I can even begin to say. And everything that I have lost, misplaced, inadvertently kept when I borrowed, haunts me. Those materials I never mailed back to RM, that I didn't vote because I didn't send off for my ballot in time, the $200 in fraternity fees I owe, the $5 in library fees and the $20 I meant to give to Josh yesterday for driving me back to school. The four German tests I have yet to make up, the countless things I've forgotten to study for, every bad grade. Every rehearsal I forgot, every time I was late, every absence because I didn't do my homework.
I don't think she has any idea. I know she has good intentions. She wants me to be reliable. What do I say? "By the way, Mom, my AD/HD makes me suicidal. Thanks for caring."
Or does she just lecture me because it makes her feel better? Because it makes her feel like she's done her job as a mother? Because maybe if she just preaches and prays enough it will repair my dysfunctional brain and she won't be inconvenienced with it any more?
I don't believe that she would be that selfish.
V handles it all so well. He tells me it's okay, he starts looking for solutions, he provides comfort and forgiveness, he tries not to let me suffer needlessly. He assures me that we will find answers.
I wish I could just go to him and have things taken care of. To be taken care of myself. So that I am not indebted to my mother for all the times she has begrudgingly taken it upon herself to 'bail me out'.
Even though I don't need bailing out, because I haven't done anything wrong.
I know that even if V and I get married and I work through grad school and don't go back to my mother during times like this, I will still be in her debt. She gave me my life. She nearly died when I was born, she fought to keep me living. She's kept me in clothes, food, shelter, and care all my life. I am grateful for all that she has done, but right now I am angry that I will never be able to shake the power she has over me, because I will always feel that I owe her something for all that she's given me.
That, I guess, is why mothers are so good at being destructive. I bet the pup don't even dare to complain when dogs eat their young.