I talk about honesty quite a bit. Not really honesty with other people, though that’s probably important as well, but honesty with yourself. Even when it leads you to a dark place that you may not want to go. I’m afraid I haven’t been able to follow my own advice over the past three days. Christmas really fucked me up. As noted previously, my dad and brother were away so I was left visiting my mom for three-ish days. Those days made me realize that I don’t really have a mom. Not a loving version of a mom that we like to imagine. Does my mom love me? I don’t know. I think in some ways, she does. She cares about my wellbeing on a very basic level. Emotionally and mentally, I don’t think she gets it. She will be there when I’m in trouble. If my car breaks down, she’d pay to have it fixed. If someone is being difficult or threatening, she’d do whatever necessary to solve the issue. She did so throughout my childhood. The thing is, she’d do that for pretty much anyone. She plainly hates injustices and will try to do the technically right thing. She works at an elementary school and has spent a fair bit of money our of her own pockets on the not-so-well-off kids. From buying them school supplies they need to buying them gifts for their birthdays. She’s even fostered a kid when there was an issue of abuse.
If you know my mom, you’d say she is a good person because she does undeniably nice things. When other people might lament on the tragedies, she acts. Every year she has a stack of calenders from nonprofits she’s donated to over the last year. Every Christmas, I choose one from the stack and this year was no different. She does good. She helps.
It’s almost as if she has a check list of good and bad. And when something falls easily into the bad category to the point that it’s difficult to argue any other side, she does what she can to improve it.
But moving into the more personal. The more ambiguous and difficult to define parts of life, she is largely absent. If I’m depressed. She won’t acknowledge it. If I’m slightly down. She won’t acknowledge it. She distant and treats relationships almost businesslike. Being her son, it’s difficult to accept. And it sucks when I see those traits in myself. I rebel the best I can, but it takes constant effort of I relapse into a comfortable loneliness. This christmas my friends invited her to join their family and friends get-togethers. She declined every single invitation and didn’t go to her long time friend’s when she was invited. She would rather spend most of Christmas day alone. Which is all good and fine but is revealing when you think about how that type of person is with children. That person doesn’t sound loving and supportive. Not open and caring. Functional more than anything.
I came home from my parent’s feeling pretty bad. I was sick, but I was mostly down. When I left my childhood home the day after Christmas my mom was cleaning and said “see you” when I told her I was about ready to leave. I accept that we aren’t a family that says I love you all the time. I’ve come to terms with that. But it hurt leaving like that. I could have walked over to where she was and given her a hug and said thanks and bye. I’ve done it before and it didn’t change anything. It’s who she is as a person.