My Mother and I

My mother arrived yesterday for a visit.  A two and a half week visit.  It wasn’t supposed to be this long.  It wasn’t even supposed to be her visiting.  I’m ready to pull my hair out already.

We really only started getting along last year and even so, I’ve only been able to handle her in small-ish doses.  I don’t know how this is going to go.

She just asks too many questions.  All about my soon to be ex and our relationship.  I’m done talking about him.  I’m tired of talking about him.  It just brings up all these feelings and I don’t want to feel them.  And I immediately start thinking of ways not to feel anything.

I really want to binge and purge.  I feel like I’ve eaten too much yesterday and today and I should take laxatives tonight and make sure to restrict the rest of the evening and tomorrow.  I just want everything out.

I want it all out.

I can’t stand being in my skin anymore.  I can’t stand my thoughts anymore.

I just want out.


It’s My Responibility

Me: I want to do something irresponsible and crazy, just once.

Husband: Why? You’re always so responsible.

Yeah.  Exactly my point.  I’ve always been the responsible one.  I just want one day off.  I want to do something without thinking about the consequences.  Just one time.

And something about this really struck a chord in therapy yesterday.  The only reason I can tell is because I started planning my binge (and subsequent purge) the minute I left her office.  Well, that and the fact that I’m starting to tear up and get anxious now.

When I was in sixth grade, my class went to science camp.  I liked science (still do), but I was anxious about being away from my family for a week.  I had never been away from all of them for that long.  Neither had a lot of kids in my class.  As we were getting ready to board the bus, I remember hearing a friends mom say, “I’m so glad your daughter is going because she’s always so responsible.”  Then my parents repeated the comment after I got back.  Yeah, well… hmph.

As an even younger child, I knew which parent to go to when I needed something.  I’ve always known that if I got to my dad first and alone, I could usually get what I needed.  Now, I’m not talking about toys, or anything materialistic.  Just other things that I needed–a break, change of scenery, specific attention, etc.  I knew if I got him on my side, we had a fighting chance against my mom.  It was hard for her rationale to go up against the both of us.

  • I got out of a bad middle school situation.
  • I got to switch high schools.
  • I was able to pursue my passion.
  • I moved across the country.
  • My anxiety isn’t hidden.

All because I went to my dad first.  But even then, I carefully chose my words and what exactly I  could reveal to him.  I didn’t want him to worry too much or be too rash.  Or too proud.  But there are things I haven’t told my dad.  I hid things that I thought were too “scary.”  And I don’t think I ever will tell him.  It’s not that I don’t think he wouldn’t believe me, but I have a huge amount of guilt and shame surrounding these issues and they’re hard to talk about it the first place.  When my grandfather (his dad) passed away, he told me I was the only thing to bring happiness into the household.  I don’t want that responsibility.  I don’t want that pressure.

I understand logically that I’m not responsible for others’ feelings, but I can’t help but feel that I am.  Up to a point.  But even that point is a variable of each situation.

While my husband was out of work, he made me financially responsible for our household.  He said he wasn’t going to, but he did.  I didn’t want that responsibility, but I got it.  Go me!

If no one else is going to be responsible enough to do it, then give it to me.  I’ll do it.

Renfrew isn’t the greatest eating disorder treatment program.  It’s not the worst.  It just is the one my insurance would cover.  I have a very intricate relationship with the ‘frew.  I’ve done the evening program and the day program at various times.  Most haven’t ended well.  And I’m still struggling.  My therapist believes this is because ‘frew and I aren’t a good fit and there are better programs out there.

I feel like I constantly hear, from professionals and those with eating disorders, that I can only get out of treatment what I put into it.  I understand that, but what if I’m giving it my all, but it’s not enough?  Then what?  Is it still my fault?  Is it my fault at all?  I definitely feel like it is.

Oh, I didn’t ask for what I needed?  Well, I didn’t ask because I’m not too sure what it is that I need.  And although I may have read so many books on eating disorders, you are the professional and specific program that is supposed to help me figure that out.  But remember that one time when I did speak up and did and said what I needed to?  Then you asked me to leave.  So just as long as I’m asking/giving the “right” things, then I’m doing better in recovery.  Did you ever stop to think that maybe I’ve always said and done the “right” things and now I need to do the opposite?  No?  Why not?  Because you can’t cater specifically to one person?  Hmmm…  Your website says you offer individualized treatment…

I obviously didn’t try hard enough.  I got myself into this mess, so I should be able to get myself out.

I am responsible for my feelings and my actions.

End of story.

And I want to do something irresponsible.

Mother’s Day

I’m lucky.  I have three mothers.

  1. My grandmother.  She helped raise me and was there for me.  She taught me basic math and how to nourish my body.  She taught me how to love.
  2. My adoptive mother.  Even though we fight and don’t always get along, I know she’s doing the best she can with what she has.  I know she loves me.
  3. My birth mother.  This woman made (what I see as) the ultimate sacrifice because she knew she couldn’t provide for me.

I know very little of my birth mother.  I know her name, that I’m the youngest of 7 (at the time), and the circumstances in her home probably weren’t good.  I have often wondered how a mother can make such a decision.  It must take such strength to be that unselfish and I am so incredibly grateful.  I may have had ups and downs (and who doesn’t?), but on the whole, I’ve had an amazing life with wonderful experiences.  I am where/who I am today, partially because of her.

Not only did my parents want a child, but, honestly, I was probably brought into the picture to save my parents’ marriage.  I’m okay with that.  My mother was willing to have a child that was not of her flesh or blood and love and raise it as her own.  There is something beautiful in that.  She was/is so willing.  And that’s beautiful.  She taught me a family isn’t always about the bloodlines, and often times, it has nothing to do with it.

I truly feel that my grandmother is my saving grace.  I know of unconditional love because of her.  I know how to do things passionately because of her.  I know how to speak Spanish and make a kick ass ceviche because of her.  She is beautiful.

I give thanks for each of these women.  And the women who came before them.  I am stronger and wiser because of you.

To anyone who is a mother, or who has taken on the role, Happy Mother’s Day!

Nothing Like A Mother

I don’t like Mother’s Day.  I understand that I’m lucky.  My mother is still alive.  And in all honesty, she was probably the driving force behind getting me.  However, that still doesn’t change the fact that she was never like a mother to me.  I’ve said many a times that my mother wanted a baby, but not a daughter.  She didn’t want me to have opinions, thought, or a personality of my own.  I think her thought was very much: Children should be seen and not heard.

Over the years, I’ve come to the realization that she did and is doing the best she can with what she was given.  My mom’s parents were/are awful.  They were racist and hateful.  Mainly to me and my dad.  Just because we are Hispanic and I’m adopted.  They weren’t nice.  And they didn’t even try hide it.

It really influenced how my mom treated me when we were with them.  It wasn’t nice either.  And I tried to tell her how she and her parents were acting, but she didn’t believe me.  I tried to tell her that I didn’t like going to visit them with her, but she never heard me.  Still doesn’t.  But I think everything I’ve said is finally starting to sink in when her mom didn’t want to come to my wedding.  The only one on that side of the family.  Yeah.  That made me feel real special.  A couple of years ago, I got a different haircut.  I went to go pick up my mom at the airport and she didn’t recognize me.  She still has to ask if I like certain foods or colors.  She just never really understood me.

On the other hand, my grandmother is the light of my life.  She’s my dad’s mom and treated me like her own.  She loved and listened to me.  She knows when I’m hurting.  I love her so much.  And as I’ve said for many years now, she is my mother.  I love her so.

Which now brings me to Mother’s Day.  I always have the hardest time finding the right card for my mom and grandmother.  Well, finding the right card for my grandmother is easy.  I just can’t send it to her.  Otherwise my mom will get jealous.  And the cards that just say “Happy Mother’s Day,” are few and far between.  I can’t get the gift I really want to get for my grandmother either.  Even though I’m an adult, it’s just so much easier to keep the peace.