Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I can honestly say my childhood was not the best, but neither was it horrible. I have never been quiet about the relationship between my Mother and me. Its not a fact I have kept hidden, yet it is also a fact sometimes I just dont talk much of. I didnt have the relationship with my mother that most children have with thiers. My Mother and I have never really been terribly close. Mother never really liked me too much. I do believe she loved me, but just didnt like me. I can sit and reflect on my childhood, and see that I wasnt the perfect child. I was a tattle tale, everything my brothers did, I always told on them. I think the main reason Iwas hoping they would get in trouble, but they never did. Mother always favored my brothers and my sister, except for my youngest brother. Everytime I would tattle tell on them, Mother would yell at me.

I got to a point, where I just quit telling. Steve, my oldest brother, would always play mean tricks on me, and Kelly, my sister, would always try and defend me. Steve would hide in the trees, and when I walked outside through the yard, I would get stung by BB's from his BB gun.
One night when I was a child, I was so tired and sleepy, I crawled in the bed, and settled under the warm covers. Something was squirming in the bed with me. I jumped up to turn on the light, pulled the covers back, and saw a big black king snake slithering around in my bed. Steve had planned it all day. He kept the snake hidden, and when he learned I was going to bed that night, he snuck in my room and put the snake in my bed moments before I climbed in. Mama thought it was funny, she laughed and laughed then told Steve to put the snake outside. As I stood cradled in Kelly's arms, Mama told me to pull myself together and dry my tears. There were so many more incidents, but I will save them all for another time.

I had the firey red-head attitude when I was a kid, I always spoke what was on my mind, and I had a very smart mouth. Everytime I would smart off to Mama, I would feel the sting of her famous back hands across the cheek. The little back hands were when she was in a good mood, if she was in a bad mood, it would be a nice slap to the mouth, or across my face. I knew each and everytime I smarted off what would happen, I guess I became immune to it, yet it just wasnt enough to shut me up. I always wondered, why me? Steve and Bobby and even Kelly at times would smart off, and never get the famous back hand. I remember Steve calling my Mother a bitch right to her face when he was about 16. Sadly, I actually smiled at this, just knowing for the first time in his life Steve would get back handed or slapped. To my surprise, Mother turned on me and slapped me and said "wipe that god damn smile off your face Haley" I think at that moment that was my turning point. From that time on, I never really had much to say to my Mother. I would just deal with her, live in her house, go to school, hang with my friends, but I wouldnt ever say anything to my mother. I would bite my lip, and the first chance I got, I would leave.

A couple years later, Kelly was leaving to go to college. I cried and cried. I would be left alone with Mama, Steve and Bobby. Bobby wasnt as much of a problem as Steve was, but Steve had that brotherly influence over Bobby. Lonnie my younger brother wasnt even born yet. I was 14 years old. Kelly hugged me goodbye before she got in her car and whispered some sisterly advice ''never let her see you cry, it shows her your weakness. Bite your tongue, and keep your mouth closed" Then she got in her car and left for college. I ran in the house and climbed in my bed, sobbing. It was only a few days later, that somehow Mother and I got into it. I smarted off, and she swung at me. I could have been all dramatic and caught her hand, but like always I just stood there, and took it. I looked at her after she had slapped me and said "No more mama, no more, thats the last time you will ever hit me" I turned to walk off. She grabbed me by my arm and tried pulling me back screaming "Im not finished with you Haley, you do not walk away from me" I snatched my arm back and said through clenched teeth "watch me" and I walked upstairs to my room and slammed the door shut and locked it. About an hour later, when I felt it was safe to step outside of my locked door, I called my grandfather, and asked would he come get me..forever! It was then I went to live with my grandparents till I married.
16 years later after a failed marriage, i walked back inside my grandparents home and said "im home" and fell into my grandmothers arms. Yes, my home was my grandparents, its where I felt the most love, the most welcome, where I felt home. Today both my grandparents are dead, and I still live in the same home.

When I had my near fatal accident, Mother and I talked alot. We came to terms about our differences. I realized that my Mother did love me, but there was really no real reasons for her dislike of me. As I laid in the hospital Mother told me how much she really loved me, and she apologized for the past.

Back in early spring, Mother had a stroke. This was a shocker to me. I was scared. I remember many times wishing she was dead, but this time, I was wishing she would live. I held her hand, I told her I loved her, and that we would get through it, just as she said to me after my accident.
I put the past behind me, and I was there for my mother. Why? Despite the past, she was my mother, and I loved her.

In my other blog, I wrote about Mother's Day between my Mother and Me. Since that day, we have become a little closer. We do not reflect on the past, we do not really speak of her past actions, or the harsh things she has said to me in the past. We started a new relationship, forgetting the past, but not only forgetting, but Forgiving!! But, honestly the past is still there, its not truly forgotten, but it has been forgiven. yet, i have learned to look past it.

Mother has been married several times. Kelly and Steve have a different father. Bobby and I shared the same father but he died when we both were very young, and Lonnie has a different father. Not long after Lonnie was born 22 years ago, Mama married another man, that wasnt Lonnies father. She has been married to this same man all these years. I think my siblings and I were always grateful she found someone to stay married to, but none of us really cared too much for him. Hes very uptight, way too serious about everything, very money driven, yet he made my mother a very rich woman. My siblings and I have always joked Mama has stayed with him because of the money.

Thursday morning last week, Mama called wanting me to have brunch with her on Friday morning, she had something to discuss with me. Friday morning after our brunch, mother looked at me and said "Im leaving Al, I found out he has been having an affair, so im leaving him, and I plan on taking everything he has."
This came as a shock to me actually. But my main question was "Mama, why did you chose to tell me, to call on me, not kelly or steve?"
Her reply "Because Im hurt Haley, Im devestated. This has really hurt me. I dont know how to handle this, and youve been through this. Youve been through so much, You are the strongest person I know, and I need a good solid rock right now." Tears fell down her cheeks. My mother never cries! I knew then she had truly been hurt.

I have spent numerous hours on the phone with my Mother since Friday, listening to her plans, listening to her speak her words of pain, and listening to all the tricks she had up her sleeve. She confided in me and told me that he had told her he was pissed she survived the stroke. It would have been much easier for him to live his life with the mistress than actually having to face my mothers wrath once she found out, but mother, being strong, did survive, and was doing so well.
My brothers, my sister, and I pulled together, and have supported Mother in her decision, and all of us have been there for her, these last few days.

1am monday, I got a call...mother was in the hospital she had another stroke. I called my siblings, I left Lonnie here at the house with the girls, and we all left to be by my mothers side at the hospital in South Carolina. It was another small stroke, but a stroke just the same. The doctors feel comfortable with her going home tomorrow. This morning, she told my siblings and I "the first stroke, I found out about his affair, I just didnt tell yall, I thought we could work our differences out. last week, I learned he was still seeing her"
Despite my siblings and I not really liking mother's husband, I realized how much love my mother had for this man. He has hurt her beyond a simple broken heart, he has hurt her
to the soul, so much pain that has caused 2 strokes.

As I sit here in this hospital room, watching my mother sleep, I realize how much I do love my mother. I see a strong woman, a woman who has endured way too much and overcome it all. I see a woman who has had many failures, yet boucned back 10 times stronger. I see a woman who loved a man with all the love she had and willing to fight for that love, but her body is just not strong enough for the fight. Is this a love worth dying for?? Hell no!
The doctor said she will be fine. They are going to start her on different blood pressure meds, give her some antidepressant med, and something for her nerves as she goes through this
god awful time in her life.

Today I confess....no love is worth this dying for.



Nevine said...

This is a very personal and touching relationship exchange you have shared. Mother-daughter relationships can be extremely tricky and trying. It's good to know you and your mother have looked beyond your differences and that you can now see that despite what has happened or what may happen, you will always love your mother. Thank you for sharing!


TOM N said...

You always impress me with the very deep and introspective way you interact with your family. When I read your blog it makes me realize how shallow my own interactions are with my closest relatives. Continued success with your astounding recovery and good luck to your Mom as she regains her footing after this traumatic infidelity and medical condition.
Best regards,
Tom N

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