May 08, 2004

Happy Mother's Day

Snapshots In My Time, Of My Time.....Hauntings.

Freshman year of high school..1975

It was my first year of high school and a friend of mine in school helped me get my first job. There were about 4 of us who worked at our first jobs together. We worked during the summer for the county making lunches for the free lunch program. Back then we would get to work about 7am and work on an assembly line making sandwiches and putting together boxed lunches. The lunches were packed on trucks and then distributed to area programs and neighborhoods when children were in need.

When the summer was over, a few of us were offered jobs at the local university hospital who helped to sponsor the free lunch program during the summer. We worked in the student union cafeteria clearing the tables and loading the dishwasher. I did save a little money. For the very first time I was able to actually buy a card or gift on my own for a member of my family on a special day like a birthday or holiday.

My mom, as long as I have been alive has had some sort of mental health issue. Anger issues, paranoia, emotional issues (several nervous breakdowns), the inability to get along with anyone and always thinking everything was personally against her. Needless to say our household was chaotic behind closed doors. To the community we looked like the perfect family--or almost the perfect family. She was very cruel and abusive to me most of my life. Holidays were especially bad for me. Mother's day that year was no exception.

I was the good child. I had to be. I had to do what ever I had to to survive. I realized something was wrong with my mother at an early age and that is the only thing that saved my life. I lived in survival mode 24 hours a day. Well, that Mother's Day I had money to spend. I was excited. I was going to do something wonderful for my mother in hopes that just one day...that one day...I would get some glimmer of hope that I was loved by someone in the world--my mother. I got a beautiful card and it was beautiful. The front had a little girl on it and inside the words said something to effect of how appreciative I was of all the things she did for me as a mother and that I just wanted to be her little girl. I was desperate go get any sort of warmth from her. I also ordered a dozen roses. I had arranged for the flowers to be delived on Saturday. I was so very excited. As far as I could remember she had never gotten any sort of flowers--not even from my father.

I was quivering with excitement all Saturday morning and by noon my flowers had not arrived. I called the florist to check. They had a lot of deliveries that day but I was still scheduled. Around 2pm the door bell rang. I stayed in my room and let my mother answer the door. It was the florist! I would be the favorite child now--or at least for the day. My mom got flowers and the card and took them to the living room. I still did not tell her they were from me. She would have to read the card to find that out. My father, brother and I all went to the living room to look at those beautiful red roses.

She read the card and looked at the flowers. She said they were pretty. She left them on the living room table and went to the kitchen. Well, there was nothing I expected. Where was my, "thank you?", my hug and a kiss and a compliment for such a beautiful bunch of roses? The ooh's and aah's over the beautiful card? They never came. I was hurt and decided I would wait a little while and ask her about them myself. Maybe she was overwhelmed. (A child has to have some hope. Even with years of abuse we still want that approval from the abuser.)

The crushing blow came a few minutes later and I did not even have to go ask her about the gift. She came to me. My mother had the card in her hand and she told me she did not want it. She said that I did not appreciate her and that she did not want that card from me as what was in the card was not true. Well, I knew that was not the case. I was the good child. I did every insane, crazy thing she commanded. I obeyed all the rules of the house that bordered on insanity. I had to. The consequences were swift and severe if I did not. There were many whipping extension cords around the house and she used them with frequency for any thing real or imagined. I could tell she was getting worked up so i did not say anything.

She then began on the flowers. She said she hated them and hated flowers and hated flowers that came from me. She said flowers reminder her of death and she did not want them. I did at that time speak up for the flowers defense. I told my mother that roses were flowers for love and caring, not death. Lillies and carnations were what were normally used at funerals. She did not care. My flowers remimder her of death and she hated them. I was totally spiritually and emotionally crushed. My roses were not wanted and she did not even bother to water them. I was afraid to water them or go near them for fear of what could happen. My hard earned money was gone. My beautiful roses died an early death with no one watering them. Soon they disappeared from the living room. I looked at those roses everyday they were there wanting to water them. To keep them alive for me. As they died, I died a little more inside.

Well, after that, for many years all my mother got on mothers day if anything at all, was a basic card. No sentiment, no elaborate cards, sometimes blank cards. Just the simple words-Happy Mother's Day with my name at the bottom. I was still following the rules. I got no more complaints-ever.

After I was able to leave home and leave the state for many years I did happen to visit one Mother's Day. I still had my simple card. My mother had gotten roses from my brother. She made the comment that he always sends her roses for Mother's Day since he left home. His, she apprenently did not throw away. I gave her my simple card and left.


Happy Mother's Day


Post a Comment