Tara's Working Mom's Journal Journal

Entry 14 - June 17, 2008
~ Heartbreaking Facts

I'm not really sure where to begin on this entry, but it's been on my mind for some time. It's something that I've written about in great detail in my journals and I've talked about with close friends and family, but it's a subject that pains me to even think about.

It's my relationship with my mother.

You see, she's never been the "nurturing" type - not that it's a fault, mind you, but it's just the type of person she is. Her approach was more of the "pick yourself up and just deal with it" instead of the "huggy" type or "let's find a way to make you feel better" approach.

It's something that's been on my mind for a while, especially closer to Mother's Day this year. However, a situation has come about in recent days that has made me look long and hard at this relationship . . . and also confront some very painful parts of my past . . . parts that I don't like to think about, let alone acknowledge. It's also brought me to a point where a decision needs to be made.

The situation itself involved some nasty emails that were sent to me from my ex-in laws, which included some very hurtful, nasty and awful statements about me, my character, even the type of mother that I am. It was a clear cut case of harassment -- but it was also pretty clear that they were completely out of line. When I informed my mom of this (which included forwarding the emails to her), she took me by surprise by her reaction. When I later talked with her, I was alarmed that she didn't even acknowledge how awful those emails were . . . that just made the situation worse.

I don't even know how to describe how much it hurt me. I can't cry any more about it, but the ache in my heart is still there . . . but so is my resolve to stay strong and to not allow anyone -- including my ex-in laws -- to attack me in this manner. Let's just say on that note (the ex-in laws actions) have led to me doing a bit of "legwork" . . . and I'll leave it at that.

I guess the reaction shouldn't have surprised me. There have been a number of incidents in the past where I had wanted -- or at least expected -- my mother's support and didn't receive it. When I was stressing out in college, and I just needed a bit of a "hang in there" message, I didn't get it. I did get it, however, from my father, but I also really needed to hear it from my mother. During my first job in radio, I was sexually harassed on the air and could have used her support (my mother had a similar situation years ago when she was still working), but again, I didn't get it. I just learned to look elsewhere, but that didn't change the fact that I needed that support. I wanted it so badly, and was left without it. During a dinner while the family was on vacation, she said some very hurtful, snide remarks to me . . . remarks that led me to say NO MORE to any future family vacations.

That's not to say that she hasn't been there for me. Prior to and during my divorce, at my daughter's birth, when a girl was bothering me in middle school, and when I got sick in college and had to come home for a bit -- yes, she was there. I'm just not sure what to think right now.

She is under the impression that this is just one of our "disagreements," that we had a difference of opinion. While she may have disagreed with my course of action in putting an end to the harassing emails, she could have still said something along the lines of "I think those emails were awful and hurtful and I'm sorry they sent them to you." Nothing of the sort.

Over the years, I have looked within myself and at times beat myself up, wondering and questioning whether it was something that I did (or didn't do) to make her act this way toward me when I really needed a mom . . . when I needed someone to support me emotionally. I thought about her background and the hard life she had as a young girl without a mother at a tender age, her divorce from my dad, anything that might explain why she would be this way toward me. I couldn't -- and still can't -- come up with anything conclusive that made me say, "aha ! Now this makes sense." But that hasn't happened.

After you bang your head too many times on a brick wall, you stop because it hurts too much. You learn it doesn't get you anywhere. Too many chances are given to make amends, and both sides are all right for a while. But then it just goes back to the way it was before. Nothing ever changes. Too many times your heart is broken and the tears fall . . . and the person who could change things -- who could make it better but instead makes it worse -- and who is causing the pain just doesn't care.

I'm done. I can't do this anymore.

I also want to do everything in my power to ensure I don't do **anything** to make my kids feel the way that I feel. I want them to know that they can always come to me -- whatever the problem -- and that I'll always be there for them -- period. I am trying to be the type of mom that *I* wanted . . . one that doesn't play games with your emotions and one that empowers their children to be the best they can be . . . but also accepts them for the amazing individuals they are. I realize it's not an easy task, but all I can do is take it one day at a time . . . and continue to pray . . . a lot.


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