xlovebecomesher: (Far Apart)
[personal profile] xlovebecomesher
My coworker and good friend, Theresa, expressed to me today that she doesn't understand why her daughter and her don't get along.  Her daughter, from what I understand, has put her through hell and back since she was a teenager and now at 31, they have a rocky relationship. She asked me despite me being the same age as her daughter, where did she go wrong as a mom? I couldn't begin to answer for several reasons:

a) I think Theresa is an amazing woman and her daughter should be thankful she has such a wonderful mom (or at the very least, the envious person in me who misses my mom dearly, she should be grateful that her mom is alive).
b) I have no idea what her daughter has gone through to make her so cold towards her mom and I've only met her daughter in passing once so it's not something I can ask.
c) I can't relate because my own relationship with my mom was the complete opposite to the point now that my mother has been gone for 3 months, at 31 years old, I'm working on learning who I am without her.

My mom and I were inseperable. My mom raised me pretty much single-handedly from the time I was 5 with minimal help from my dad. I knew I was my mom's world; my mom was my world. Her friends knew wherever she went, I went too. From sitting at my mom's friends' houses late at night reading, coloring, playing my hand-held Little Mermaid game, or if we were at one of my mom's friends who had children my age, I'd be running around playing with them, to late night dinners at restaurants, or weekend trips to Atlantic City, my mom took me everywhere.

If my mom didn't take me somewhere, the nights she wanted to go out with just her friends and I'd have sleepovers with my Bubby, there was always phone calls. Even in the days before cellphones, my mom would always make sure she knew where a payphone was to call me and check in with me. She knew I would worry and sit by the phone if I didn't hear from her when she said she'd call. I remember being six years old and huddling in my grandmother's old brown recliner waiting for the phone to ring. Her friends would laugh at her - "Luba, you know she's at your mother's house, why are you so worried? Why are you calling?" She didn't care; she called no matter what.

The two of us would spend weekends going to lunch with my grandmother, shopping, getting our nails done, spending time together (we played a lot of card games and board games especially Trouble), doing things with friends, watching TV, reading (my mom is the reason I am a romance novel addict). This stayed the same throughout my life.

I don't think I ever truly was rebellious. Did I do stupid things? Sure. What child/teenager doesn't? What child doesn't frustrate their parent?

One time my friend came over and we came up with the bright idea of lighting paper towels and throwing it off my 11th floor balcony just to see what happens. Let's not talk the number of times I've thrown ice cubes off the balcony just to see what happens or pushed all the buttons on the elevator (and I lived in a 14 story building) for the hell of it (I have some funny stories of that). I'd like to forget my one and only foray into vandalism where the same friend of paper towel fame came over and we wrote all over the walls in the stairwell of my apartment building.

My mother was frustrated with me in my lack of understanding of math (I didn't understand percentages until I was an adult) and she would have to call her friend to tutor me because I would drive her to tears when she'd help me with math homework. It would drive her nuts how messy I was with my things all over my room and how many times I've lost things throughout the year. I'm still in mourning for the Dick Tracy umbrella I lost when I was 6!

Rebellious though - not so much. I didn't drink, do drugs, smoke, have sex, party. Things teenagers do to rebel.

The worst I did was skip 5th period every now and then so I could go to other lunch period and hang out with friends that I didn't see during my lunch period. I didn't even dye my hair crazy colors or go all out with piercings (as much as I thought about how cool it would be)!

Which is strange when I could have easily become rebellious. My parents were seperated, my dad was in and out of jail. My aunt even assumed that I would just simply turn out like my dad.

"The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Watch out for her" She informed my mother haughtily.

Don't get me wrong, my mom and I fought. We weren't perfect. We yelled, we screamed. My mom could yell like no other. She would scream at me and I wanted to crawl out of my own skin. Little things could set her off like misplacing her things (we've fought numerous times over how many times I have not put her tweezers back where they belonged). She would then turn to the silent treatment to the point where I would write her letters apologizing for everything and anything, begging her to speak to me again. I think I still have some of those letters.

At the end of the day though, I knew my mom was there for me, loved me, and would give me the world if she could. I would never have let down my mom. Not if I could help it. My mom was my best friend and as she told me despite having her closest friends, I was hers.

In college, I moved to Baltimore, 45 minutes away from home. I loved the freedom that living on campus gave me, the friends I met (including my now husband), the adventures I had. Despite the distance, my mom and I would talk on the phone several times a day even if was just to say "hi, I love you" or "Lilah tov (good night)." I would go home every other weekend or my mom would drive up to Baltimore with her friends just to take me out to lunch or dinner. My friends all knew about my relationship with my mom (some even thought of her as a second mom) and they would tell me they wish they could have the same with their moms. I never understood why they couldn't.

At 28, I found myself suddenly in the role of caregiver for her. My mom, who was always sharp, witty, and could calculate her checkbook to the penny, was losing her memory. She was diagnosed with dementia and five minutes after leaving the doctor's office, forgot completely about the diagnosis. I had to find her a place to live (which ended up in multiple moves), daycare, buying her clothes, food,  transporting her everywhere, making sure she didn't wander off (though luckily she was always easy to find). I lost my identity as being her daughter as I found myself thrust into a situation I had no idea how to handle with very little help.

At 30, I lost my best friend, my mom, the best person I knew. Her dementia had gotten to the point where for the last 8 months of her life she couldn't speak or move and was on a feeding tube. My mom lost her battle with what was officially Parkinson's August 6, 2016.

Since that day, I'm relearning who I am.

So much of my life has been tied into being a daughter and that is big part of how I have defined myself.

And I still define myself as such.

But I'm learning to understand who I am without my mother and my father deported back to Israel. Who am I beyond a daughter?

I'm a wife to one amazing doofus who loves me and my quirks, a cat mom, a special education teacher to 7 hysterical 3-5th graders who sometimes make me want to pull out my hair but I do adore them, a damn good friend (as one of my friends pointed out to me last week), educated, Jewish and proud of it, bilingual (though I find my Hebrew slipping at times without my mom to correct me), a writer (and my mom would be proud of me saying that since she always wanted me to be a writer and supported my fan fiction writing) and something I don't know if I would have ever described myself as but people have been describing me in the past three months but I've learned that I'm a strong person just like my mom raised me to be.

As I reread the above, I know my mom was proud of me and loved me, my mom would love the woman I am, and I know my mom would be proud of the woman that I'm slowly relearning the definition of as I learn to understand the world around me without her physically by my side.

Date: 2016-11-11 01:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tinylegacies.livejournal.com

I have a great relationship with my mom too and I cannot even imagine the pain you've been going through.

Date: 2016-11-11 01:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] three-oh-five.livejournal.com
My mother and I had a rocky relationship so I can understand Theresa's pain. Everyone thought my mom was wonderful. EVERYONE. Over 400 people came to the funeral home for calling hours and at least 200+ came to the church service (Catholic funeral).

However from the time I was a kid until maybe 6 months before she died I feel like we had a really strained relationship. I didn't rebel badly but I did frustrate her. Like when I got braces I didn't wear my rubber bands so I had them 5 years instead of 2. I had acne in high school so she took me to the dermatologist and then I was inconsistent about using face washes and creams. I took honors classes but I was lazy so I didn't get A's. Etc.

I felt like she was controlling even when I went to college and we'd get into it a lot about that. I went to college an hour away and I loved not having to answer to her about every little thing.

After college I moved home and we couldn't get along. I'd scream at her and cuss her out and be totally rotten. I eventually moved out, about 30 minutes away, and tried to minimize how often I saw her. Then a year later I moved all the way to NC from Ohio just to put even more space there.

Things finally turned around when my dad was given his rating by the VA for PTSD from the Vietnam war. He and my mom went to a therapist together and there they started acknowledging some dysfunctional coping mechanisms. The last time I saw my mom alive and well, her and my dad came to visit me in NC one weekend and we had a long family meeting about it. I was in tears. Things were finally getting better because my dad had help and my mom was listening to the therapists. A lot of our fights stemmed from her anxiety that she didn't know what to do with.

Then a few weeks later, my dad called me and said I needed to come to Cleveland. She'd had a stroke. I'd had no time to enjoy the phase that would finally be normal.

I regret the way I mistreated her up until she died. I was an only child and I robbed her of the only thing she wanted...to be best friends with her daughter. I know she had a broken heart. She'd tell my aunts how mean I was and etc.

I really feel for Theresa and I hope her daughter can try to be kind and try to just be a daughter. I would do so many things differently if I could. It'll be 5 years in February for me and I just wish it had been better.

Date: 2016-11-13 02:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
*hugs tightly* I'm sorry what you went through with your mom. I hope you find some peace within yourself to forgive yourself.

Date: 2016-11-11 02:25 am (UTC)
vik_thor: (Sleeth looking away)
From: [personal profile] vik_thor
my condolences on your loss! :_(

my mother has been diagnosed with Parkinsons… I am not looking forward to the end stages.

Date: 2016-11-13 02:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
I'm sorry about your mother *hugs*

Date: 2016-11-11 07:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eternal-ot.livejournal.com
This was a beautiful tribute. You captured the essence of the relationship really well. *Hugs*

Date: 2016-11-13 02:44 am (UTC)

Date: 2016-11-11 02:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] majesticarky.livejournal.com
Oh man I didn't realize this was your intro when I read it! I'm really happy you're participating this season : D.

I totally understand why you don't like Teresa's daughter. This was part of the reason my Japanese host sister and I didn't get along. She was incredibly rude and disrespectful to her mother and it was very mind-boggling... She and I didn't end up keeping in touch when I left Japan.

Date: 2016-11-13 02:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
I don't really have a like or dislike for her daughter - as I said, I've only met her once in passing (though on a not related note, my good friend Stephanie actually went to school with Theresa's daughter and said she was not a kind person at all) but I hate to see Theresa get sad when she thinks about her daughter.

I can understand why you would not get along with your host sister!

Date: 2016-11-11 04:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] magazhchi.livejournal.com

Reminded me of my relationship with my mom. Nicely written.

Date: 2016-11-13 02:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
Thank you :)

Date: 2016-11-11 05:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thatwasthenx.livejournal.com
Have this same relationship w mg mom, most don't understand it

Date: 2016-11-13 02:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
Many didn't understand mine either!

Date: 2016-11-12 12:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zvezda.livejournal.com
This was very beautiful. I got a lump in my throat reading it. It makes me reflect on how close I am with my mother, and I have so much regret that we live so far apart, but I know she wants me to have the best life possible.

Oh man, you know how to write in a way that tugs at the heart strings. That is a real talent. <3

Date: 2016-11-13 02:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
Aww thank you ♥

Date: 2016-11-12 05:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] saintegloire.livejournal.com
I understand this - my mother died 13 years ago, when I was 22 (almost 23. Her funeral was the day before my birthday). You never fully lose your mother, as far as I can tell. You'll start recognizing aspects of her in yourself, too.

Even that American Tail song in your icon reminds me of my mom, heh. She really liked that one. :)

Date: 2016-11-13 02:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
*hugs* I'm starting to already.

Date: 2016-11-13 02:54 am (UTC)
jake67jake: (F turns 3)
From: [personal profile] jake67jake
The first thing I want to do is reach through the computer and give you a big hug.

I'm very close to my mother, too, and fortunately still have her. I realized the other day that I am just a year and a half away from the age my mother was when my grandmother died. I'm not ready to lose my mother.

However, it is my dad who is fighting and losing the battle of Alzheimer's, one of the reasons I'm writing this reply in my parent's dining room instead of at my home 500 miles away. I will go home tomorrow and make this drive again in less than 2 weeks. But I do it for the love of my mother. She needs help caring for him and the house and cannot do it all herself. I do it to protect her... from herself, her pride, her solitude. She and I have been through a lot in life, and she is my rock--it's only fair that I try to be hers.

I'm so sorry you have lost your mom. She is still with you in spirit--and in the wonderful daughter she's raised (and yes, I can see that from your writing). *hugs*

Date: 2016-11-13 05:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rayaso.livejournal.com
I am so sorry to hear about your mother. I'm sure she would have been thrilled with this tribute. She sounded wonderful!

Date: 2016-11-14 11:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
She was wonderful :)

Date: 2016-11-13 06:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kehlen-crow.livejournal.com
My mother had a similar relationship with her mother, and part of the reason we don't get on that well is that she wishes ours was similar. But seeing as I am not her, and she, not her mother, it never will.

I loved hearing about yours, and I am sorry it was first changed so drastically, and then cut off altogether.

Date: 2016-11-14 11:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
I'm sorry you and your mother do not get along well :(

Date: 2016-11-13 06:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] baxaphobia.livejournal.com
You are lucky to have had a best friend in your mom. Hold those memories close. I'm sure she was proud. It sounds as though you've got a life to be proud of. Smile. Good luck this season!

Date: 2016-11-14 11:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
Thank you :)

Date: 2016-11-14 12:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] roina-arwen.livejournal.com
It sounds like you and your mom had a wonderful relationship. I had a similar one with my dad - although we didn't call each other that often once I was out of the house - as my mom passed away when I was only 4 years old. I'm very sorry for your loss of her. <3

Date: 2016-11-14 11:16 pm (UTC)

Date: 2016-11-14 04:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] l0retta.livejournal.com
oh this made me cry so much. i'm very close to my mum and i don't know what i'd do without her. i felt the same way about my grandma who was like a second mum to me. i was only 17 when she died and it was seriously like losing a parent. my mum herself was very close to her own mum as well, so i could relate so much to what you wrote. i'm so sorry for your loss *hugs*

Date: 2016-11-14 11:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
I was heartbroken too when I lost my grandmother when I was 20.


Date: 2016-11-17 10:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] l0retta.livejournal.com
:'( I'm so sorry for the loss of your grandma too! I envy people I know who are in their 30s and 40s and still have their grandparents to be honest. That would have been amazing.

*big hugs* <3

Date: 2016-11-23 11:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
Honestly, I envy them too :(

Date: 2016-11-16 07:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] halfshellvenus.livejournal.com
This has all been so heartwrenching for you, and I understand why it's such a struggle to figure out who to be right now.

The one comforting thing here is that all of this is because you loved and were loved by your mother so very much. The price is the pain you feel at losing her, but the richness of what you had in return is beyond compare. Your love for her speaks to who she was, and why she so deserved that devotion.

Date: 2016-11-23 11:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
Very true - there was always love between us no matter. As much as I miss her, I'm glad I had such an amazing mother.

Date: 2016-11-16 06:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] banana-galaxy.livejournal.com
Oh, gosh, that was so recent. I lost my mum to cancer when I was 21, so I barely got the chance to have the adult friendship I would've liked to have had with her. I often tried to make her proud, so I didn't do anything to rebel against her either. I'm glad you're taking comfort in the feelings you know she had for you. I still think about my mum that way, more than 11 years later.

Date: 2016-11-23 11:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
I don't think we ever stopping thinking about our parents/ forget no matter how many years it has been.

Date: 2016-11-16 06:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bleodswean.livejournal.com
*hugs* This was such a deeply moving testimonial to the relationship with one another you both shared. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Date: 2016-11-23 11:39 pm (UTC)

Date: 2016-11-17 07:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] murielle.livejournal.com
Reading your words was like reliving my life in many ways. The good, and the bad.

I'm so glad you're here, playing idol. I look forward to reading your words.

Best wishes!

Date: 2016-11-23 11:39 pm (UTC)

Date: 2016-11-17 07:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] swirlsofblue.livejournal.com
Condolences, so sorry for your loss

Date: 2016-11-23 11:39 pm (UTC)

Date: 2016-11-17 11:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wolfden.livejournal.com

My mom has dementia too. It's so hard. She was put on hospice two weeks ago.

Sending you many good thoughts.

Date: 2016-11-23 11:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xlovebecomesher.livejournal.com
*hugs* I'm sorry about your mom :( Sending love and good thoughts your way ❤️

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