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I always loved the words used in The Crow movie, “Mother means God in the mouths of children.” That always resonated with me from such a tender age on. In my opinion, some mothers just aren’t meant to be mothers. They lack the really important part that a mother should have. The nurturing that comes from being a mother. That unconditional love only a mother can have for a child no matter if they are perfect or not, no matter what age they are, no matter how successful they are or not. Isn’t that the definition of unconditional love? It literally says it in the word, there are no conditions to it whatsoever.
Now I can’t fully place the blame on my mother per se. It all starts somewhere and usually goes on in a cycle. Or so the experts say. From what I observed growing up around my grandparents, who for a while lived on our farm in their camper, my grandmother wasn’t a very nurturing or warm person. The stories I was told by my aunt and my mother when I was older confirmed that impression for me. So, while I’m not sure where the cycle began, it’s obvious my mother did take on a lot of my grandmother’s tendencies.
It started when I was around five to six years old. I had sad memories of my mother fighting my father. Telling me to grab my things because I had to go with her, meanwhile, I’m crying because I didn’t want to leave my dad and my little brother and couldn’t understand what was going on. This continued off and on for years. She would go to counseling and get on some medication and it would get better for a little while, but she would stop and it would go back to them arguing again. Usually over my mother’s spending or my dad not giving my mother money. So me, being the oldest, tried to do what I could do to protect them. Take them outside. Take the brunt of my mom on my shoulders. Act out to draw attention my way.
Then my mother started having an affair with a man on the internet when I was a senior. For some reason, she decided that it was a good idea to get her 17-year-old daughter involved in this long-distance affair with a man who was also married. She claimed that my father was a bad man that was abandoning the family all the time and she was miserable. I recall telling her numerous times to just please divorce then. In my rebellion or maybe my own way of trying to disappear from it all I got engaged at the young age of 18. Tried to go to college while living with my fiancé who didn’t have a job at the time, so I had to work two jobs to keep us afloat. YES, I did wise up and broke off the engagement. But then we found out I was pregnant.
We decided to do the right thing and get married. My husband joined the Air Force and shortly after having my son we moved to a base in TX. I was 19 at the time. Still, my mother was still having her torrid affair. I tried to tell her to keep me out of it but she wouldn’t. She would have him send gifts for her to our home in TX so I could mail them to my parents' house in MN. That way she could say it was from me. One time when we came to visit, she told me she planned a girls trip to Minneapolis to go shopping for the weekend, just me and her. I was so excited! Once we got up there to the hotel and our room though, that excitement quickly changed to complete shock and disgust. Her lover was not only at the same hotel, he was on the same floor, two doors across the hall from us. But she spent every night with him in this room and they invited me to the room for his homemade noodles. That was the last straw for me at this point. I told her yet again to leave me out of it. I didn’t want to hear about it anymore.
Again, it didn’t last long before she dragged me back into it again once me and my husband separated. All I could think was, when did I become the mother and when did she become the daughter?