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Archive for the tag “Mother”

Losing Dylan Part 5

Dylan and I met for dinner at a local restaurant. I wanted to see him because I missed him. I wanted to connect with him if possible. A few days prior I received a call from the school police officer. Dylan had been verbally confrontational with him and then spat on his police car.

The parent part of me felt that I needed to try to stop Dylan from where he was going. As a result of his actions, he was now facing charges in the juvenile justice system. His problems with anger and authority were likely to lead him to jail or prison, if he didn’t change his course. So although I was hoping for a connection, I also felt it was imperative to talk to him about his actions and the resulting consequences.

Bird dropped him off and Dylan strode into the restaurant with his usual swagger. He was wearing his long dark curly hair tied back in a man bun, and a tie-dyed bandana was tied around his forehead. His boots made him at least a foot taller than me. He was wearing beads around his neck and wrist. His eyes were dark and flashing. I could tell he was high on something. We ordered and he inhaled his meal quickly. We made small talk.

I mentioned the police incident. I tried to take the assertive authoritative role that had worked in the past. I expressed my concerns. And then it began.

“I’m not taking life advice from you, Jess“. Dylan had begun calling me by my first name instead of “mom” or “mama”. When he said my name he emphasized it. “You’re a horrible mother. You’ve never done anything for me.”

He began listing my failings one by one. I attempted to address each one, apologized and attempted to reason with him. His anger grew and then erupted. He jumped out of the booth and walked out the door.

I called Bird. “He just walked out. I don’t know where he went.”

Were you guys fighting? Bird said with an accusatory tone.

“I wasn’t fighting, but he was,” I replied.

“I’ll be right there,” she said.

Suddenly Dylan reappeared, reeking of cigarette smoke. The nicotine had diminished his edge by a small margin. He sat down and resumed his attack. Again I felt confused and unsure of how to respond. A lot of his complaints seemed to be related to the custody lawsuit Bird had filed against me two years prior. He was now claiming that during the time that he did not want to communicate with Bird it was because I had refused to allow him to. This story line and the distorted reality around it was infuriating to me. After trying to be calm and rational my anger boiled over and I said something flippant.

He flew out of the booth and walked to the door. Before he pushed it open he looked back at me and yelled, “Fuck you Jess!”

I sat there, shell-shocked. The other patrons in the restaurant were looking at me and squirming in their seats.

The woman who had been our server came over and sat next to me in the booth. She put her arm around me said, “I’m so sorry that happened. That must have been really hard.” She seemed to understand exactly what happened and had probably overheard some of our conversation while she was waiting on us.

I took great comfort in her gesture, a complete stranger offering compassion at the time when I needed it most.

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Just like my mother

I miss myself. I miss the person I was when I began this blog about 6-7 years ago. I honestly thought I would never find myself this lost again. I remember during that time I felt much differently about myself. Sure I was depressed, but seriously, when am I not depressed?

When became a mother I felt like I could no longer be myself. I had to be someone else. A person with no wants or needs. A person that was everything that my mother was not. The most important things I thought about were that I wanted my son to know without a doubt that he was loved. I felt that no matter what was going on with me that I must always show up for my son. I wanted more than anything else, to raise a son who was kind and compassionate towards others. These were my ideas.

I imagined a relationship with my son where I would be able to teach him and help him navigate the world. Most importantly I wanted him to be able to avoid many of the things that I had experienced. I wanted my son to love me and see me as his mother. I never imagined any of the things that have happened. I never imagined my son would turn on me. There are a lot of people who I never imagined would turn on me. But turn on me they did, over and over again.

In each instance it seemed that people found me or my behavior unacceptable. First I lost my Dad, who was the only person that ever made me feel like I was supposed to be on this earth. Then I lost my sister who I once believed loved me unconditionally. That loss created more disconnection and estrangement, with my two other siblings, with nieces and nephews. Then my mother died and any remaining ties were severed.

Then I lost my health, my job and my career. With that, I lost my self-esteem, or what was left of it. I lost my home and then I lost the person I was going to marry. After that I lost California, sunshine, and my church. I was more alone than I had ever been. Then I lost another friend. Through all of that, my love for my son and my desire for his happiness were the only things that tethered me to the earth. And now my son is gone also. He tells me I am a horrible mother, that I’ve never done anything for him and that I need to be held accountable for all of my wrongs.

He tells me I am just like my mother.

I imagine all of these people in my head as a collective group. They are always there taunting me and reminding me that I am worthless and that I don’t deserve love. If I say anything about the hardships I have encountered over the last few years, I am ridiculed. I’m just making excuses and playing the victim. My son tells me I have failed him by being sick and depressed all the time. My siblings tell me I am getting what I deserve. They tell me I’ve always been self obsessed, spoiled, and moody. I’m unreasonable and irrational. I have anger issues and I can’t be trusted around children. They criticize my parenting and tell me it’s no wonder my son is in a treatment center. Who wouldn’t end up with problems with a mother like me?

I don’t remember anymore what it feels like to be loved. I long for even just a whiff of that feeling. I want to bury my face in it and breathe as deeply as I can for as long as I can. I want to lose myself in it and consider the possibility that I am someone other than who they say I am. I want someone, anyone, to see me as useful or worthwhile or anything other than what they believe me to be.

I’ve tried fighting. I’ve tried fighting clean even when others are fighting dirty.  I’ve tried suiting up and showing up. I’ve tried being strong. I’ve tried sharing my feelings desperately hoping for acknowledgement or validation that never comes. I’ve tried doing everything that others tell me to do in service of my son. I’ve tried letting go and I’ve tried holding on. Nothing seems to have helped. Most things I’ve tried have caused me additional hurt.

I don’t want sympathy or pity. What I really want is to have people in my life who value my friendship and don’t make me question my worth. I want people who I have things in common with and who share similar belief systems. I want to put the nightmare of the last 7 years behind me. I want to believe that it’s not too late to rebuild myself again and rise from the ashes.

Mostly I want to be free.

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