My mother worked hard her whole life, someone who was obsessed with money and how to get it. I guess she grew into that person as when her mom seperated when she was 13 from her second husband she left all my moms nice things all the way across the country as she tracked to their new home. I know a lot of my mom’s history as my mom used me as her resource to talk about her own life every chance she got. My mom made great stride to spoil me on christmas, take me on trips, and throw birthday parties for me. Which everyone mistakes these actions for love.
Gifts should never be mistaken for acts of love as there are so many reasons a person may elect to give you a gift. Considering the childhood my mother told me she had I believe she was trying to buy my love, she grew up feeling unloved both of her biological parents were toxic people. Without being taught love or ever feeling it to know what it is how could she love me? I was born to her just before her 18th birthday, planned as I was her escape from her mother, and she admitted to crying and being depressed after she had me. My parents separated before I was two, which I often heard her distressing reasons for this throughout my childhood…how my father squandered all their money, was a falander, and was never there for her. My father never spoke ill of my mother and kept many of the reasons they split to himself in fact he never told me until I more recently asked about their relationship.
My mother was raised to be her mothers co dependant, to do her bidding, and from this she thinks if she helps people whither they want her help or not they will love her in return for it, they will do what she wants them to and when this doesn’t happen she becomes enraged and often coins the phrase you are so ungrateful, it really doesn’t matter how much you said thank you for the gift, trip, or help she sees you as ungrateful. Any act where she has lent you money and paid her back is overlooked as she did this for you nevermind the money being returned. Which my mother has done this to even friends of mine, however my friend that she tried this with is a very assertive person and quickly drew the line with her, she knows I have struggled with my relationship with my mom and after most of the behavior she has witnessed from my mom she supports my decision to go no contact.
Every major life event I have is often met with great adversity, then a cycle of generosity, and without sufficient praise or bending to her wishes is met with more rage. It has raised me with a sense to never want to ask for anything and if I have to ask to certainly not ask her or anyone else for that matter in this family. In fact whenever they know you might need extra resources it is often met with I want to help you with this, but here is what I want you to do in return. Which bless my husband for having wealthy family members who are gracious to give, but expect you to do no more than live up to your word. When I reflect on the memories I have everything is clear to me that I was pit here on this earth to fulfill her needs, she had me so I would love her, but she neglects to realize in order to get love from a child you have to teach them love.
Now that I am a mother and wife who is fully aware of my mothers issues I tend to over analyze my own actions and behaviors because my worst fear is to pass this on to my child. I realize with my son I do have a healthy relationship, I often got praise over how smart, well-adjusted and happy he is from teachers, feel pain when he is sad (ie when his pet hamster died), and have a very positive relationship full of hugs, kisses, and occasionally snuggling as we watch tv(he’s 12 so not as big into snuggling as he once was when he was smaller), my husband said seeing how I was with my son made him fall for me, he knew I was a good mom, however what makes me realize I am not repeating the same pattern is I want him to be happy, I never take credit for his accomplishments, and it’s rare if you ever see him without a smile.
With my husband I realized I had some control issues, his accident put a lot into perspective, I now let go of the things I once did and am adjusting to having a healthy relationship and healthy people in my life, my husband over the course of a day must tell me over a dozen times that he loves me, honestly I am not used to it and sometimes I wonder what I did to deserve his love. When I think about my husband’s family growing up, I cry because it was the very thing I ached for as a child. My mothers false stories isolated me from my father for most of my childhood, it wasn’t until I was 20 that the pattern changed in our relationship when I became pregnant with my son and was casted out of my mother’s home, he came and got me from my friend’s house and moved me in with him, he sheltered me from her rages, and even gave up his bed and slept on the couch, he seemed completely devoid of anything my mother described. After more recent events I asked my dad about the things my mom told me and what he feels is the reason their relationship ended. He told me she got behind on the bills because her mother told her she owed her for being alive and wanted to be payed back and my mother attempted paying her back, that when he left her she had attacked him, he thought she needed help mentally and had her taken to a mental health facility and left for his family’s home with me, they didn’t even hold her for the 3 days like they were suppose to and she got me back. He said he fought for custody, but the state always favored the mothers back then over the fathers which thank god that has changed. I just constantly think of how my life could have been different if my father raised me, I would have grown feeling worth while and valued compared to learning later in life and feeling shocked when others validate me.
The only true way for anyone to know their loved isn’t by presents, but by presence. In addition to the things you do selflessly for others without ever expecting anything in return. Remember a gift is given without expecting anything in return, if you expect something it is an investment.