Sometimes you spend so much time worrying about how your child will fair through this because for him this isn’t normal. My son growing up was very close to my mother. After my mother got over the shock of my pregnancy and refusal to get an abortion which I was 20 at the time, my mother eventually took me back into her home where we lived the first 4 years of his life. I followed in her foot steps and went to nursing school and she constructed a plan for our life as if I was now and forever married to her,it consisted of education, hard work, and purchasing a home together.
Nothing is more depressing than someone who tries to plan your life without at least an opinion from you. I use to be very close to my mom when growing up, but my senior year of high school it was like something snapped in her and she desperately tried all measures to keep me from leaving her. She fought with me constantly, dictated plans to me and if I tried to proceed with my own plans sited that I was her daughter as if property and she’d take me where she pleased, growing up I always felt like I didn’t know if I was going to have nice mommy or mean mommy, but it got worse when my impending independence from her was immanent. After graduating high school it wasn’t enough for me to call and leave her a message where I would be so she’d know I was safe (if I was going to be a little late coming home I’d call), if I didn’t come home when she wanted me to she’d go into a full on freak out paging me constantly (when pagers were ever so popular) and calling all my friends.
Which when I was 20 and met a guy my age my mother knew nothing about, it made the idea of a secret romance so appealing a place for me to escape my mom and her controlling ways. I got clever on how to avoid talking to her weeks on end, my mother an over night nurse, got home early in the morning and left late in the evening. I always made sure I appeared as if I was sleeping as she got home, If I left before she got there she’d more than likely freak out, so at least if she saw me sleeping she knew I was safe, she’d try to wake me, but I would act like I was in a dead sleep, unable to wake , I’d wait for her to go to bed and as I heard her snore, I quietly got up and dressed and left for the day to not return until after she left for work. Sometimes there would be a change in her schedule and I’d be stuck having to talk to her. Which I felt like hiding from her all the time once this possessive controlling beast was born at the wake of my senior year. The only true god send for my limited interaction is my mother loved making money so she always picked up an extra shift if someone asked her too.
Obviously my secret romance lead to my pregnancy with my son. Despite already knowing my family would be nasty to me, I was very excited about my pregnancy. In the beginning, I was forced to take refuge in my father’s home, which is when I realized how much my dad really did love me and wasn’t the awful person my mom said he was. Once my mother’s family got over the fact that with or without their consent I was going to have my son, they immediately occupied the confines of my life as if they were accepting of it from the beginning, telling me they couldn’t wait to hold the baby and began to buy things for him, the way my mother shopped you’d think he was hers, she even bought second hand baby furniture because she is cheap(I say this because she doesn’t like to spend a lot and even if it’s your money she doesn’t want you to spend your money either) the crib was missing parts and she thought she could just tie the rail on, I never let him sleep in it. Then as I would try to sleep she’d creep into my room to hold him, at first I thought maybe she would be a better grandma then she was a mom.
I went to college for my nursing degree with her help and as I began to feel as if I was drowning in my families expectations and plans I decided to move out of state to where my best friend moved and shared an apartment with her. I applied to get my nursing license for the state of new york, obtained my license, saved money, and I moved. I left my son with my father as I was to get established. I was there for a year and sadly not everything went as I had planned, my friend’s plans changed and it was undeniable I needed lots of help, my son was having to under go testing for developmental delay’s, so my mom offered to come help me move back, I told her I had the money and could do it and she insisted that I shouldn’t be on the road by myself with a baby. I came back to find she moved into a retirement community and now had a boyfriend. He turned out to be a bad influence, it was my son’s 6th birthday I realized she had a drinking problem, we went to sea world and she took advantage of the complimentary beer house, minus following the rules, guzzling down 8 beers in an hour.
Knowing I didn’t want to return to my mother’s home permanently, I stayed with my father’s family in the little camper trailer provided by fema after the 2004 hurricanes, until we retained a residence together. My son continued a relationship with his nana with lunch dates and occasional sleep overs, but as time progressed and her addiction to alcohol became severe her time spent with his became less and less. She no longer seemed like she truly cared. She’d make dates with my son then would be late, expecting my son to wait to eat while she finished mowing the lawn and needed to shower. As my wedding to my husband was approaching she insisted I call the wedding off and encouraged my son to lie and say my husband hits him.
All of these were moments leading up to the final straw in our relationship, the day I would cut her off, but my worst fear was as close as my son was to her growing up would he be able to cope with no longer having the relationship. I sat him down and spoke to him about his nana having problems we couldn’t help her with, that it was no ones fault, but because of her problems it made it unsafe for us to be around her and that she wanted to make us feel bad because she didn’t feel good about herself. He took the announcement well and when I questioned if he was upset, he told me “No”. I asked why? he said “because we don’t spend time together anymore anyhow!” It has been a blessing to know he will adjust from this, I on the other hand am an entirely different situation. Though my confidence and self esteem have been restored, it still doesn’t get rid of the feeling of being lost and not really knowing who you are. All things take time and this journey isn’t over yet.