Here we go again.
Psychology calls it the "Unloving Mother." Others call it the "Not Good Enough Mother."
If you're like me, either term will do. We have the experience: The label tells us that we are not alone.
Mother's Day is coming up.
And another instance when my mother figured out how to obtain money she didn't have for the drug addicted unnamed family member just passed.
For somebody who has to ask what day it is, she has an extraordinary ability to find out which rock to hit to get cash from it.
I discovered this latest ruse late last night, when I looked onto her statement.
"I don't recall doing anything with $2000.," I thought to myself. That's because I had not. She had telephoned the bank and had had the maximum funds transferred from her Overdraft Line of Credit into her checking account, and written UFM a check for that amount, which he promptly went to the bank and cashed, and there it was, in "pending" although the check had already been cashed. It was too late to stop payment but I filled out the online stop payment form and clicked, as reason for stopping check, "coercion." I had to wait until the morning to get through to the bank service reps for more information.
Morning. Service rep:
"I'm going to connect you to the fraud line," she says. "You said it was coercion."
"I'm not interested in the fraud line," I tell her. "Are you going to arrest my XX year old mother?"
"No, but it will go into collections, and she'll get telephone calls," Ms. Friendly Banker Representative Supervisor told me.
"Well, she's not making payments on it."
"Then when she dies the executor of her estate will deal with it."
I can't bear the sadness around this relationship. There's a continual yearning to have closeness with ones mother. That never goes away, a fact that I wrestle with. It will take me many many years to heal from this. God give me the strength.
Mother's Day is a few weeks away. I'll be mourning the relationship I never had, and the way I was lied to, over and over again, even as I attempted to take care of her in her old age, in her withering days. But I"ll be trying to have a good day, a day that I can have some control over.
When your mom is mentally ill, or elderly, there's always a question of how much to hold onto that relationship and how much to let go.
Days like Mother's Day have created huge conflicts in the past. This year it will not. Maybe I'll hire her an aid to make sure she's up and alive, but I will not call and I will not be conflicted about it. There's so much reality around this now, - it's impossible to ignore. It's impossible to feel, to know, each time I phone her, that I am not being authentic with her. That when she says, "Why are you tired?" that I'm not painfully aware that the real answer is "Because I"m tired of dealing with you and your lies and your depression and your mismanagement of all your money and that UMF gets literally your last dollar while I try to keep you alive, and still you persist; that you are always thinking about how to get money to UFM, even though you never let on. That I am being crushed under its weight. That I simply cringe every time you say 'I love you.'"
Maybe the next day she'll say something about my not calling. Maybe I'll say, "Oh it was Mother's Day? I didn't realize!"
This Mother's Day is to all the suffering daughters of mothers who are not good enough, to all the daughters of mothers that Psych Today calls "unloving" mothers, to the daughters of mothers who do NOT put in that call, and do not send that card or buy that box of chocolates, who try to remain authentic to themselves and hold onto reality because our hearts don't just break once... They break again and again and again.