This was long due, it was lying in my drafts for a long time, I was contemplating if I should post this finally decided to do it.
My mother and me are two individuals who would not get along with one another if we weren’t biologically related. Growing up, I made a mental note of all her qualities which hurt me and promised myself I would not be like that. To maintain the peace, we are tolerating each other (at least that’s what I’m doing) hence there is a lot of frustration within me. Over the years there is so much that has happened between us that many a time I get irritated by most of the things she says. We have a very different approach towards life. As a result, we keep getting irritated on one another. Also, the fact that since the last seven years I don’t have a social life, haven’t been in any kind of relationship and my sex life is non-existent has aggravated it further.
Now, mom used to have this air about herself that she is an independent, self-made woman who single-handed brought me up. Now this was Mumbai in the 90’s and India was still opening to the concept of single and divorced moms. So she is proud of her achievements and yes she should be it was no easy thing doing it, but bringing arrogance and pride diminishes her achievements. My mom has no friends and does not socialise at all. She spends her entire day at home reading, watching television or doing household chores. She leaves the home if she has to run errands. As a result I too lead the same life since I work from home. It was getting too much, so I joined yoga and dance class. Late nights, parties etc are out of the question. I know what you guys must be thinking, I must be seriously twisted to live like this. I’m a 38-year-old independent woman. I don’t even know why I call myself independent guess I like the sound of it. Leaving her is not an option. I tried it once, and I was guilt ridden and miserable.
Earlier she would grumble about my failures (since I didn’t earn as per her expectations) then the conversations would deviate to my ex and how during that time I had betrayed her and she would count on all the instances she felt I had hurt her. She would stop conversing for a few days until I went up to her and then she wanted me to apologise. If I did, or I didn’t, did not matter for then she would dissect the argument and my behaviour and how I had erred her. Experience has thought me not to say anything now as for her I will always be a no good.
This has changed now, she no longer talks about my ex or about my failures, but yes she brings up the issue about still supporting me not to mention the body shaming. I can deal with the supporting issue, but the body shaming hurts. My ex and my mom body shamed me so much I hated my body. The more I hated my body the more weight I piled on. So in a way when she body shams me or anyone else the irritation seeps in.
It’s not that we have nothing in common, she is a good person but her nature repels me. Today I live with her because that’s how it is in India, parents and children co-habit together unless you’re married and shift outside. I can live elsewhere but then I would have to take up a full time job and would not be able to pursue my writings. So yeah in a way I’m selfish too.
Now I’m a very emotional person, I can cry at the drop of a hat. So whenever mom and me have an argument I’m the one who ends up teary eyed. It doesn’t matter whose mistake it is. Also after we have said things to each other, I’m not comfortable with the scowling and silence, I like things to get back to normal and when that does not happen I end up getting cranky and go in a state of shock. My entire body slows down and I get that familiar lump in my throat and pain in my chest. All the old memories come back playing a havoc inside my head and all I want to do is run away some place where I will feel the love. So I end up cuddling next to my furry daughter. Feeling her warm furry body next to me soothes me.
Mom and me having a heart to heart talk is out of question. She gets defensive and argumentative as does not like being questioned. Hence all my feelings are bottled up. When neighbours talk about me and tell her that’s she is so lucky to have a daughter like me she gets surprised. She is so self-involved and has only thought about my negative qualities she fails to see the positives in me.
She liked to be the dominant one and maybe I too led her to believe I was an ideal daughter. I used to run away from the situation as I could not deal with it; I used to find alternatives.
Two years ago she was hospitalised, it was a rude shock to her. She has calmed down a lot maybe because I took up the household chores she hated so much. All this makes me bitter but then she is my mother at the end of the day I have no one but her and I love her and love is the only thing I have ever wanted my whole life. So I go to extremes to be accepted and loved knowing well I’m being exploited.