Sunday, April 15, 2012

Time to Come Clean Especially With Myself

            Word of warning. The following will not be like one of my regular blogs. I am using this as a way to get something very personal and very painful off my chest. I promise to return in the next blog with some geeky or funny observation about my life filled with wedding plans and hysterically funny children.

            My mom and I have not spoken to each other since the afternoon of December 27. We had a huge falling out over what seems like my dislike of her boyfriend.  There is actually a bigger issue involved other my dislike of her boyfriend. I have watched my relationship wither with mom for the past few years. Stuart (the boyfriend) is part of the problem but not it entirely.

            For the past few years, I know that mom has struggled with getting older and understanding her role in life. Frankly, she has been thrown a lot of unfair curveballs. I get that and I understand. It’s just that she doesn’t seem to ever want to do anything with myself, adopted family from Young Harris College, Kim and the kids, or even my sister anymore. All she wants to do is to either stay at home or go out with Stuart.

            Back in December we had a huge falling out. The day after the Oyster Roast, everyone always goes out to eat lunch somewhere. We were over an hour late getting out to the Crystal Beer Parlor. I tried to get everyone going but the gang was moving slow.

            By the time, we arrived tempers were short and Stuart has decided they are leaving. Gid’s girlfriend used to be very close to Mom so she and I beg Mom to stay. Stuart pitched a huge fit in the parking lot and basically threatened to kick my “fat ass.”

            There is no love between myself and Stuart but I never had any intentions of venting my dislike in a public place like he did. The entire time Stuart was giving me an earful, I just stood there silent because I was afraid that if we did have it out, we’d accidently hurt my mom. So I just stood there and took it. When he was done, Stuart sped off in his mini-van and left my mom behind.

            I tried to talk to Mom later in the day. I tried to stay to the problems between us and keep Stuart out of it but she kept telling me how horrible I am to Stuart and so disrespectful. Stuart’s son doesn’t like her but at least he is respectful so why can’t Mary and I act like that? I tried to explain how Stuart says horrible stuff to us and she just lets it go. My mom responded with, “You’re a man and have to learn to fight your own battles.” I fired back with how I understood that but every time I tried to, she would call me down. “You’re being rude, Robby”, mom would say. I can’t win either way so why be around anymore?

            At this point, I realized how my mother held me responsible for everything bad that had happened and even for the fight Stuart tried to start.  I walked away from the porch of my grandparents’ home straight to Gideon’s car. We left a few minutes later and I have not spoken to my mother since.

I do not deny that I have added fuel to the fire of Stuart mine’s mutual hatred. My mouth is quick to lash back with sarcasm and witty but hurtful replies. I wish I could call it gift but I am good at channeling “assholery.”

            Kim kind of changed a lot of that for me when she came into the picture. First of all, her love took a lot of my anger away. Secondly, she pointed out when I was being the asshole and I was doing the wronging. Finally, she made me understand the only way to beat Stuart at his game was to be the bigger man. From about this time last year up until now, I have done my best to remain silent and just ignore his jibes and veiled insults.

Stuart began to up his game. He is very good at being passive aggressive and began to lash out about my friends and even to my friends. Stuart even told inappropriate jokes to Roni and Jude or used racial slurs. I was very proud of Roni when my eleven year-old told Stuart that it’s very wrong to tell kids jokes like this.

 It got to the point where many of my closest friends didn’t want to show up to anything Kim and I would host. Everyone’s first question became,” Will Stuart be there? instead of “What can I bring?” That is fucked up.

            I’ve been carrying this with my for now about 4 months and it’s been eating me alive. I am afraid that it’s begun to affect the way I look out at the world. I have this amazing life with a wonderful woman and two awesome kids yet I try to avoid looking at the side with my mom like a bad spot on an apple. I just eat around it.

            A few days after the last blog, I wrote my mother an invitation on my special stationary and told her they I wanted to her to come to the wedding. After a couple of days, I got a reply stating she’d love to come. I felt like a bit of headway had been made.

            I began to realize this silliness had gone on too long. Too many people were being affected because of my choice to cut out Mom. I decide it was time to man up and try to mend some fences.

            That was until I checked my mail yesterday. I recognized my mom’s handwriting and immediately thought she was thinking the same thing. “I bet she wants to have dinner at Sweet Potatoes and talk,” I thought. Man, was I off base.

            Her note was only four lines long but it simply stated because I did not invite Stuart and recognize they were partners then Mom would be unable to attend my wedding. She wished Kim and me the best then signed it with “love, Mom” Who the fuck signs something “love” after rejecting an invite to their child’s wedding?   

            So here I am. Thanks for letting me vent. I do feel better. But what do I do now? Where do I go? One minute I am full of sadness followed by long moments of rage. I honestly don’t know if I want mom at my wedding at this point or in my life. Everything that involves her, brings me nothing but hurt or disappointment or both, so why bother anymore?

            I am open to suggestions that do not involve heavy drinking or taking up smoking again.



  1. Robbie (can I still call you that?),
    That is a hard one. I know you know the feeling of losing a parent. I would say find a way somehow to still include your Mom in your life but she also will have to be willing to that. There is no reason that she could not try to have time with you and your new family without the boyfriend but she has to be willing to do that. Maybe the two of you could agree to make it a neutral setting and the boyfriend not be mentioned in any way of form...
    Family is so important and Life is so short...But you can not do it alone, she has to be willing also.
    Good Luck and sorry you are having to deal with this.

  2. Yes, you still want your mom in your life. You know how your mom is, and it might not happen at your wedding. If it doesn't, then you'll just have to move past it and not take it personally.

    Life is short, Robby, work it out. Tell her that you won't be around someone who treats you poorly, but you always want to see her, and she's always welcome in your home and with your family.

    Call me if you need to.

    Don't let this go on too long. Your mama's your mama the rest of your life. They only made one like her.