My dear brother has me hooked on a song by Ed Sheehan – Supermarket Flowers. He wrote it for his grandmother who had recently passed. If you haven’t heard it, and are in the mood for a good ugly cry open youtube and have a listen.
When I hear the song I think about my mom. But I am not so sure it’s MY mom I am thinking about. I think it’s partially her, and partially the mom I wish she was. The mom who always picks you up when you fall. Needless to say, every time I listen to it at the very least I get choked up, but usually I shed a few tears and often have a good ugly cry.
There is a line towards to the end of the song where he says:
You were an angel in the shape of my mum
You got to see the person that I have become
That bit of the song made me wonder every time. Obviously Ed’s grandmother had been proud of him, look at what he had accomplished. But I wondered what my mom thought. My gut told me that I am an embarrassment. On disability, poor, have mental illness, never finished college, never got that “big job”, never really did much with my life in term of success the way the world defines it. I have a husband who worked his butt off to support us for 20+ years, but then became disabled as well. We lost our house, our car. We are not like anyone else in our family financially or career-wise. My sister got a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree and became a dually licensed therapist, with her own practice and employees. Her and her husband make a whole lot of money, and live a life where they don’t have to worry that the next time her kid grows out of sneakers it will break their budget beyond repair. She is not obese, and she is “the pretty one”. My brother is what I would consider a big whig at one of the largest banks in America. He is extremely successful and has climbed the ladder at the company from the ground up.
So after weeks of wondering what my mom would say if I asked her about “the person I have become”.
So the other day, on a particularly sad day, I thought what the heck let’s make it worse and ask her.
Me: (8:00am) Please don’t call me back about this- I’ll cry and I’ve cried enough today- are you disappointed in the way my life has turned out? Disappointed in who I became?
Mom: (2:07pm) Am I supposed to answer this? U said not to call you.
Me: (2:08pm) Yes you can text, just don’t call, if I hear your voice I’ll cry.
Mom: (2:11pm) No I am not disappointed in you. I am disappointed you don’t have the support you need to shine.
What does that mean? I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. I can’t shake my feelings of sadness. My mom isn’t disappointed IN me, but she’s disappointed in my life. She’s disappointed I don’t “shine” in her eyes.
Shine- what could I do that would make me shine in her eyes? Make lots of money? Have a really good job? Have children without mental health issues? Not have mental illness myself?
I know at least a part of it she blames on my husband. My sister, step-father and mother have all made comments over the years that make it obvious they don’t like certain things about him. My step-father went so far as to say that my husband “mis-uses” me.
My husband doesn’t misuse me. And it’s not his fault I don’t shine. I made the choices that have made me who I am and if I don’t shine that’s on me.
I know I am fat and not as pretty as my sister. I got my dad’s genes, I was doomed before I was born.
I know I didn’t graduate college (not for poor grades or lack of funding – which my parents didn’t help me with AT ALL might I add) but because of different priorities- namely wanting to be a wife and mother.
I know we are poor and that’s an embarrassment. I know we drive beat up vehicles that are loud and ugly.
I know we don’t buy locally sourced organic food.
I know I don’t make my own soap, lotion, and deodorant.
I know we don’t grow 99% of what we eat.
I know that I have children with issues and I know you blame me and my parenting for them. I swear if I could have done something that would have prevented, autism, bipolar, ADHD and anxiety I would have done anything. I would have traded my life for it, because my children will suffer their entire lives.
Shine. The word just keep rolling over in my head.
I don’t shine… am I tarnished silver? That with a little polishing could shine again? Am I a star that has lost it’s shine because it’s dying and it’s light is flickering? Am I like flat or matte paint and no matter what I do, I will never become high-gloss?
I don’t think there was ever shine in me. I think that shine was put out long before I ever became an adult.
But that doesn’t change the fact that I will never be someone my mom is proud of. Ive talked to a friend and my husband about this, and they both tell me not to let it bother me. My husband says it’s not an insult (sorry I don’t buy it). My friend told me not to worry about it because she’s not the most supportive person in the world, and that money isn’t everything. And yes she’s right. But…
No matter how old you are you want your mother to love you, to be proud of you and to “be there”. No matter how old you get you want your mother.
I have had an extremely emotional week. Not for any particular reason. I am just sad, and when I am not sad I am angry, frustrated or irritated.
Tomorrow I have to go to my mom’s. My sister will be there too. I offered to let my husband stay home. He’s sore from falling down the stairs, and pretty much just from living and we both feel like he will be judged because of what he can and can’t do. But the thought of going alone is terrifying. I’m dreading it, I can’t wait for the day to be over- and it hasn’t even happened yet.
Well I guess that’s all, nothing really to say other than I am not doing well at all.