This week for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop I chose prompt #3.) Why I’m not inviting my mother to read my blog… (inspired by Just Mom from All The Other Kids Are Doing It)
I think the most important reason that I don’t want my mother (or most of my other immediate relatives other than SuziCate) to read my blog is that I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Yes, I am still trying to be a people pleaser and I’m always trying to stay on that neutral ground. I love my family and would never in any way intentionally hurt them. That being said, there are times when I am telling a story when in order to be honest, the things I say may not be the most flattering and could cause someone to judge how we were raised in a critical way. I don’t do this intentionally to hurt anyone. I’m just trying to be honest and truthful and sometimes being those things could hurtful. And if I knew that my mother or certain other of my relatives read my blog I might be forced to inadvertently change stories or leave out critical unflattering facts which might alter how things really were in order to keep the peace.
I think I have established previously that I try to play peacekeeper. It’s not always easy in my family. I have certain family members who after undergoing “therapy” decided that every problem in their life was our mother’s fault and wasted no time in telling her that. She took every opportunity to let our mom know how she had ruined her life and anything she had ever done wrong was our mother’s fault. So instead of taking any personal responsibility of their own, they shifted all fault to our mother. I feel she kind of used that “information” to do whatever she wanted and yet still not have to feel guilty for it. She accepted no blame for anything in her life by shifting it to our mother. I feel this was totally unfair. I could also see the hurt this caused my mother. I would never ever want to think I would be the cause of that kind of hurt to my mother. Especially not intentionally.
True, I have repeatedly said that I grew up in a very dysfunctional family. I readily admit that, but, I refuse to point the finger at my mother or my father. I think they both did they best they could with the circumstances they were faced with. I think a little understanding and insight into their upbringing bodes well before you start pointing fingers. Yes, things could have been done better but, I truly believe neither of my parents ever intentionally inflicted pain (physical or emotional) on any of us. They simply did what they were taught (or not taught to be more accurate) and they tried their best to raise 6 kids on a limited income with the best means they had available.
I would never ever want to in any way make my parents feel guilty for anything they did or didn’t do. My father couldn’t help how he was raised. He couldn’t help that his mother was sometimes emotionally cold and he, therefore, when he was raising his own children, didn’t know how to show his love for us. He followed the example he was given. My poor mother didn’t even have a mother to emulate. She didn’t know how to mother because she didn’t have one herself. She was only two or three years old when her own mother died. Yes, she had a grandmother who helped out, but, that’s not the same as having a loving mother there in your own home 24/7. That’s not the same as having a mother there day in and out to teach you how to parent.
And I’m sure her father, as loving and kind and wonderful as he was, was simply overwhelmed by raising 6 kids himself without a wife and partner to share the burden with. He was an absolutely wonderful man who I know loved his wife and kids with his whole being but having lost his wife at such a young age and having all those kids to raise on his own had to take a toll. He had promised her before she died that he would never let another woman raise her children and that was a promise kept by not marrying again until his youngest was married herself. He was a great man.
My paternal grandfather was also a wonderful man. He was also kind and loving and hard working but he was also hard drinking and I think he left the majority of their childrearing decisions to my grandmother. My grandmother was a loving woman in her own way, but, she also (in my opinion) held people at a distance. She tended to be a tad on the cold unemotional side to me. I loved her very much, but, she scared me. I never got that warm fuzzy feeling from her that I did from my grandfathers. I have a few relatives that seemed to inherit that cold unemotional gene from her. For the most part, most of my aunts, uncles and cousins are very loving and giving but there are those few that I see (and feel) that icy undercurrent running through.
I am a very touchy feely kind of person. I hug everybody. That’s the way I was raised. Our family reunions are mostly people running around hugging other people! But there are a few people, and I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about, that when you hug them, they don’t really return the hug. I mean, their arms may be around you, but there is NO EMOTION there. You can almost feel them stiffen up and feel them pulling away before you even embrace them. Like they have a ten foot tall barb wire covered piece of plexi-glass surrounding them. They may be smiling on the outside, but they aren’t letting you in.
Was I going somewhere with this? I know I had a point. Oh, yeah. These people are partly the reason I feel that my family is the way that it is. There’s no right or wrong to it. There’s no finger pointing or blame laying. That’s just the way they are. I just feel that because of that whole family dynamic, my parents, never got the stable emotional surrounding that they needed growing up. They didn’t have the whole family guidance to know how to parent themselves.
Add to that the fact that they were SO young when they got married. Heck, my mom was still a kid when started having kids. She was only like 16 when they got married and had four kids before she was twenty. I’m sure she had no time or energy to properly parent us, let alone no example, so, no, I do not blame her for anything in our childhood. I think she did the very best she could with the hand she was dealt. But, some of those situations indeed affected us as children and shaped us as adults. Not all of our stories are funny and sunny and had great happy endings. I choose NOT to dwell on most of those. I choose NOT to tell most of those because I don’t want my mother reading them. I don’t ever want her to think that I blame her for any of it. I never want her to know that I might have felt that I had a less than perfect childhood. I know she did the best she could.
I love my mom and dad very dearly. I don’t ever want them to think that they did anything less than a standup job in raising us. I think they did an excellent job with what resources they had. I think they raised good kids who (mostly) became good adults. They made sure we all graduated high school which neither of them had the luxury of doing. And yes, in those days that was a luxury. And for them to have had all six of their children graduate high school in that area of the country and that era was indeed a major accomplishment. In fact, our mother did go back as an adult (I believe when Suzi was in high school) and get her GED and I am so proud of her for doing that. So, no, I don’t want my mom reading my blog because I don’t want her to ever think she ever did anything less than an outstanding job raising us. She is one of my heroes and always will be (my dad too) because she withstood adversity and a hardscrabble life and made the best of it. She never gave up and she never took a handout and never relied on the government or anyone else to raise her kids for her. She made the best of a bad situation. I don’t ever want her to feel any differently. For those reasons, I do not want her to be reading my blog.
Wanna tell us why you don’t want your mom reading your blog? Link up with Mama Kat’s and give it a whirl.