Tuesday, September 2, 2008

It's About to Engulf Me

This blog entry isn't about gardens, or plants or wild places.  Today, it's about feeling very much like the house in the picture. 

My mom died last winter and I've gone round and round with it ever since.  I wasn't mistreated, I wasn't abused.  In fact, all my basic needs were met.  I feel silly even being wound up about this.  What I was as a child, was tolerated.  I've been racking my brain trying to come up with a handful of times that my mom showed any interest in me at all.  A handful is all I can come up with.  How can I seek counseling for feeling crushed that my mom didn't like me much, when there are thousands of people that have real issues?  I'd feel like a complete fool.  

I keep trying to go through her life and give her reasons/excuses for her way of dealing with people. She had issues, believe me.  Some were of her own creation, some were not.  I just keep thinking that if I have broken the cycle of ignoring children, then why couldn't she?

There was much, much more to this post, but I decided to leave it on the cutting room floor.  That's a part of killing off the kudzu that threatens to overtake me when I think about my mom.  Bit by bit, I will fight it when it greens up and starts growing.  Today, I dealt with it by simply acknowledging it and then cleaning up the kitchen.  I'll probably take a shower, eat some lunch and get on with my day. Maybe not.  At least I'll be able to say that I cleaned up the kitchen.  In the past, I'd have just gone to bed.


  1. Oh Ceecee, I'm so sorry for the day you are having, just remember it is just a day. If you need to do nothing and take a nap, do it. We all need do nothing, feel like shit days every now and then.
    If you feel yourself spiraling though that is a different matter. What helps me get through the brain fog, wallow times is to have something take my focus elsewhere.
    Make lists and force yourself to accomplish things you have been putting off, walk in the sunshine, do the nasty with your man.
    You are a funny, kind, loving person, you overcame emotional neglect and made your own family different.
    You will feel better tomorrow, cause I'm sending good vibes your way.

  2. Wow, SC, you're quick. I've already changed the post. I felt like it was too much information for my kids. I really don't want to completely sully their own memories of my mom.
    Thanks for the kind words. Maybe it was your vibes that caused me to clean up my kitchen and spend some time outdoors.:)
    I do know that sometimes, a nap is all that will help. I've taken plenty of them.

  3. SC: "Doing the nasty", eh? I'll have to remember that! hehe

    I had a similar childhood, except with a bit of physical abuse thrown in for good measure.

    My Mom committed suicide when I was 8 yrs old, so her ignoring me and neglecting me were problems due to her manic depression.

    But I still get in those kudzu funks because I can't help but wonder, "Wasn't I good enough, sweet enough, cute enough, smart enough, special enough, or whatever enough to keep my Mom's interest, hopes, dreams and love focused on me?

    I've spent countless hours delving deeper into those questions, but never come up with real answers or any kind of comfort.

    Just like that house (I remember seeing plenty of houses, cars, etc like that one in South Carolina, actually) covered up with Kudzu, the important thing is to not let it overwhlem and engulf so much as to suffocate.

    I'm sending you positive vibes and a virtual hug, my friend. :)


  4. Isn't it sad that no matter how beautiful, smart, funny, strong, clever and capable others may find us, how we were viewed by our parents (or felt we were viewed), shapes and impacts us to our core? Everyone has childhood baggage, this much I have learned, but until we are somehow able to make peace with it, it will continue to jump out at us at the most inconvenient and unexpected moments. I wish you peace and release, CeeCee, the same peace and release I am hoping to find from my dad (who passed away unexpectedly in 1992). It's time to forgive yourself for what you feel you weren't to your mother. It really never was about you, you realize this, right? What you carry with you now - your feelings of lacking and void - is all because she was miserable herself. Sadly, you pay the price for her not being as introspective as you are now. You are a wonderful mother - your children are so incredibly lucky to have you. (sorry, this was way too long - i'll stop now) (hug)

  5. Lisa and Danni and SC, what wise women you are.
    It is only now, with my mom's death, that I understand the deep and intimate power I have over my children. It's frightening! Makes me sad that you have to fill out a 10 page document to adopt a dog, but nothing to have a baby.

    It really helps me to have everyone's comments. I get similar bits and pieces of the same comments from my family, but it doesn't ring with me for some reason. I sometimes think maybe they're just saying, "but it was your mom, not you" so I'll quit talking about it.

    There's no doubt my mom was damaged, I just have to get over feeling like she was completely at ease in her own life and CHOSE to keep her children at arms length.

    Thank you for the though provoking notes. It's true, we all have childhood baggage. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Ceecee, I'm sorry you have this baggage. Even when we had "good" parents, there are regrets when they die (my mother died when I was 18). As for not seeking counseling because you feel other people have “real” issues, and yours aren't.... well, I disagree. First off, there are always people worse off than you, but that doesn't make your problems any less real. 2nd, your basic needs were not met. We all need love. And actually, your mother *did* abuse you. It's a form of emotional abuse/neglect called "holding out - Refusing to provide emotional support, share information, or otherwise be intimate in a relationship." These days Child Protective Services will take kids away from parents because of that. You should not feel foolish about this; you are NOT silly to feel depressed because your mother treated you so poorly. If you feel like going to a counselor, someone you can talk to and help you come to terms with the past. go for it! Yes, she's the one who had the problem, but her lack of caring has left you with a sadness that a counselor might be able to help you with. Sending cyberhugs your way. P.S. Sorry to be so long winded. I understand emotional abuse, mine was just from a different source.

  7. If i may offer some words...
    your feelings of being neglected are your issues and just because someone had a tougher life than you, doesnt mean that your issues are less important. If you often have these feelings and want to find ways to fight off the feelings, see a counselor. But if they are fleeting and you are able to dissuade yourself from lingering in the blues, continue to do those things that improve your attitude. Oh, and by the way, if your kitchen is done, you can always come over to my kitchen to do your magic!

  8. I have a similar childhood experience. My mother is still alive and I do know she loves all of us in her own way and that she came through a horrible childhood herself. She improved ten fold in the way she raised us so that should tell us all just how horrible her childhood was. I won't go into that because it was terrible on many levels. My mother was not capable of showing any affection and like yours tolerated having us around if that. There was the physical abuse as well but what sticks is the emotional. If it weren't for my loving and nurturing father I really don't know what would have happened to us. I wake up each day and make myself be thankful for what I have now and only move forward....not focussing on the past. I have my today family and we love each other and have made it so much different and better.

  9. CeeCee - without being cliche, I know exactly how you feel. To this day if I so much as speak to one of my parents, it spins me for a loop in which usually ends with me crying. I didn't have a bad childhood necessarily, I just felt ignored.

    Why do people have kids if they can't so much as spend time with them? And not the we-went-on-vacation once this year as a family time - I mean the playing games together, eating together, talking, watching movies, laughing, going places, go to each others' sporting events type family stuff.

    I ended up seeing a therapist about it a few years ago, and thankfully she gave me some perspective on the pink elephant in the room. I've made my decision to NOT be a part of my dysfunctional family, and I'm ok with that.

    I can't wait to break the cycle. :0)

    Thanks for sharing your soul here.

  10. I know how you feel. My mom was the same way. Not neglectful, but not there either. I was a bother to her unless I was doing something for her. She is still alive and I've learned to live with it. I might feel different if she was gone.