I wish there was a way I could simply outgrow the need for my mother's affection. I know it's not good for me, not with all the conditions that seem to accompany her love, but still, my mother's hands. I've certainly written about them. A friend of mine just posted about how she'd be "in her momma's arms" just as soon as she got through the airport.
It set me off.
And here I thought I was over all of that.
There's a lot to be said for creature comforts and sometimes the only thing I want is her peculiar mix of Oil of Olay and Chanel Number Five.
Which Joel wanted to buy for me because it's one of his favorite perfumes.
Too many memories there. And it might be what I WANT, but it's certainly not what's good for me. I'm still straddling that fence (which feels more like a power line) where this very basic part of me just needs her MOMMY for fuck's sake, but the rational me knows I'm just not ready yet.
I guess I still need to do all the mourning I've been putting off - that inevitable death march of adulthood - in which you realize your parents are never going to be who you wanted them to be, but it seems so far away when I'm trying so hard to figure out who *I* want to be.
Fuck, it's hard enough to be who MY CHILDREN need me to be.
How come nobody told me being a real grown-up would be so much WORK?
Or that it would take a whole new level of joy and love and understanding for me to even GET to the place where I can see how much work I have to do? Adulthood (which I can only define with the most horrible and over-used word ever: authenticity) is one step forward, two steps back.
I'm happier than I've EVER been, but I'm also sadder. And so much more broken than I ever thought I'd allow myself to be. And God forbid IN PUBLIC. (But here we are...)
On Friday, I found myself having a very serious sit-down with my inner child. I rarely speak to that ungrateful spoiled brat, but when I was running late and had to race to Beaverton to get my car (which is finally running again thank the baby jesus!), then drop my kids off in East Vancouver before making it to a 9:30 AM appointment at work on the other side of town, I realized that Mini-Me was GETTING OUT OF HAND. I mean, it really wasn't that big a deal that my kids were all of TEN WHOLE MINUTES late for school or that I had to call my (totally understanding) client and tell her that I was running late and that I'd still have plenty of time to wax everything she needed me to wax without screwing up either of our schedules for the rest of the day.
But inner-child me? She was having a stark, raving panic attack. She needed to lock herself in a padded cell.
Or take an adult-sized dose of Xanax.
So I tried to tell her it was all okay. That there was no reason for her to get so VERY VERY upset.
That she didn't have to be in charge of The Universe at all times.
That no matter how hard she tried to make sure everyone was okay and at the correct airport gates at the properly scheduled times, IT WASN'T HER JOB.
Of course since my inner child is only 11, she didn't listen to a damn thing I had say. So when I finally got to work, I just played Madonna for her while I folded all those extra clean pubic hair towels.
Like a Virgin was always her favorite.
It's such a terrible conundrum for me. My mother was wild and carefree and emotionally unpredictable, so I had to be the mom for myself. I was actually happy to be the mom. It made me feel safe and I was really good at it. But now I'm stuck in this place where I want to give that mini-me mom a break becuase she SO deserves it and at the same time - I'M A FUCKING MOM. I have my own real-life children to mother!
Even though I've been a mom since my earliest memory (which is a memory of me trying to take care of my mom after her first miscarriage.), I still need my MOMMY.
It's no wonder my baby sister won't speak to me - I've always tried to be the mom neither of us had.
IT WASN'T MY PLACE.
I'm not Audrey's mom. I'm not even MY OWN mom. I'm only Alex and Genoa's mom (and ocassionally Liza's step-mom.) But all this is to say that I want my mommy.
Only I want her to be someone who never existed.
Which isn't fair to either of us. What I really need is to get to a place where I can reconcile that and make it fair. I need to find the emotional sweet spot where being her daughter no longer hurts.
I'm just not there yet.
And more importanly: I'm sorry mini-me. I wish I could give you that paid 15-minute break you've been waiting for for 20 years.
We'll get there.