I'm never sure how much of my life to put here in my bit of the universe.
I tend to stick to observations, saving my intense personal stuff for my good ol' pen and paper journal and another journal I don't advertise. Like many people, I censor, not wanting some things that open up scars, wanting to play this role, I guess, of things being spiffy.
The things that have happened in my life gave me great strength, along with soul scarring sorrow. I grew up with a parent who has always chosen other people over me... from her son that has been excised from my life to her friends to other women my age... and all held out as what I should be. She carried this over to the treatment of my children, calling those she was a nanny for later in her life 'grandchild', yet, she didn't come to HRH's wedding, citing numerous excuses... leaving my child without the grandmother she adores at the biggest day of her life.
I raised my children with the motto WWMD? What would Mother do? And, I did the opposite.
Perhaps I'm lucky in the knowledge I am not the only one she treats with such coldness, finding excuses, holding me out as the one who is wronging her... any chaos she is part of, she walks away from, denying culpability. She has done things morally that I cringe from even thinking about, defending her actions, always removing herself from the equation. Her son helped bankrupt one of Mother's oldest friends, and Mother says she is "....tired of listening to her go on and on about that mess!". That mess left a 78 year old woman caring for her disabled 24 year old grandson, who went from a comfortable lifestyle to struggling to make ends meet. All of this is laid at the GoldenChild's feet. Mother walked away with a home bought and paid for... while her friend cries every month, wondering what will happen to her grandson, since all of her investments are gone.
I was so in need of her approval, never forthcoming, that I married someone as narcissistic as she is--continuing to slog forth in the Valley of Disapproval.
I have to accept my own responsibility in all of this.. I continue to hope. I keep thinking if I do the right thing, if I portray her in the right setting, the Universe will give me the Mother I always wanted. I have to remind myself this will not happen; she didn't just wake up this way, she's always been this way. I will never be talented enough, 'Christian' enough, pretty enough, nothing enough. I can still hear one of her friends saying, on the walk up to my house, "If you start on that child (in the South, you remain 'the child') one more time, I'm walking out!" I can travel to care for her, help pay her bills, hold her hand, everything I should do and be.. and it's not that it's not enough, it's that she doesn't love me, and that is that.
What adds to the whole mix is, when she's treating me the way she treats other people, with full on laughter and this amazingly attractive personality she has in a crowd, we have great fun. We have had a session of 'trading' jewelry... I saw something of hers I wanted, and offered a trade. We dumped out all of my junk jewelry, and she went though, bargaining with me, laughing, hiding it in her bra... finally, I had my ring and she had a bag of nice costume jewelry. "Where did you get this nice stuff, Quin?", she asked. "You gave it to me last year for the girls to use as dresss up stuff." was the answer, sending her into waves of laughter.
Normally, if I have something she wants, she takes it, not saying a word. What is hers is hers, what is yours is hers. The number of times I've walked into the homes of one of the two women she chose over me, and seen something of mine, in unbelievable.
Don't get me wrong, as a Nanny, she took on two families with kids, and those children adore her, as she adores them. She was given full rein in how they were raised, whereas I was wary... still, those families love her as a full blooded family member (see friends we choose comment below). And, their full on acceptance of who she is, keeps her visiting them, not one of her blood children, for holidays. She continues to defend her son, regardless of what he's done, and tosses Brother and I aside, in his favour...even though we are the ones who bail her out every time. These people she's made 'family' never question that none of her children speak to her, well, I did, barely. One child would be that, that particular child has an issue. All three of us? Two of us citing the same reasons, the same sense of distance and always being sixth best? Nah, that's at her feet. Her son is batshit crazy, a thief, someone you'd not want to know and her current anger is over the fact Brother and I refuse to 'make amends' with him, to even speak of him. I mean, really.
I know of people who have had far worse situations with a parent, this knowledge of being abandoned, of being left with that understanding no matter what, it will never change. It doesn't stop you from trying. It doesn't stop the pain. I am blessed with my Brother and SIL, who have formed a family with me. I have my children, who are my breath. I have friends that give me reason to thank God and the Universe for the amazing people that they are, allowing me to remember friends are family we choose. Sometimes, you get really lucky and your family is someone you choose to be family--someone you are happy to have in your life. I am fortunate my Aunt is this amazing woman, who loves me and accepts me for who I am, who welcomed Zenmaster and Miss H as full on niece and nephew from the minute I started dating their father. She laughs at me, she cries with me, she is the closest thing to a Mom I've ever had.
In the middle of the night, when you are torn up over yet another slapdown, another episode of me opening up again, giving her a chance, and having her pick someone else....
.....the pain is greater, because I shouldn't have to have someone else fill that role.