Yesterday had a theme.
Yesterday was about death and family and love and hate and realizing your spirit animal is a foul mouthed raccoon.
My last baby graduated fifth grade yesterday. It's not a major milestone by any means. It's simply moving from one school to another. But the schools around here hold an honors ceremony for the kids and the parents... because it might not be a major milestone, it's still a milestone. It is just the first warning that one day very soon you will be doing this for real and that tiny little bundle you brought home almost eleven years ago is more than halfway done with your part in their lives.
Oh, your role in their lives will never end... well it shouldn't. Unfortunately, it does for so many. If you're a normal functional family you'll always be a part of your children's lives. It's just that in seven more school years, you're role in shaping them, and guiding them, and not killing them for stupid mistakes will come to a screeching halt and you won't even notice that it happened. The warning comes with that last ceremony, the one when they're seventeen or eighteen and you're in a packed arena overlooking a sea of mortar boards and gowns... that's your warning. You can try to hang on to them but that's their signal that you're done. If you've done your job right, they can go off and be people on their own and they'll come home every now and then. College and marriage and babies and careers. It's the circle of life as we know it. We get eighteen years. If we did it right we didn't fuck our kids up and life is perfect.
So I cried in a little gym surrounded by people who didn't know what was coming. I have three adult children. I've been there before. I cried for all of them. I cried when they left the eighth grade too. I cried through all of the high school honors programs and band awards and that day they left school for the last time. I cried at one college graduation and one wedding. I'll cry at another wedding later this year.
I might have been the only mother of a fifth grader sitting in that gym who knew what was coming. Maybe I cried harder because she is the last. Maybe I cried because unlike the last fifth grade graduation I attended, I wasn't pregnant for this one.
The last one. The attitude in that one is great. I can see the next seven years playing out. I've been there three times before.
I wonder if my mother cried when I graduated fifth grade. I remember it. I wore a white floral dress and hated every minute of it. There was no middle school graduation where I went. I wore a pale green dress and three inch white hooker heels seven years later with a royal blue cap and gown. I wonder if she cried then. I never graduated college. I ran away to get married. I wonder if she gave a damn.
I never graduated college because she spent all of the money my father saved for me to go to college. I ran away to get married because she would never allow me to date. I snuck around with the man I married for months. Because I was an adult trapped in this insane reality in which my mother controlled every thing. I couldn't afford college. I didn't qualify for financial aid. I had no help. I had nothing. I had to be her cook and baby sitter and do what she told me to do.
I can look back on it as the mother of adult age children and wonder how much of what I was going through was teen angst and resentment. I can look back on it and wonder how much of it I brought on myself.
I look back and I flinch.
I flinch because if I said anything I was hit. I flinch because I had to choose every single word that came out of my mouth so very carefully or I would be hit. I flinch now. I flinch 30 years later because I spent the first 19 years of my life with a person incapable of love who controlled with hateful words and slap to the face or the few times when I stood my ground, a beat down. A beat down that she bragged about for months. A beat down that she made sure I knew she enjoyed and would do again if I decided I needed to stand up to her.
While my father was absent.
He could be in the same house and still be absent.
I look back on my life and I wonder if my kids can find memories like that. I wonder if the times I had to discipline them above and beyond will be what stays with them. I never slapped a kid. I never beat one. I never demeaned them. Never. I gave them what I thought they needed and I let them go.
I've done my best. That's the best I can say.
I didn't have a mother. I didn't have a father. I had me. And I had a brother and a sister behind me. I had a brother and a sister who could do no wrong. I had a brother and a sister that I took care of, and often times I took their slaps and their beat downs.
This was my life.
This is not my kid's life. My older kids are not my younger kid's parent figures. They're her siblings. And that was the one thing I am proud of. I gave my kids the life I never got. I gave them everything I could to move them into the world.
Because yesterday I watched a movie about a bunch of messed up individuals who made a family. The theme of the second Guardians movie is family. It's slower than the first movie. You're in the middle of the plot before you realize there is a plot. It's about people like me whose parents or creators fucked them up to the point that they have nothing left. It's about making family. It's about finding the crazies that make you whole and making them family.
There's this scene that I am going to spoil the hell out of. It's in the woods. It's dark. The team has split up and something bad is about to happen to a crazy raccoon and a baby tree. It's a scene in which I fell in love with a crazy raccoon. Because if I could I'd rig a trap that flings people into the air and keep flinging them while I sit in a tree and laugh... but I can't... so I write about doing shit like that to fictional people.
It's where I find my particular dysfunction in a fictional creature.
Guardians is about confronting your past. I will never be able to do that. My past is dead and buried with other people. Or learning how to fucking live with it without turning into a raging psychopath.
And major spoiler. Take tissues. Because in the end, you're going to find you need them. Because when it happens, it never stops tearing at the feels.
And then there is Dean Winchester and his mommy issues.
This is the season Dean's greatest wish was granted by Chuck's sister. Dean got his mother back.
And she isn't the person his four year old self remembers.
She's the adult mother from a messed up background who knows more about fighting than nurturing. She doesn't cook. She never baked him pies. She isn't loving. She isn't what he wanted her to be.
Mothers seldem are.
Earlier this season he broke my heart when he rejected her. His resentment and his anger and his hate... I knew those. I know those. God I know those.
Last night Supernatural ended their season in two episodes. I can't help but wonder why the network shoved them both together instead of stretching it out one more week like the other shows. I needed time to process the second to last episode before I was thrown into the last one.
And this is where the spoilers the second to last episode come in. If you don't want to be spoiled... stop reading.
Dean is left alone with the mother who barely knows him. Sam is out on a mission. The torture bitch from BMoL puts him into his mother's head to attempt to undo her reprogramming... if you've watched recent episodes you know what I mean. Dean walks into a memory he's had before. When he was four eating a sandwich and Mary is baking a pie... she won't look at him. The memory is playing out like it did in whatever episode it played out in seasons ago.
He's talking to her. Calmly. She won't look at him.
And then he says he hates her.
He hates her and he blames her for leaving them alone and turning them into what they became. He hates her because their father became a shell of a father. He hates her because he had to be mother and father to his brother. He hates her because he never had a childhood. He never had a chance at a life other than the one he has.
And yesterday hit me so fucking hard.
Why I identify with Dean Winchester and always have. Why I identify with a fucking CGI raccoon.
Because I hate my mother. I hate her. I have hated her for fucking me up. Fucking up our family. For fucking up everything. I hate her because I love her. And she never fucking loved me.
I hate my father because he wasn't there to stop her. He didn't care. I hate him. I hate them all. I hate my siblings because I had to be their mother and their father and I never had a childhood. I hate them because I love them and they are just like her.
Yesterday had a theme. It started with the death of a brilliant, haunted rock star who gave voice to so much of my pain over the past couple of decades. And continued to wind my fucked up life into my fucked up present and forced me to deal with shit I've been bottling up for the past seven months since my mother died.
I write the shit I write to purge the messed up shit in my head. I put on this face that isn't mine and I make sure everyone is taken care of. I've always made sure everyone is taken care of. Always. I put everyone ahead of me. And I took their shit because I don't want to upset people. I flinch. Because I was abused and I was unloved and I swore I'd never treat anyone the way I was treated.
I told people that I love them when I didn't. I told people that weren't loved by parents that I loved them because I felt guilty that they weren't loved. I never realized I hated them until recently. I never realized that I loved them out of duty. I loved my parents because I thought I had to. I thought that's what you did. I love people that I hate. I hate people that I love. And I can't reconcile that. I can't reconcile being just like them.
Yesterday had a theme.
Yesterday reminded me that I'm fucked up and made me face what fucks me up.
I have depression. I have anxiety. I feel I am worthless and unworthy of being loved. I feel alone and I feel I have to be responsible and nice and a fucking doormat because that's how I was raised. I have no voice. I am the one who does for others because that's my sole purpose. And I hate them.
It's okay to hate them.
It's okay to cut the toxicity from your life and realize you don't have to love people who do not love you in return. It's okay not to love someone. It's okay to let the hate in sometimes. Because it purges the bullshit from you. I hate.. and I'm walking the fuck away from what I hate.
And that's okay.
Because that was yesterday's theme.
Today has a new theme. And tomorrow is unwritten.
Peace... one day soon maybe,