I was really hoping that my parents wouldn’t find out I was pregnant before Christmas.
Back story: my parents and I do not have a relationship… We haven’t spoken, other than unpleasantries at a few funerals, in nearly six years. My mom and Joan Crawford have far too much in common for me to survive a relationship with her. And so, in order to protect my family and preserve my sanity (really, no joke), I choose not to have a relationship with her. That doesn’t necessarily stop the crazy, but it does slow it down to a trickle. In the last few years, we’ve had very little crazy directed at us – and now that she doesn’t know my address it’s even better.
I was hoping to make it out of the Christmas season without them finding out. We announced the pregnancy publicly (oh, facebook!) on Thanksgiving, and it took until December 15th for her to discover our joyous news. My mother revs up around her birthday in late October and goes strong through the first of the year. If she has a season, this is it. I’m not sure how, but I was naive to think it wouldn’t matter.
She took it out – the fact that she didn’t know, doesn’t have a relationship with her eldest child, blah blah blah – on the one family member that still talks to her. She caused a butt-load of drama and for a brief moment I thought I had really done it – avoided it all. I wasn’t just avoiding the hole of destruction, I had taken an entirely different street.
Alas, I wasn’t there yet. I got swept into it, believing for a second that my indignation would serve a higher good. If only I hadn’t picked up the phone and played along! What’s the saying? In order to win (in this case, survive) the game, sometimes you have to stop playing.
I’ve done well, healing from their abuse. And I do consider what they did to my brother and I abuse. It’s the kind that doesn’t register well – they were Sunday School teachers for goodness sakes! We never had the visible bruises that somehow trigger a teacher’s recognition. All I have now are well-mended scars. Each time this happens, and I learn something new – I pray that it won’t happen again, that I’ve learned my lesson. It’s like I’m bargaining with the universe.
Sometimes the universe moves me forward a space. “Good job!” it seems to say, “You’ve learned that lesson! Progress to the next block on the board.” Sometimes the universe isn’t sure I’ve really learned the lesson and seems to run me over with it a few more times to make sure I’ve got it down. This time, I really hope I have it.
Save the drama for my momma, I like to say. I really hope I can break this cycle, not just slow it down.