MENTAL NOTE

"Though we cannot make our sun stand still, yet we will make him run."
Blue, resist the urge to use facebook. You can do it. Good luck.
Cats and dogs can be friends. So can cowboys and indians. So can we.
Why try to be the best when there's no hierarchy in heaven?

Sunday, May 14, 2017

A Bit of Pain on Mother's Day

I just watched Big Little Lies, a miniseries based on the novel by Liane Moriarty, and I still can't believe how a piece of fiction can affect me so much. I'm angry, I'm annoyed, I'm in fact seething. How can this be? It must be because it reminded me of The Thing We Don't Discuss that connects me, my mother and some no-good sob who didn't deserve to have a son, the shadow that used to haunt me for a long, long time. But no more. Not on Mother's Day. 


They say time heals all wounds, but I assure you that, much as I appreciate their good intentions, they know nothing, mistaking theory for experience. You see, experience taught me that the only thing that heals wounds is actually dealing with the problem that causes the pain, not trying to forget about it, not burying your head in the sand. Without spoiling the plot of Big Little Lies, let me just say that one of its main themes — violence toward women and the impact of nature versus nurture on their kids — struck a chord in me.

You see, I'd been struggling all my life with this demon inside of me. The demon's name was DNA, short for Do Not Attack. It was unfortunately bestowed on me by said sob, and all through elementary school, high school and college I tried to find new ways to suppress this innate tendency of mine to overreact, control and explode. I would look in the mirror and tell myself, "I'm different. I'm not like him." And I am different. I made myself different. It took decades to become who I am today. I reprogrammed myself through never-ending introspection, basically reinventing myself, but I wouldn't have been able to do any of that without my mother's brave decision to escape the nightmare.

She got away and took me with her. But little did I know back then that my physical removal from this toxic environment called home wasn't enough to start anew. Some of it was a part of me. I carried the damn stuff inside of me. DNA. Who needs it anyway? To cut a long story short, I got away through learning from my mistakes (hard work, a battle called Nurture versus Nature that no one ever knew about because it all took place inside my head, this need to be a good person) and a caring mother who provided me with a new, safe haven and tried her darnest to make her hardship invisible — if only because she believed, and still does to this day, that grown-up problems should never become a kid's burden.

So thank you, Momma, for saving my life, for taking that one decision that meant the difference between hope or no hope. I just can't thank you enough.

* * *

59 comments:

  1. A moving, poignant and truthful post. Thank you. And your mama.
    That battle is one that too many people don't recognise, and don't take. Congratulations to you for having the courage and persistence to continue.

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  2. What a fine tribute
    Deserving of Mothers
    Their sacrifices include
    Also their tears and fears

    Many may not realize
    Always generously given
    Ever the lovely smile
    To one's heart content

    Hank

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    1. A tribute it is
      Doing the thumbs up for Mom bizzz!

      Howdy Hank!
      The one and only... Poetry Tank.
      Yes, sir.

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  3. A huge thank you to your Mum for getting you out & also to you for fighting for yourself.

    (((((((((((hugs)))))))))

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  4. So glad she got away and realized she had to get away. So many choose to think it will be different the next time, and it usually isn't. She was a brave woman!

    betty

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  5. That's the most moving thing you've ever written. Sorry it was hell but bless your mother for getting you both out of it. Continue to fight the battle to be different and better.

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    1. Hi Alex. Sorry for neglecting you and all our friends. I've not been feeling too well, is all. Thanks for reading my post. Yes, it was hell. The sob almost taught me how to fly out of a window, but that was a long, long time ago. I won't give up on the battle plus I'm grateful I'm married with a Bollywood Princess whose very presence has a calming effect on me. So now I'm wondering... why am I a teacher?

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    2. You are teaching kids to be better, that's why.

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    3. Even if they're 18, yes/ Now, why does that make e feel old all of a sudden?

      (Lots of questions, I know ;))

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  6. Your mother knew she had to get out and got you away. Sad to think so many take it and stay. But you got a good one and with lots of work a new life was spun. Don't you love that platitude crap? Always spouted by some know nothing sap. "It will get better" "Time heals all wounds" "Things will look up" blah blah blah like some magic force will go poof and suddenly things will be bright. Pfffft got to get up and fight. Whether that is within or without, only way true change comes about. I could be dead right now at my sea if my mother hadn't done the same as the one of thee.

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    1. "Things will look up by doing nothing, you know?"
      No, I don't know at my blue guy show
      Stick your head out and do whatever it takes
      Soldier on, don't hit those breaks
      Pfffft and then some, Pat
      You know what I mean at your mat
      "A better job will come your way.
      All you need to do is pray at your bay."
      All you need is luck and a will to live
      People take, they usually don't give
      Sounds to me your Mom did the right thing, too,
      Or there would be no rhymes at your shoe
      That would've been a waste
      And for me no typing with haste ;)


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    2. Those breaks?
      Like no break double takes
      No Bora that way
      Even if one had pay lol

      Or there is the best
      "Don't get what you can't handle" comes from a pest
      They can take their handle
      And I'll whack them with a sandal
      As once you have you handle it
      Don't need some platitude shit
      No rhymes and not cat
      Would suck at that
      For no copy and paste
      Getting in above the waist

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    3. No Bora, no play
      No food today...
      Some say, "Just pray
      And food will come your way..."
      Sure it will
      Plus a bill
      When you're ill

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  7. Oh, that the series in which Nicole Kidman grabs Alexander by his Skarsgard and holds if for a couple of seconds, I rewatched that scene many times somewhere around the net!

    Hope your moma stole all your dad's money on the way out and pierced his car tires with a screwdriver.

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    1. Yes, I bet she needed a tenth take as well.

      No, she just ran like hell and sent the cops on his ass. Good riddance. Well done.

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  8. Wow, now that's from the heart. Good for you both to choose to live, grow and become the true you. It silences those voices at 3am, I know them too. Here's to facing your fears and beating their aSS!

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  9. I'm so glad that you and your mom escaped from a terrible situation. Too bad you were forced to mold yourself into a proper person over the years, but it sounds like your mom was there to help.

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    1. She was there and never once gave up. Thanks for reading, Mr. Silverfox. I know that nurture outweighs nature. All it takes is selfawareness, determination and... luck. I was lucky.

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  10. I'm so glad that you and your mom got out of that situation. It takes a strong mom to say this isn't good for me or my kids and get out. I grew up in a similar situation and my mom left my dad when I was 11 But she found herself with a new boyfriend who was even worst. Long story short that boyfriend hated me and I lived with my grandma for a year. When I was 13 the boyfriend got mad and I walked in on him while he was holding his gun. He told me this was all my fault and pointed the gun at me and then turned it on himself and killed himself in front of me in our kitchen. It took a lot of therapy to get past everything but it's true you can't bury the past and pretend it didn't happen. You have to face it head on and push your way through it, deal with it and move on. Look in the mirror and know you're a good person and you deserve happiness. My dad got clean and sober and we all get along now. Even my mom got along with him when she was alive.

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    1. Sigh. That is quite a story Mary, and I want to thank for sharing all that with me. Unbelievable... That must've been terrible. I just don't know what to say except that I know you're a strong person and you're a kind person. That's a great combination.

      Look in the mirror and like what you see, okay?

      Blue

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    2. Thank you. I think it's cathartic to share similar stories with people who will understand they are not alone.

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  11. I wonder how many of us had to silently suffer through watching our mothers, and sometimes ourselves, experience the abuse of an unstable, angry man. I don't care how many times I am told the reasons why a woman stays in a relationship like that, how I am supposed to understand and feel sympathy for abused women, I will never understand it and will not feel sorry for the woman who keeps going back to the abuser. If there's one grudge I hold on my own mom, it's that she kept taking him back and didn't leave sooner. When my stepdad died 2 years ago, I celebrated knowing the world was rid of one foul being. I am sorry you were one of the sufferers. Time may not heal all wounds, but it does dull the ache a little.

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    1. See, that's why I like you so much. You're as tough as they come. I don't know why abused women often stay in the "relationship". I guess it has something to do with low self-esteem. Thanks for yet another wonderful comment.

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    2. I figure some will probably take the comment as bitchy and uncaring, but I just can't wrap my head around the mindset of a woman who doesn't leave after the first strike or threatening word. We are taught over and over that those kind of men do not change. You allow it to happen once, it will only get worse. Maybe some of these women think their relationship is the the one to go against that? Jason was told on day one that my deal breaker was any form of abuse. I'm out on the first threatening word or raised hand, and 20 years later I am still prepared to walk away and never look back should he even think about trying it. I drill this into my girl's heads too and pray they can quickly recognize the signs of an abuser should they ever come across one.

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    3. Bitchy and uncaring? No, it's called self-preservation in my book. I'm sure your kids are smart enough to recognize the tell-tale signs of an abuser a mile away. Alicia (below) did point out something that is easily ignored: a person's upbringing making it hard to leave.

      From what I've heard, Jason is a good guy. :)

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  12. For me it was nature vs. nuture. I just read the comment left by Theresa above and your response Blue and it made me realize that it's not always low self-esteem that causes one to stay in an abusive relationship. For myself I kept going back because of nurture, I was raised to believe that marriage was forever and that divorce was a sin and that love conquers all. But the nature part of me was strong because every time he hurt me, whether physically, verbally or emotionally in my head I would think to myself, "Who the hell do you think you are you asshole! Do you know who I am? Do you know how much better of a person I am than you and how lucky you are to have me and how little you deserve me!" I think it was nature and that attitude that finally saved my life and made me get out of that hell. I would have to say that I had a whole hell of a lot of self-esteem and I never let him break my spirit. Abused women have many reasons and if I have learned one thing in my years on this earth is that we can't judge someone else unless we've walked in their shoes. I commend your wonderful mother Blue and you for being strong enough to not make his mistakes.

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    1. Nurture versus nature... Thanks for sharing that insightful comment, Alicia. You sure gave me something to think about. It was my mother's nature, too, that eventually saved her. Unbelievable that a person's upbringing can do that to them. I always say, "Culture and one's upbringing equal brainwashing."

      I admire your strength.

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  13. HI Blue....
    Your Mother raised a lovely guy...no matter the DNA....you turned out great.
    I had no idea you were holding this horrible secret....
    Good for you for sharing...or....maybe you already have, and I rudely missed it.
    Hang in there....hugs to your Mom 💓
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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    1. Thanks, Linda! You're always so enthusiastic :) Just what a blue guy needs. Hey, and a drink!Oh wait a minute... I'm still on a diet ha ha!

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  14. It takes courage and the strength of Hercules for a mother to take her child and escape a bad situation. AND what a grateful son you are to acknowledge that deed. A child's eye does not always recognize the brave deeds performed by a mother but you did and are now able to thank her decades later. That is a splendid honor you have just handed your mother. I know of the joy you bring to her.

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    1. Kind words from Belva are always special. Thanks. Yes, it took a whole lot of courage, all right.

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  15. I really like Moriarty and am reading her book, 'Truly, Madly, Guilty' right now. I do remember the book you are talking about. But, oh yes, Mother's Day. My most dreaded 'holiday' of the year. I'm glad you had a mom that you can look up to!

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    1. Truly, Madly, Guilty... I like the sound of that.

      I hear ya, Bijoux. Sigh.

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  16. I was very moved by this, Blue. You Mom raised a swell guy ~ you are kind and thoughtful and she is a very brave lady . . . and bless her. . . . :)

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    1. Ah there he is... my friend Eddie! How's life, Eddie? Thank you for your kind words. You know they mean a lot to me. I love that word: swell. Reminds me of Christopher Reeve in Superman: CLICK! (0:24)

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  17. I'm sorry, Blue. If nothing else, I'll say that I can empathize. There's a reason I only really talk about my mom. I'll leave it at that. But, you recognize and you're acting against it. You're good, man.

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    1. I figured as much. Sigh. Lots of people out here in the blogiverse carrying luggage they'd rather leave behind at the airport.

      Thank you for your kind words, Robert.

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  18. Blue, thank you for your honesty and for such a touching post! I am so sorry for what you and your mother went through! We all go through things, don't we? Some, worse than others, but we all have a story. Our life! You're a good person Blue! You and your mother, are courageous and strong and have good souls!
    Sending you both Big Hugs and Lots Of Love!!
    (I want to thank you for always leaving such kind comments on my blog! I am truly grateful!!)

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    1. Yes, we all go through a whole lot of things, all right. That's the way it is, has been, and always will be. No need to thank me, though I appreciate your kind words. We'll stay in touch :)

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  19. I also thank you for your honesty, it helps others that are in, or have experienced, similar to you.

    I'm just so pleased that your Mum realised she had to get away and did get away, so many do not. She was a courageous woman ... a most touching post.

    Take care and my good wishes

    All the best Jan

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    1. Well, you reach a certain age where it is easy to discuss pretty much any topic, this one included. Things are the way they are and sugar coating won't help a soul. At least, that's how I see it.

      Thanks for taking the time to read my post, Jan.

      Enjoy your Sunday,

      Blue

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  20. What a sweet post to your mama. :) Having someone who loves you unconditionally and does what it takes to keep you safe, matters more than most any other thing. Kudos to the mamas who do, and poo to all the parents who are too selfish to do the same (I'm always surprised there are so many of 'em... in fact, I'm surprised there is even one). Have a good weekend, Blue. :)

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    1. Hello, Rosey. How nice to hear from you again. You know how to put a smile on a blue face :)

      Enjoy your Sunday. I'll stop by soon.

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  21. What a wonderful tribute to a brave and loving mother.
    Lots of folks that come from a 'functional' family don't realize just how lucky they are and think it's the norm, when in fact its not. I believe we can unconsciously follow in our parents' footsteps or make a conscious effort not to and you made the conscious effort.
    Hugs,

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    1. That's an excellent point you're making there: functional isn't the norm. Now, that's what I call food for thought. :)

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  22. Ignoring an emotional pain body only results in you getting continually poked by it throughout life; it echoes through all other relationships. Recognising it doesn’t ever cure the pain, I don’t think, but at least you can understand where it’s coming from.
    Your mother has courage and love and that is also part of your DNA and nurture can override that. You’ve proved that, Blue, cos you’re the best.

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    1. Thanks, Jules... but you're stealing my words, you know. You're the best. No, the pain - or what's left of it - is never cured. It it numbed, though, which is all a person could ever ask for.

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  23. Blue, I've had 3 fathers: one went to prison, one committed suicide and one hated my presence. I don't do "Dads" anymore! Maybe it makes for more empathetic people and we certainly need a few more of those in the world :)

    *Margaritas in Bora Bora* Just keep that image.

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    1. I hear ya, Jules. How anyone can ever hate your presence is beyond me. And I mean beyond me.

      Bora... one day.

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  24. I can very much relate. Denial helps no one. We have to be aware in those situations and face the demons inside us head on. And be better.

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    1. Amen to that, Lynda. Good to hear from you again.

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