When I was a young teenager my brother and I would fight over silly things. This was to be expected as we were both going through puberty. My Mom’s reaction to this bickering was unexpected. She would threaten not to buy food and not to give us lunch money. At the time this angered me and my brother but we were unable to stop the arguing. The result was no food.
I would come home from school and there would not be dinner most nights. I would then go to my boyfriend’s house. My brother to his friends houses. My Mom would hold out on us. She was teaching us a lesson, in her words.
Oh yes, the message was loud and clear to me. What I learned was that abuse comes in many forms. Neglecting a child has a lasting effect on them into their adulthood. What my Mom did all of those years ago was to imprint on my brother and I that we are not worth her love and care. I do not know if she understood the implications of her actions. I do not hold a grudge but I do hold my Mom at a distance. Even to this day, my brother and I equate her to the portrayal of Joan Crawford in Mommy Dearest.
While we starved, Mom had fancy dinners and fur coats. When we were cold, she would drive past in her car to work not even waving while we stood shivering at the bus stop. When we had school events, she would yell at us if she had to pick us up. When I graduated from High School, I was the Class President and had to give a speech. My Mom was late. When my brother left school, my Mom got a job in Saudi Arabia.
She left us and this was the happiest time in mine and my brother’s life together. We bought food. We had parties. We got to know each other. We forever formed a pact and friendship that my Mom could not infiltrate.
My brother is now a father. I am his daughter’s Godmother. My Mom now is the doting Grandma. She is all full of love and warmth. Maybe my Mom finally grew up and became a caring adult.
I am still skeptical and wait for the next act in the Mommy Dearest performance.