Thursday, February 3, 2011

When she was sober

My mother
I am feeling guilty about my post about my sister and my mother.  The truth is I have no idea what happened.  I can only speculate and let my mind take over.  No one ever told me what happened to my sister.   It could have been an accident.   It could have been anything.   I don’t want the world to think my mother is a monster when I might be wrong.

I also realize that some people do not believe what I write.  There is nothing I can do about that.  I am writing this blog for me so read if you are interested and don’t if you are not.  My childhood was difficult to endure and I am struggling to survive years later.   How am I supposed to survive when these are the things I see when I close my eyes?  There is more that I have yet to write about, but for the most part I have written about the worst of it, I think.  At least the worst that involves me.

Back to my mother…

The truth is my mother wasn’t always so harsh or abusive.  My mother was a woman of extremes. When she was angry, she was extremely angry.  When she was happy she was extremely happy.  The truth is she could be extremely loving sometimes too.   I realize my life is hard for some people to swallow and it’s easy to blame everything on the mother.  My mother had a hard life as a child and she had a hard life as an adult.  She was in and out of foster care as a child, and a hardcore drug user after being gang raped at 11.  My brother was also a product of rape (or at least that is what I have been told). So try not to judge her too harshly based on what I write.

When she was sober she was amazing.  There were a few times in my childhood when my mother really tried to be a good mom.  She really did.  She really tried to get her life together and provide for us. For a while she was going to school and nearly became a medical assistant.  She had to get her GED since she never finished high school and then worked so hard until she quit two weeks before finishing school. I don’t know why.  I guess she just didn’t have the strength to stay sober.  When she was sober she is the mother I still cry for at night.  She was home and not so angry all the time.  She would cook for us and always made sure we had food to eat.  She would even cook my favorite food for me sometimes too.   I loved fruit salad and biscuits and gravy, not together of course.  She would tell me she loved me for no reason, just because.  When my mom was sober, she was a mom.  When my mom was sober, she loved me.

One of my favorite memories of my mother is when I was sick in the hospital with pneumonia and she was sober.  She was the most worried I have ever seen her except for when I had an accident and she had to rush me to the hospital when I was five or six.  I had always wanted a puppy but she always told me I could never have one even though we had two giant white dogs at home.  When I woke up in the hospital my mom was sitting in the chair right next to me.  As soon I opened my eyes I heard, “Hey pumpkin, I’ve got a surprise for you but it’s a secret and I can get in trouble for bringing it in here so you can’t tell nobody okay?” A surprise and a secret from my mom? It could not get any better for me.  My mom reached into her bag and pulled out a teeny tiny little Chihuahua puppy.  I just sat there and starred at this little wiggly brown dog. He had tiny little ears.  One ear stuck up in the air and one flopped down by his face.  He was the cutest thing I have ever seen.  His tail was going about a hundred miles an hour. “Well, aren’t you excited?” My mom asked because I hadn’t moved. I was bubbling with delight but my mom said I had to keep it a secret.  I squealed and laughed and grabbed the little dog that began to feverishly lick my face. “I love him!” I named him Wiggles after my mom vetoed the name “Kisses.” Stupid names, but I don’t claim to have been the most creative child. Wiggles stayed with me for a little while.  Every time a nurse or a doctor would walk by my door, we’d stash him under the covers.  I’m sure they noticed the little wiggling lump in my bed, but no one said anything to us. Wiggles was my best friend from that very moment.  I took him everywhere with me but sadly I cannot remember what happened to him.  I think I was taken into foster care for a while and when we went back with our mother, we didn’t have dogs anymore.  Wiggles was the sweetest dog.  I used to make him ride our giant white dogs.  Even today I have a desire to have a tiny little dog and a great dane together.  Someday I will and I will make the great dane carry the little dog in a saddle bag on walks.  

My mother would also tell amazing bedtime stories. They did not have the most appropriate themes or language but she always captivated my mind and imagination with these long drawn out stories really late in the middle of the night when the rest of my siblings were sleeping.

Another favorite memory of mine is when we went swimming one time.  Just my mother and me.  I was never a very good swimmer.   I always wore arm floaters because I had this irrational fear of drowning and sharks when I went swimming.  I saw all the Jaws movies before I was six so even today when I get in a body of water, even a man made one like a pool, part of my mind is terrified there is a shark in it.  Usually my mom would make fun of me and make the jaws noises whenever I went swimming, but this time was different.  She was sweet and encouraging.  She told me to take off my floaters so I could learn how to swim.  I did, and then I began to panic.  I started to kick my legs frantically but I was still sinking.  I started to cry and my mom jumped in the pool in her favorite jeans and grabbed me.  Instead of yelling at me she said “I got you. You’re okay.”  She stayed in the pool with me and taught me how to swim.

That is the mother I miss.  That is the mother I yearn for and still sometimes cry for.  Even writing this I have to fight back the tears.  It’s so hard knowing that the mother I miss so much is still alive but no longer exists.  My mother is not a complete monster.  A complete monster just took over her body. I don’t know where my mother went.  I wish she would come back for me someday. I miss her so very much.