This post is dedicated to all those out there that were not so happy with the parent(s) they were born to….
Life is not something that can be explained in concrete terms.
My husband and I were watching a Steve Wilko Episode yesterday – about a mother who purposely got her daughter hooked on heroin just so that she could pay her bills from the prostitution money that her daughter was able to bring in.
Listen…….I can’t argue the fact that this woman was in every sense a “bad” parent……but, the daughter was able to move on with her life by managing to get to a rehab program and stick to it and despite the hardships and temptations of heroin, this young girl was able to bring herself out of the black hole of addiction.
Does that make her mother a good mother?
The mother who pushed heroin on her daughter ended up giving birth to a great kid……better than most……shouldn’t the mother get credit?
Everyone will agree that the mother gets no credit for raising a smart girl.
Buit….why does everyone also agree that the mother should pay with her life for raising a child that isn’t as smart.
Parenting is a funny thing. If you suck at it…..you lose.
If you were great at it (in your opinion) you lose as well……because the credit goes to the child for the child’s own accomplishments.
Let me tell you about my life with my mother.
My mother was a child born to a set of holocaust survivors. My grandfather was a survivor of Aushwitz, one of the most deadly concentration camps in Germany, and my grandmother was a survivor of various work camps….not deadly, but grueling for any human being to have to live through.
I remember hearing a story that my grandfather and grandmother used to tell with pride…….they used to brag about how well disciplined my mother was…….if she would dare leave the house with her sweatshirt on backwards (which apparently she did occasionally), they would beat her for it.
And many other stories like this one.
I was the first born of my parents.
I am not going to discuss my father, because that is going to be a different post all together….but I want to discuss my mother.
I grew up being scared shitless of her. My brother and I used to hide when we would hear her bed creak – an indication that she was about to wake up and come and get us.
I remember being left in charge of my sister, who used to be an undisciplined brat, and if I tried to control her in anyway, my mother would make sure I paid for my abuse two fold…….she felt protective of my sister because she identified with her.
I remember being responsible for things that typically mothers themselves are supposed to be responsible for…such as cooking dinner for the family…..and if I didn’t fulfill my household obligations (despite my homework obligations), I would be swiftly taken care of……a good smack where ever her hand landed.
She never failed to let me know what a pathetic human being I was……I didn’t get the best grades and I had no plans for my future.
If I needed any help…..I knew not to go to my mother for it.
Among many other stories that I could tell….this is my favorite……
My friend and her father came to pick me up one day and I was still in the shower when they arrived at my house. I shaved my legs in the shower and happened to have nicked myself.
When I came out to greet my friend and her father, my mother noticed that there was a cut on my leg from shaving…….
She gave me a good smack and told me what an idiot I was for nicking my leg.
I had nothing to say, I was simply embarrassed……but my friends knew that my mother did not like me – or my friends (the few that I had) that much.
My mother was typical. She disciplined me the way that she thought she should. She didn’t “abuse” me if the definition of abuse is locking your child in a closet and not feeding them for a week and then beating them when they come out of it.
But……she hurt my self esteem.
I was “disciplined” since I was born……my mother thought breast feeding was disgusting.
“Tough Love” was her favorite expression.
I left my home the minute I turned 17 and didn’t look back. I was not interested in being under the control of my mother for the rest of my life.
I didn’t care whether she was right or wrong or crazy or sane……..I wanted to be free of her clutches.
I spent the next 15 years emotionally suffering from my experience in my mother’s home. It affected my entire persona….which affected my entire life.
I never felt good enough. I was disciplined, yes……my bosses loved me. I was the best employee….like a soldier……but, so what….that was all that I was…..an employee.
I never felt that I was good enough……so I married a man that felt the same way……I was not good enough.
I continued this pattern until finally something in my head cracked under pressure landed me in a hospital.
Nowadays, I don’t care about whether I was “good” enough……or if I did the “right” thing…..or if I am “smart”…..or if I am “presentable”……or if I am “lazy”…..or if I am “stupid”…..
I am me.
I don’t give one crap about what anyone thinks about me and my thoughts…….
Except…..that for some reason I haven’t grown up enough to be above what my mother thinks of me.
She has been disguising herself as “Linda” and attempting to fuck with me through comments on my blog.
I realized it was my mother because I got a pit in my stomach when I had to answer “Linda” and I couldn’t understand why there was so much venom in her comments.
What did “Linda” have against me.
I suspected that it was my mother, and checked the IP address……and lo and behold…..”Linda” is “Dina’…..my mother.
Having children myself, I can’t imagine what thrill it would give me to pretend to be someone else and rip my daughters apart on their blogs anonymously.
My mother claims it was just a joke to see how long it would take me to figure it out.
She told me that she thinks controversy is good (although she thinks my blog is silly) and I have to get used to the fact that not everybody will agree with my perspective.
I completely understand that not everyone will agree with my perspective…….but don’t attack me for having one.
I call this blog PEACEFUL controversy for a reason.
Now…..I ask you…..
My mother provided me with a roof, food and the basic essentials for life –including a private Jewish education.
She did not lock me in a closet and starve me.
She did not set me on fire or have my father rape me.
I am emotionally OK today………
But………was my mother a good mother?
Did I not have life long affects from her method of discipline?
Do I blame her for my problems? ……NO!
Do I think that I want to emulate her parenting skills?
Am I a good parent?
According to many opinions……NO.
Do I think I am a good parent…..YES
Do my kids appreciate me?
I have no idea……..but……what ever success that they acquire (G-d willing) in life…..it is their own success.
What ever failures they meet throughout their life…..It is their own failures.
I am only equipped with how I think a parent should be…….
Just like everyone else.
Show me a perfect kid……and I’ll show you a perfect parent.
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