Mommy Dearest

My mother. She’s crazy. All my friends know that. I’ve known that almost all my life. No, she wasn’t the totally abusive kind. She always told my sister and me how much she loved us. Abused by her own mother, she made a promise to herself that her kids would know that they were loved. And she’s one of the best people to have around when you’re sick. Sometimes, she really knows what she’s talking about.

And then there are the other times.

She’s the type of person who thinks she’s an authority on most subjects, even though she has no idea what she’s talking about. And, of course, her sharing her profound knowledge comes with hearing about what happened to her, and how she saved the day, and how she taught people the error of their ways, and so on. We have a joke in my family—whenever Mom’s talking to someone, we roll our eyes at each other and comment on how she’s telling her life story again. But if you were to believe her, she should be the current prophet of the Mormon church. Even though, you know, she hasn’t gone to church since I was eleven.

Thanks to her, I didn’t go to school until I was in seventh grade, and when I finally got in, I didn’t even know how to divide. I took dance classes, not the martial arts I wanted. I spent a good deal of my childhood dodging Child Services, like some kind of criminal. I was locked inside the house all day, and Mom was the prison guard at the door. I was forbidden from seeing most of my friends at one time or another, and I was put on “lockdown” for something I didn’t do.

She tried to forbid me from wearing nail polish, piercing my ears, and even wearing pants. Watching action movies. Playing RPGs. Reading Lord of the Rings. Watching horror movies. Wearing black. Going to a rock concert (you should have seen the fight we got in the day afterward—she grabbed me by the collar of my new concert t-shirt, she was so mad. I just smiled at her. So she walked away. First time I ever won). Those didn’t work out so well, obviously. Now, all those things are a part of my daily life.

Every time I asked her why I couldn’t go to school, or why I couldn’t go outside, she yelled at me. That may not seem like much, but to a child, it was terrifying. I didn’t understand what I’d done wrong.

Now that I’m older, I’m the one yelling at her. Quite often. And I don’t care that much. Yes, I love her. No, I don’t honor her like I should. But I figure it’s payback time. She got her yelling and swearing in. Now it’s my turn, and I mean to enjoy it. I’m not the scared child anymore.

I never said I was a good person.