Saturday, October 8, 2011


"And I remember screaming at her, 'I don't deserve to be treated like this,' before I ran off up the stairs because I knew she wouldn't be able to follow me."

"You DON'T deserve to be treated like that. Don't ever believe her. She's just projecting onto you."

My last post touched a lot on how my mother was the biggest reason I had self esteem issues. Last night, on an unrelated topic, my mother came up in conversation with Prince T. We were talking about the last time we had cried, it had stemmed from a fairly silly conversational topic, but ended up getting a bit serious.

A bit of backstory. I used to have really awful anger problems as a kid, all the way through middle school. I'd break things, throw things, generally scream and be a nasty, awful person. It didn't take much to get me to fly off the handle. I found out later this was mostly from my bi-polar disorder, but at the time this was all happening, no one knew. And I just seemed crazy and over sensitive. I learned to control my anger (and my temper, oh Prince T is wincing at that word right now) and not to resort to really destructive means to deal with it. When I get overwhelmed by it, though, my reaction is to just start crying. Because this is the most healthy, effective, least destructive form of my expressing my anger. I don't hurt anyone this way, verbally or physically. I don't break anything this way. It's much better for me. I usually don't get to that point anymore, but it does happen.

Also, I cry when I have panic attacks. So, this conversation was excluding when I cry out of anger or a panic attack or just being emotionally overwhelmed (because of my bi-polar).

Last summer, I was unemployed, as you know from my blog posts. I was living with my parents and having to rely on them, which felt absolutely awful. Mik had a job and he was supporting me a bit, as well, which also made me feel awful. I only had Mik and N at the time in the area, no other friends that I had contact with. I was lonely and depressed most of the time and just generally really miserable.

One day I made my way downstairs to go talk to my mother. I don't even make it to the last step before she starts screaming at me over a phone that had been left overnight out of its charger. A phone I hadn't even used. But clearly, it was my fault and no one else's. Clearly it was my fault even though I haven't touched a land line since I got a cellphone. I just stood there, staring at her, not really sure how this was happening or why. She switched her topic of 'lecture' to now be about how useless I was, how I wasn't accomplishing anything and how I was just sitting around and doing nothing with my life. Me, who had been walking miles and miles whenever dad was at work so I could put in applications for jobs. Me, who searched online for applications. Me, who managed to scrape together a few extra bucks by doing odd online jobs (writing articles, short stories, taking surveys, etc). I wasn't doing anything. I wasn't trying. I was useless.


That's a recurring theme in my life. I felt useless for a long time before I moved back in with my parents. Long before I left home. I felt useless and awful and stupid, ugly, fat, all those negative things.

I never stood up for myself as a child against my mother. I know my mother loves me, I know she wants what's best for me. But the culture she's from isn't a kind one all the time. The part of Portugal we're from is very harsh. Failure isn't taken well. You're hard on your children to teach them the world. Tough love is a standard. But I've never reacted well to any of that. I'm sure that doesn't hurt some people, but I'm also sure most people can't handle 21 years of that and not come out emotionally damaged.

I stood up for myself last year that day. I screamed at her that I didn't deserve to be treated that way. That I didn't deserve to be treated like crap for things that weren't my fault. That I was trying my best and it wasn't my fault jobs are hard to come by in this city (one of the poorest in Massachusetts), that I had been trying hard to make extra money, that I had been cleaning all the time just to stop thinking about how miserable I was. I told her it wasn't fair she was making me feel so awful because SHE'S miserable. I told her I was done taking it. I was done just letting her rail into me like that.

I don't deserve to be treated that way.

And so I went upstairs and cried. Cried for all the years I just took that. Cried for the way she's always made me feel. Cried for how miserable I was. Cried and cried and cried until I was sick. I called N and had him take me away, whisk me off somewhere. I touched on this briefly last year, actually.  Right here, for a refresher. I was down for days afterwards, but managed to pull out of it.

My mother DID apologize when I got home. She told me she was sorry for flying off the handle the way she had, told me she was sorry for what she'd said and that she hadn't intended on making me feel so bad. She hasn't done anything that bad since then, even though she does still call attention to my weight every chance she gets.

Prince T hates these stories, these things that come up and I don't realize how awful they are until I think back on them.

I love my mother, despite everything she's made me feel. She's a wonderful woman who does care very deeply for me. She'd give anything to make me happy and she tries her hardest to give me everything I could possibly ever want or need. through some talks, we've been able to mend this relationship a bit. She's being more gentle, I'm being less sensitive. I know I haven't always been the perfect daughter, and I'm still not. But she's not been the perfect mother, either. But we're both trying and this is getting better.

Maybe one day, these stories will be just that; stories of things that happened to me in the past, not a day or two ago.

I'll think back and remember how I used to feel, how I got past it, and how I didn't just eat my problems away like my father would have suggested I do. I hope next year, I'll have much fewer stories to tell about my mother that are negative and many more positive ones.

This blog is shifting away from weight loss, it seems, and more to my personal life and such. If that's an issue, I'm sorry. But I do think these things are important to look at, especially since I'm a very emotionally driven person. Prince T is very logical, he's all numbers and facts. I'm very emotional, all colors and feelings. I suppose together we equal out to a more rational and sane person. (Okay, maybe sane wasn't the best choice of word there, all considered anyone who knows us very well)

I still am going to talk a lot about my health, size, weight, and healthy eating. I still want to talk about food and how to not become a miserable person hiding in their room stuffing down every negative feeling with cookies.


Lilies in my Cereal said...

Weight loss is more than just activity. Weight in my option has a lot of emotional baggage with it. It good that you are able to get out the things you want to talk about. I've been tiptoeing around some of the personal issues affecting my weight loss like finding out my boyfriend cheated on me for a year because I was fat and too embarrassed to be seen with me and the fact that I some how am still with him... Weight loss way more than just pounds on bodies. I'm glad you confronted your mom. It takes a lot of courage to talk to someone that has made you feel insignificant.

Astrid said...

I can see how finding something out like that would affect your weight loss, big time. That would destroy me, and all my efforts, considering how emotional I am. So I can understand that completely.

Talking to my mom was the best thing, but it took me 21 years to do it. I wish I had done it sooner.