.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}


"...another reason I'm intrigued with the hanged of Salem, especially the women, is that a number of them aroused suspicion in the first place because they were financially independent, or sharp-tongued, or kept to themselves. In other words, they were killed off for the same sort of life I live right now but with longer skirts and fewer cable channels." Sarah Vowell, The partly cloudy patriot.



The email I got from my mom on friday scared the bejeesus out of me. When she is happy with me, she shortens my name, like "shrink" but this email was addressed to "shrinkykitten." That was the first thing that scared me. The other thing was the tone - the brusqueness, and the fact I had missed a deadline. The third was that she had not responded to an email I had sent her a week before - which typically means she is mad. The fourth is that she signed the email with her first name. If she is liking me, she signs it "mom." But that's only if she really really likes me - almost everything is signed with her initials.

I called her monday night, as I had been dreading talking to her and hearing about how angry she was. I called and said, "I am the worst daughter ever!" And she said, "Oh, why?" Ugh.

It all reminded me of how much fear I lived in as a kid. I was terrified to come home every day when she got home before me, out of terror of what she would have learned about me/would have found that would make her angry at me. I would literally have panic attacks on the way home, I was so terrified.

I remember so many times arriving home and finding her/them waiting for me and just livid. I remember sitting and just taking whatever they said - not reacting at all except to apologize and then go to my room. I never cried, I never argued, I never defended myself. Part of me just went away as I took whatever they dished out - so I could just get through it and then hide.

And I think about some of the things that got me into so much trouble. I remember once driving down Blossom Hill road with my mom. I don't know where we were going. I was in jr high - I know this because I had braces. She found out I didn't have my rubber bands on my braces - that I was out. She got so angry at me, she turned the car around, went home, and I was remanded to my room.

I remember multiple times coming home and finding all of my belongings gone, all in the hallway, or all on the lawn. I remember the first time, I was told they would all be taken away if any thing ever touched the floor of my bedroom again. I remember when they just took them, I had to pay to get each item back. When they were on the lawn, they said they would burn them all if anything ever touched the floor of my room again.

I remember getting slapped by my father for asking him a question about mexicans that was in no way racist or stereotypical or anything - it was just something I had noticed and wondered about.

I remember my father accusing me of using drugs on more than one occasion because I had the sniffles from allergies to pollen.

I remember once getting into huge trouble for putting my socks on inside out.

I remember - and this one is so shameful to me - but when I think of how they reacted, I think it was so unhelpful. I was in jr high - in the french club. We were selling toblerone chocolates. I ate a lot of them because I was desperately unhappy and it was the only way I knew to soothe myself. I stuffed them in the trash to hide them. My father found them - and I got into huge trouble. I don't remember much of anything of their reactions except for them calling me "disgusting." That word stuck so hard, and it is what runs through my head all the time.

I remember that when I went to college and started learning about what other kids did that evoked punishments or upset from their parents, I thought my parents really had it easy with me.


At 11:54 PM, Blogger luckybuzz said...


They are so the most powerful, and painful, relationships of our lives, aren't they?

Yeah. I have nothing smart to say. Just hugs.

At 12:42 AM, Blogger lucyrain said...

They did have it easy with you. And you had hell with them.

Cheers to you shrinks. I know you will never pass on such twisted perspectives and behavior to anyone else--whether you have a little one of your own or not.

To survival and thrival.

At 1:13 AM, Blogger RLT said...

What they said. Both of them.

I am so sorry that you have to deal with this. And I wish there were some sort of simple guideline for parent-child interaction. Because I'm still caught in the middle, mother and daughter simultaneously, and the way is sometimes rough in all directions.

To tell you the truth, though, I think you instinctively handled it in the best way possible when you were younger. Because, instead of escalating and prolonging the anger, your behavior was the quickest route to its dissipation.

You may want to consider continuing that way now, as an adult. Confront, apologize and retreat as quickly as possible. Just let it blow over. There would be a lot more peace in my family if even half of us were so inclined.

I know that doesn't help much with the hurt that they're causing you. But at least the individual episodes are over quickly, and they're a source of stress all by themselves.

FWIW, we all think you're just wonderful. And we don't care what kind of deadlines you miss, because we all make mistakes. No one, after all, is perfect. Not even them.

At 1:38 AM, Anonymous lurker said...

I've been lurking for a while, so I can safely agree with Rebecca that you are indeed quite wonderful. You're intelligent and decidedly not disgusting--even with the swirled-out face in your new bangs picture it's obvious you're pretty. :)

At 3:39 AM, Blogger StyleyGeek said...

My god. I can hardly imagine how much pain all that must have caused you. The bit where you say:

"I remember multiple times coming home and finding all of my belongings gone, all in the hallway, or all on the lawn. I remember the first time, I was told they would all be taken away if any thing ever touched the floor of my bedroom again."

took me back to the one time my mother did that to me (she put all my stuff in rubbish bags and hid it in the garage, and told me she had taken everything to the tip because I hadn't tidied my room when I said I would). I was devastated (even when, the next day, she brought everything back upstairs). And that only happened to me once. I can't imagine what it must have been like to have not only that happen multiple times, but all the other things you write about here.

You are such a strong person, Shrinky. Don't let your mother's games get to you now.


At 9:45 AM, Blogger Seeking Solace said...

My dear Shrinky, I have tears in my eyes. It is so sad to see that your mom cannot see you for the beautiful, inteligent and wonderful person you are.

I think bounderies are key. I had to do the same thing with my mother, who treated me in some of the same ways yours did. I also had to forgive her, not for her, but for me. I had to let that pain go.

It certainly is not easy. As women, we want our moms there for us.

Please take care.

At 11:13 AM, Blogger Lucy said...

*hugs* I'm so sorry, and angry with your mom, and dad. Your parents did have it so easy with you. It's so horrible that you had to live in fear like that. And horrible that your mom makes even things like signing off as "mom" conditional.
I still get scared when I hear the car pull into the driveway next door, because the sound makes me start worrying about what I was supposed to do that I haven't done and will get yelled at for.

At 11:13 AM, Blogger Lucy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 11:55 PM, Blogger Kate said...

Shrinky!!! That makes me mad.

Hugs and love to you. Keep fighting against the effects of what she did to you.

At 2:28 PM, Blogger sheepish said...

Your parents did not appreciate what they had. It makes me really sad reading this.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home