It would be a full two and a bit years after my Dad's death before my Mom and I would actually have our falling out. Our relationship just seemed to get progressively worse over time. My Mother had always been a bit harsh although often I barely noticed as I had gotten used to her treatment over the years. Usually, it was only after someone else took the time to comment to me about it that I would give any serious thought to what I should do, at least that had been the pattern in the past. Once my Dad passed, I seemed to have become more sensitive to any of her criticisms, and increasingly found it near impossible to stand.
My Mother always seemed to have something to say about my looks, my hair, my clothes, my job, my hobbies, you name it and she could find fault. I never really knew why either, nor could I understand why she always seemed so dissatisfied with me. Growing up I had been a straight A student and had received numerous scholarship offers to university upon graduation from high school. I was never in trouble and even maintained a part time job all through high school so that I could support myself financially. In fact, I was able to buy my first car in cash just after my seventeenth birthday and paid for my entire trip to the British Isles the summer I turned 21.
For the near six months that I drove my Dad to the hospital five days a week, she reminded me each and every day at least three times not to be late, and not in an absent minded sort of way. She was very insistent and quite mean about it too, even though I did not once show up late to pick them up for the hospital. And so on...
Now I can't put all of the blame on my Mom's shoulders for our falling out as I was dealing with some serious issues of my own the summer of 2005. I was easily at the height of my addiction, and I was finding it increasingly difficult trying to conceal it from everyone. No one at home nor work or anywhere knew what I was hiding and this secret was starting to weigh me down. With each passing day, I found it harder and harder to keep all my balls in the air.
By this time, we were spending on average well over $2000/month attempting to support our habit, and by then, this was barely covering its maintenance. Obviously our personal finances were starting to suffer because of the amount we were spending. No amount of additional hours at work seemed to prevent our bills from starting to pile up. My nerves were wearing thin and I was starting to become careless at work. I knew a meltdown was imminent and felt at a loss at being able to prevent it.
I needed to share my burden with someone and I thought at the time, that my Mother might be the one, but once I had, I quickly realized how desperately wrong I was. Initially, she seemed so very empathetic but this lasted barely 48 hours and then all hell broke loose. It had taken so much to confide everything and she had promised that this would remain between the two of us, but it didn't. Almost instantly she was on the phone to her sister telling her what an awful daughter she had and who knows what else. She actually told me all this the next time we talked. I was shattered. When I asked her why she did exactly what I had asked and she had promised she wouldn't do, she really had no defense.
I remember mumbling something to her during that call that I couldn't do this anymore with her, that I needed to get well and the longer she was around to poison everything, the longer it would end up taking me to get healthy again. I quietly hung up the phone and from that moment on had no communication with her for eighteen months. I didn't look back and in many ways, these eighteen months ended up being some of the happiest and relaxing ones of recent memory. Even though this fracture looked as if it was irreconcilable, in the end, it turned out to be the complete opposite, but another year and a half was to pass before I was able to find out.
TO BE CONTINUED...