Thursday, February 17, 2011

More Mama

I see my mother at least once a week, and talk to her almost daily. Every time I spend time with her I learn something new about myself. My mother had a very tough time of it in her marriage, my father was not a very nice man, he was controlling and verbally abusive. These are things she learned to deal with, she loved him and it was a very different time. Back then, as she puts it, you couldn't just pack up and leave, especially if your family was poor and his wasn't. I always rebelled against any kind of control so she tells me, even as an infant I was not fearful, that came later and was well hidden. My sister was belittled and berated by my father and took it in, I was as well, but I lashed back in what may be called a passive aggressive way  in my prepubescents.  I wanted his love but once I started to appear womanly I couldn't get it. He and I fought, he took his fists to me I retaliated by kicking him in the nuts. Oh but I am so off topic. First let me finish the passive aggressive part. He would attack me verbally, tell me I was worthless a slut and the biggest loser he had ever known, I was  oh about 12, 13 years old then. He kicked me out of the house, then called me in as a runaway.
 The deputy that picked me up was my bus driver and also went to our church, I had known him since I was 3. He and I had a talk, we had talked before, so to help me with my father he pulled into our drive way with lights and siren going. My father was incredibly humiliated, Bob had a talk with him and I was released from the never ending abuse of my father, he had been scared. Well that is not true I wasn't completely released, but for the first time I knew I had some power.
Back to my Mama, what I hadn't realized was how much my grandmother, my father's mother, hated my mother. She did everything she could to stop the marriage, including refusing to sign for them to get married, so they waited. Mom and dad built their own first house. Grampa and Grampa gave them the property for a wedding gift...boy were there strings attached. When it came to the interior design Gramma decided that was her job, never mind that it was mama's home. Gramma was 5'11" tall, mom is 5' tall. Now imagine the kitchen, yes mom had to have a 3 step, step ladder to reach the middle shelf. that was just a small part of it. When mom got pregnant with me my grandparents had a fit. My parents had not gotten permission from them to have another child. Yet as I grew up my gramma said and did all kinds of things to make me hate my mother. I never did, I always told mom what she was saying. I think gramma did this because she knew of the abuse I was suffering from her husband. Mom and Dad moved from New Jersey to Oregon to get away from them. We had a few good years, then they followed us out here. That is another story.

What I learned today was that with all the things that were said and done I never walked away from mom and she has a gratitude for that, that she could not identify until recently.
Funny how  I taught her strength, and my daughter taught it to me. 


  1. This just broke my heart when I read this. But its good to finally get the truth of something. I feel so kept away from everyones past, like they don't want me to know anything. Well I love you Jan. Hope you keep writing. I'm really intersted.:)