Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Apron strings around the world untie!

God, if it were only that easy; to break the cycle, release the apron strings and the years of hurt, drama and tears. You see, I just got off the phone with my archnemesis. Mother. Mum. Mummy Dearest, Margaret.

I know, no names. I really shouldn't, but you see I'm pissed. Pissed enough to write something really, really personal on this blog and out into cyber-space. Maybe she'll see it and rethink how she should interact with me.

It's been a really bad day, bloggers. Really bad, and it all started with a telephone call. I called my dad today for his birthday. He had come over on the weekend to spend time with me while Margaret was at a bridal shower in my hometown, but I could not let the day go by without phoning in my congratulations at reaching another milestone: his 77th birthday. That's when she got on the phone, telling me she was worried about me, about my health because apparently I'm so gargantuan size that I'll keel over at any minute. I will take responsibility for this: I am overweight but when you can't say something positive, don't say anything at all. It almost never has a good outcome. Margaret knows this, has been taught this, but Margaret never follows this rule, all under the guise of concern.

My weight is a sore spot with me, not with other people, only with her, because it's been a constant since I was five. And at nine, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 (I was a healthy weight throughout). Fast forward to 38. Always under the guise of concern, she has consistently nitpicked all of my faults: my hair, my make-up (she called me a whore at 14 for wearing eyeliner), my choice in friends, my finances, my house and the maintenance on my house, my relationships and especially my weight. At 30, after I had lost my mother-in-law to cancer, left an abusive relationship and lost a house in the subsequent divorce, she told me I would never be able to survive without her, and that included maintaining a healthy weight. Her answer to bringing to my attention to the last 5 lbs. of the 70 I had lost was to grab my belly and squeeze, saying "Oh Scribe, a little thick around the middle still, I see." Okay, she didn't call me Scribe, but she did grab, and I grabbed back. Literally. Painfully. Squeezing until she stopped. It was my only defence and the only way she would stop. At that moment anyway.

It's fodder for psychiatrists everywhere - a mother who loves too much, who is too concerned all of the time . Before my parents moved out of town and into their next phase of retirement, I had gone on a 20-minute walk from my house to theirs. I was not alone and it was not dark (the streetlights hadn't even come on). She was convinced I was kidnapped. Kidnapped at 35. Six phone calls and a drive-by later (remember, it's only a 20-minute walk, oh but I have to cross the street), and she had relaxed because I was now sitting in her kitchen with my cousin sipping tea. But before that, I was dead. She was convinced. And I can't forget about the time she told me I would die if I drove on the highway, insisting I spend two hours on the regular roads to get anywhere.

So what does this have to do with my weight? My weight is just one part. By bringing up my faults, it's her way of telling me that she's unhappy with my state, the way I look, the way I live and my choices - all of my choices. Her worrying is her defence. "I'm only saying for your own good." It was permissable at 8, it's not at 38.

So, it's time for a surgical procedure - the removal of the steel rod up her ass and the snipping of the apron strings. Get ready, Margaret. You're in for a lengthy, painful recovery and I'm not sure if our relationship will ever recover.

I apologize for the rant. Mummy made me do it.


  1. oh my sweet sweet love. Hasn't anyone ever told her that for girls like us, there is just that much more to LOVE!

    You have my number, call anytime my darling. I can't wait for our next date! (better not be too far off! :P) and sure, if you feel up to it, you can rant all you wish with me :D you know damn well!

    Much love and kisses! And don't worry, if you ever catch me grabbing at your middle, it's only to bring you closer for a kiss/hug!

    ~ taa-taa for now!

  2. Damn, that's tough. All she'll say is, "Tough love is good for my daughter in the long run and it'll make her work harder at it." It's not! Putting people down stresses them out and we all know what most do when they are stressed. They eat. They smoke. They do whatever it is that relaxes them and usualy it's not something that is necessarily healthy. I like that you grabbed back, though. ;D

  3. Thanks Akilah. It's been a long, tough haul and it doesn't look like she's about to change. At 74, I think she's set in her ways. It's up to me to find another way to push away the negativity and realize that it's not me she's dissatisfied with - it's her. Oh, but it was so liberating grabbing back. I think she still has the bruises.

    NeeNee - thanks for the support. You're a great friend.