What can you do with this? Sometimes I think I am a cold person for hitting my last straw and walking away from my mother 5 years ago. Then I hear that my mother blew up at my sister over Christmas, drunk, calling her stupid and a loser and a retard.
“Mom went PSYCHO,” Morgan warned me.
“Okay,” I said. It would not be the first time.
“No, REALLY,” she said, and then told me everything. Morgan’s face twisted and she pointed at me as she imitated how angry our mother was as she screamed at my sister and told Morgan she was ruining her life. I kind of felt like I was time traveling back to when I was a kid and she told me how worthless I was and how little she cared about what happened to me. She looked kind of like my mother did when she was very young, and furious.
She was getting to the end of the recitation of the tirade and I burst into tears over my cheese plate.
“Oh–it’s OKAY,” she said. “I’m sorry.”
“Sorry,” I said. “I know this isn’t about me. But it hurts my heart to hear what she said to you.”
Like all family relationships everywhere since the beginning of time, I have a funny relationship with my sister. She is ten years younger than me and I spent a lot of time just…being there for her. She spent a couple of summers in high school practically living in my house. I felt like I hung in there for as long as I could with my mother and then shoved off–they seemed like they were doing okay.
I guessed my sister was coping. She knows, though.
“Mom’s a JERK, you know it,” she said. “It’s okay, because I know all that shit she said is FUCKING BULLSHIT.”
“Yeah,” I said. “You’re older, you know who you are.” I pulled my weepy ass back together again. We talked about all the times all the booze had been poured out, a wine cellar had been given away, vomit out of car windows, only to reappear a couple of days later.
“I used to buy Mom’s story, that she was scared of Dad, that he abused her, that she was helpless. I saw her provoking him, like mad. She would push him until he would pop,” I said.
“Mom likes to fight,” Morgan said.
My sister’s husband came home and helped to kick my drunk and raving mother out of their apartment. I was so so very glad to hear he was there for her like that.
We were sitting in Morgan’s car smoking a cigarette (shh). Louder Than Bombs came on when she turned on the radio. She pointed at the radio.
“You got me Singles when I was twelve and ‘Hand in Glove’ was the first song on it.”
“Well, you were a teenager. ‘Here is your mandatory angst kit.” I thought for a moment, inhale, exhale, I am such a shit smoker now. “You okay?”
“Yes,” she said. “I think I’m relieved somehow.”
“I almost emailed Mom and told her not to come to my house again, but I decided not to make the aggro, for myself. I let it go. I think…I’m pretty happy most of the time,” I said.