It's not easy being an only child. It's even worse when your mother hates you. 'Hate is such a strong word.' 'You mother can't hate you. She's your mother.' 'How can you say such a thing about your mother?' 'What's wrong with you?'
What's wrong with me? If I had a nickel every time I asked myself that question, I'd be able to resolve our international financial crisis. For the longest time I thought it was me. After all, I could never do anything right. I never measured up, I was always a disappointment. I will never amount to anything, too klutzy, too sloppy, too stupid, an imbecile.
When there was some accomplishment in my life, Mom was always there to take me down a peg or two. There must be something wrong with me, because she's my mother. Mothers always knows best.
And my Dad, he was always working. When he was home, my Mom and Dad were at each other's throats. I thought every family fought this way.
Then my Dad moved out. I thought it was my fault. But who could I talk to? No one. Then things got worse. If anything went wrong, I was in for it. Then I heard you're worthless, just like your father. Just like your father.
If there was an opportunity for embarassment, she took it. In front of teachers, friends, relatives, strangers. There must be something wrong with me, because she's my mother. Mothers always know best.
I messed up in school and was sent away to boarding school. What a relief. I dreaded the holidays, dreaded coming home for vacation. I couldn't stand to be in the same room with her. I couldn't wait to go back to school. And I hated school.
Somehow I managed to graduate from High School, and went to college away from home. The holidays were a dreaded time. I came home less and less. The less time I spent around her the better I felt. There must be something wrong with me, because she's my mother. Mothers always know best.
I dropped out of college and moved further away. The greater the distance between us the better I felt. Then she decided to move closer. That was a dreadful time; her living in the same town. After a year or two, I moved further away. I got engaged. She called and created an outrageous story about my fiancee being kidnapped. I got worried. My fiancee walked through the door and I told what had just happened.
I got married, but my mother wasn't at my wedding. There must be something wrong with me that I don't invite my mother to my wedding. After that for the next 16 years I had very little contact with her. I went to see her on a few occasions. The insults and the abuse continued. I made a decision to stop seeing her. I had gone back to college as an adult and got both a bachelor's degree and an MBA. I adopted two girls 11 and 13 (sisters) who were in the state foster care system and helped them rebuild their lives. I had finally made a difference in someone's life and had amounted to something. There was nothing wrong with me. There was something wrong with her. Why did she hate me?
Her health steadily declined and then she passed away. I wasn't there when it happened. I didn't cry, I didn't feel sad. When the casket was laid to rest, I felt relief, like a heavy weight had been lifted. It was comforting to know that I could go on with my life. There must be something wrong with me, because she's my mother. Mothers always know best.