We set the mood this week with that ka-BOOM of a post I know- but we’ll send you off to the weekend with some laughs, I promise. I’ll start right now by painting an image of how I usually write my blog posts: in really ugly PJ’s (that don’t match), Crest WhiteStrips, 90’s music, and now I’ve taken to wearing my “Man-Repeller” glasses (as somebody called them). They’re actually the EXACT same glasses that Dwight wears from The Office. I’m not kidding. Glamorous, huh?
I really never understood those girls that always looked cute, even at home—
Don’t you sometimes just want to walk around like all the Golden Girls threw up on you?
Ah, maybe it’ll be different if I live with someone I actually want to attract. Anyway, this post isn’t about my man-repelling ways.
It’s about my mother.
I love her, despite her overbearing, melodramatic, Persian ways.
And she loves me, despite my sarcasm, “anti-khanoom”ness, and hate for bows & ruffles.
But something weird started happening a little while ago. That love was mixed up with a lot of resentment—as in I really couldn’t stand her.
& I felt fucking guilty.
Cause here I have this Persian mom who would sacrifice anything for me (and has), and I’d rather bash my head against the wall than be around her. It was like the roles of Snow White and the Evil Mother were reversed.
There’s no question that I take her for granted, there are many people who take many valuable things for granted but I am very well aware, at this age, of the mortality of my parents and the lack of infinite time. So I couldn’t play the old teenager-with-attitude card, and keep “Whatever”-ing her until the feeling went away.
I owed her, and myself, more than that. And so the search began, for why I was rotten enough to be so mean to such a great mom.
Now let me lay this down for you, Persian-style:
My mother is more traditional than most, because “she loves and believes in tradition.” She wanted to marry young, and she liked a more conservative, family-oriented lifestyle. So she turned down going to Belgium for school, and married my dad. Before she was 21, I popped out. She raised two kids, while going to school, and slowly but surely, she worked her way to a PhD.
She was an Iranian Housewife and Straight-A student. I NEVER had a nanny or a babysitter. There was never a night my mom didn’t put a hot meal on the table, and I mean—rice, khoresht, salad, and dessert. The house was always clean, she hosted great mehmoonis.
My dad would never have it any other way. He was a bit demanding (yet loving) Persian husband, and when my Mom asked him to watch us so she could take more classes, and finish her degree earlier—he said he couldn’t. And when my dad decided to follow his dream across the country and my mom asked him not to leave—he said he couldn’t.
Now that years have passed, the large amount of sacrificing my mom and the lack of appreciation she feels, weighs heavily on her psychological well being— in plain terms,
Along the way of being good mom and a good wife, my mom gave up her mental and emotional stability.
And I think I slightly resent my mom because I never want to be like her in that way—fragile, and unable to cope or stand up for myself – especially, to men. Recent events have made her even more vulnerable and needy (I believe codependent is the professional term)—and I really did not know how to help her.
So I told her to go to therapy, because it wasn’t my problem.
And while I’m not proud of my wording (we’ll get to my issues in a minute)- it pushed my mom to go and do something for herself.
To go and take care of her, instead of worrying about what to cook for dinner when my dad gets home, or when to pick up my brother from practice. Her world needed to revolve around her for awhile.
I, on the other hand, also judge my mom too harshly. It’s true that she doesn’t handle conflict in the best manner, but she also has incredible persistence and motivation. Why I don’t weigh the good and the bad equally is beyond me …? Her flaws seem to be a reflection on me, even though she’s her own person, and I’m my own person—I can’t seem to separate the two.
I’m afraid somehow history will repeat itself, and I will become my mother.
But is that so bad?
I mean, she has a sex blogger as a daughter, right?
The best way to solve a problem, is to first realize you’re not alone. So I googled my problem. I found Aging Mothers and their Adult Daughters: A Study in Mixed Emotions by Karen Fingerman. And guess what? I wasn’t. And the people in Fingerman’s studies weren’t crazy, or on 16&Pregnant. They were regular mother and daughters, with lots of love between them, but a lot of strange emotional complexities:
There’s trouble reconciling “intimacy and intrusion”—a.k.a when my mom asks a million questions about my life, and when I don’t answer one—“you don’t tell me anyting anymore, look at Shadi and her mom, they talk about everything.”
— uh, no they don’t?
And the relationship changes with age: when I have to start nurturing my mom and giving her attention, to make her feel loved—just as she did, most of my life. & I have a slight problem with this, because I couldn’t nurture a hamster even if I tried, let alone a person.
So there’s work on both ends, Ironically, she’s calling me as we speak—the 8th call of the day! How many times can you ask me if I ate fruit???
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