Yesterday, a friend was telling me what should have been just a funny story about a person we both know. Without getting into a bunch of specifics, the gist of it was, the lady is staying with my friend after getting out of a very long marriage that was littered with pornography and infidelity, and she was basically trying to tattle on the friend’s son for using weed by pretending there was a gas leak in his house.
Instead of laughing about it, my reaction was almost visceral and it startled both my friend, and frankly myself. For a few hours, I had to examine myself. I don’t think about this lady ever. I don’t particularly feel anything about her, though I know her pretty well, having worked with her a few months. Her problems haven’t been mine, and my reaction was just too intense for the situation.
The answer came pretty quickly, and it kind of sucked. It was because of my mom.
We live is such a crappy age, with pornography piped into our homes through computers, cell phones, and televisions. Our radios gently desensitize us to infidelity, our movies promise us better relationships than we already have, books confirm our suspicions that we deserve better. Every day, there is a battle waged against the relationships between men and women, and every second, another marriage goes up in flames.
I can’t speak to men, but as a woman, and a mother, we have to make choices for what we will allow our kids to be dragged through. There have to be lines in the sand. Women were given one extra sense – an intuition – that kicks in when things aren’t right. Maybe God gave us that sense because as mothers, our decisions don’t just affect us. They affect those we are responsible for.
When Chef started using drugs, my instincts went nuts. When he started his affair, I knew. When he became violent, I knew it was time to go. I knew. I knew. I knew. That intuition told me to walk away, and though it meant losing everything, being dirt poor, hungry, alone, judged, sad, and scared, and I had no choice. I had to go.
My mom knew I was being abused, but for choices only she will really ever know, she chose to stay. I doubt she really ever let herself weigh the choices, but by refusing to do anything, she made a choice. That choice did some real damage to me, allowing me to be tortured for years, and has shaded a lot about my life in a negative way to this day. Turns out, I have had a simmering rage below the surface I was unaware of, and it would seem to be directed towards women I consider weak, who won’t sacrifice themselves or the things they deem important for their own well-being for their children.
I know that it is still my responsibility to forgive my mom, and I will. It’s so weird that while I type all of this out, I can still feel immense love for her. I do love my mom. I just wished she’s loved me enough to leave Rocky and given me a better chance to have a healthier life; but she didn’t, and there’s no use in holding on to this kind of anger.