Hateful Mommy Hyde–Part 5

As I grew, I tried to please her, but it was not possible to please an unhappy woman who resented her own children. And some more than others.

Black and White Face Blue Border

This Isn’t Like My Usual Posts. Here Is the Only Picture.

I surprised her one day.

I cleaned the entire house: Tub, showers, sinks, toilets, dusted (even below eye-level!), vaccuumed, washed floors…

A three-level four-bedroom house (plus dining, den, and finished basement). A lot of work for a pre-teen to do in a day. For anyone.

When she arrived home, my mom said nothing for hours. Until, finally: “You forgot to empty the trash in the downstairs bathroom.”

Being autistic, I didn’t learn from my experience. Years later, when mom went into the hospital for a week, I took over her duties thinking how pleased and surprised she would be. To my great pride, I performed like a pro.

I had never before cooked anything but macaroni and cheese, but I’d sat and watched her plenty of times. I simply did what I’d seen her do (autism ROCKS! 🙂 ). I was delighted that every meal turned out perfectly.

The fried chicken was crisp and delicious, the pork chops were well-cooked but tender and tasty, the spaghetti’s meatballs were firm and yummy (if we’d had Josh then, he may have deigned to eat one or two along with his pasta). The laundry got done, the kitchen got cleaned.

When I was taken by my father to visit my mom at the hospital, what a feather in my cap to hear him describe what I had been doing, and sound pleased about it.

My face was still in mid-beam when my eyes turned to my mom, expecting to see her smiling at me. Instead, I saw daggers being thrown. She was furious!

I remember being surprised not only by her fury, but also that I could tell so exactly what she was thinking, because it was a very big thought for someone my age to realize (I think I was thirteen years old at that point):

“How dare you make my husband happy in my absence!?”

My memory tells me that when mom came home from hospital, she barely spoke to me or looked at me for some time as a result of my invasion of her wifely territory. But it is possible that she treated me no differently than she ever had. I may simply have had a new awareness of the everyday treatment she gave to her dimestore daughters.

***

Mom was an expert at bait-and-switch (the illegal practice when a store advertises an appealing item they know they do not have, only to offer you a cheaper item when you arrive).

I got all excited when it was my turn to become a Girl Scout. You start by becoming a “Brownie”. Mom took me for the uniform and took me to my first meeting at the elementary school a mile away. The next week, I donned my uniform and ran downstairs. I couldn’t wait to see my friends and sing the Brownie song. But mom wouldn’t take me that day. Nor ever again.

All the other girls in school went through Scouting. They learned knot-tying, orienteering, emergency skills, and songs that they sang when I was around. I didn’t know those things. I felt…

Mom didn’t work outside the home, and had her own car. She took Macy Girl (my older sister) to Brownie and Scout meetings.

I learned from Meg recently (my younger sister) that mom twisted her through the same Brownie-no-Brownie bit.

***

Beyond actions and inactions, Mommy Hyde’s real forte was her mouth. She excelled at making belittling comments.

She had demeaning nicknames for each one of her children, using them herself, and encouraging us to use them against each other. (Is it any wonder the four of us did not grow up the closest of siblings?) She referred to me as “Skinny Belink, the Boneyard Dancer”, and a phrase that meant “slob”. Her nickname for Paul referred to feces. She accused me, and even Macy Girl (!) several times of being sluts, before I had even kissed a boy.

Macy Girl WAS totally a slut, though. (Kidding. Couldn’t resist.)

One of Mommy Hyde’s favorite expressions she used with me was “For someone who’s supposed to be so smart, you sure are dumb.”

When I was two years old, Mommy Hyde and my male parent were told they should send me to a gifted school. They declined. When I was in 3rd grade, it was recommended I be skipped a grade. They declined. I am sure they felt they could better nurture my God-given potential through their own home enrichment program–illustrated partly by these posts.

I was embarrassed once to discover in mom’s old papers a letter sent by one of my former Art teachers commending my talent and work, and recommending me for special Art instruction. I’m sure he was disappointed that I never said “Thank you” to him for his (unknown) kindness.

***

What I hated more than anything else Mommy Hyde did was the yelling. She yelled at us so much.

How much? One of my friends back then called me four or five times a day for a while. He said one day “Every single time I call, your parents are yelling.” “No way”, said I. So we kept track.

He was right. And since his calls were random, that meant they yelled all day, every day.

Sometimes when mom yelled at us, we weren’t following her rules, but often we were. Her yelling was so very terrible to me. I hated, hated, hated it.

Two decades later, I found myself doing it with my own then-spouse and children.
 
Part 5 of a 7-part series that will be posted daily. Following that, the focus will shift away from my mommy issues.
 
Joyful Mommy Jekyll–Part 6

 

Advertisements
Leave a comment

16 Comments

  1. Paul

     /  2014/08/21

    I am constantly astounded by how you survived this treatment OB.

    Like

    Reply
  2. Your early life sounds a nightmare to me. It is wonderful that you have come through this and can write about it. Well done! 🙂

    Like

    Reply
    • Thank you, Barbara. I will also thank you on behalf of my sister Meg, who is an almost-fully-functional person, as well. (I put that “almost” in there so that I could tell her I did when next she and I speak. Part of my parents’ evil heritage remains: Mwah-ah-ah! 🙂 )

      Like

      Reply
  3. RR

     /  2014/08/21

    You are amazing. And such a bright light.

    Your sharing of these intimate childhood (and life) experiences is bold and brave. Please know, should it ever all seen in vain, that these posts have helped me a great deal. I am so grateful that you found your footing. And poured it out this way.

    My beloved father (who has a good heart, but is a complete d!@k) made similar comments, that were not as easily decoded. Later, two strokes later, it is safe to say that those comments were born mostly (not entirely) out of a bottle. I recall his return from a 2-week stay down south. Not even in the door five whole minutes and he says, “did you gain weight?” Thanks Dad. Just what every body-conscious teenage gal wants to hear!

    I guess what I have realized is regardless of their parenting skill set our parents are just people. And their are some pretty s#!^^y people out there. Some of them become parents. Sadly.

    Like

    Reply
    • It is so odd to be thought “amazing”, but I’ll take it. Thank you, Rebecca. I can’t, yet, accept the bold and brave. Some of this was challenging to write, but there are other posts I’ve not written because I’m not yet brave enough. One is the reason the bully series got interrupted. I’m ready now after this, and it turns out this series was needed first.

      In these posts, I merely told my memories, and I was compelled to do it. That this helped you makes me feel grateful to God, and as if I have finally accomplished something of real significance for the first time in years. Thank you for that.

      My opinion about your father’s cruel comments to you is different than yours. Have you ever heard or read, Rebecca, that physical abusers use alcohol as an excuse to abuse–that it isn’t the cause? I am thinking that about your father’s verbal/emotional abuse–what do you think? The comment you cite supports that he had conscious knowledge of his bullying: In my opinion, no man makes a comment like that about any woman’s weight in innocence. (If he said it to any other woman, he would expect what result, Rebecca?) To direct it at his daughter is, I think, INTENTIONALLY evil. He may have used alcohol to give him the “courage” to perform the evil he wanted or needed to do.

      I believe you when you say he had a good heart, but he also was giving in to evil. Perhaps you reminded him of someone he hated. Perhaps he was sexually attracted to you, and couldn’t deal with those feelings about his own daughter. Don’t know, don’t care. He done you wrong.

      Your last paragraph is the wise and healing one, or it was for me. The people who tower and made us cower are just…people. We grow up and we don’t even need to talk to them or think about them any more, if we don’t want to. In some cases, they weren’t even our parents. They just provided the raw materials.

      Like

      Reply
      • RR

         /  2014/08/22

        Bravery does not come via the completion of a task. Sometimes it emerges at the mere attempt. It does not always come packaged in pretty paper as we might hope.

        And I do agree with you. My father was a lot more bold when whiskey fueled. There were many moments during teenaged arguments when he would let slip, “you’re just like your mother” (and he did not mean my mom, he meant the bio one), of whom he was not fond, hence leaving and filing for divorce. The example I posted was one of a million. He still says things of an inappropriate nature but it is expected. And none of his words or comments bear any weight as they once did.

        I ceased contact with the man for almost a decade. Because of his verbal and emotional abuse. And the drinking. Which I (unlike others) felt was excessive. But some people do change. Some people are able to see the errors and mistakes for what they really are or were. Some people deserve a second chance. Every situation is as unique as the people involved.

        I wish more people realized that we are all just…people.

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
        • You are right, and generous-spirited, about second chances. Some are capable of it. My mom’s behavior with me improved a great deal, even before her parathyroid surgery, after I (1) did as you did and cut off communications for a year, and then (2) each time she said something inappropriate, challenged her: “Mom, why would you say that?” or “Mom, I’m not talking with you if you’re going to say things like that.”

          I got my first-ever apology from her in response to one of these “corrections”. It was a little sad being parent to her child, but then, as a child of abuse, I can be inappropriate myself. As you say, we’re all just people.

          Like

          Reply
          • RR

             /  2014/08/22

            I am glad there was behaviour improvement. An encouraging sign. I find a lot of times the only way to “deal” with people like that is to parent them. We feel motivated by their improvement and potential.
            And yes, we are all just people. Sometimes we must cut even ourselves a bit of slack. 🙂

            Like

            Reply
    • Rebecca,

      I reread my earlier reply and really did not like at all the “truth delivered from on high” tone in which it was said. I’m going to try to edit it to the way I wished it had been and should have been said.

      O. Babe

      Like

      Reply
      • RR

         /  2014/08/22

        O. Babe – please do not worry about your reply (I may have read it post-edit). It was delivered along with your intial thoughts. The gutteral response. I am tremendously flattered that you would take the time to review something and edit it like that. 🙂 RR

        Like

        Reply
  4. RR

     /  2014/08/21

    *all seem in vain

    Like

    Reply
    • There. I have edited the paragraph that begins “My opinion” (third from last) to read the way I should have said it, instead of the “I’m the expert on abuse and you’d better listen to ME” way.

      Like

      Reply
  5. Yemie

     /  2014/08/21

    Oh My Word, and these tales only gets the more bizarre by the day! Mommy Hyde’s a rare breed! I mean, a lotta moms out there, would wish to have a very sweet, kind and sensitive daughter like you; a kindred spirit who’ll hold down the fort while they’re indisposed and away from home. At that age, you really weren’t predisposed to doing all of those chores, but you did; working your fingers to the bones with the hope of ‘winning’ Mommy’s love! Gosh! I’d kill to have a daughter like you and you’d be my pride and joy too! Too bad Mommy Hyde didn’t see the goldmine right in front of her, and Daddy dearest too didn’t offer no respite. Its as though they were in it together! Like a grand conspiracy or something, against their own children! Does it get any more creepier than this?! smh

    Thanks AGAIN for sharing O.B, you never cease to amaze me with your openness and willingness to lay it all out here on the table! I hear writing’s therapeutic for some people, and I hope sharing makes these a lot less burdensome for you! Thanks again!

    Like

    Reply
    • I’m enjoying the praise, Yemie. It really is too bad when parents don’t appreciate their precious gifts from God, and either ignore them, abuse them, or spoil them.

      But I was not always a joy to have around. Besides Asperger’s know-it-allness, there were worse behaviors. It took me some years to forgive myself, and, later, to realize there was nothing TO forgive, since my parents had created any monster behaviors we had while we lived at home. (I’ll talk about this in one of those delayed Bullying series posts.)

      The writing and sharing is helping a lot. Writing is how I figure things out–how I clarify them for myself, while I try to clarify them for others.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

Best comment wins prize! (sorry, i tell naughty lie...)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: