Hateful Mommy Hyde–Part 2


I was born ill, with a rash, and swollen face and eyelids. My eyes were a bit Asian to start with, so my mom figured me for “a Mongoloid baby!” as it was called then, or Downs syndrome. No such luck. Couldn’t rid herself of me that easily (for back then, upper-middle-class white-skinned women could, and sometimes magically did, rid themselves of such babies at the hospital).

Black and White Face

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

She was stuck with a sickly baby, and she never failed to resent it and me equally. Each time she talked about how I was sick as a child, the anger would rise in her all over again. How dare life saddle her with such unfairness?

I was allergic to all milks and formulas and all grains but rice. (Mom had chosen not to breastfeed me. Learned her lesson on that one, and breastfed my younger siblings!) Even after limiting my diet, I was still wheezy and rashy. That may be why they put me on toddler steroids. (Dumb question for any endocrinologists in the audience: Could that be why I’m so naturally buff today?)

I had my first trip to the E/R before the age of two, when I stopped breathing. Mom gave me mouth-to-mouth holding me with one hand while she dialed for the fire truck with the other. Our small town didn’t have an ambulance.

At my first celebrated birthday, age three, I couldn’t have a regular birthday cake. That would require regular wheat flour, eggs, baking powder (which has cornstarch)–all things I was deadly (literally) allergic to. So mom made me a cake-shaped mass by molding a cylinder out of Rice Krispie Treat goop.

According to her, I came into the room, took one look at that obviously-p#ss-poor substitute for a birthday cake, and angrily piped out (in my teeny toddler tones):

“Dat’s not a cake! And if dat’s not a cake, dis isn’t a birthday!”
and huffed out of the room.

My mom responded by deciding that she would never again throw me another birthday party. That sounds fair. One moment of toddler disappointment and tantrum repaid by a lifetime of parental spite.

My sisters and brother had parties at home, with mom-written invitations going out to their friends or classmates, but not I. I never questioned this, growing up. If you are raised as the lowest dog of the pack, you accept your place.
 
Not nice, but no death-camp, by any means.
 
Episode 2 of a 7-part series that will be posted daily. Following that, the focus will shift away from my mommy issues.
 
ADDENDUM

The first time I realized that my not ever having a birthday party was not normal, I was eighteen, in my second semester of college. The marvelous Maria and I were sitting around the campus lounge eating subs with a couple of friends and the topic of birthdays came up. “What a coincidence,” said I. “It happens to be mine today.” In the conversation that followed, it came out about no parties, and my friends reacted with tremendous surprise, followed by pity and embarrassment for me. I sat there, overwhelmed by shame at their pity, and the sudden realization that the way I’d been treated hadn’t been normal. I struggled to hide that I was trying not to cry.

Then, Maria spilled her entire 16-ounce ice-cold bright-red Hawaiian Punch right down the crotch of my white pants. (They had to be white.)

When I left the bathroom after abandoning all hope of rescuing the pants or my dignity–I looked like I had both incontinence and the most fluorescent bladder infection ever–I came back to the table to find a birthday candle poking out of my sub sandwich and my friends singing “Happy Birthday”. Now realizing that Maria had spilled her punch on purpose in order to get me away so that she could scout up that candle, and wanting to wring her beautiful brown neck for this, I instead had to stand there with a pasted-on smile of pleasure while the icy red punch of loving friendship continued to drip down the insides of my thighs.

THAT was my first-ever birthday party. (It is still the only one I have ever had, but, based on the experience, I think one birthday party was enough 🙂 )
 
Hateful Mommy Hyde–Part 3
 

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26 Comments

  1. Paul

     /  2014/08/18

    Thanks for sharing OB.

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    • Yeah, I know Paul, I didn’t get parties: Big deal. Almost 0 hits on the post today, too, so everyone agrees with you 😦 But I’m telling my story the only way I know how, and, after all, this is my blog, too! 😉

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      • Paul

         /  2014/08/18

        The reason my comment was short OB was that it was clear to me that you have overcome odds stacked against you , that few would have had the strength to face and beat. Your matter of fact recitation of your life story when it seems so cruel to me, is amazing. You must have engaged in serious forgiveness to have reached the place you are at now.

        And hence i would have naturally complimented you on your strength and quality of character. A strength that I admire greatly. However you made it clear in the last post that you were not open to compliments, so I didn’t. When i see someone who has risen above such an inhumane situation to become a loving caring human being, it comes naturally to me to compliment – for truly it is a wondrous achievement that you have made.

        I would be honored if you would continue to share as your story is eye-opening and gives hope to many that horrendous circumstances can be overcome. Thank You. .

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        • Paul, I had misunderstood you, and appreciate how you took the time to clarify. Now, let me do the same:

          I love compliments. Given both my childhood, and the poor choice of marriage partner, I was not used to hearing them, except on my academics. I was used to constant overt criticism in childhood, and both that plus subtler undermining of confidence in marriage.

          Compliments embarrass and surprise me. Sometimes, I take so long to process one that I don’t say thank-you promptly. But with boyfriend-types, I will be overly-sensitive to NOT complimenting. He d#mn well BETTER notice when the bathroom has changed color and the paint job is perfect, or a wallpaper border was mounted at chair-rail height entirely on my own and it is done level. (D#mn, I’m good!).

          And he’d better make me feel attractive, or at least appealing, and notice when I make an effort in my attire, when I do (ahem).

          I grew up knowing I was terribly ugly and extremely clumsy to the point where everyone noticed. Neither was true, I know now. I used to pray to God “Please make me plain looking.” No one ever told me so much as “You look nice” (although my mom almost did, once), until my divorce attorney–in 2006. (I may have said all this already on the blog–can’t remember–and may say it again…)

          The odd thing is I know now that some men considered me “hot” when I was younger (and some do still).
          But the odder thing is, if that was the case, why I have never been hit on or had anyone even try to strike up a conversation with me (other than men holding bottles in paper bags or those with multiple gold incisors–yes–color me biased) when I am away from work or home?. For I hear and read about other women being approached–on the street, in coffee shops, at the grocery store, in bookstores, in airports. I used to travel on business, and not even then. Even going to a BAR, alone or with girlfriend, I have never been approached.

          I’ve seen men do that silent “Whew!” about me when they didn’t know I caught it. I’ve had truckers honk. I had a man in a Home Depot come ‘round the corner, get a look at me, and walk into a shelf. I THINK it was not because I was so horrifying, but because he found me so appealing. And yet, I lived there for three years and failed to have a single man try to chat me up. I feel like I have cooties, frankly.

          I must just have one of those “Eff you” faces, huh?

          On the online dating site, guys my age LOVE how I look, and can’t wait to “date” me. They haven’t read a word I’ve written in my dating profile. They’ll compliment me all I want for what they want. 🙂

          Thank you so much for all your compliments. I will never get over the feeling that they are overpraise, but I want to bask in them as if they are deserved, and I like to get them.

          Liked by 1 person

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          • Paul

             /  2014/08/19

            Ha! The compliments ARE deserved OB. As a male, I can tell you that when a woman keeps her head down and is nervous, it says -“Stay Away” to me. It has nothing to do with your looks or your intelligence or your personality – it has to do with how I read your approachability. If you’ve been abused in life, that reads as “Don’t Approach”. I can’t tell the difference with body language between someone who has been abused and someone who is just having a bad day and wants to be left alone.

            Maybe that helps.

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            • I walk with my head up, and, often, a smile. I look about at my surroundings. I compliment strangers–women–when I notice nice shoes, dress, or earrings. I have, rarely, but have, complimented men as well.

              So…Now, it IS likely that as men approach, I may behave very differently. I have a diagnosis of PTSD. Before my marriage, I used to duck when men raised their voices–a gift from my male parent. Since my marriage, I am more negative about males than ever, I’ve noticed. I am hit (SWIDT?) with a combination of mistrust, shyness, and a fear that I will act not like the me I want to be–that my self-confidence will fly.

              Okay, I’ve gotta get the next post out and then get my second snooze of the night. Which reminds me: Where are you, Paul (Australia?), and what do you do? I’m sure you say somewhere… (I’ve got it expertly narrowed down to priest or cop 😉 )

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            • Paul

               /  2014/08/19

              Ha! Well, I’ve been called worse than priest or cop. I’m actually in Ottawa, Canada – it is 3:44am here. i’m a dialysis patient and dialyse in the evening, getting home about midnight. I usually sleep during the treatment so i’m not tired and play on the computer until dawn. I’m on disability but my brain works fine – that doesn’t seem to help in getting a job. I have been trying for 2 years now. As far as the occupation is concerned, it is interesting as many poeple have tried to guess. I’ve been called everything from a professor to a radio personality to an FBI agent (even though I’m Canadian). Ha! I actually have spent most of my life in highway transportation, including owning my own rig. I’ve also been an IT business analyst, project manager, transportation manager, consultant, . I have a couple of degrees and I guess it makes me sound professional or something, but honestly I relate better to truck drivers – they are more honest and straight forward than most professionals. They call a spade a spade – and I like that : honesty. Real people are what makes the world go around – not the idiots who wear fancy suits and trade on our hard work. Been there done that. I do know a few honest, hardworking business people but they are rare.

              Anyway, that’s my life in a nutshell. I’ve had some fun times and some scary times in my life – but it is all a learning experience.here’s a guest post I did recently over on CordeliasMom http://cordeliasmomstill.com/2014/08/14/blue-lightning-a-very-special-guest-post/ It includes a photo.

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  2. M-R

     /  2014/08/18

    No real joy anywhere, then …?

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    • I did indeed have happiness as a child :). I had friends. I was outside every day playing in the woods that I loved (and which I miss awfully). I even played with my sisters sometimes, when we weren’t at home being evil to each other. My family–the family that I lived beside–did many things that were normal for middle-class families of the period: We watched Ed Sullivan. We played board games. We had barbecues in the backyard. We made jokes sometimes.

      This series, or the bulk of it, is focused on what made the family unhealthy and fearful, and how my mother had her part in that.
      .

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      • M-R

         /  2014/08/18

        Mothers are not perfect creatures, this I know. And mine was the cause of my decision to never have children.

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        • I, too, unsurprisingly, had not thought to have any children, originally (partly due to my family, but likely partly due to my autism–I just didn’t “get” babies and small children). Later, I changed my mind and wanted four: Two by birth, two by adoption–it was as if I wanted to show how a happy family of four could be done.

          I said in an earlier post, and meant it, that my parents had taught me how to be a good parent in that I simply had to do the opposite of everything they did. I’m not so sure but that there are others like you, M-R, who deny the world of excellent future adults by choosing not to parent children in the way you know they should be–the way you were not.

          Could you have achieved the high degree of happiness you had with your husband, had you had children? Possibly (statistically, probably) not.

          I was a very good parent. Not excellent, but pretty d#mned good–especially given that I’m an Aspie, and had no support network of friends or family, I had one Aspie son more Aspie than I–and I’d never heard of Asperger’s and didn’t know what was going on with him for years–and another son with mod-to-severe ADHD, also undiagnosed for years. Even my mother-in-law, who was not fond of me, gave an unsolicited comment of admiration for my patience and parenting skills.

          What I was AWFUL at was in my choice of spouse.

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          • M-R

             /  2014/08/18

            You’re quite right: I couldn’t have. And as Chic didn’t want kids either, we were fine with that. We didn’t consider ourselves selfish – just sensible.
            I’m truly pleased for you that your own decision worked so well; and of course that’s the other way of looking at things – mine saying I will not continue the reproduction for fear of causing more problems, and yours saying I shall continue it in determination of stopping the rot. 🙂
            Goodonyou !!!

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            • I’m sorry–I’m laughing! I do agree entirely, and will accept the kudo. However: My grown sons don’t speak to me, and they live only blocks from here. I take almost no blame for the rift–it originated due to the clever and conscious evil manipulations of their father (will blog about this, eventually) but now that they’re adults, it’s all on them–and shame on them. For they can point to not one evil act I ever perpetrated upon them, and many to the good, and they both know that all I ever did was love them and try my best for them. Shame on them twice.

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            • M-R

               /  2014/08/18

              Obviously your ex put a lot of effort into manipulating them, and you didn’t understand the danger.
              One day they’ll have to face the truth of their actions; but what wasted lives – for all of you.

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            • So true.

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        • Hi, Margaret-Rose,

          Since my home internet is down for another week AND my laptop died the same day (ain’t life grand?), I am doing no posting. I own no television, so THAT’s out. Just finished reading my book.

          Here I am, rereading my own stuff, instead of doing anything worthwhile (actually, these posts are still helping me heal).

          Anyhow, saw that I had earlier responded to your comment in my typical egocentric way. Now, I am asking, with both curiosity and much-belated empathy, what occurred with YOUR mom? Have you blogged about it? Is it in your book?

          (I tried to borrow your book from the library here–no go. Not yet available even through interlibrary loan. Of course I know it’s worth the purchase, but…well, I will blog about my finances someday and what put me here. This year, for instance, non-socialized medicine accounts for $12,000. That would buy a lot of books. Next year, I shall get a copy and FINALLY enjoy it!)

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          • M-R

             /  2014/09/08

            When I do my library talks about the book, I tell them completely honestly that I don’t care if no-one BUYS the book, I want the to READ it (meaning to get it out of their libraries). Since you can’t do that,I can only suggest that one of those three links about buying it will take you somewhere you could get it for around $12 or so.
            However ! – living on the age pension as I do, I understand where you’re coming from. One has a finite amount of money, and that’s that. Btw – where is ‘here’ …?

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            • West side of Los Angeles. And let me confess it is a matter of priorities: I count every ha’penny, and must. I intend to attend the Aussie ballet co.’s Swan Lake, in the Orch., and that is going to set me back. So what if I dine on oatmeal for a while. It will be worth it 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

  3. Yemie

     /  2014/08/18

    Wow! This really stings! You’re a fighter O.B and I dunno where you muster up this much strength to remain ‘sane’ amidst all of these horrifying experiences, but you babycakes; are a great inspiration! Tx sooo much for sharing! God bless and keep you dearie!

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    Reply
    • Hi, Yemie,
      If you see my response to Margaret-Rose (M-R), you’ll see that things weren’t always grim :). Thank goodness for the friends I had, and the mothers of some of those friends 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  4. RR

     /  2014/08/19

    Thanks for sharing. We have more similarities than I had originally thought.

    I had my one and only birthday party at age 9. None to speak of before or after. My brothers had fabulous parties, bowling and all that fun. Her reasoning was I didn’t have enough friends for a party.

    I was also toted everywhere to find out why I was plump, but not to a doctor. Made to diet and eat weird things. Later near the end of high school I was diagnosed with a bunch of things and Type 1 Diabetes. At that time I did not have much to do with her anymore. But later when I attempted a connection she was always put-out by the fact that her daughter had all these nasty ailments. Though never supported me. Just tried to convince everyone I had made it all up in my head. Then told my husband to take my child and leave.

    I marvel at the paperwork that was required to adopt our rescue dog and wish that something similar was in place for those pushing out children.

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    • It is interesting to me how survivors of abuse get the necessary distancing to have the depths and extent of their own abuse revealed when they hear of similar abuse applied toward others. Don’t you find that with yourself?

      Reading your comment, I was incensed. Saddened. Empathetic. Filled with childish, vengeful thoughts–just for a moment.

      I am so sorry for the girl you were. How disgusting that you were treated that way. To be made a pariah in your own home, and to be made to feel shamed and ugly.

      That selfish, image-conscious, unloving b#tch. Wait–I’m SUPPOSED to say: She ACTED like a …etc.

      And what a beautiful little girl I’m sure you were, anyhow! Just looking at you now, it is clear you were. You probably just didn’t meet her blonde-WASP magazine-of-the-day beauty ideal.

      She ACTED like a: Shallow, evil, and blind, twit. She was given a wonderful and beautiful gift from God. Just look how she treated it.

      I am so glad you were diagnosed early enough that you survived!

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      • RR

         /  2014/08/19

        You are beyond lovely. Thank you. And my husband thanks you too (he teared up!).

        We live. We learn. Or we hope to.

        I am lucky on many levels. There are far worse fates out there than my hand of cards.

        I am glad to have survived. And to be able to be a part of the world. Meeting people such as yourself is proof to me it has all been worth the struggle and/or continued struggles.

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  5. Friends Title: “The One Where O. Babe Gets Punched Between The Legs”

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  1. Hateful Mommy Hyde–Part 1 | The Last Half

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