Sunday, July 11, 2010

Journey to find my mom

What does the word "mom" mean to you? I've never had a "mom". I have a "mother", she's the evil that spawned me. That might sound a little harsh, but my "mother" beat the hell out of me my whole childhood, turned the savings bonds my grandparents got for me into alcohol and drank them, is schizophrenic and just all around CRAZY. In a word she's EVIL. When she and my father divorced it was all MY fault. At least that's what she would scream at me while beating the crap out of me. But that's another journal.

All my life I never knew what it meant to have a "mom". I didn't miss not having one, simply because, you cant miss what you've never had. Twenty-four years, I didn't have anyone to confide in, to tell me when I've done a good job. Nobody was there to help me figure out my problems in an adult and rational way. Nobody helped keep me accountable when I would screw up (at least not rationally and without anger, judgement, or abuse). I had nobody to look up to, nobody to guide me when I was lost. Nobody to tell me 'it's all going to be alright' when I felt like my world was falling apart. But don't pity me. I'm not sad about this, it was just the way things were.

For years I tried and struggled to have a healthy relationship with a 'mother' that was toxic. I tried to get her sober, I tried to get her help. Nothing changed. Still crazy, still drinking, still emotionally and verbally abusive, still evil. I resigned to the fact that I would never have somebody to call "mom". And that was ok with me. I'd rather have no mom than call the piece of work that birthed me 'mom'. In my mind anyone can breed and call themselves a "mother" but only really special women can EARN the right to be called "Mom". Mother is a noun, it's a label, it describes something you've DONE (giving birth). Mom is a verb, it's an action, it describes what you DO.

When I least expected it, that's when it happened...

I found my mom on the internet. LOL, I know what you're probably thinking, it is kind of an absurd statement. At the very least it's humorous! But hear me out.


It started off as a friendship. A woman that graduated highschool the year I was born, and I, both have autistic children. So we met in an autism group here on cafemom. We had more than just our kids in common though. We joked, we laughed, we were drawn to each other's personality. After awhile she started calling me, just to giggle and chat, we enjoyed each other. I don't know exactly when it happened. I think it was a gradual process. But I found myself really opening up to her. Asking her advice and opinions on things. It was to the point that I'd post something in a group feigning a good mood. And she'd call me because she knew something was wrong. After more time had passed I would, just, call her if I had an issue, for guidance and support. I didn't really notice that I was seeking her out to fill this role. I just knew that she was smart, had more life experience than I did, and could look at my issue objectively and help guide me to solve my issues myself without "fixing it for me".

At some point it finally hit me. She was my "Mom".

We got to meet in person this summer at a mutual friends home all the way across the country. (She lives in so-Cal, I live in nor-Cal, we met in Boston, go figure? lol!) We spent a week together with a close knit group of girls (all of whom met on the internet), laughing, crying, chasing autistic children around, it was a beautiful thing. It was only this June, but already it feels like so long ago. I miss it, I miss my friends, I miss their children, and most of all, I miss my Mom. I can't wait to do it again!

Anyway, I'm getting sentimental and straying off my point.

My Mom is a beautiful, smart, strong woman. She doesn't think she's strong. She says she "cries a lot". Well duh! She's human! She admits when and where she's wrong and she's never too big to apologize. She's a teacher, a shrink, a compass. She always has a joke or a story to brighten my mood when I'm down. She teaches me that it's ok to be strong but it's also ok to let yourself cry. She calls me on my bullshit (like when I try to blame a fight between me and dh solely on him lol.) She always knows what I need to hear (whether I know that I need it or not.) She teaches me that life just sucks sometimes, but you don't dwell on it, you push through it, and no matter how bad it seems you're going to make it. She shows me that I'm loved with her actions and words. She appreciates me as a person, as a friend, as a daughter. When she hurts, I hurt (or depending on what's going on I totally FREAK! lol) By being the wonderful person she is, she's teaching me how to be the Mom I want to be, how to be the Mom I need to be. I truly believe that it is because of her, I am more emotionally stable now, than I have been my whole life.

So, what does "Mom" mean to me? A Mom is someone like Teri. A Mom is someone I respect and look up to. A Mom is kind of like toilet paper, it needs to be soft AND strong! A Mom is someone that will love me, no matter how badly I screw up. A Mom will let me fall on my butt, but will walk by my side while I'm trying to find my way. A Mom was something I never knew I needed until she walked into my life. A Mom is something I'll never have to be without, ever again. A Mom can find humor in any situation. A Mom is allowed to be afraid, and need a break from time to time. A Mom can buckle down and get things done.

Teri is a beautiful person that I can proudly call MY MOM.