While cleaning/dejunking/organizing our basement, I found several boxes of old photos. As I looked through them all, I was amazed when looking at several pictures of our mother. She was smiling! She looked happy! In fact, she looked like she didn’t have a care in the world! What was going on? Was she drunk or medicated?
No, this was another ‘aha’ moment. Of course she was happy in those pictures because she had walked away from her family, her responsibilities and her perceived angst.
Who hasn’t had that moment of frustration when you may have wished you could walk away from it all? But who has ever taken that thought to the next level and acted on it? Well, meet our mother. Not only did she walk away from her kids, she walked away from all of her responsibilities as a family member and a friend.
The look on her face in every picture captured a much different Mother than the one I knew. Here was the young carefree woman who chose herself over everybody else. Her need to be happy trumped any responsibility she felt towards my sister and me.
As a mother myself, I find it extremely sobering that a parent could walk away so easily. The fact she had planned to do this while my sister Abby and I were conveniently out of state working for the summer makes her decision even more deplorable.
But our lives were so much better with her removed from the daily drama. We were saved from the drudgery of explaining her out of control behavior and fit throwing, not to mention having to put up with it ourselves. Mother was a victim and played that role to the hilt. Yes, her mother had died and she was not wanted by relatives but she chose the path of the “Poor me” victim and it clouded her ability to be anything else.
Truth be told, Mother loved her new freedom that she found many miles away from her family. Not having to worry about anybody but herself suited her well. Yes, she was happy, maybe for the first time in her life. At least as happy as anyone who had mental problems and tried to solve them by drinking, drugging and eating could be. No more children to raise/abuse, so she was finally free to do exactly as she pleased. The good news was that so were my sister and I.