My mother’s love life was an interesting affair. It always had a strong pull on me, always made me very upset, and led to most, if not all, of the problems in our relationship. The way she treated relationships probably had a profound effect on how I would later go about attaining and maintaining relationships. My fear of hurting people the way my mother hurt me led me to stick in toxic relationships longer than I needed to, and led me to never hop into a casual or short term engagement.
When my parents were divorced, my mother was awarded custody and my sister and I got to stay in our house with our mom while my dad was sent out to figure out his own part. This is just fine by me. I had no ill-will towards my father, but if they were going to split, this was how I wanted it to resolve. That feeling was short-lived. Seemingly only weeks later my mom took to going out to the bar regularly and our babysitter basically moved in with us. I hated this babysitter. She played with my sister and castigated me while ignoring me. Just as well, I had ninja turtles and legos.
One particular night, my mother was getting ready to leave and I threw a tantrum because I wanted her to be home. She refused and left and I chased the car down the street almost giving myself an asthma attack. I don’t recall all of what happened, but the feeling of helplessness and lack of control would stick with me and become a very common piece of parental interactions to come.
Not long after this event, we had a live-in boyfriend. He was out of the military, and much younger, if I recall correctly. He played with me and my legos and I one time challenged him to a foot race, he didn’t chase me, but I still felt like I won. I don’t recall what happened to him, or how long he lived there with us.
We spent a lot of time over my grandparent’s house, or they were at our house, practically daily. It wasn’t long before I heard the news that we were going to be moving in with my dad. Apparently, he had caught wind of my mother’s lifestyle from a concerned neighbor (who I think reads this blog) and he petitioned for custody and won.
My mother was devastated.
By Christmas of the next year I was living with my other grandma and my dad. My grandma continued to take us to our elementary school every day, but that would be our final school year in Roseville.
Not long after this, my mother lost the house, or sold it, I have no idea. But she moved into a motel on Grosebeck Highway not far from where we were living. I was really happy to have her so close. It seemed like, aside from money, she was doing well and getting things in order. But I was wrong, her long slide down was only beginning.
It wasn’t long after she was at this motel that I found out she was working there, cleaning. And she was dating the owner’s son. We were often invited into the owner’s house, which was right behind the front counter, and was rather nice compared to the single room kitchenette she was living in.
She was in this motel for a long time. I don’t recall exactly the order of the next several moves, but it is more or less how I am about to put it all. She moved into an apartment building on Cass, almost directly across from my parent’s house. I loved it there. She had a nice place. It had a pool and a yard to play in. I could ride my bike there even on days I wasn’t supposed to see her.
She met my step-father while living here, and married him in the apartment. There are plenty of stories about these events that will all be shared later on. After her and my step-father had been living there a bit, they moved into a different apartment on the same campus, a bigger one. Although they were not there long before they split up, and my step-father would eventually take his own life as a result.
After the second apartment, my mother moved backed out to Mount Clemens, into a house split into three apartments. It was nice. It wasn’t long before she started dating Tom, who worked at Reuhle’s towing in Mount Clemens, and then worked for the Tigers. All while supporting his little girl he was always talking about. Until we found out that the little girl was just a picture out of a magazine, and apparently there were a million other lies out there as well. So, he was gone. And not long after, my mom was too.
She decided to move to Sharon Pennsylvania, as I’ve explained before. She moved in with my now dead step-father’s older brother. Harry was also divorced with kids. Talk about a strange situation. She stayed with him until she died in his house. They never talked about a romantic relationship, but I think you would have to be fooling yourself to assume they never tried.
I left out a lot of my emotional stuff related to these various men. The reason is, I never really felt one way or the other towards any of them. In retrospect, they were all somewhat slimy, except Dan at the motel. I grew to really hate my step-father and his brother. But with each different person in her life, I just looked differently at my mother.
She was an easy woman to fool. I used to love pulling pranks on her because she was so gullible. But these men all tricked her. And she fell for it each time. Unknowingly, my mother made me very aware of people’s bullshit, and made me fill with anger when I sniffed it out.
This forever informed who I am. My vantage point on everything from religion and politics to new age medicines and organic bananas is skewed by my memory of my mother’s reckless relationships. I am quick to dispense of people who don’t hold up a high standard of integrity, and I hold closest to me those people that are most genuine.
But mostly watching her experience life the way that she did hardened my heart. Not only am I not a person who will fully pour himself into you only if we are longtime close friends, I’m not likely to do it ever. That probably takes some people by surprise, especially how I am willing to bare a lot of myself on a website for fun. But the truth has always been that I do not mind talking about my past. I don’t find it threatening for you all to know where I came from. Even my recent past is up for grabs. But I rarely talk about things happening to me as they happen. I try and fool you all by writing as if it is happening now, but most every posting was written weeks in advance. I don’t even feel comfortable talking to my wife about things until they are almost completely concluded.
I feel safe that way, I guess. I can’t really explain it. It doesn’t make sense. But that is where I am at. Still guarded and pretending that I am strong enough to get past the things that hurt me, even if we all know I’m not.