Dirty Laundry

She sits there, unapologetic, explaining that it was okay for her to be rude to Mister at first because mothers have the right to be concerned about their children’s decisions.

My mind immediately darts back to moments from a lifetime ago.

A neighbor asks how I fared in class 10 board exams – and before I can open my mouth, she says 82%, beaming with pride. I am astounded, because it is a gross exaggeration – a full 5% more than I actually scored. The man in the kurta pajama congratulates me, tells me how proud he is of me, and leaves. Mom instructs me to tell everyone the same figure, because 77 is not good enough.

S., my cousin, is upset with me, and I am crying because the phone is locked and I can’t make a phone call. When she gets home, she asks me to stop bawling, because it isn’t as though his world will collapse if he doesn’t talk to you for an hour. 

I have just broken up with my boyfriend, whom my mother likes and wants me to marry. Who will marry you now, you skinny little scarecrow aren’t exactly her words, but she finds a way to convey it regardless.

When I finally tell her what her nephews did to me when I was a kid, she refuses to believe me. You must be imagining it.

I have always known that my existence was meaningless and feeble, even inconsequential to hers – and I was basically just a burden she couldn’t seem to get rid of.

And she is looking me in the eye and telling me: I was concerned about you. 

This, coming from a woman who never said a kind word to me in her life; had nothing to convey except her disappointment at how I turned out. Blind, hot, white rage flashes through me like a lightning bolt.

I scream until my head explodes, and then walk out.

I step back into the room only to overhear what my sister has to say – she needs to understand that the past was equally difficult for all of us.

Equally difficult? Rich, coming from our mother’s favorite child who has never been abandoned like I was.

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anawnimiss

Blogger. Crazy bitch. Stalkee. Weirdo magnet. Wannabe housewife. Corporate Slave. Find me at anawnimiss.wordpress.com!

53 thoughts on “Dirty Laundry”

  1. Whew, that there is some heavy stuff Ana. It was very brave of you to share this. It always makes me sad when children don’t get any positive feedback and/or are abused. They are so vulnerable. **HUGS**

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  2. OMG! I have to make you the biggest compliment, Anawni. You appear to me like such a loving, honest, and pretty open woman. A woman who found love and gives so much love. With such a history it is not easy to get that far. Never believe anyone who tells you that you were not worthwhile. You are an amazing woman and even if this belief might be stuck somewhere deep inside. Release it! Today you know it better. Whatever your mom or anyone said to you and hurt you was never about you, but with the overwhelming of that person. Don’t carry the problems of others along anymore. Your life is finally yours!

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      1. I made the same experience with my father. It wasn’t easy to deal with him wanting me to be what he wished how I should be. Big pressure and lots of humiliation. But one day (it was about my son) I lost my fear, stood up, and spoke up. From that moment on I realized that it was never about me. It was always only about him. That was the moment I made peace with this and simply let him be. I saw the fight inside of him and decided to not make it my war.

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          1. That’s something many of us need to remember about our parents, Erika. They have their own back stories too, and we try to be understanding, but it’s not always easy or right.

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  3. Hi Ana,
    Expectation can be a horrible thing. I’m somewhat of the black sheep of my family, or at least I used to be. I could do nothing right. My siblings were the ones that represented what my parents expected of us. My solution? Succeed. I did it on my terms and I’ve come to terms with my past with my parents. I think that my mother looks at me completely differently now and recognizes that her world view could not/should not be imposed on me. I often wonder what my dad would have thought. Just be you, Ana. Live life on your terms, no one elses, and if they come around, great, if not, still great.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, that was intense. Good reminder to me to always validate my kids feelings. Your anger is justified, the rage from not being treated as a child but as an adult. Don’t be a victim of your past, I have to remind myself that often so don’t think I am preaching.
    Don’t let the anger of your father pass on to you. Don’t let what your cousins did define you, it defines them as pedophiles and scum of the earth to do that to a child.
    It seems like you despised your mom more than your dad.
    That also is valid, especially if you felt your mother didn’t step up for you. Human relationships are so complex and just because you are related doesn’t mean you relate to them. Your sister maybe dealing with demons of her own, who knows, hence the need to completely change her identity to marry a man to lose herself in the process.
    Therapy maybe an option, but later first things first focus on your family, you, husband, MIL, your bonus daughter and the soon to be here little person.

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  5. I just know that you’re going to be the mom your mother never was. Us modern parents tend to complicate our lives by imagining all that the littles need and wonder if we’re doing enough. But someone like you already knows that for the most part just being there for the child is enough. Those hugs, wiping away of tears, saying “I understand” even when you really don’t, are things that make a good parent. You just focus on being that parent.

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    1. Touche to that! I think that I learned more from my crappy experiences as a child than a sheltered life would’ve taught me. I am pretty sure my child won’t go through this shit.

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  6. Her experience growing up was obviously not the same as yours. That does not mean it should be discounted. I am sorry those things happened to you. But, in a perverse way they have helped you to be stronger because you had no choice, but to be strong. Strong so you could become the person you are. You are a lovely, creative person. Vibrant and full of life. That is what is important is who you are now. It is hard to let go of the pain of the past. Especially when it is always in front of you when your mother behaves this way. You are valued and you are loved. Just look to Mister and I think you know that is true. Even more important, look in the mirror and love the person looking back at you. That is really the one that matters most.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Pavanne. It’s just that my parents don’t realize how fucked up their behavior is, and they will try to defend themselves senselessly – and that pisses me off. But at the end of the day, it ALWAYS boils down to my real family – Mister and his mom – and I definitely feel loved and thankful for the life I have.

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  7. I hate this, lovely, because I’ve seen this happen in person to a very dear friend of mine. Like you, she is always a let-down – a permanent disappointment and a fly in the ointment of her mother’s otherwise perfect life.

    Your sister is blind to anything but her own perspective, but maybe there’s a relationship there which can be saved, one day, if you want it.

    For now, you need to decide how long you are willing to allow your mother to swan into your life and knock your feet from under you with her ways.

    Your heart may yearn for her to change – to accept and love you as she should (for it is the natural order of things that mothers should love and accept and nurture their children – that’s WHY those bonding capabilities are in place, and furthermore why it hurts so incredibly much when a child is torn down by their parent) – because every time you see her counts as an opportunity for her to finally, finally get it right.

    You just need to decide how many opportunities you’re willing to give her. Because she might take them all and pour contempt on you for being weak and continually seeking her approval, if she’s anything like my friend’s mum.

    Sorry. Feel free to disregard ANYTHING I’ve said which you feel is unhelpful. I just felt this one very sharply indeed, as it reminds me so much of my friend’s situation.

    P.S. You’re beautiful.

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    1. Nothing you’ve said is unhelpful, Lizzi. In fact, it helps to know that there are other fucked up parents in the world. I feel bad for your friend, and I hope that she will get through this.

      I don’t know how far I’m willing to go to make it work with my parents – I do know that if I keep quiet and don’t confront them about anything they do wrong, life will be smooth. But I just can’t. I did that with my ex-husband, and look how it turned out.

      For now, I’m keeping my distance, because my baby doesn’t need all this in her/his life.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. She keeps letting her mother walk all over her. I guess it has to happen until she snaps and decides that enough is finally enough.

        You have a higher purpose and maybe that helps – you’re protecting your baby, and GOOD FOR YOU!

        You’re a good, kind person, Ana, and you don’t deserve to be undermined and belittled.

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  8. You might be right in your place and your sister in her place. Maybe, you are not acknowledging each other’s problems? I am not sure.

    Just want to say that each person is different and has a different breaking point. You may be strong, someone stronger, some weak. But it doesn’t mean anyone’s problems are insignificant. I feel that’s what your sister, your mom and you – all three need to understand. But since, you are the one blogging, I tell it to you.

    And I hate to be preaching but don’t think about your past in this phase of your life. Try as hard as you can to avoid negativity. Think of how much beauty your current life has and how much the future is going to add to it!

    P.S. Mood swings and raging hormones in pregnancy are true. You feel things exponentially more than what you would have had you not been pregnant. It does not mean your feelings should be invalidated. Just that the proportion might be off. 🙂

    Forget about all this and dig into a bowl of your favorite icecream. You’ll feel infinitely better 😀

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  9. I am sure many of us can relate to this. I can relate to this in my life, the marks thing. But then think of it this way, the world has gotten better in these 10 years so I would not linger to something that happened over the past.

    Well I am coming to blogosphere after a week or so and I read a sad post from you. I should go back and make a happy post, to just keep the balance right, lol 🙂

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  10. It’s so sad how society have such unreal expectations from us. On another vein, you such an interesting character and would love to discuss things about life and the globe someday over coffee:) Wishful thinking!!

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  11. Landed on your blog by accident, and no, I did not search for any weird stuff… just found it and loved the way you write….there is a lot of honesty, openness, but also there is a lot of poignancy and sadness… and yes, loneliness… but I guess these are basic ingredients required to someone who writes, and writes well….
    Like other bloggers, I too felt that you deserved a hug… I mean shit happens and most of us have been where you have been 😦
    So a big hug, ok, an akward side one, but from one blogger to another, where we are safe in this artificial universe and where we rule it 😀
    PS: looking for more great stuff from you….

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    1. Santosh, You cracked me up with this “So a big hug, ok, an akward side one, but from one blogger to another, where we are safe in this artificial universe and where we rule it” – LOL! Can we make it a group side hug? 😛

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Hey Santosh! Your awkward side hug came at a time when I actually needed it so you finding me is definitely a happy accident!
      I think our universe is very much real – all the friends I’ve made here are real too, and they are here to stay 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. It is no doubt hard when parents don’t give those basic things children need – validation, unconditional love, encouragement, support, hugs …. May you find all those joyful things with your own child. Hugs.

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  13. Beautiful writing about a very sad subject. It sounds as though our mothers may have been sisters from other misters. The pain seemed to increase with the birth of each of my kiddos…and has finally lessened over the years with forgiveness and insight. I hope you are able to find peace somehow and know that her actions are more of a reflection of her own heart and insecurities than anything you ever did (or didn’t) do. Hugs, A.
    Love you sister! xo

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    1. What? Seriously? Your mom was like this, too? It’s like I keep telling you – there’s a reason why we connect! And that’s why I love you! ❤
      As for why my mom is the way she is, I wish I understood. I guess she did the best she could under her circumstances, so I try not to be too mad at her! I just live and I learn.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And, I love you, too my friend. Yes – very similar to your mom AND like you, I’ve decided that she has done the very best she could. I love her for tackling one of the most difficult jobs ever.
        Speaking of….how are you feeling these days my love??

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  14. Oh girl, I am so upset reading about this. I am so sorry that you had to undergo all this, you are a brave heart to blog about this. As a mother, I am so protective of my kids, I think about them when they are in front of me, I think about them when I got out on dates with my husband so much so that, he asks me to also focus a bit on him too ;). I don’t understand why parents go into denial when their kids share about abuse! This is just so sad and unfortunate.

    (((Hugs))) to you girl, I don’t know what else to say.

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    1. Thanks Deepa. The one positive thing that came out of my experiences is that I now know exactly the type of mom I don’t want to be. This is good for my unborn baby 🙂

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  15. My mum and her siblings kinda had a similar upbringing. I can imagine what it’s like. Our generation is still not free from that cycle. We hope that its effect dwindles with the passing years. Hugs.

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  16. I am so, so sorry that you had to go through all this, Ana. Especially as a child. Loads of hugs to little you, and now-you! I really wish parents understood the kind of damage they do to their children with careless words.

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      1. True. I hate the idea that parenting is a natural and automatic thing that just comes to you once you have a child. It’s a skill, like any other, that you have to develop through effort and hard work. Some people are willing to do that, others, not so much.

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  17. This post broke my heart. How terrible it is when those closest to us use their words like daggers instead of empowering us with their love. I think you are a strong woman for writing about it and sharing it. You can hold your experiences at a distance, look at them coldly and say, “That should never have happened to me!”. Just remember, your worth is not determined by anyone else and you are beautiful no matter what society communicates as expectation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry, this was a really depressing post to write. But some things have to be said out loud, you know! And thank you for your kind words, Merryn. I do feel beautiful despite the ugly truths in my life!

      Liked by 1 person

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