This weekend I saw my mom. I didn't 'see her, see her' I just saw her in her car. I froze. The thoughts that crossed my mind were as followed:
1. What is she doing here?
2. I'm in Brad's truck that she's never seen. Would she even know?
3. I've cut all my hair off and she doesn't know. (I never told my grandmother because around that same time she had a 'life altering event' involving a Taco Bell chalupa and I never could get a word in edgewise for three months- She swore it was 'that good.')
4. Seriously, why is she here?
5. I must save Kacie.
I've probably covered it numerous times, just in case, here's the quick and dirty version.
In 2004, Kacie went to spend the summer with her dad in Georgia, we were seeing if she liked living out there. If so, she would move there summer of 2005 (after graduating high school). During her few months there, her grandmother was diagnosed with cancer and she was going to die. Her dad wanted all of us out there together. My other sister and I flew out and spent a few days. During this time, conversations moved to our childhood and namely, the divorce we went through when I was 12 (Nikki 8 and Kacie 7). Things were said. Questions asked. I remember what I thought happened. And what our mom said happened. We were curious what he said happened. That was all. Kacie make the events sound much more sinister than they were. She might have relished in the drama of it all and told people we 'bashed our mother all night.' Not the truth.
Regardless, when it came time for Kacie to come home, mom said she wasn't welcome anymore. She turned her back on her mentally handicapped child. Kacie was forced to stay with her father. She was moved to a new school, in a new state, her senior year.
I have never forgiven our mother for this. Fast forward three years, Kacie came to visit. She stayed with me for 3 weeks. I asked her mom if she could spend some of that time at her house. She said no, claiming we had a mastermind plan to 'force Kacie back onto her.'
No. Not the case. It was Christmas. Get over yourself.
During the visit, I snapped. Christmas day. I haven't spoken to her since. And while I've gotten wonderful advice about forgiving being something we do for ourselves and not for the others involved. I can't. While I no longer harbor the white hot rage, I still know that I do not want this toxic woman in my life.
I have several friends who have this same toxic relationship with their mothers. And I have to ask, 'why?' Why do these relationships have the potential to become so angry. So hate-filled? And why, are we as daughters forced to put up with it? I put my foot down. I like to think it takes strength. I like to think that the road of hard knocks that I walked in my childhood lead me to a place that I can both have the strength to cut out my mother, but also to continue to walk without that extremely influential person by my side.
6. Friends are the family you choose for yourself.
Instead, I surround myself with great friends. This is probably why my friends are so important to me. Probably making them more important to me than I am to them. It happens sometimes.
But seeing my mom, for the first time in over four years made me think. It scared me. It didn't make me miss her. The fear I felt in my throat was akin to seeing an ex-boyfriend. One that did you wrong. One that made you question your self worth. One that the bad was so overwhelmingly present that you can't even remember why you liked them in the first place.
7. I could have driven over her car with my truck.
Anger. Why was she here? Instead of turning into Kacie's apartment- The one I found her. The one I fought to get her into. The one where she would be close enough to me that I could help her. The one where I was listed as 'emergency contact.' The one where I explicitly told them never to contact her mother.
I drove straight. I watched her vehicle in my rearview mirror. She turned around and left. I watched as she was on her phone. I freaked. I called Brad. Kacie's phone was messed up-the purpose of my mid-Saturday visit. I turned around and pulled into Kacie's apartment, thinking that her mom was lost and didn't know where she was going. When I got to the door, there was already a note. Kacie wasn't there and apparently her mom had already come and gone once before.
8. Too little, too late.
I caught up with Kacie later. They have been talking on the phone. Kacie doesn't even understand that a large portion of why I don't speak to our mother is because of how she treated her.
But that is neither here, nor there.
My hope is that if they are to rekindle their relationship, that my mother has learned something in the last several years. That blood, is in fact, not thicker than water. And that giving birth to someone doesn't give you free rein to treat them like dirt.