I emailed my mother a week ago to see if she still had all her photo albums with the pictures of me as a kid. I asked her to send me those pics, copies or originals I don't care, because I don't have any pics of me back then. I also wanted copies of the pics I sent her when I was living in Washington state because I don't have any of them either. She hasn't answered me, but I called my aunt (my dad's sister-in-law) to see if Mom got my email and was going to send me the pics (Mom and I don't talk, haven't for the last nine years). She said yes, Mom is going to send them to me, with my mother's comment that I probably wanted them so my husband could see how pretty I was back then (I also happened to be about 200 lbs lighter in the later photos). Now, I don't know that she was inferring that I'm not pretty now that I'm fat, but that's the way I took it. Why? Because I was never told back then that I was pretty. All I remember hearing is how fat I was and how hard it was to find clothes to fit me (from junior high on I had to shop in the women's department, teen clothing didn't come in a size 16 or 18).
I don't remember a lot from when I was a kid/teen-ager, and most of what I remember is not good (my mother and I have had an adversarial relationship for as long as I can remember). I'm not sure if the lack of memory has to do with the depression I've suffered from most of my life, or if it's because I just don't want to remember it all. I do remember that when I started dating, I couldn't figure out why guys wanted to go out with me (can we say lower-than-a-snake's-belly self-esteem issues here?). I mean, I had guys that were friends, and I could talk to them about all kinds of things (hunting and fishing and cars and life in general), I had friends that were girls, but we weren't close (didn't have much in common, other than we liked boys and horses and roller skating at the local rink). For me, if a guy wanted to go out with me, he wanted sex (and I was so starved for affection that sex was fine with me, at least someone was holding me and pretending they cared about me, even if it was just for that span of time). Why did I feel that way? Well, I've thought about this long and hard for the last 20 years, and I've come to the conclusion that it was because I can't remember my mother ever holding me as a kid or telling me she loved me. I remember being yelled at, hit, and told to leave her alone, she didn't want to hear my problems, she had to listen to the bitches at work all day and didn't want to listen to my shit when she got home. It took me 10 years of therapy, off and on, and being on Prozac for all that time, before I even began to get a handle on why I thought I was such a rotten person (my mother had been after me for years to get therapy, and when I did, and talked to her about what I had learned, all she could say was "What the hell does that therapist know?" because I was told I was abused as a child and she didn't want to hear that). To this day, she thinks I deserved everything she did to me, which is the major reason I don't talk to her anymore.
The last time I talked to her was when my son and his girlfriend (now his wife) took my grandson to Illinois to see her and my dad and we took pictures of my new granddaughter (my grandson's mother is my son's ex-g/f). I had a good job and a nice car, and all my mother could say to me was "It's about time you got off your fat ass and went to work." She looked at the pictures of my granddaughter and said in front of my son's g/f (who was my g/d's mother) that there was no way that kid was my son's (and if you look at pictures of my g/d now that she's 9, she looks like me at that age, and she looks like her half-brother who is the spitting image of his dad). Now, we were trying to make nice with her, but she didn't have one good thing to say to any of us, so I resolved that I was done making nice, I was an adult, and I didn't have to put up with that shit just because she was my mother. So I haven't talked to her since.
Now my husband is saying I should call her and try to make up with her, that I will regret it if I don't before she dies (she's 73 and in fairly good health, as far as I know). So I've been talking with my aunt, who has been trying to help me with this mess. She asked my mom what it would take for her to get past all this crap and start over with me. Mom says she can't put it behind her. I think that if I called her up and said "Mom, you've been right about me all along, I've always been a worthless piece of shit and deserved everything you did to me and I'm sorry I've been such a disappointment to you." she would be perfectly happy to continue to mentally and emotionally abuse me, no starting over and being decent to me (she doesn't think what she's done/doing is abuse).
The email I sent her was just the request for the photos, and telling her about DH's cataract surgery and his up-coming knee surgery, and that we were going to my son's for his and his step-son's birthdays. Nothing controversial, very polite. My aunt told me she printed that email out and showed everyone in the family, saying "See how nice she can be?" Yeah, Mom, I can be nice to you when you aren't riding my ass about shit that's none of your business and when you aren't putting me down for whatever shortcomings you think I have. But I'm being a nasty bitch when I tell you that if you don't have anything nice to say to me, to not say anything, or when you start in on me and I defend myself, I'm being nasty to you. This is why I don't talk to her, this is why I don't want to talk to her. I've had 9 years of peace and quiet and non-abuse from her, and I want to keep it that way. If that means not talking to her, fine with me.
Shit, this started out to be just a post about an upcoming photo gallery of me, and devolved into a rant about my mother. Sorry 'bout that.