Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sin of the Week, 12/16/07

Buckle up. This is an ugly post. More fun posts to follow. Really.

There is a thing about stealing. It is a commandment, I believe.

I stole.

I managed to clear the air with my dad last weekend regarding how batshit-crazy making it is for me to be away from him and so on, and we cleared up why X number of bad things were happening and it was generally a good talk. An excellent one. My dad is excellent in every way, including the way where 14 weeks after being sent home in an ambulance and told to just go ahead and die already, he proceeded to go to Walmart to buy drill bits and two by fours so he could finish building the lower pavillion by Christmas. So you see? Excellent.

About a half an hour before I left, I tried to have a similar clearing conversation with my step mother. The result was unsatisfactory. Her desire is to make us all ONE FAMILY and for me, my brother, and my sister to call her mom - and for us to believe that she would go to bat for us just the same as she would for her own children. She is very hurt we have not all played along with this game, that we have been suspicious of her motives, that we have not wholly trusted her. Well, we don't.

If you've been reading this here internet diary for any length of time, you know there is no way I'd ever consider us ONE family, no way I'd ever call her mom, and no way I'd believe she would look after the interests of my brother, sister, and I just the same as she would her own children. History has proven that she does not treat us as she treats them. And you know what? We are fine with that. Her kids are her KIDS. She would never permit them to disrespect her in the manner she apparently expects us to disrespect our own mother. And no, our mother being dead and my step mother's wishes are not sufficient inducements for us to commit this crime against nature. No. Way.

But I digress.

The point is I stole. Want to know what I stole?


It is a picture of my mother's parents. I found it shoved under the workbench in the "guest" room (which is where I... stay when I am "invited" to my father's house). Just before I left, I decided I'd take it, since no one in the house was interested in, you know, my mother or her people anymore. At least here, someone, even if it's just me, will look upon my grandparents with some respect.

I took a few other things, too. I took this letter that my grandmother wrote to me at Christmas, 1994, when she gave me a doll that meant a lot to her as child.

I also took the doll:

I took one more thing that I won't post a picture of. It's a quilt my mother made for my father. I found it right next to the doll, next to the picture. Apparently the "guest" room workbench crawlspace is where everything that no one wants to remember in that household - goes.

No wonder that's the room I sleep in when I am "invited" down for a weekend. Let's keep all the detritus of that old relationship in one handy place, hmmm?

And yet I am expected to believe that she is as devoted to me as she is to her own children. And yet I am to believe that we are all one family (please note: keep debris related to family one shoved under a workbench... thanks!), and I am to call her mom.

It's not the fact that she wants that. I can understand why. Who wouldn't want the power associated with being the matriarch of the family? Who, in her position, wouldn't want the "mother" role to be the accepted postition when the will is read, the one that forces my father's children to rely on her to distribute his assetts fairly? You know.. those assetts that are going to be left entirely to... her... as if she really were our... mother?

I am sorry. Where was I? The issue is the hypocrisy and blindness. The sense of entitlement, the emotionalism and the manipulation.

He married a woman named Janet. She is my mother. She will always be my mother. She died. My father married Mamacita, and I love mamacita. She will always be my friend, but she will never be my mother. That seat, that mother seat, is taken, and it is taken forever. Mamacita has seat all her own; my brother, sister and I have welcomed her into the family and made her one of the gang. We think this is how it should be. But that's not what she wants. She wants the mother chair, to be the very center of our family. Anything less makes her feel "peripheral" and like an "outsider."

To that I say, what??? You live in my father's house with my father every single day. You never have to wonder how he is. You never have to get permission to see him. You never have to wonder whether your phone calls are interrupting his marriage. You never have to wonder why he would rather spend the rest of his life up your ass crack than with his own children.

And you feel... peripheral... because ass crack and all, you are hurt that we call you mamacita instead of mom.

There is a saying... I forget how it goes. Something about a monkey's uncle.

I don't know.

What's really really sad is that these things won't be missed, ever, by anybody. These objects have no meaning to anyone living in that house anymore. it is, forgive the histrionics, as if my mother has died all over again. I knew she would go away and we'd never see her again and I knew that we'd talk about her less and less and that lives would go on. What I didn't count on is th hiding of, the removal of, the obliteration of everything that reminds us of her. I understand perfectly the need to make a home with a new wife and I get not wanting to participate in two marriages at once. I don't blame my dad for any of this. He has to make peace in his own house. But the crawl space thing? Was that really necessary? I don't know. But I don't think so.

So there you have it, sin of the week: I stole, and worse, I am not sorry. When I go down for Christmas I'll tell my dad what I took and tell him why. He can speak up if he wants these things back, but I know he doesn't. Which is why I took them in the first place.


P said...

Wow. That was a very moving post. I was totally engrossed - I had to suppress the urge to scream "HELL'S YEAH!" after you stole the stuff and said you weren't sorry. Because you shouldn't be. I'm glad you did; it was the right thing to do. As for mamacita - it's very, very unwise of her to expect such things from her step-children. She should be thanking her lucky stars that you all aren't spitting and plotting. Instead, you've welcomed her. What more could she reasonably want? Mamacita should read a book. I'm sure there's a book. Someone is always giving me a book when I'm off track.

LAS said...

Great post - and I think taking those things was the right thing to do! And as for your step mother - what she is expecting is completely unreasonable.

e! said...

is it still stealing if you take things that, for all intent and purpose, belong to you? The doll, the quilt/blanket, the picture of your grand parents... these things are yours, just as much as they belong to anyone in your family... so, i don't think its a sin... so i hope you don't beat yourself up over it...

it took me a long time to stop feeling guilty about certain things in my life... hope you eventually find a way to do the same.

em said...

I think you mentioned once before that your dad's wife is super jealous of your mother. . .how sad. Why does she have to be like that? Anyway, I think e! has the right idea. Those things belong to you too.

country roads said...

I would've taken it too. And been proud of it.

Avitable said...

I stole a picture of me sitting on my great grandfather's lap when I was five from my mother's wall. It took her a year to even realize it.

nightfly said...

So, woman... who is left to condemn you?

Then neither do I. And, I'm sure, neither will your Dad, in his excellence. May you have joy of your mementos!

Nina said...

P, thanks. She has issues with acceptance. It's weird. I am suer we'll talk again at Christmas. She needs to understand that the very reason we are suspicious of her is her need to be "our mom." She thinks her motives are pure, but the truth is there can be no motive for that other than a financial one.

LAS, perhaps the letter and the doll I could have taken, but the quilt was not not. Is not mine, I shoudl say.

e!, it's not exactly that I took those things that bugs me, but that I did it because I was angry and feeling hateful when I did it. Also the quilt isn't mine. Also I don't feel all that bad. Just a little tiny bit.

Em, my step mother has issues.

CR, I can't say I regret it.

Avitable, my dad won't notice. Did I ever mention that I think your display picture is kind of hunky?

Nightfly, I do like those momentos. It would be better if I were not vindictive by way of them.

Avitable said...

It's from an art piece a friend did back in college.