I’m no stranger to mental illness. My mother is borderline personality disorder – queen bitch extraordinaire. I grew up listening to her tell me that I’m nothing more than my father’s dirty sperm. She wished she never had children. She hates the day she met my father because then I would never have been born. I am fat, ugly, unwanted, a liar, a drama queen, and the reason her life went wrong. Of course, if you asked her today what she thinks of her daughter, she would have nothing but praise. With tears in her eyes, she would tell you how she was a horrible mother (raising hand to forehead) and how I somehow managed to overcome her. That sounds great and all, except she doesn’t mean a word of it. Not one, single word.
You might be sitting there thinking, “But Anxiety Bitch, how do you know?” I know because I know my mother. Just yesterday, the woman calls me on the telephone acting all breathy and maudlin, and goes on a drug-induced, deep, philosophical, one-sided conversation about losing yet another high school classmate. After 45 minutes of listening to this crap, she asks me if she’s depressed me YET. When she learned she hadn’t, she replied, “Good, because one day you will be all alone in this world and your body won’t know what to do when it realizes it’s not needed.” Excuse me. WHAT? At this point, I would pretend to be shocked for added interest. But I’m not shocked. Really, REALLY sad. Sucker punched. I didn’t see the sniper on the side, but I’m not stunned the bullet hit me.
Mother openly admitted she did drugs when pregnant with me. It must have been to endure yet another day growing a life that didn’t ask for this shit. But I believe it is the source of my anxiety. Before I was born, my brain was soaking in chemicals not meant for a fetus. Her unhappiness had to have had an effect on me. Was my mother an unmarried girl? Did she brave the world pregnant, alone, and scared? Did she have parents who considered her a shameful excuse of a wasted life? No. No, no, no, and no. My parents were engaged. They had a wedding with family in full attendance. They honeymooned in Puerto Rico and purchased a house close to both their families right after. I was (dare I say it?) planned. Looking at what I’ve written so far, it feels like a lie. How can both sets of truths co-exist in the same space? But it IS true. All of it. The facts of her life and marriage are true. So is her insistence that she hates my life. And as much as I detest her at times, all I’ve ever wanted was her love. And she has enjoyed withholding it from me.
So, I’m sitting here, thinking about all this shit, and I realize that I shouldn’t have told her “no.” The truth is that she DID depress me. And she has from day 1. I am the mistake. I am the reminder that she married the wrong man. I am the expression of regret. The marriage wasn’t successful, and she became a single mother at 30. My fault again. And I know she’s BPD, but I find it hard to cut her any slack on this.
I feel like a bellowing cow. Poor little Bitch. Right? It’s just that even after all these years, I still feel like a caged bird where she is concerned. I’m not sure this has made any sense at all, but I think that writing it out tonight has helped me feel a little unburdened. And that’s a good thing. It has to be. Because as much as she still insists in private that I’m…well, nothing…I’ve always hoped she wrong. Maybe I’m just like the blackbird. Gawd I love that song. Now if I could only learn to love me, too. Then maybe it wouldn’t matter if she loved me or not.