Saturday, July 26, 2008

I don't have to Justify SHIT, to anyone

Okay, so blogging about this might not be such a good idea. If it turns out to bite me in the ass, well, it wouldn't be the first time. Bottom line, this is MY freakin' blog, and this is what has been rolling around in my head lately. Besides, according to my Google Analytics, nobody reads the damn thing anyway, which is mostly just fine with me. I don't mean to sound pissy, but I am feeling just a tad bit resentful.

Actually, I'm a little miffed because, yesterday, I mentioned to Jasmin (my oldest daughter) that I had plans to go back to school this fall. I really shouldn't have been surprised by her response. I love Jasmin with all my heart, and I am very proud of her, but we don't always see eye to eye about a lot of things. Jasmin's always been a very strong, independent, opinionated, and often confrontational, kind of person. I think that sometimes she forgets that her opinions are exactly that - opinions - and NOT indisputable fact. I was really hoping that as my daughter, and a woman, that she'd be a little more supportive. Instead, she made it clear that she was very disappointed with my decision, and she proceeded to tell me exactly what I needed to do with my life. According to her, I should get a job - any job - make my OWN money, and stash it away just in case my husband doesn't live up to my expectations. (or maybe, she meant her expectations?). Possible employment options included: Walmart cashier, retail sales clerk, or warehouse worker. She then, went on to argue all of my reasons, and to point out all of the pitiful and disastrous results of my past choices. In short, she made it crushingly clear, that her opinion of my life and choices thus far, is that I'm a total loser, a complete failure, a spineless victim, and a complete disgrace to all women and mothers, everywhere.

I suppose that I should have tried harder to defend myself, to point out that not everyone measures success and happiness according to her standards and values, but the underlying tone of her response caught me completely off guard. Which I'm sure, in her mind, only validated her statements. Maybe, that's what upset me the most? The fact that I felt a need to justify my life, to my own daughter.

Part of me was screaming, ' Take her down a notch ! Tell her what a disrespectful, ungrateful little child she's being ! Remind her that she wasn't born with all that glorious independence and confidence that is radiating from her; remind her that it was a gift, purchased by your sacrifice!'
But another part of me, said, ' No, she's going through a rough time right now, she's struggling with her marriage, and a teenage son. She doesn't want to hear that you are at a different place in your life, she doesn't understand.'

So . . . I let her have her say, and I bit my tongue. Since then, I've been struggling with feeling a little hurt, a little angry, and maybe a little sad. I've gone over, in my mind, all of the points that I could have made; I could have questioned her about some of her choices, and the results of them, but at what cost to our relationship? I've even considered that her statements might have a certain truth and wisdom to them. But it really doesn't change anything. Good, bad, or indifferent, this is my life.

I guess the scariest part is, that I felt the same way about my mother's life when I was 30 years old. I always thought my mother's choices had been weak and lame. I couldn't understand why, now that her children were grown, she didn't just go out there and demand all the things that she had compromised for the sake of her children. I didn't fully comprehend that as mothers, we sometimes unknowingly, give away certain parts of ourselves to our children, and it changes who we are, and what we want from life. In a way, our hopes and dreams are recycled, and hopefully, refined. It's very strange to be in the middle here, looking forward through my daughter's eyes, and looking back, and trying to understand and appreciate my own mother.

Oh Lord, thinking like this makes me feel old, but in a lot of ways, it gives me strength and reassurance. I guess as individuals, we are all pretty screwed up. We all have our flaws, and our choices are what they are. For the most part, we do the best we can with what we have to work with. At least, I'd like to believe that. There is no point in getting pissed off about our differences, eventually, it all comes back around, and you have to wonder what the hell you were thinking, when you said and did all that stupid shit.

4 howled back:

Anonymous said...

You know honey the thing is you are a mother with a husband that thinks the world of you and if I choose to support your going to school thats what you can do. Its our life and not Jasmins
I support you going to school not her so go for it and be happy in it ok. I made the mistack of figuring I needed that fishing trip. and in a way I did inside and out. but you know I am done with it as you sad you was waiting for Nich to be done I am so lets move on it was only one night. Love you your bigoldbear.

Anonymous said...

I thought the last half of this was really beautiful and has made me have a think about the way I treat my own Mum and how my daughter treats me and how we're all just so damn complex and full of hurts and resentments but most of all we love so much and that is why it DOES hurt.

Love ya!

Cat said...

It is so hard to feel attacked or judged by our children. I often find myself reminding myself - they are children and really only see thngs as children do - until they have been out on their own for a time - then I believe that their views will gradually shift - hopefully to our favor. I fully support education through every stage of life - keep that brain working and young longer!!

Rooster Boy said...

What you do is what you do. You should NEVER have to justify yourself to anyone. In this life, the only one you have to report to is yourself. If others get your time then that is a bonus to them. Education is always a good thing. When I graduated with my AS, the lady in front of me was in her upper 80s and getting her degree. Good for her and good for you!