My sweet husband and I watched the movie Boyhood the other night.
It’s a lovely movie; and if you can judge a movie by the emotions it evokes, this one certainly deserved its Oscar nomination.
The emotion it evoked for me was anger. Lots and lots of anger.
Instead of Boyhood, to me the movie should have been titled My Mother, because the character of the mother in Boyhood simply enraged me. Husband and I are discussing the movie, and I find myself in a total rage and rant about the mother in the film.
Why? Because she reminded me so much of my own dear departed mother.
Understand this. I love my mother. She was a charming, sweet, smart woman.
What my mother should not have been was a mother.
At the point in my life that I realized this, I also understood she was a victim of her times. She did what was expected of her – she got married and had kids. When her first marriage feel apart, my mother got married again – to a nightmare of a man.
My mother was not driven to marry this man out of desperation. She had a secure, (reasonably) good job; and had family that loved her.
The man my mother married liked to inflict pain, in many and varied small ways. It amused him. I made him happy. He seemed to believe it was a way of expressing affection. He could also flip out at a moment’s notice. Pulling my sister and I out of bed by the hair in the wee hours of the morning to wash and dry every pot and pan in the house. He made my sister and my life miserable in a myriad of ways.
And my mother let it happen.
And I am still absolutely and profoundly furious about it.
I thought I had accepted all of this, and moved on. Nope. Not a bit of it.
My understanding of motherhood is that the child’s security should be put first, but my mother put her own security first – always. This is a woman who should never had children. I think she would have been so much happier. She liked being a working woman. She did not like housework. Two qualities I get from her.
And another quality I got from her (or maybe learned from her) is selfishness. I know I am selfish. I’m not good at sharing. I want to spend my time and money as I see fit. I know kids are expensive and they take up a ton of time. This is why I didn’t have them.
So I learned something about myself.
I have not forgiven my mother. And while I love and (think) I understand her, I am still deeply angry with her.
And it’s okay. I’m allowed to feel what I feel, and I take responsibility for my emotions. I’d like to be able to let go of this. At least I know now that all that anger is still sitting there.
It’s a start.