Hey. It’s Mother’s Day of 2021. So far, I’ve gotten the laundry washed (it’s in the dryer now), made coffee, fed the cats, made breakfast, and loaded the dishwasher. I figured out how to do what I wanted to do with this chapter in ‘Shield & Scepter’, but haven’t started writing yet.
My mother passed away in 2015. My mother in law died in 2020. My step-mother is alive and well, but I can’t say we know each other well. I was an adult when I connected with my bio dad, went to their wedding about 5 years later. Probably less, but my mind’s not figuring out exactly how long this morning. That’s not the point. I want to talk about my bio mom.
When you’re raised by a narcissist who thinks nothing is ever going to be good enough for her, is constantly moving the bar, you retreat into a shell. As a child, we want to make our parents proud. See them applaud us, brag to their friends, hear from them that we did something good. If it’s constant criticism, it wears you down.
I’ve broken free of a lot of the toxic thoughts she put into my head. She’d gone out into the world beyond the small town where she was raised, got scared, and came home. When I was born, she was a Navy wife. While I’m proud of the years my bio dad put into the military, Mom was not cut out for that life. She was someone who expected to be the center of attention in all things, even when she didn’t earn it. Her support of someone came at a cost – usually she expected some sort of gift or public show of gratitude for all that she ‘sacrificed’ to make the other person a success.
Being a military spouse was not going to give her that.
She left him, went back to that small town, and met my dad. They got married, he adopted us, and she tried her best to make me as afraid of life beyond that town as she was.
It didn’t work.
I still struggle and have days where I hear her voice in my head, telling me I should quit. If I wasn’t an overnight success with my first book, I was washed up. A has-been before I even had a chance. I should just add it to the list of failures (which, depending on my mood, can be long).
Then I remember that me doing this showed my children a better way. That I have friends I consider family that are as excited to read my books as I am to write them. That I have an agent who believes in me.
The rest will come, over time.
Mom wasn’t a patient woman. She wanted what she wanted and she wanted it now. The concept that a career could take a decade or longer to build was alien to her. She wanted to start at the top.
Me? I want a solid foundation that’s going to carry me over another 40 years of writing. That’s my gift to myself.
BB/Chan Eil Eagal Orm