Friday, May 18, 2012

Being My Mother's Mother (Ch. 27)

After my father's death it was discovered that there was money that could be collected for me from Social Security.  The initial payout was around 6 thousand dollars and to me and my mother this was a fortune.  My mother left Larry and moved us into another studio apartment right down the street from Fred's house.  The apartment was only about 400 square feet, with the kitchen, living room and bedroom all fitting in just one room.  It had a fenced in little garden too.  I was enrolled back in the same school I had left a year ago.  The same school where I had no friends and had to spend lunch in the teacher's room so the other kids wouldn't make fun of me. 

I was happy that my mother and me could be on our own though.  Living with Larry was exhausting for me.  I couldn't even enjoy all the activities Larry put me in because I was too worried about my mother doing something to upset him.  I had to constantly watch her and make sure she didn't sneak off with the newest boyfriend offering her a quick high.  I dreaded the nights Larry came over because that meant I had to get my mother up and presentable.  Getting your mother bathed and dressed when you are 10 years old is a very tall order... and one that made it impossible to ignore how messed up my home life really was.  It was depressing.

When we got the money my mother was kind of awakened.  I think she felt some hope.  I did too.  I did not realize that 6 thousand dollars was not enough to live off of for very long.  When we first got the money my mother said, "Baby, this is your daddy's money that he worked for, so that makes it your money, and I'm NOT going to spend one dime of it on me!  We are getting our own place and we can spend it how you want." 

My mother had a lot of confidence in my ability to be responsible.  She believed herself, and I believed her too.  The first week in our new place was spent going on shopping sprees at the grocery store.  I loved buying food.  I got new clothes too and all seemed to be going well.  I also decided that it was a good idea to spend more than $800 on collectible stuffed animals.  "Mom, this one Beanie Baby is only $50 and in a few years it's going to be worth $500!"  I was making investments!.....  A few weeks later the money was gone. 

I had just walked home from school and was singing along to Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" and looking in the fridge when she came in, slamming the front door.  She stomped her foot on the floor and shook her head back and forth violently.  She started crying and sat down on the bed.  I was cautious.  This was not an abnormal occurrence.  My mother was insane and she often went through manic episode of distress.  Most of the time she would just cry and mumble curses to herself, like she was trying to hex the world for doing wrong to her or something.  The times she hit herself or pulled out her hair concerned me though.

"I lost all the money.. it's gone, I'm so sorry!"  My mother wailed.  "I only wanted to give us a better life.... I'm sorry!  I'm sorry!"  I let what she said sink in.....  We have no money?... there will be no food... we will get evicted.  I started to tear up, not from sadness, but from anger.  I was overflowing with anger and it spilled out in my tears.  "You spent our money!  You lost it at the casino didn't you!  It's all gone?!"  Then I started to cry... What would we do?  My mother tried to hug me and I reached out to hit her!  She stood there stunned and just looked at me.  I was stunned too.

I ran out the front gate and went to Fred's house.  I told him what happened and told him not to let her in, no matter what.  He smirked at me and nodded his head in understanding.  I cried and cried to him and soon I heard my  mother at the door.  She was irate!  I could hear her out there making threats and banging on the door and windows.  She was crying and completely distraught.  I'm the one that should be upset!  I thought. She always did this.  She always overshadowed my hurt.  She always acted like the only pain that mattered was hers.

My little heart hardened and I wanted to punish her!  If she wants to be upset, I'll give her something to be upset about!  I had been my mother's mother for awhile now and expressions like this were constantly running through my mind.   I heard Fred use them or got them from the TV shows I watched.  It was easier for me to be a parent if I pretend that I was no longer a child.  I played the part as best I could and developed a very adult like way of speaking by the time I was 11. 

I called the police. 
"911 Emergencies, what is your emergency?"

"My mom is high on drugs and trying to hurt me, her name is Susan _________ and she has warrants out for her arrest too."

I gave them the address and then walked out the door to go back home and get my things together.  I figured they would take me now, and I wanted to have my things.  My mother was outside waiting.

"I called the cops, they are on the way to arrest you and I'm going to live with foster parents!"  I walked with my head held high and tried not to cry.  My mother put her hand on her heart and gasped, "No!  Why would you do that! No no no.. Pleeeeaassse!"  Then she fell on the ground in the middle of the road and cried.  I turned around, walked away and left her there.  I knew it was an act.  In less than a minute she was running up behind me talking a mile a minute.  "Baby, I'm sorry, please don't do this, we can go somewhere else, I have a place we can go, I had it all set up, don't worry." 

I made it to our house and started packing my things.  I had a hard time getting everything together because of all my collectible Beanie Babies.  When I got finished I had 4 garbage bags full of stuff and didn't know what to do next.  I looked at my mother crying on the bed and took a long shaky breath in.  What have I done?

I couldn't leave her.  I let the tears stream down my face and went to her.  She took me in her arms and whispered to me over and over, "I'm sorry...I love you, I love you, I love you, ssshhhhh, I love you."... I knew she loved me... She just didn't know how to love me the right way.  I stood stiff in her arms and starred off into space... thinking about what would happen to us next.

My mother called for a ride and we packed up all of our things and skipped out before the cops showed up.  I had a hard time leaving Bird Bird, but my mother promised me that we would call Fred to come and get him on our way to where ever we were going.  After all of her lies....  I don't know why I always believed her promises, but I did.

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