Just got off the phone with my life coach. God I love that woman. My assignment for last week was to put a face to my gremlin – the shitty voice in my head that tells me I’m not good enough or if I had just done something different, he wouldn’t have broken up with me. Turns out my gremlin’s voice sounds curiously like my mom’s.

The other day I told her I was driving up to Savannah for the weekend, about a 4-hour drive. She said, “Have fun, don’t drink too much before you leave.”

WTF. She thinks I’m going to drive drunk to Savannah because I’m that much of a fucking moron scumbag. 

Now, I know she’s just trying to protect me with her own irrational fears and crap, but I’ve been hearing this kind of stuff my whole life. If I call in sick to work, it’s, “Oh you better get back in the office quick, you don’t want them to fire you.” I got into grad school with a full scholarship and stipend, which is normal for science grad school. She still does not believe me to this day that the school would do that. I deferred admission for a year while I volunteered full time for Habitat for Humanity. Her response was not, “Oh honey that’s really great and I’m so proud of you.” It was, “Will they still accept you if you take a year off? They’ll definitely at least take away your scholarship, won’t they? You better study hard when you get there so they don’t kick you out.”

I get that it’s her shit. I didn’t get how much I say the same things to myself and believe it. Talking to her about this breakup, her only focus was on how he would come back. Not things I could do, but maybe, just maybe, he needs time and will be gracious enough, or have enough pity, or be lonely enough to take me back. Which of course is exactly what I tell myself in the dark hours alone at night, no matter how much uncertainty I’m able to embrace during the day.

I also realized that in addition to fear of abandonment from my dad dying suddenly when I was 15, I felt abandoned by her when he died. She just kind of checked out. She didn’t do anything to make sure I healed or grieved. She hates my dad’s family and constantly talked about how shitty they were when he died. I asked her once if she ever considered the fact that they were hurting too. He was the golden child of the family, they fucking loved him. That thought had never crossed her fucking mind. “I figured I was the widow, everyone was supposed to make sure I was okay.” Fuck her. Fuck her and her fucking selfishness. My dad didn’t make the choice to leave me but she sure fucking did.

My mother is my dark passenger.

I hate the way this sounds. My mother has also been my biggest fan. She has supported me in ways I can’t imagine doing as a mother. I know she loves me, and I love her. I’ve avoided looking at her role in my life because I don’t want to hurt her. Our neighbor told me in the driveway after my dad’s funeral, “You’re the man of the house now, you have to look after your mother.” Seriously. I knew as he was saying it that would fuck me up for life. Who tells a 15-year-old girl that they now have to be the man of the house? Again, I know he just didn’t know what to say and he loved me too, but come on. That kind of shit will fuck a little girl up real good. 

I knew this breakup wasn’t just about the breakup.


3 thoughts on “Gremlins

  1. Oh God. Do we have the same mother or what??? ….and fear of abandonment? Sigh. Yup, same here….. Guess there is ALWAYS something behind our breakups… (Ugh.)

  2. It’s funny now to think I was all alone in my stuff. Feels much better to know I’m actually a little normal.

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