Motherly Love

There’s something about a visit from my mother that makes me feel like I can climb Mount Everest. Or at least drag myself out of the depressed slump I’ve been in lately. This isn’t a new thing- my mom and I have always sort of had an us against the world kind of deal. That’s not to say we’ve always gotten along- for all of my high school years, we pretty much hated each other. A lot. We went to family counseling, where I made her cry quite often and then hated myself for it later. I still hate myself for it now. It’s like your own personal hell, knowing you’ve made your own mother cry.

We were both battling with some things back then- I was your typical angry teenager, with the added benefit of an absent father (which I, of course, blamed my mother for), depression I refused to be medicated for, as well as anxiety, which made high school just another level of hell. She was the over controlling parent who never let me go anywhere with anyone, and then got angry when I sat at the barn for hours reading a book by myself. Her worry that I wasn’t a normal kid combined with her stress over money, aforementioned absentee, soon-to-be-divorced father, and the lifestyle changes she was trying to hide- namely, her new girlfriend- turned her into some sort of satanic monster.

When I moved out, everything got much better. We were able to be friends. And while she’s still wildly over controlling, and I still have what the therapist called “an abrasive personality,” we get along pretty well.

This morning, she came over to yell at me. And although I swore to myself that I wouldn’t say a damn thing, because having her believe I was just lazy is so much better than having her know I’m an epic failure as a human being, I didn’t manage to hold out, instead having a mini meltdown over how I’ve bombed every job interview I’ve been to, I can’t find anywhere to move to, no one will give me a loan, Boyfriend isn’t helping me out at all, Boyfriend doesn’t know how to save a damn cent, living literally from paycheck to paycheck because he’d rather buy slightly illegal drugs and go shoot his new gun my father sold him and golf and buy shit we don’t need than help me with a fucking down payment… And although I’m pretty sure she couldn’t understand half of what I was crying into her shoulder, she patted my shoulder and told me everything would be okay and that I needed to grow a pair and shape up.

And it worked. Maybe because she’s the only one who really truly believes in me despite knowing every stupid thing I’ve ever done, or maybe because she can call me on my shit, or maybe just because she’s my mother… I have this odd fresh outlook. I can do this. I can get a job, even if it’s only until I find something better, and I can find a place, even if I have to lease five acres for a year instead of buy them. So I got fucked over by my boss. I’m not the first person or the last person that’s happened to. I can get over it.

The alternative is giving up. And while I’m newly capable of giving up, I would never lose myself to the point that I lose my horses. They’re my babies. They’re the only reason I get up in the morning at all.

My mother was just the one who reminded me of that.


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