I look a lot like my mother. I grew up in a really rural area, the kind of place where everyone knows everyone. So even if I didn't know them, most people knew that I was "biomom's kid." When I was a teenager I used to hate this. It still kind of irritates me, but with several decades of experience, and some blunt stone faced answers to total strangers (more on that some other day) I've learned to deal with it... sorta. It helps that I live hundreds of miles from the little blink-and-you'll-miss-it place I was raised.
The thing that bugs me is that it's irritating as fuck how much I hate the personality traits that I see in myself that remind me of her.
her craftyness = my love of crafts/painting
her quick temper, check
her always starting things but often not following through or finishing, or abruptly changing hobbies and then being on to the next thing, fucking double check
her. Just her.
So today I was thinking about how if I got any of these things from her, either by nature (genetics) or nurture(parental modeling). Whoops, stop that right there. I mean-
If I got any of these things by nature (genetics) or neglect (modeling of parental abuse), the reason I hate these parts of my personality is because they remind me that I AM her. I mean I have her face for fucks sake. Of course I have her wishy-washy mind. Of course I have the same annoying habits. The same get-bored-with-this-so-I-move-on-to-something-new thoughts about hobbies.
Sometimes in order to understand and disrupt my own illogical thinking I have to completely turn a thought upside-down and shake it around a little to see what falls out.
It's flawed thinking to hate my looks just because I got them from her.
It's illogical to hate myself when I see echoes of her personality in me.
I am her daughter, of course I'm going to have inherited half my genetic code from her. I was raised (lol, if you want to call it that) by her so of course I'm going to enjoy some of the same things. These are not bad aspects of myself just because I got the DNA or habits from her.
I honestly don't really hate her as much as I used to. I dislike her. I avoid her. The last time I saw her unlocked some pretty deep pain that I'd been carrying around for a very long time. Mostly, I just think now that she hasn't earned a place in my life.
She doesn't automatically get a pass because her fucking predator husband died.
I have not forgotten that she is a fucking monster, though I'm sure she has.
Actually, she did earn the spot she has. That spot. Out there. The fuck away from me. She gets a tiny bit of credit for incubating me. That's it.
And that's when the flipping this idea upside-down part happened. Look, if I did inherit a short fuse temper, a love of making yarn into warm snuggly things, passion for growing things...any of it, look what I fucking did with it.
Look at it. Something about me helped me not use these gifts to become a monster. I tried so hard not to pass on that neglect to my own kiddos. Tosay yes when I could, to find a way to connect with them.
The reasons I don't like her are still fully justified. When the time comes I genuinely think that I will not attend her funeral. She still was a shit caregiver. A shit mother. Just a two-faced hair trigger temper having monster of a person. But somehow, I'm not sure quite how, I was exposed to the nature, the nurture (lol), and the shitloads of neglect and abuse, and I didn't *become* her.
Just like a ski lift ticket, a stamp on the back of your hand from a concert, or a vacation souvenir bumper sticker, my hair/skin/eyes/hobbies, they all tell the story of what I came from. What I survived. Who I survived.
It's time to stop hating me because we both crochet and I have some half finished potholders I found in a box of craft shit I was unpacking.
I am not her. I am not her clone.
It's time to stop hating the parts of my personality that remind me of her. This self hatred isn't useful. Maybe once, long ago it helped remind me what not to do, how not to act, what not to become. But I think I've had enough.
So I'm going to just put it down. I'm going to try to just set it down and walk away. Despising these little pieces of myself just isn't working anymore. Hating these slices of my personality isn't a thing I want to do anymore.
If anything, the fact that I inherited these things and I still managed to end up being me, well...that's a fucking win right there.
thx for reading:)