Archive for April 7th, 2009


Not long ago, I was standing up for myself in a conversation with my mother, tired of constant disapproval, which I ultimately know is just her concern for me.

There tends to be a disapproving feeling I get from her based on her facial expressions, the things that come out of her mouth, and the emails she sends, lecturing me…about anything. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mom, and she lives nearby and we see her often and the kids adore her and she adores the kids. She has helped me out alot over the years in more ways than one, the most major, taking the three of us in when I was going through my divorce, cut off financially for months until court instructed ex-husband to start temporary child support.  

We lived with her for a year and a half.

She babysat when I had to go to my lawyer’s office.

Or court.

Or when I needed to sit in the bathroom for an hour and cry.

Still though, unless she has a hand in what I am doing, or say, I seem to be doing it all wrong because she wouldn’t do “it” the way I am.

What came out of her mouth in a very heated (but loving) discussion was, “Well, you know, YOU’VE MADE AN AWFUL LOT OF MISTAKES IN YOUR LIFE!”

I sat there appalled that it actually came out of her mouth.

When it comes to my life, professionally, I have made no mistakes. I have always been happy in what I was doing, from fundraising jobs for museums, working in event planning for an arts council, being a nanny, working for an advertising agency…and now, for myself.

When it comes to my life, personally, yes, I have made what some would call “mistakes”. I have called them “mistakes” many many times.

But really, what they were, were lessons, stepping stones teaching me as I go, over and over again, what works and what doesn’t work for me.

Interestingly, my mother doesn’t know the half of it. It wasn’t until a few years ago when I was living with her and going through therapy, that I revealed to her that I had some physically abusive relationships. I told her as simply as that. What she still doesn’t know is how I had the shit beat out me. I mean,  “staying in such situations like that, well, now, Mom, THAT’S A MISTAKE!!!!”

At any rate, it got me thinking to when I decided to leave my marriage. My husband at the time was in partial agreement that we were to separate, but he wouldn’t really do anything about it. So I packed up the car and moved out with the girls to my mother’s. I never went back in that house until a year later when it was sold and I spent only 6 hours packing up the belongings I really cared about and moved it to a storage unit near where I was living with my mom. 

I had no idea what would happen at the end of my marriage. I had no money. I had no credit cards other than one in my name that I used for my art supplies. I had a car and a carload of a few belongings. I had my winter clothes. I had a bucket of toys for the girls. I had my coffee maker. I had no art supplies except a pad of paper and black ink. I had my girls. And I had my mom.

But knowing that I didn’t need to be in my marriage, any more than I needed influenza, was the greatest knowledge I had and the only thing I knew for sure.

The rest was all gravy. Scary gravy, but gravy.

She also says her belief system is that living with someone without being married is a sin.  Sleeping with someone without being married is wrong.

Lots of people feel that way. Lots don’t. We are all entitled to our own belief system. I respect hers. I need her to respect mine.

I wish we were in a day where my mom could look at me and the girls and see how happy we are. Not be afraid for us. But see the peace and love and happiness around us and be grateful for it. If we fall, be there for us too. But encourage and support and love the blessings and safety and happiness that has set in our lives.

That being said, my dad flies in from Los Angeles tonight for a week. I am not looking forward to it due to the similar issues. He is easier to tolerate but I am completely prepared to let him know that I don’t need to be in a discussion about what he or my mother think I should be doing (they are divorced but tend to get along and talk about me and agree on the things that they think are wrong in my life). I am hoping the week goes well and fast. I am hoping to show my dad that I won’t put up with lectures and bullshit. I am prepared to tell him off if I need to.  

My hope is that it’s a fun peaceful week with the kids and my dad, that we can have grown up conversations, ones I will probably bring up with him, in terms of what I expect or won’t accept from my parents anymore. Because frankly, I have had enough.

Thanks for listening.

Once my dad flies back to Los Angeles, it will be 5 weeks until J comes home. And an update on our home, I have cleaned out the basement, my studio, my closets and made tons of room for him here.


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