Mommie Dearest

by compound complex 23 Replies latest jw friends

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Isn't it an ironic twist and so very, very Hollywood that I was named Joan. Not so unusual a name, I admit. But that a cute little blonde girl should have as mother dearest a gorgeous, raven-haired madwoman named Christina. What an almost consciously planned twist! If you're not into the old flicks you wouldn't see the irony. The bitter irony of my life.

    Those old black and whites held me irresistibly captive, glued to the screen as I was, bewildered that the movie star after whom I was named could be so good and kind on screen (well, if the script called for it) but so different in real life. I'm enough of a realist now, as an adult, not to be swept away by the Sturm und Drang of a fanciful photoplay. Or Hollywood lives. Though the physical pain of the irrational beatings I received as a child is gone, the inner pain has been little eased despite love from caring friends and supportive family members. A good shrink can help.

    My sister Joleen, older and, I'll reluctantly admit, wiser, has an outlook I'm simply not able to adopt. Not at this point anyway. She's always been sweet and kindly disposed by nature. After our mother would have one of her characteristic tantrums - volcanic explosions, more aptly - and she and the house were four sheets to the wind, it was Joleen who brought Mommie the wet washcloth and tried to calm us kids down. Dad was at work. That's just it - he was at work. He didn't see the half of what SHE did to Joleen, Toby and me.

    My adult's intellect acknowledges that my father had to be gone long hours to earn the rent, put food on the table ... of course! Of course! But when a little child is screaming for help, why is the sober parent never there at those cursed moments of uncontrolled rage?

    Why didn't my daddy protect me?

  • mindmelda

    I grew up with an OCD and rage-a-holic mom too. I used to wonder why my dad would put up with her rages and tantrums.

    It's because these kind of people attract the co-dependent types.

  • mrsjones5

    Ditto, sad to say some of Mother's behaviors have rubbed off on dear old Dad *rolls eyes*

  • chickpea

    in memory of
    my mommie dearest

    an armored life

    an amazing concept!!!

    all mothers are daughters

    i heard that on public radio
    when they were doing a thing
    for mother's day

    my own maternal unit
    is deceased..
    13 years now....

    she was....
    for all of my life
    with her

    so....when the host
    of the radio program
    asked for callers
    to tell what their mothers
    has taught them about life.....

    amid the tales and tellings
    of lovely sentimental remembrance
    i tried to see if i could conjure
    something of substance as an
    adult child of a raging, physically
    and emotionaly abusive alcoholic...

    and i could!!

    of course it was not a cheery
    or optimistic or fond recollection....
    those rare interludes
    are not what taught me anything...
    maybe because they were few,
    maybe because they were foreign,
    or suspicious or insincere

    the lesson i cling to
    when reflecting on
    what my mother taught me
    was how to live...
    not by example
    but by contrast...

    she was bitter
    and brittle
    and wore her disappointments
    like ceremonial garb....
    she clung to her misery
    with a tenacious and self-pitying
    grasp that allowed her to swing
    her pain like a battle-axe
    thru the lives of anyone
    who was in proximal range

    none escaped unscathed...
    some did not escape at all

    i learned from her
    that an armored life
    is not a protection

    it is a prison

    and she died
    holding the key
    in her hand

    that is what i learned
    and i will always be grateful

  • purplesofa

    I remember the first time I saw Mommie Dearest, it hit me like a ton of bricks,

    It particularly brings up one of my mothers violent rampages. When I was a teenager we lived in a two story house, two bedrooms upstairs with a half bath between them. My two brothers in one room and my sister and I in the other.

    I must have been the one to clean the bathroom that particular night......I put the toilet brush in the sink to dry out while we were sleeping, so it would not drip water on the floor, Not a practice in our house by any means, but that is what I did. I went to bed and to sleep.

    For some reason my Mother came upstairs, I guess she checked on us, surely not just to check to see if the bathroom was clean.......I don't know.

    What I do know is that I awoke to my mother beating me with the toilet brush.........screaming at the top of her lungs

    Who puts a toilet brush in the sink????? over and over as she kept hitting me over and over with the toilet brush.......stinging my arms and legs.

    I was crying and kept saying.....I don't know, I don't know, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.


    Just remembering and typing this out I feel my body physically altering.


    from your poem

    she clung to her misery
    with a tenacious and self-pitying
    grasp that allowed her to swing
    her pain like a battle-axe
    thru the lives of anyone
    who was in proximal range

    I felt this way towards my mother all my childhood. I started running away from home when I was 15, and have only through the years been able to tolerate her in small increments. My stepfather who committed suicide while he was married to her, I found out later was wanting to divorce her. I thought how depressed she made me, but I got away, and how miserable his life must have been at the end stuck with her.

    This rememberance will probably take a few days to shake off. My names for my mother were Mommie Dearest and Beyond Bitch.


    CoCo, please remind me to send you a pm, on Why didn't my father save me?

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    My dear friends,

    Thank you sincerely for your comments: heartfelt and gut-wrenching.

    I regret conjuring up the painful past for all of us, and pray that, if any sort of closure is possible for you, you might shut that door to misery soon. Viewing Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood brought it back for me, though the details of "Joan's autobiography" are somewhat different from my reality in certain specifics. Nevertheless, a good shrink does help.

    Thanking you and wishing you love and peace,

    CoCo Healed

  • Dogpatch

    wow dude,

    you are clearly amazing

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Greetings Randy:

    It's always a pleasure "seeing" you and hearing from you!

    Thanks from the bottom of my heart for all that you've done for us here at JWN and elsewhere on the WWW.



  • ohiocowboy

    I went through the hanger incident was when I was about 12 or 13. My closet had to be kept with pants on one side, and shirts completely on the hanger and hung neatly on the other. One night at about 2:30 in the morning, I was awakened by my mother yelling at me to get up. I had a shirt that was not hung properly, and she told me to get up and hang it up right. I was half asleep, and I asked if I could do it in the morning. WRONG suggestion. She proceeded to get a wire hanger and started beating me with it while yelling at me. I had welts all over my back.

    Growing up, my Mother had OCD. I was the one who had to clean the house. I was made to run the vaccuum in a straight line, and the carpet could not show any lines from the vaccuum. When I was done, if there were any lines showing, or the pattern didn't look right to her, I would have to vaccuum all over again. Same went for dusting...I wouldn't dare argue unless I wanted to get beaten. I did not get spankings, it was more of an uncontrollable rage inside her when she went off on me, and I would end up with welts a lot. Even the times she beat me and then found out that I really hadn't done anything to warrant it, she would never apologize, but tell me it was for a time when I should have gotten it, but didn't. I wish that I could say that this is some type of exaggeration, but it was not. I have even tried telling myself that maybe it wasn't so bad, but truth is, it was. I was petrified of my Mother.

  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Hello OCB:

    Thank you for sharing something obviously painful to recall.

    A cyber-hug from one who cares ...


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