I’m not sure I’ve ever written honestly about my mother’s drinking. No, perhaps what I’m trying to say is that I’ve never written neutrally about my mother’s drinking. No, that’s not right either.
I hate my mother.
There, that’s it.
My mother was my world. And in that world was wine. Bottles and bottles and goddamn bottles of wine. Wine bottles she would throw in the garbage so it didn’t seem like there were too many in the recycling outside. So the neighbors couldn’t see.
But I fished them out of the garbage and threw them in the recycling anyway.
Fuck you, mom. Feel your shame. So I don’t have to feel it for you.
My mother and I were inextricably linked through our personalities, the traits she said I possessed that she had too. Look how similar we are, right? It was so easy to become the same person. We were tightly bound into a cocoon that others couldn’t enter. Might as well have been made of fucking steel, that cocoon. And someone was covering my mouth in there, so I couldn’t scream.
I guess that someone was my mother? Or was it myself, my own hand?
All alcoholic relationships are codependent relationships, right? Or so I’ve been told. All I knew was that when she was up, I was up. And when she was down, I was disgusted with myself. Absolutely disgusted.
I hated myself more than I hated my mother. Or, rather, it was easier to hate myself than hate my mother.
So I did. It was all too fucking easy, hating myself. It’s so fucking easy that I still do.
Writing about this requires that I pull emotions from my chest that have lain dormant for years. After a while, it all starts to go a little flat, you know? The drinking thing gets old. You get used to it. You starve those emotions in your chest for air until they suffocate, but somehow they never actually die. They mutate into fucking zombies. And then some person, perhaps some random fucking person who doesn’t know anything about you, pokes at them and you think oh shit, there they are. Why the fuck do I need those.
That’s your mother, the roaring tiger inside you that you forgot even existed. The tiger clawing at your fucking insides, puncturing holes in your intestines. So you bleed out, become your own zombie.
You know the line of that poem, “I carry your heart (I’Il carry it in my heart)”?
I carry my alcoholic mother in my heart. Always.
And that alcoholic mother hates me. I’m a piece of shit. I’m critical. I’m too much like my father. Why can’t I be understanding, like my brother. I write these words and no emotions come out because I’ve heard these phrases too many times. How could I let myself feel sad every time I heard them? I would have died.
I would have killed myself.
But instead of killing myself, I suffocated my emotions so I was a shell empty of water and star stuff and all the other shit they say makes up your body.
I like to pretend I’m not angry about this.
But I am.
I hate you, mom.
You are not Mom. You are mom.
There, fuck you, you don’t even deserve a capital letter.
I can’t write honestly about this. I can’t remove the layer of disgusting slime that clings to my skin that I believe makes others hate me. Makes me an abhorrent person that nobody loves.
But the thing is, I know you do love me. mom.
And that’s the fucking awful part. I never knew which monster I was facing.
The emotional monster that dragged me kicking and screaming into its lair, into its cocoon of twin selves or the alcoholic monster that aimed their own kicking and screaming at me. I imagine my young self like a little hermit crab without its shell, this soft defenseless thing that people didn’t care about because it wasn’t a real pet anyway.
But goddamit, I was a fucking fighter. Every night I battled with my fucking mother. I wanted her to feel her shame the way I felt it for her. This should not be my job. I felt emotions for both of us so she didn’t have to feel them, didn’t have to face what she was doing. And I was sick and fucking tired of it. So, so tired.
I’m still so tired, and I don’t even live with the woman.
Yes, you’re not even mom. Or mother. You’re woman.
I hate you.
There, in that sentence you don’t even deserve a name.
Only a statement that tears at your heart the way you tore at mine every.single.fucking.night.
I think you can handle it, right? Me telling you that I hate you.
Because it’s true.
Toughen the fuck up and move on.
I know I did.