It’s been about eight years.
And I know I should probably get over it.
But it’s symbolic of my entire relationship with my mother.
It doesn’t matter that I bought this shirt at a thrift store. It was my favorite shirt. I felt good when I wore it.
We visited my parents near Atlanta, in May 2014, before we PCSed from Utah to Germany. My parents are getting old and I didn’t know what could transpire during our three years on another continent. We hadn’t seen my family since 2011.
It was a stressful time for the kids and me, staying with my parents, whom my kids don’t even really know. This was just one incident in a series of problems.
During the ten days we stayed with my parents, I had to do laundry since we had been living out of suitcases for many weeks between our TLF stay in Utah, the road trip from Utah to Georgia, and anticipating a month in TLF once we arrived in Germany.
My mother has a weird obsession with bleach.
I bought and used organic laundry detergent that our family is used to using and I washed and dried our clothes. I hung up my pink ruffled shirt on the drying rack in the little laundry room off the kitchen.
My mother washed her towels and laundry, I guess, like she normally does, and somehow, oh my ever-loving god, the bleach splashed across three feet from the washing machine onto one of the ruffles on my pink shirt that was hanging to dry. I wish I had a picture of the bleached shirt. It was a huge bleached patch. Like, how does that even happen? Most bottles of bleach say they’re non-splash or something. It’s concentrated and easy to pour. Was she slinging the bleach around like the gas station scene from Zoolander?
And then, she wasn’t even really sorry. My shirt was ruined! I couldn’t color-match the bleach stain. I didn’t want to bleach wash the shirt to be something creative and different. I couldn’t find a replacement.
She just shrugged it off, like it was my fault. Like everything in my entire life is my fault. I shouldn’t have hung my shirt there. I should’ve been more careful. Maybe I shouldn’t have done my laundry at all.
Which is her attitude about everything in our entire lives! She refuses to apologize or admit she ever did anything inappropriate or wrong.
She recently told me I was not to blame them anymore and to keep the emails and conversation light or not at all.
There will be people that would rather lose you, than be honest about what they’ve done to you. Let them go.Nate Postlethwait
I found this shirt on Poshmark, which I don’t think existed back then, and we were moving to Germany anyway, so… I know eBay has been around a long time, but I couldn’t find this shirt anywhere, anytime I looked. I couldn’t even really find the proper key words to search…until last month.
It was just a little something that grated in the back of my mind and broke my heart over and over. I know it’s just a shirt, but it hurt that my mother just didn’t care about ruining it. Just like she doesn’t care about me or my kids.
I now have my replacement shirt. I feel a little bit triumphant. I know my mother doesn’t even remember this episode, like she doesn’t remember anything very important that ever happened to me, good or bad.
I wish it were as easy to repair our relationship as it was to get a new shirt.
If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your family.Ram Dass
- Gabor Maté
- John Gottman
- Harriet Lerner
- Susan Cain
- Elaine N. Aron
- The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk
- Jesus, the Gentle Parent by LR Knost
- Motherwhelmed by Beth Berry
- Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents by Lindsay C. Gibson
Linking up: Eclectic Red Barn, Silverado, Random Musings, Ridge Haven, Pinch of Joy, Create with Joy, Suburbia, LouLou Girls, InstaEncouragements, Jeanne Takenaka, Jenerally Informed, God’s Growing Garden, OMHG, Blue Cotton Memory, Life Abundant, Fluster Buster, Joanne Viola, Soaring with Him, Homestead, Penny’s Passion, Try it Like it, Artful Mom, Imparting Grace, Coffee and Jesus, Slices of Life, Mostly Blogging,