My mom called.
She started about some transfer forms, unfinished business in the wake of the divorce, but carefully segued into asking if I wanted to take a trip to the States with some other family.
This is how she tries to make amends. She doesn’t apologize or ask how I’m doing because she can’t. She can’t admit that she’s done any wrong, not even to herself. Her insecurity doesn’t allow her to show any vulnerability.
With a firm voice, I tell her no. No to the trip, no to her, and this causes her tone to grow angry. It’s funny to think that she may be angry at me, like a rapist being angry at his victim, but I know it’s not anger. It’s sadness, but she masks it with anger, the way she hides her guilt behind her excuses and explanations.
From what she says, I can tell she’s more worried about her image of being a bad parent to her friends, than to actually being a mother to me. This was the person who “raised” me. The person who was supposed to teach me to be proud of who I am. To not be superficial. To be humble. To own up to my mistakes. To take responsibility for my actions. It’s a scary thought.
I can read my mom like a book. Not because I’ve known her for so long, but because she’s still a child. I know exactly what she’s thinking, and at the same time, she shows a total lack of self-awareness. She still hasn’t learned the important lessons, the epiphanies one experiences through childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood.
Talking to her is like talking to myself at an earlier stage in life.