She left Bill and my Father, who’s to blame?

My mom finally got tired of the fighting and jealousy so she decide to divorce Bill and move to Texas.  She cut all ties and ran straight into the high beams of denial. I know the feeling, “A fresh start should do the trick.”  It never occurred to her (and still hasn’t) that maybe she was the common denominator in all her problems.

I recently discovered that about myself as well. I blamed other people and situations for the same reoccurring issues. I, like my mother was nowhere near able to illuminate the real culprit when I was in my early twenties. Shit, I’m thirty six and I’m just now really getting to know myself. It’s hard when the mirror reflects back on you, but it doesn’t happen until willing to see yourself.

Two weekends ago when I felt that blinding jealous gut-punch over a simple hair toss,  I realized the feeling was all too familiar. The idea came to me like a slow and deliberate pitch. I thought, “This has had happened before and I always point to someone else. Could it be me?” and I realized it WAS me indeed. Wow, did that sting! The pain was sharper, and more poignant than the jealousy. But, within that uncomfortable epiphany arose a greater understanding of self, which to me, is invaluable. It’s empowering knowing that I can’t control anything other than myself. My theory is this: If  I can’t govern others behaviors but I can take care of  myself, then I better spend a great deal of time magnifying my reactions; and try to change them.

I guess we all learn about ourselves when we’re ready. It’s not an easy task but any investment in ourselves is worth while. I feel sorry for my mom because the majority of her heartaches were/are brought on by herself. For some reason she just can’t see through her own veil, or maybe it’s all just too toxic at this point.

The summer  we moved to Houston for six weeks Lynne, (my mothers friend) and her daughter Angelina, moved with us. My mom and Lynne met each other in High School and  worked together at the club. Angelina was Lynne’s daughter who at the time was  four years old as well.  From what my mothers’ told me, they decided to move for work.  It’s unclear why they  really went other than the tickling of the wild.

Lynne was like hot air feeding my mothers red flames-the last thing either one of them needed was more heat, or stoking. They were too young, and hard-headed to listen to anyone other than their own dark angels.  Arlene (my mom) and Lynne spoke the same bruised language from abusive homes. They survived it but the residue was more than skin deep. Together, they searched for ways to escape the painful memories.

We are born with a clean slate, perfect that is until human error interferes leaving behind emotional trace evidence. The smut engulfs our shininess, leaving a dull residue on our souls. Their childhood stories are theirs to share, besides I don’t know all the details. This story is about me, and how I see/ saw the world, they just happen to be big players.

In any event, from my point of view, they did a lot of life changing activities together. For starters, they both got pregnant while they were in High School. Lynne conceived a few months before my mom. Four months later my mom “forgot to take her pill.” I suspect (knowing what I know now about her mental illness), my eighteen year old mother semi planned her pregnancy just because Lynne did and she didn’t want to miss out on the FUN!

My mom tells this story about how she became pregnant with me. She told me I was a miracle baby. One has to wonder how much of a miracle a child really was if her mother missed her  birth control pill. I always love the part where she blames my fathers parents for allowing it to happen. She would say, “They used to let us spend the night in the cabin at Lake Lanier, they were too old to realize what we were doing.” She would say it and still does, denying any responsibility.

Two years ago, I wasn’t able to take responsibility for anything either, and now that I can, I feel unstoppable! I am so grateful, for being at times, able to see past all my bullshit lines. I thrive on calling myself out-I call it a growth spurt!

After the novelty of motherhood wore off, neither my mom, nor Lynne wanted to face the realities of having a child. My mother left my father eight months after I was born. Lynne left Angelina’s father shortly thereafter too. They were with each other every step of the way, encouraging each other with hideous laughter, as they signed up for freedom! I know that feeling well, the lure of the yellow brick road, the call of the wizard. I’ve lived it and felt it too but fortunately for my children I was able to tame it before they came along.

Thank you all for the support as I write this blog. It feels so good to learn more about myself as I reminisce. I am still working on finding my voice, as I can’t see the past without learning from it. This is such an amazing process for me, and I am really liking the person I am uncovering.


About Runs With Tigers

I'm like air, forever flowing, moving, changing, gaining and losing myself, undefinable. View my complete profile
This entry was posted in crossing boundaries, painful childhood memories, parenting and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to She left Bill and my Father, who’s to blame?

  1. Kendra says:


  2. Barbara paresi says:

    Shannon, just remember to keep the love in view. As you know being a mother the love between a mother and child is the most precious love in the world, because it is unearned.
    Darlin don’t you know taking responsibility for ones life is the Hardest lesson to learn . Have you looked around lately, deems blame republicans, wall street blames congress, wives blames husbands, the north blames the south…and on and on . Identity is a lifelong process…like I started this comment blog keep love in view while you are looking… I have seen your spirit andvis a loving and good one . Barb

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