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The baby is a source of contention too. not just the real live, tooth-gnashing, dimpled crocodile that lives in my house right now, but also the emphemeral idea of Baby which dates back years beyond even meeting my husband. but let’s start somewhere nearer, because ancient history is so thick.

Yes, she was 19 and unmarried when she got pregnant and she didn’t want that for me. i get that and i appreciate it, but it doesn’t excuse the way she’s behaved.

It does not excuse the way that when i called her, at 26 years old, to tell her that i was going to marry the man that i’d been dating, living with, laughing at, loving for six years her first words were:

“Are you pregnant!?”

Punch in the gut. i could have cried. i didn’t even have words or breath to speak with for several seconds and i managed to hold back my angry retort once i did.

It does not excuse the way that, two months later, she responded to a facebook post where a friend jokingly told me “have a baby” when i spoke of having no model for the baby bibs i’d just made to sell. This i laughed at because only moments before the first pangs of morning sickness had passed–i didn’t know yet, not for sure, but i *knew*. and this wasn’t an accident, this pregnancy two months into our engagement. we’d been trying for months. six of them according to my calendar of counted days and color coded remarks.

“You better not, i’m not ready to be a grandma yet.”

Since when is this about you?

I did cry that time. and i revealed all to my aunt. my not-mom. my anti-mom. she was the first person i said the words “out loud” to; not even my fiance yet knew of my suspicions. I had to tell because i couldn’t keep all that hurt inside me where it would poison that bright, shining thing i had begun to craft out of bits of him and huge chunks of me (a clone of mama, the little crocodile is. Jango and Boba Fett we are).

It’s no wonder i told her last. i told her in a letter so i wouldn’t have to risk hearing that pause of disappointment over the phone.

I’ve tried to tell her about these hurts but it always comes back to the things i’ve already said; fights about the past. “Get over it.”

There’s one part i haven’t mentioned to her. that i’ve kept hidden safe, deep inside me now that the croc is out and it can only hurt me.

The day of the crocodile’s birth.

I had already decided and informed everyone that i wanted no visitors in the hospital. i realized later, once the time was upon us, that really i wanted no visitors waiting around in the waiting room while i was in labor. And after 37 hours i think i was perfectly justified in not wanting to entertain guests or share this little clone of myself with anyone but my husband. at least not until i’d gotten some sleep.

She was born at 3:26 in the afternoon the day after my due date; the day i’d been scheduled for an induction but she came on her own. Everyone knew where i was and what i was up to, just waiting for the stats.

I called my dad. I texted my anti-mom who’d once again been the first to know as i sat on the toilet at 2 in the morning too stunned by the water-breaking event to properly freak the fuck out (my husband did that for me, the dear).

And my mother? unreachable.

For that afternoon. for the entirety of the next day.

It wasn’t until the following day, the second full day of her only daughter’s first child’s life that my phone rang as we walked through the door to our apartment and our brand new life.

Her excuse, something about a no-charge battery and being out of town, was a glancing blow. i hardly had time to notice and it wasn’t as if i didn’t expect some subtle slight from her.

But that irk has festered. it’s rolled around in my subconsious hiding in dark places and cluttered corners growing quite fearsome.

The excuse did not excuse and the only way to expel the beast is with words on a page she will never see becasue she refuses to be open to the emotion turmoil her reckless words have caused within her daughter.

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The last time we talked about all this, perhaps the last time we will ever talk about it, i told her i would likely always be angry with her. by the end of the conversation i had retracted the statement because i could clearly see that she could not or would not understand.

I am not angry about the past; it is what it is and i am me because of it. all i want is to be treated with respect.

i suppose it may be a lot to ask that she be the mother i wish she were when i have refused to be the daughter that she wishes me to be. but honestly, at this point, i’m not even looking for a mother. she can be like an aunt, or a friend.

But i have given up on potential friends sooner than this for lesser crimes. i won’t be made to feel bad or angry or frustrated by a person i call friend, so i break the ties and let them go on their way. we’re better off not together.

I’ve been through childbirth too, but i wonder how much foundation, how many retries that really entitles a mother to. I think i have given more second chances than required and even still i want to continue to try, even if i know it will only end in more pain.

That’s more than she deserves and she doesn’t see. and that makes me angry.

I’ve been fuming for days. or is it weeks? Years.

It’s such an insult when you say “Gotta walk on eggshells when yo’ure talking to Sahara” because really, that’s how i feel about you.

you claim you want to have a better relationship with me but how can you do that not knowing ANYTHING about me? And so i try to inform you. and not just superficial. what’s my favorite color? Do i like knitting or crocheting better? What am i doing this weekend. No, i want to share real, emotional things.

And here is where the eggshells come in. because i try to tell you how you’ve hurt me. how if you want to have a real relationship with me you have to stop insulting me all the time. if i were to tell my father, my husband, my best friend that they had hurt my feelings they would say “I’m sorry.”

You say, “Get over it.”

And so it is I who walks on eggshells, scared shitless of saying what i really feel for fear of being dragged down into a battle of nonsense over the past when i am only interested in the present. the current insult, whatever it was, is what i want to talk about.

And the current insult? the refusal to understand this very concept right here. that getting to know me means i’m not going to just share the sentimental stuff, the superficial stuff, but also the painful stuff. Maybe you bailed before you realized that those three things, and more, occur when you have kids. maybe your mom baild on you before she could teach you that. I’ve only been Mom for a year, but honestly, i learned about all the facets of having relationships with people long before i had a crocodile daughter of my own.

I’m stepping out of the line of succession, breaking the chain of abandonment (even if you refuse to admit to that word). I’m staying around. i’m listening to the good and the bad as well as the inconsequential. and i will not base my hopes and disappointments on teh imaginary children i want to have, but instead on the flesh and blood children who actually find their way into the world from the place where i formed them, not as part of me, but as part of themselves.

This here has been transferred over from my other blog, where it does not belong.

I know i am nearing the point where she bailed and i am oh so frightened of being her. But aren’t all of us Shes afraid of becoming Her?

I just can’t have her hate me the way i hate Her.