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Today, at work, on my telephone job i was listening to a lady telling her mother about how she was getting trained for working the customer service phones for a health insurance company in a city here in this very state i live in.

it wasn’t just any insurance company. it wasn’t just any city here in this state i live in. It was THE insurance company my mom worked at in THE city she lived in. This lady i was listening to was getting a job at the place that i had driven by, had heard my mom talk about, and i actually have met/made crafts for some of the people she met at that job! yes, i thought of her.

So i texted her to let her know, cuz ha-ha, serendipity! I also mentioned, as an aside, that this woman on the phone had been bitching and moaning for the 25 minutes i’d been working her call so i could forsee her not lasting long before totally telling off an insurance client and getting fired (that didn’t happen to my mom; she quit that job of her own choice)

and she got insulted by it!

What!?

i mean, my wording was perhaps a little iffy, but with 160 characters you have to condense a bit. And the hell, i’m not going to text her just to insult her (that’s what i have this blog for, ha-ha). I was texting her to let her know that i had thought about her randomly throughout the day and to share in the ha-ha-ness that maybe this lady would be sitting in her old cube, chatting with her old coworkers.

nah, that doesn’t fly in mom world.

eggshells much?

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I knew when i started this that likely my beef with brother bennie would leak in sometime. because if i am the copy of our father with my laid-back, bitingly sarcastic, book-wormy ways, then Bennie resembles our mother. not only in failing to remember the truths of past events, but in the amazing ability they share in saying truly horrible things about a person and then making it seem as if they’re the ones being attacked.

Now my issue with bennie is new, in the relativity of our lives together, and seperate from anything about mom. we hated each other as kids, as siblings do, and turned into the best of friends as adults. it’s been more than six months since i have heard a civil word from him and it kills me every god damn day.

what happened there doesn’t matter. a tale for another day, or maybe for another blog. where it ties into my mom-thing is in her complete refusal to talk to me about it. we have already had to plan three get-togethers where i have said, “Do not invite Bennie, we are not speaking.” and yet, not a word.

It’s not that i need to rehash it; i’ve done that enough with my dad, my best friend, my anti-mom. it’s the fact that not talking to my brother hurts me so much and on an endless eternity kind of scale. i still cry some days over the things he said to me and the fact that i have one fewer brother than i want/used to/deserve. i feel sick with sadness at all times in not having him in my life and it’s not like it’s a secret. i blather on about it on facebook all the damn time. yet my mom staunchly refuses to acknowledge that pain i can’t seem to escape or forget. she won’t commiserate with me in any way.

The next part? All conjecture.

Mom is super close buddy-buddy with Bennie, his girlfriend and her daughter. she visits them all the time. i can’t help thinking that as much as they are all together that she has heard his side of the story and in hearing his and refusing to hear mine she has take his side completely. That she thinks i am in the wrong.

Perhaps that’s not true, though. perhaps she really has stayed completely out of it, but i just can’t believe that. no single part of me believes that, not with Bennie’s girlfriend’s somewhat mean-spirited gossipy ‘tude (okay, that was a little harsh, but i do blame her, in part, for what has happened between me and him. but again, another day, another blog). Can’t believe it; not with the fact that they have both used the exact same phrase to describe me–walking on eggshells with everything they say to me.

Now, when my mom, the second person to use that phrase, hit me with it i paused and took a good look at myself. Just like i did, a few months earlier, when Bennie told me that of the Givers and Takers of the world i belong to the latter group. I stepped back and took a good hard look into the very essence of my being to see if i had been missing (or ignoring) these fundamentally destructive faults in my personality make-up.

I didn’t have to look too terribly long. i know for a fact, from past experiences and even the idea of a friend or loved one being in some sort of need, that i will do most anything in my power to help them. Perhaps not monetarily (the main factor in the original accusation) but with favors, sending much-needed coupons, spare diapers, toys to other mothers, donations of things i don’t need, being chauffeur to help in getting a job…my time, my ear, my understanding. to my very core, i am a Giver.

And the egg shells? just as laughingly inaccurate. i’m not easy to offend. Dirty jokes? Love ’em. Hateful words? tooth-gritting tolerance for the poor sap who spoke them. Insults? Usually laughed off or congratulated for their orginiality. Hell, i’m still making jokes about how much of a Taker i am in all things. it’s Hi-Larious.

In fact, the only thing i can think of that has offended me are things that my mother has said or done. that’s probably actually a symptom of that deep, dark thing that i have yet to name and am questing to understand.

I seem to have meandered off course but really, the ways aren’t marked here. I am without a map and alone and i don’t even know where this quest ends or even what country i’m in. i don’t know whether the outcome will be reconciliation or the cutting off of all ties. I can’t know until i get there and when i do it will be with relief and a lighter heart.

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.