Quality Time

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Growing up in the Starr household wasn't exactly sunshine and roses. Hence...my issues.

My mother was verbally and emotionally abusive and I spent most of my childhood walking on eggshells wondering what would set her off next. This upbringing set the tone for my subsequent unhealthy and sometimes abusive relationships. After all, it's human nature to gravitate toward the familiar. Years of self analysis and introspection have brought me to a pretty healthy place but admittedly, I'm not without a lot of scars. Baby steps.

When my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer a year ago, my first thought after the obvious, was 'how will I deal with my mother when he's gone'? He always acted as a bit of a buffer and though she's mellowed a bit, a leopard really never changes their spots. I have more patience for my mother than my sister does and I suppose it's because a part of me still longs for that unconditional love while Lisa has resigned herself to the fact that it just isn't going to happen.

Last week, my mother had two doctor's appointments scheduled and since my workday affords me more flexibility, I offered to take her. I surprised myself by how patient I was as she struggled to get in and out of the car and how dutiful I was as I helped her through the hospital to the doctor's office. I could see the stares of admiration for the woman helping her elderly mother get around.

Well, that didn't last long.

After two doctor's appointments, lunch and a trip to Wal-Mart, I was pretty certain that the people watching us now were raising their phones to their ears to call Adult Protective Services on me.

I don't see why.

I mean, an 82 year old women should be able to push a heavy shopping cart with a toaster oven in it, right?

And the cars will stop for her when she's crossing the street.

It's not my responsibility to make them stop.

When I feel like I can't take it anymore, I just take a deep breath and say this little prayer:

God grant me the serenity to accept that my mother won't change.

The courage to confront her when she's being abusive.

And the wisdom to hide the gun.


  1. i found myself smiling a little at the end of this post. Its too bad your Mom was not such a good Mom. I still think you seem pretty cool so the apple must have rolled away from the tree a bit. Have a good day, you deserve it!

  2. There are so many people that have grown up with living in parental hell. K wonder what my kids will think of me down the road. Food for thought and I didn't think I was hungry.

  3. K wonder? No, I wonder...more coffee

  4. It is never easy dealing with difficult parents. Is nice you kind find some humor in it. You seem to have handled it nicely. Good luck with it.

  5. I'm liking your version of the serenity prayer. Keep up the great work.

  6. "It's not my responsibility to make them stop."

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA! OMG, I love you, girl!

    Toooo funny!

    And I love your serenity prayer!

    Yes, and don't we ALL carry some issue(s) from our family upbringing? I know I do.


  7. I never realized my mom had 2 families! And that we shared a life... When my dad died I realized my mom was all I had left as a parent. Fun. Can I use your prayer? It's PERFECT!

    Have a great day!

  8. I know what you mean when you say you are always hoping that unconditional love will come...My Mom was abusive as well and I still put up with it...And that is the exact reason why...I kept hoping one day she would see I am not so evil and just be a Mom....(Love your peep show)

  9. @Mark Price,
    HA! Yes, Mark. The apple rolled really really far away.

    @R. Jacob,
    If you actually think about what your kids will say, you're normal. The rest are all in denial.

    @Simply Suthern,
    I wouldn't have survived without my sister or my sense of humor. Ironically, I think I got my humor from my mother.

    @.end transmission,
    Thanks. Feel free to use it as needed. :-)

    What? They'll stop. We all sure do, don't we? It's all in how we face it and move on.

    @Miss Nikki,
    Hello, Darling Nikki. Yes, please do use it. It's very cathartic!

    It's crazy isn't it? In a second, I'm 10 years old again.

    Glad you like the show! I need to update it with my bad boy kitty.

  10. It's good to know I'm not alone. I'm trying to come to terms that my father is disordered and will never be the father I want him to be or the father he should be. I'm learning that self-love is the most important but I'm finding this a difficult discovery considering the ones who were to teach me how to love...failed. I'm ready to come out of survival mode and live.

    Love the picture of the old lady, it fit the post perfectly!

  11. Yeh, my dad was the defuser, too. Now my mom just says stuff like "Why is it always me who has to apologize"...gee, wonder why!!


C'mon, you know you want to say it..

Blogger Template created by Just Blog It