The moment that I choose
Then she pulls Jesus out of her pocket.
Many with moms who are Borderline call them Nons. My Non can very quickly vacillate between best friend and evil adversary. In the wake of a childhood led by Non, there's this impossible tugging of hate and love that tears at every moment, every decision, every stage in my life. There is a residue of the very person who is supposed to be my life giver instead being the person who has sucked every molecule of opportunity from my path. This cyclone of insanity has made me who I am and often I am afraid of myself because of it. While I have broken out before, the guilt of 'she is my mother' has always drawn me back in.
This particular evening is actually pretty standard fare for my mother and me. As I understand it, with a Borderline, others are seen as only intensely good or intensely evil. As usual, I am attempting to remain on the angel side of this line. With trepidation, I attempt to be honest and explain that I am striving for a life for my family that has much less chaos, that doesn’t include her. I work to make it sound like something anyone might say to her mother - like it's just a part of my growing into adulthood. This is dangerous, but I've promised my husband I will try to explain why we just cannot have her around us on a regular basis. It's a pretty black and white choice to him since she has been abusive to me - physically, mentally, emotionally, and verbally - she really does need to go. The decision is not so clear cut in my thinking, but I'm going there – using words chosen carefully and spoken quietly. The message sinks in and in a moment the threads that kept this conversation civilized have snapped. She realizes that I am a truth telling evil offspring and we are down for the count.
Then she pulls Jesus out of her pocket. Understand, I was taught spiritual matters in a frenetic pattern - a mantra of the moment tradition. It has been explained to me all of my life that Jesus was a very important historical figure, not necessarily the center of spirituality. My mother also knows somewhere behind the craziness swirling in her eyes that I have embraced a more traditional religious philosophy for my family. So out comes The Carpenter from her bag of tricks, and she tells us "All of my life, I've simply been trying to please Jesus." This statement is a betrayal nearly unequaled in all of the physical abuse that occurred in my childhood. She found the precise button to push to get a reaction. After a flurry of "are you fucking kidding me!" and “I can't take this anymore!” I gather my kids, load them in the car and leave my stunned partner in my living room with my Non.
After she leaves and I return to a restored calm at home, my husband accounts what came next. In the next few minutes, he tells me, he saw a literal, physical change in her body and she became the closest he's ever seen to evil incarnate. In other words, he sees the face of the Mama I know very well. The Non I somehow have never been able to stop loving even though I very much hate her. This is the moment I know for sure I must leave her. I must find some other mirror to look for my image in. If I don’t, I am afraid my children will someday have a place cemented in the cycle I was born into.
This is the moment that I choose not to accept that it is my destiny to only be an image of who she declares I will be. This is the day that I become certain that I truly am a new creation. This is not just another moment with Non, this is the last moment she is my mom and the first moment I am free to be me.