The woman, who would be my mother through biology only, was now living with her husband and her son in a small tourist town of Penticton BC, in the Interior of British Columbia. Due to circumstances within her control, she was not an educated woman. Her street smarts were taking her only so far, and even reasonable actions were limited. My mother’s range of parenting also lacked, and managing a selfish life style to date was not promising for her son.
When my mother’s son was ten years old, he befriended the neighbour. A slight middle aged man, my mother thought it a perfect fit as it was well known that my mother’s son’s father was no reward and would not be winning any parenting contests in the near future. The fatherly bond, which my mother’s son and this neighbour had developed, was just what my mother needed a break from parenting.
My grandmother would call my mother regularly to see if my mother was doing well, and to see if she needed anything. My mother never asked outright for handouts, but her calculating character served her well through the years, and although living off of Assisted Living (A.K.A. Welfare) all of her life, she was able to maintain an above average means of being.
My grandmother had always expressed concerns about my mother’s son’s lack of good judgment and common sense and of course, my grandmother believed that there are just some children out there who let their guards down too soon or some that don’t have any guard at all. My mother’s son fell into the latter. On one particular occasion, when my grandmother called to ensure my mother was doing okay, my grandmother inquired about my mother’s neighbour and expressed deep concern for her grandson. My mother tired to play it down that the middle aged man meant well, and that as a bonus, my mother was able to have anxiously waited free time, and focus on her own life for once. A week later, my mother’s husband rushed my mother’s son to the hospital, violently ill after eating 14 pancakes. An eating condition he had recently acquired, my mother’s son was at 10 years old, becoming a bulimic. His stomach was pumped.
Two years later, the middle aged man, a youth programs camp counsellor, died of the Gay Man’s Cancer.
My mother’s son was in and out of doctor’s offices and in and out of schools. He had developed quite a temper and when he was 14 years old, beat a boy the same age so horribly, the boy was admitted to hospital near death. The boy called my mother’s son a ‘homo’. My mother took the only course of action she ever thought she knew. Once her son was sentenced to a half way house hundred’s of kilometres away, my mother stopped telling him she loved him.
My grandmother had her hands full with me. I was a contentious, obnoxiously selfish teenager. I commanded all of her attention in the most unfathomable ways. I was an extremely unconstructive young woman. I sought out all the negative strokes I could receive from my grandmother and her children and even her friends. I was beginning my downward dissent into a living torture. Leading up to this behaviour, it seemed to me that nothing respectable I did, would please my grandmother who I felt was critiquing me in her sleep and ever increasingly, her children were waking her up to my bastardly ways. I was becoming my mother and my grandmother could see the past repeating itself. It was rushing upon her and her eyes were not closed to it.
I believe that I stole more than a thousand dollars from my grandmother’s purse between the ages of 14 and 18 years old, not to mention ‘borrowing’ her credit card and signature. I had nothing to show for it, except 50lbs of added weight gain and an addiction to cigarettes but my grandmother never knew the truth.
I deliberately started hanging out with undesirable young women and men, who were bound for jail or worse. I was rude and foulmouthed. I was loud and boorish. I was completely lost and I was an absolute fake.
I had a boyfriend.
Gardens In Literature
12 years ago