Still suffering from jet lag, I've been doing a lot of online reading between 3:00 and 6:00 a.m. every day this week. Three Facebook friends had posted this link, Parent a Pressures Gay Son to Change, which I read this morning. But it was not the main theme that caught my eye. It was the subtext that the parent forgot the son's birthday.
Who does that? What parent has such a busy, all-consuming life that she can forget her child's birthday? Oh, wait. Mine. She forgets (or ignores) my birthday and those of my sons and my grandchildren–who, by the way are her only grandchildren and only great-grandchildren. Whenever I might get her on the phone (she is incapable of picking up the phone to call me), she has no curiosity about my life or the lives of my offspring.
Don't bother to take her side and remind me she's 100 years old. This behavior has been in place for 25 years!
Here's what caught my eye:
When you “forget” a child’s birthday, you are basically negating him as a person. It is as if you are saying that you have forgotten his presence in the world. How very sad for him.
Without knowing for sure, I have long suspected that my daddy was the main instigator behind the decision to adopt a baby girl, who just happened to be me. I believe Mother went along, then found out I wasn't what she bargained for.
She told me once, 16-or-so years after the fact, "When you were fourteen I didn't know what to do with you, so I just washed my hands of you." Really? From what parenting book did you learn that technique?
My spousal equivalent has been telling me for several years–since he first met her–that I need to accept the fact that my mother just doesn't love me. Or, really, doesn't even like me.
Slowly, with enough reinforcement, that fact will sink in. With the support of my children and my friends, who love me, I can readjust my world view.
But that doesn't make it right.