(Simultaneously done with hand movements...)
"You and me against the world! Oooooo Right!"
My mother made up that lil nursery rhyme when I was about two years old living in the Bronx. It was our special saying to symbolize our bond and our promiss to each other to face the world united as a family. It provided comfort for me throughout the years as I matured towards the man that I am today, but in retrospect this very rhyme is the cause for all the turmoil and strife in our relationship to this day.
I was kept on a tight leash all throughout my teenage years even after moving to New Jersey and she working in Manhattan to keep a roof over our head. Upon graduating HS I left for college where after my first year a fissure began to form in our relationship. Growing up is a natural progression of life but the problem with single parenthood is the reluctance of the parent to let go. Simularly, as a young adult I sought my independence not only in mind but in spirit as well. Since then I've felt that the world I have fought was moreso represented by the very woman whom birthed me. There have been numerous incidents that bring me to how I feel about her today...
The first incident has to do with my sexuality and how my mother was made aware of it. The man to whom my mother was married to (should've only lasted 6 months to a year per her friends and my estimates...) was an ass hole. No it had nothing to do with some odd rivalry for my mothers affections. My issue with him stemmed around the fact that he TRIED to be my 'father' at a time where one was not needed. He entered the picture when I was 19 so his intrusion into my life was unwarrented and unnecessary. This caused us to continuously argue inadvertently placing my mother in the middle. Rather than be the source of her discontent, I stayed to myself most of the time when I was home from college. However, the second summer home, my disgust for this man and my anger towards him was only solidified. After a heated argument with him over computer usage to which I made it known to him that he was not my father, he decided to go thru my personal belongings where he found incriminating evidence as to my sexual preference on a floppy disk (remember those...?); copied the contents onto another disk and submitted it to my mother for review. The following morning around eight I discovered her on the computer. "What are you doing?" I asked. "(Idiot) said that there's something on this disk that I need to see but I can't find it..." "Let me help" I said and after perusing the files, I noticed that they were my files. I popped out the disk and the disk wasn't mines. I began to delete the files and I told her that I know not what it is she was looking for but these were my files on this disk. Upon furiously returning to my room to the sounds of them arguing, she comes to my room and request to see this disk and ask if I was gay. I told her my property is none of her damn business and that I was bi! I left the house for a week w/out returning ignoring all phone calls. Upon my return he was kicked out of the house...that lasted 2 days. Strike number 1 for her...
A year + more of their turmoltuous relationship caused their marriage to faulter and she put him out the house. At the same time, my mother had been thru multiple lay offs and after the 5th one, she gave up a 20 plus year career to concentrate on her ventures. I was out of school but living at home not having fully established myself as of yet. Contributing, of course...what black parent in America doesn't require their children to contribute to the bills. Plus "You and me against the WORLD..." right? Our relationship has been bad since.
My mother and I are very much alike and we don't get along well when we live together. Since 2003 I've been forced into two rolls in her life. That of 'husband' when finances are needed and 'son' when she doesn't want to hear or can't bare to hear my views/opinions. I've dealt with her attempted suicide, alone (not the first one...)...and the constant fear and then desensitization to subtile threats to reattempt such an act. The stress of living in the same household prompted me to move out in 2005 only to be begged to move back in a year later to help save the house. This has involved me paying the bulk of a 2K a month mortgage alone (and Captain, refinancing was not an option at this point as it had been done multiple times). I am at my wits end. Due to the personal decisions made by my mother, I have placed my life on hold and lost valuable time all in the spirit of "You and me against the WORLD. Oooooooo Right!".
On yesterday my mother asked "Why do you hate me?" for which I responded "I don't hate you." No I don't hate my mother, I love her very much, however, I detest what our relationship has become! Every word she utters often results in a harsh exchange because I am always on defense. I pray that with her emergence back into Corporate America and my impending move back out of my childhood dwelling in the coming months will revive our once healthy relationship.