Family Angst · Unapologetically Ren

When the Apple is Closer to the Tree Than She Thinks

We’ve all heard the saying “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”. I’ve always known that I’m a lot like my mom. I’m a writer, she’s a writer. She’s funny, I’m funny. She gets pissy over stupid things, I get pissy over stupid things. Hell, we even been told that we look identical (though she and I can’t see it). Anyway, I’m sure you get the point, Reader, that we are very similar indeed. I’ve always known that this particular apple was right under her canopy of leaves. However, I didn’t know that I might as well still be hanging on the branch.

My mother started her blog seven years ago. She told me, back then, and different time since, that I am under no circumstances allowed to read her blog. It was off limits to me. Well, like the nosy child I am, I read her blog once (well, once before I was 18, but I’ll get to that). Anyway, we had just gone to see Disney’s Tangled. If you haven’t seen it/heard of it, it’s about Rapunzel. I remember very distinctly reading about her comparing herself. I only got about a paragraph in before I was caught, so I didn’t get a chance to finish that entry. Not only that, but I don’t think I ever saw another blog post from her for the rest of my childhood. Fast forward to now.

I was thinking about her blog because it was right after I came back to blogging. I thought to myself, “hey, you’re eighteen. What can she do about it? Besides, she won’t find out that you read it.” Of course I listened to myself. So I hopped on my family Facebook account to go look at her profile. She has the link to her blog in her more detailed about-me thingymabob. So I clicked on it and began to read.

At first I looked at 2014 and 2015. I wanted to see if she had blogged about me. Now, I don’t mean in a generic “I’m blogging about my kids” kind of way, because in that regard, I’m splattered in here and there. No, I mean in a very specific way. It was around that time that I was getting caught in my Him flavored web of despair. I wouldn’t put it past my mom to have blogged about it. Not in a nasty way, but we all need to vent kind of way. Spoiler alert, she hadn’t. Which I was almost bummed out about. I really wanted to know what had gone through her head, without directly asking her. If I were to ask her, dear Reader, then I would have to have a conversation about it. And we are a family of rug sweepers (in my case, I am both a rug sweeper, and a rug muncher. It’s all about versatility).

Anyway, with the disappointment of not being directly mentioned in those years and the excitement of doing something ~forbidden~, I went back to post one, alllll the way back in 2010. So far away, I know. On this journey through the years, I saw my mother as who she was to me, and who she was to herself. I saw bits and pieces of my mom, but mainly I saw her as something I don’t think I had ever seen her as before; a person. Now, let me explain that a little bit. I see my mother as a person. Of course I do. But typically I only see her as “Mom”, not as [insert her name here] (yes, dear Reader, I know my mother’s name. But for privacy’s sake, I’m choosing not to list it). Reading her blog really opened up my eyes to this. To see her struggles listed and explained (to a degree, but I’m getting to that too) on the screen before me really showed me how strong and vulnerable and how human my mother is.

Here, we are going to go back to the apple analogy. Why do I see myself in her writing (besides literally seeing myself being mentioned)? Because she is honest, but on a surface level. She talks about deep issues, but not in any grand detail. If you go through my blog, you will find that I lay myself bare on your screen….but I don’t dig any deeper than I would if I were talking to an acquaintance. If you’ve met me, that’s both out of the normal, as well as not being any different than normal. I will give you details, but just how deep do they run? I’m thinking I might have to work on that, and this might be the place to do it.

Even though I know my mother will never read this (and if I’m lucky, she will never know it exists), I want to thank her. I want to thank her for being strong. For being there for me when she wasn’t there for herself. For taking the steps she needed to take to get help. To thank her for staying.

So, there you have it Reader. A little bit more about me than you asked for, without me having to say “Now we’re going to learn more about Ren today!” Until next time, dear Reader.

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