The Spoon Incident

I have decided that since my relationship with my mother has been the longest and is obviously one of the most significant, if not the MOST significant one, I will start delving into my psyche with her. And the first thing that popped up was a seemingly unimportant incident that I realize now was actually MAJOR for me, as a young girl trying to figure out this thing called life and navigate its rocky waters.

Even though my mother’s bipolar really took off when we moved to America and she started navigating her relationship with Yuri, I remember instances that could point that she was dealing with it even back then, when we were still living in Russia, before our big move. One of my earliest memories was actually sitting at the table, at my grandma’s apartment, eating something and asking her if she could get me a utensil to eat it with. It’s important to point out that my aunt was there as well since she lived there with her family too.

Now being the little girl that I was, I remember vividly her answer as it made a huge impact on me back then and gave me a sense of possible future things to come. Her answer was, “Why? Get it yourself!”, and the way she said it, it was almost like there was a hint of pent up anger in there or some kind of frustration or something. I remember feeling so upset and hurt, it wasn’t like I was some spoiled, rich kid who’s parents did everything for her, it was actually quite the opposite.

Now, this next part gave me a sense deep down that my mom was a bit different from other kids’ moms. My aunt, seeing the hurt written in my face, in turn looked at my mom and responded with, “Why can’t you give her a fork? Is it that hard?”. I remember feeling a really intense sense of gratitude towards my aunt who literally treated her own kids as if she was their personal servant and did EVERYTHING for them, even if what they asked her to do didn’t come from the best place.

I don’t remember what happened after that but it occurred to me only recently that this is the perfect symbolic description to show how my mom is versus how my aunt is. I am not saying that all moms are as helpful as my aunt but most of them don’t have the edge that my mom has had for as long as I can remember. I don’t know if it was dealing with life or her own personal problems but it seems to me that many times she was unnecessarily strict or curt with me or just had an unnecessarily tense tone that she used.

She must have spent her whole entire life on edge because it definitely affected the way she dealt with me a lot. Many times she would be downright mean to me or talk to me in a mean way and then would later apologize. It’s alarming to me in the present moment because I find myself doing the same thing to my kids and fiancé sometimes. I understand why she did it because being in that much emotional pain, I can relate now that I’m older and also hurting on the inside.

It’s like you don’t mean to do it but something possesses you and you just can’t control your attitude or your general feelings overall. I am trying desperately to deal with the emotional trauma that has been the root cause of this because I don’t want my kids growing up in fear of me or how I will react/act day to day.

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