By trying to not act like my mother, inadvertently, I turn into my mother

Halloween is my favorite holiday. This is weird because my mother died on Halloween, and my asshole father’s birthday was on Halloween. In spite of this, I still love it. Love dressing up, love trick or treating, love jack o lanterns. Love.

But when I was growing up, my mother would never let us buy a store bought costume. Ever. She was perennially worried about money, so we always made our costumes at home. They looked like crap, as you can imagine. But I have vowed to change all of that, and have gone out and got store bought costumes for my son.

This year, he said he wanted to be a pumpkin. I was thrilled. We went to Pottery Barn to pick up the costume. I knew he would look adorable. But when we got to the store, he refused to try it on. This after I made the store clerk run to the back to check on a size and then rip the costume off the mannequin when they didn’t have the one in back. But P stubbornly refused to try it on.

I could see the other mothers begin to snicker. As much as I like to think I am immune to social pressure, I was getting embarrassed. I got really mad at him, but he just crossed him arms and insisted that he wasn’t going to be a pumpkin. We left the store in a huff. I probably won’t going back.

I was so annoyed I called Jen at the hospital. “What are we going to do about Halloween?” Jen was in the middle of getting the ward ready for a seriously important person that was coming. She just laughed and said, “We’ll get another costume. Maybe my sister has an extra one.”

On the way home, I wondered what was up my butt. I just wanted him to understand that this was really special. My mother NEVER would have spent $29 on a costume. I’m trying to make the holiday perfect. But of course, this means nothing to him. Instead, I had gotten irrationally angry. Which was exactly like my mother. She was always flying into rages. The real reason for her anger could only be glimpsed at.

So, I have decided to delegate the costume getting to Jen. Because apparently, this is too loaded for me. I’ll bake witch and bat cookies instead.

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9 thoughts on “By trying to not act like my mother, inadvertently, I turn into my mother

  1. The beauty of being a therapized adult is that you CAN stop and do things differently from your mom. Maybe I never had kids because i was afraid of re-enacting all of that…

    • I have always been afraid of becoming my mother, but instead I feel like I have become nothing or no one sometimes. I have always kept alot of feelings to myself, and have seen how people may not know who I really am. I feel like I don’t really know sometimes. It is an awful feeling being “lost” sometimes.The thing that I don’t want is to just be superficial and busy all the time, like I see her. I don’t know maybe I am being too hard on her, I am trying to work through it in therapy, but sometimes it just feels like too much to overcome. I want to know if anyone else feels this way. I want to be able to be light and joking, but I also, want to be able to express my deeper emotions to friends, colleagues, and people that I like without feeling weird about it. I tried telling my mom in a focussed and warm way (I thought) about how much she meant to me. (All the things she did for me as a daughter). She was like wow….so serious! I felt so unvalidated at that moment!!

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