My mother is an artist. Her medium is reality. You know how some people work with oils, or clay? She shapes facts, events and time. It’s folk art more than a trained thing.
She’s a liar, is what I’m saying.
The world isn’t what she wants it to be, so she makes it up to be more comfortable for herself. But when she lies about me? Oh no. Fuck that shit.
Here’s the nasty truth of this particular matter: one of her cats is obese. Morbidly so. He’s a nice cat, sure. (He keeps tapping me on the shoulder while I’m typing, asking politely if I haven’t forgotten to give him some extra calories. Oh, he has as much kibble as he wants. But lardito wants gravy.) But he’s gotten too fat to wash his own ass. That’s disgusting. Today, on his normal sleeping blanket, there was cat shit. That is so far from okay I can’t. So I washed his blanket. I told Moms about this, because I will not be giving him treats or extra food. He does not need to weigh seventeen pounds. He needs to wash his own ass. I’d get him a rag on a stick and be done with the matter, but he doesn’t have thumbs and can’t use that, so he needs to shed the three or so pounds.
I found him sleeping on something else today while my mother was talking on the phone. (Mom has weird phone manners. Relevant, as she will talk about me while I’m present.)
Here’s what happened:
- Fat ass cat was sleeping on something.
- I picked him up. He was resistant. He had been asleep. He wasn’t angry, just sleepy and confused. He held onto the pillows he was sleeping on with his claws. (Who wouldn’t be a bit or a bunch upset? I don’t like it when people bother my sleeping body either. Apparently, I just wail, Why? in a sad and small and broken way. Unfortunately for me, my lover thinks this is adorable. Fortunately, he is not a sadist and has impulse control and doesn’t do this on purpose since the first time when he tried to smooth the furrow out of my brow while I slept. “You looked so sad, so upset! I was just trying to help. You sounded like you were channeling the ghost of a wounded bagpipe.”)
- I put fat’n’fur’n’browneye on the floor.
- I put a protective blanket on what gingery bacon had been sleeping on. He hopped up on it and went back to sleep.
Here’s what my mom said to her friend on the phone:
“Oh, Seer’s waking George up. Yes, she doesn’t want him sleeping on the chair. She wants him sleeping on a blanket. She’s waking him up because…because she thinks he’s too fat. Yes, she thinks he’s too fat.”
On what planet does that make sense? There are lots of fat people and creatures in this world. I don’t have an air horn in my hand waking them all the time. NO…SLEEP…FOR FATTIES! All god’s children deserve forty winks. I’ve been a big girl too, you know. I used to weigh about seventy more pounds than I do right now. That’s why my belt has thirteen extra inches on it. Because it used to fit me. Never forget. But why judge the obese? Not my steez. It was hard being fat. And everyone has their own issues with their own weight, good, bad, and indifferent, no matter what they weigh. I have mine, you have yours.
When Moms lies about shit like this, here’s what happens: her friends come over and ask me about these things and will hammer on me for harassing a poor fat cat. I can either put up with their wheedling or I can tell them there was cat shit on the furniture. Either way, I’m a horrible person. Either for being irrational or busting Moms on her disgustingness.
I told her today not to lie about what I’m doing. I told her it wasn’t fair. That it gave me no space to defend myself. She looked blank, as if she didn’t understand what she had done to wrong me. I explained again: I tell them nothing, I’m an asshole who hates him; I say there’s cat shit on your furniture, I’m an asshole and the house is filthy. She said the clipped, “Okay,” the one that really says, Stop picking on me. I am defenseless. I didn’t watch her to see if she started wiping her eyes later. She’ll cry over that. In my experience, those with no boundaries can’t stand having one set.
Later, I realized I got triggered by the whole thing. It happened in the moment, the triggering, but the knowledge didn’t surface until later. Because this has all happened before. More than once.
The worst instance that I can specifically remember was a long time ago. I was having terrible symptoms about twelve years ago before my medications got straight, and I couldn’t stand to go out and harvest the tomatoes in the backyard. Every time I saw a tomato hornworm I felt them crawling on me for hours (I have tactile hallucinations when I’m really ill). She told all her friends I was afraid of insects–they never asked, she would just bring it up, Guess what’s wrong with Seer now, the princess–and they would mention it. So I could either tell them I had psychotic symptoms as a result of my thought disorder or be teased by her friends. (Yes, grown adults in their fifties would tease a grown woman in her twenties who was for some reason now living at home. Some people are assholes.)
She folds my life around hers in ways that makes her feel more comfortable. I understand this behavior is one of her coping mechanisms. I understand this logically. Emotionally, it fucks me up. I feel manipulated. I feel used. I feel angry. I feel things I am not able to process or name or aware of yet because I am not an especially emotionally awake person. I’m learning the language, but I live in my body. I dissociate from my mind and I am not fluent in heartspeak. I’m learning to sit in both without flinching, but I still fidget.
I doubt she’ll ever stop doing it, the lying. And I know it’s not my job to control her.
It is my job to learn to stand up for myself and act appropriately. I’m getting there. Slowly. Fifteen years in almost, and getting there.
But it is hard. I don’t like it, and in no small part because of this: I don’t like remembering the person who gave birth to me does not or cannot or will not take care of me. I don’t like that at all.