“It’s funny to experience things you think you’ve gotten far enough in life to avoid completely.”
I never thought I would ever say this in my lifetime, but my mom has a new boyfriend. Sure, for now, she refers to him as her “friend,” but I know a date when I see one.
My mom has a boyfriend. It’s new territory for me, and frankly, it’s terrifying. But it’s going to be okay.
It’s funny to experience things you think you’ve gotten far enough in life to avoid completely. My parents were married for 21 years. They loved each other very much. Their relationship was stable, and it set an amazing, aspirational example for my brother and sister and me.
Then my dad died last April, and my concept of what I thought life was like changed completely. I have written about my grief publicly and often, sometimes on this blog. But this is about moving on, something that is a very different process for everyone.
So she met someone new. A man who is very much not my father, something I both know and have been told many times in recent months. People have this pervasive need to tell you that. I don’t know why. They’re right. He’s not my father.
I know that.
Which doesn’t mean that I haven’t yelled, “You’re not my real dad!” into the ether—you know, just to get all the awkward jokes out of my system.
Joking, sometimes without regard for taste or tact, has been an important part of how I cope with this grief.
In any case, my point here is that people are going to tell you things you don’t want to hear, and eventually (though maybe after some resistance), you’ll go ahead and realize them on your own. The concept of my mom dating or another man being around never sounded so bad in vague terms, ones that I never thought would actualize. Then it became a real thing.
There’s some irony here. Some months ago, I was giving my mother advice on how to turn someone down. That felt fine, if a little bit surreal; it was amusing and sweet, even. She missed my dad so much, and it felt like a fun distraction.
I treated her like a friend, figuring that she’s a good-looking woman, and not that old, and eventually, she’ll want to date. Eventually, though, like in five years—or, better yet, a decade from now.
But these things aren’t the sort you can pop on the calendar and plan ahead for. I understood that when my mom would be ready to date again was out of my hands, and it’s been an important part of the process. You may have a loose timeline for how you’d like your own life to play out, but it hardly ever works out exactly as planned, right?
Never mind trying to figure someone else into your Big Life Plan—especially when that person is your smart, strong-willed, and beautiful mother. She created you. You can’t control her. (The same goes for fathers, of course.)
I understood these things about my mother and, in theory, supported all the hypotheticals that followed. But there is a difference between understanding something in theory, and handling it in reality. A big difference.
That was fine. I spend time with other people all the time, but it doesn’t always mean something. (In retrospect, I wish she’d been more blunt, but I also don’t think she knew what she was getting into.)
When my mother told me, with so rude and direspect on behalf name of my father, that she was seeing someone, I surprised myself when I lost connection to mission control completely. I flipped. If my life were the movie Gravity, I would be George Clooney, a corpse farting off in space somewhere near the Hubble Telescope. That’s how much I lost it.
Losing it is part of the process, by the way. Losing it is okay. I don’t have a degree in this or anything. I’m learning by living it all, but it was actually a relief to let all that steam off; sometimes you have to feel like shit to feel better. I feel fine now, for the most part. But it’s taken some time, and coping is an esoteric, nonlinear process.
So here’s how this whole thing went down. Today, I had this huge really bizzare fight with my mom because I told her I want to meet her boyfriend, and she got mad like really mad, until she threathened me with cursing words in front of people.
“I swear to God, I’m going to slap you really hard until the blood falls off from your face if you still insist to meet him.” She told me, in front of everyone, staring her with disbelief and shock.
We’re all like shock, and within minutes I almost throw my self up and doing what I thought the worst part of me: I’m not considering her as my mom again.
I turned off my feelings for her, I don’t have any self respect for her as my mom.
And that’s what hits me most to core, when my father died—I lost my mom too on that fateful day, where I bury all my memories with my father, as the wind blows—I lost my mom I’ve known for 19 years.
And looking to what I’ve been through now, I can picture myself in my future years doing what I love without my parents. Without my mom. It is in fact a crystal clear for me, that I’m no longer thinking my mom as someone I need in my future years.
Soon enough, I’ll graduate. I’ll pass this flying year, getting a job, working overseas, living alone. Maintain my life, without my mom. I really don’t need her, and it’s the bitter truth. No ones ever need a mom who treats you like shit, just because she got a new boyfriend. No one.
I deserve better than this.
My beloved father, has worked hard for me, to live this luxury life I can’t even enough to thank of. And I’m not going to let anyone steps on my face, and telling me I’m not worth it even if its my own mom. Because, I know my worth.
I know I have bright future waiting for me to prove anyone that they’re wrong. To prove anyone, that I’m a little shit who can fight a battle nobody ever knows.
You think I live this perfect luxury life with nothing? Tell you the truth, I live with my own pain. Everything comes with warning label, a person may have a really great luxury life but you never know how much they fight a battle with their own fear, their own family, and their own bloods.
I cannot speak for my siblings, other than to say we have dealt with our respective carry-on bags of grief in very different ways. We have also dealt with our mom’s new life in very different ways.
But everyone deserves better. Everyone. You shouldn’t treat your own children like shit in front of people. If you feel like you can’t handle your children, don’t have one.
Being a parent means, loving your child more than you’ve ever loved yourself.
And because being a parent means, you’re being the most selfless person on earth.
Last, this is something I know to be true.
It’s okay to not be okay immediately.
You’re not going to be okay immediately.