Haunting # 4: Is that all it took?

     I know that I’ve been writing about some messed up stuff in this series. But I’m done now—promise! I do have one last haunting to share and it’s a positive one. A positive Haunting? I know, I can’t believe it either. Never would have guessed that something like what I’m about to go into could come up when I first began this series.
Despite the positive outcome this incident had, it still DOES qualify as a Haunting according to the definition I’ve established for what qualifies as one: an event that I’ll always remember and/or forever changes something about my life or my dealings with another person.
In my last installment, I mentioned how my mother said that I was lazy, selfish, and didn’t like to help people. And how I got really salty about that remark and attempted to defend myself . . .which really couldn’t have fallen on deafer ears. I also mentioned that I made her eat those words—’cause I totally did! . . .somehow . . .
Like I said before, it happened about a week or two after the previous Haunting. By this time, August had come and gone and it was now early September. I found myself outside during the early afternoon, in the backyard probably hanging out some clothes. I was on the phone with my mother (REALLY can’t remember why) and she was . . .actually complaining about how I don’t tell her anything?! *Gasp* She noticed that? And it bothered her enough to actually say something about it? Really?!
When the shock wore off I firmly reminded her exactly how that had come to be. “That’s your fault, know,” I told her. I don’t remember what her answer to that was. “Of course I’m not gonna tell you anything if you’re gonna act 31 flavors of stupid whenever I come to you with something.”
I briefly wondered about the sanity of someone who would repeatedly open up to or be vulnerable with someone who consistently made them regret ever having spoken. Why would anyone who needed guidance, support, or just someone to listen to them approach someone who continually makes them feel bad that they even need stuff like this in the first place? Seriously, who’s crazier: the person who does the same thing knowing what will happen or the one who expects that person to keep coming back for more?
“It’s like shooting myself in the foot,” I continued. (Oh yeah, I was still pretty salty about the “Cooking School Incident.” Is it obvious?) “What?” I asked. “I’m supposed to limp and bleed through life with a bullet wound in my foot? I REFUSE to do that to myself anymore!!”
It felt good to finally stand up to her and for myself. But the best part is that she could offer no argument against what I was saying. She was quiet. I was half expecting WWIII to break out or something or that maybe this would be the beginning of Armageddon. The silence on the other end of that old, cordless phone what the last thing I ever would have expected.
I guess it was because I was entirely focused on standing up for myself rather than tearing down someone else. I didn’t call names, act disrespectfully, place needless blame, or lie. The honest truth was that I was doing it to myself at this point and I needed to stop.
That was the day when all of the “arguments”, “discussions”, and all-out ambushes ceased. That was the day that I ceased to live in fear of what my mother thought about me because I realized I could never be what she wanted. I didn’t think I even wanted to anymore . . .

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