When I was merely 2 or 3 years old, I remember a conversation I overheard that made me angry. It’s hard to anger a toddler that young without it being a small tantrum that normally isn’t warranted. At the end of this, It changes my view on the person I overhear for many years.
I was 2 years old and I was in my room at the time. I can’t remember much about how that house looked, but I’ll try and explain the area around me a little. The room I was in wasn’t very big at that time, but it worked for a child that young. I was in there, quietly, and playing with different toys. That’s normal for a 2 year old.
I overheard my mom being kind of loud on the phone in her room, it wasn’t that far from me, and what she was saying made me really upset. I still don’t know if it was a joke or if she was just stressed out, but it bothered me and I’ve never been able to forget it. My mother called me a burden to someone on the phone, but at that age, I didn’t know who the person was she was talking to. That part didn’t matter to me.
My father, who wasn’t living with us very long after, took me to a hotel with him to try and calm me down. He understood that I was upset, but didn’t want me mad at my mother permanently. This caused him to attempt to make me forget; It’s an understandable attempt for someone this young. I was 3 years old now.
This changed the view I had on my mother for a long time. For whatever reason, I’ve never forgotten it and it’s stuck with me pretty well. I was young, so no one thought I would remember. This was 14 years ago for me, but it’s still fresh in my mind. It changed how I thought of her forever.
5 thoughts on “Called a Burden (Writing 101: Day Twelve)”
First, let me say that I’m sorry you heard what you did. You have to understand a few things though… Terrible two’s? Stressed out parents? Human beings… We’re ALL guilty of saying something hurtful to/about/within ear shot of someone we love. Children don’t come with instruction manuals. Maybe your mother was seeking advice from someone. Maybe she was desperately trying to do right by you, confessing how she felt (not realizing you could hear her) and looking for someone to help her. I never like reading stories like this, mainly because I don’t like to hear of people being in pain, especially years later. But the most important thing you should take from this conversation is… That was HER problem. Not yours. You didn’t call her up on the phone and ask her to give birth to you. You aren’t guilty or at fault for anything here, yet you’ve managed to absorb her negativity. You may never forgive your mom, or be able to look at her the same, but please try to understand that at two years old, maybe there was a lot more to the story that you DIDN’T hear. We’re your parents together or was your mom raising you alone? Maybe she was on the phone with your dad, missing him, and using you as a way to get him to come back. I don’t know… But I think that’s a huge burden for you to be carrying around. Have you talked to your mom about this? Have you given her a chance to explain herself or the situation? Just try to remember that you aren’t alone in this. My mother would scream at all 3 of us when she was in one of her “black moods” … “God dammit!! I wish I never had you kids!” Today, she’s my best friend. We’ve both evolved, we’ve both learned what life’s purpose truly is. We’ve talked about hurtful words and acting out, the reasons behind it all and today, 35 years later, we both have a much better understanding of each other and a new found appreciation. I wish you luck on life’s journey. I hope you learn to address this or let it go and focus on the now. We can’t un-ring the bell. And dwelling on yesterdays rob us of todays. If you ever need to vent, just shoot me an e mail.
I’m not mad at her, I do live with her to this day. It’s just a conversation that’s always stuck in my head for whatever reason. I know she makes mistakes. She didn’t say it to me, I never knew who it was, but It’s just in my head.
Thanks for being this helpful Kate. I have nothing against her, It was just the first thing that came to my mind. Me and her get along fine now.
Well, I’m glad to hear that. However, if this is something that’s still lingering in your subconscious, maybe you SHOULD talk to her about it. If you address it, and acknowledge it, you take away it’s energy. I know this may sound kind of dorky, but in all seriousness, if that’s the first thing that came to mind, it’s obviously still in there. Get it out!! The less negativity you have in your head, the lighter you’ll feel; the better you’ll feel. You may even have a huge increase in your own self esteem if you do address it. Here your subconscious is reminding you that you’re nothing but a burden. If you throw that out on the table and tell your mom that this still bothers you, maybe she’ll have a better explanation, or maybe you’ll understand her reasoning now that you’re older. Does this make sense? No one should ever feel like a burden. I don’t even know you, but if you knocked on my front door and said “My mom says I’m a burden and I don’t want to be there any more.” I would gladly, without hesitation, give you a place to stay. Rest assured, you are NOT nor were you ever a burden. Your mom was having difficulties with some aspect of her life and she chose the easiest explanation… her 2 year old. Like I said before, it was never you, it was her problem. But again… if you ever need to chat, a quick boost to your self esteem, vent, bitch, laugh, cry, whatever… just let me know. Until then, be happy. It feels good.
Thank you kate. I’m not sure why it still lingers, if I need something i’ll talk. It doesn’t bother me though.