Family Disconnect: My Birth Mother
On my left is a contact list that has anyone who has written me while I’ve been in prison via the email system. On there is the former people of my life, people in which they tried to connect with me but they can’t get past my…past.
One of those people is my birth Mother. I have known her since I have been able to retain memories. I was told at a very young age that she was my “other mother” All I really understood was that she was my Mother’s sister and I called her Aunt Patty. When I got older I began to understand what had happened. My Aunt Valerie adopted me from her sister. Pretty simple in retrospect.
It is havoc on my mind though. At least it used to be. There was always this uncomfortableness that I never knew how to talk about. I never knew when I was around her if I should call her mom, or Aunt Patty or what. I had no idea, then there was the obvious disconnect between how she treated me and how she treated her other children she had after she grew up a little (she had me when she was a teenager). I was treated much differently then her other children and we all knew it but I couldn’t figure out why. I never really knew and how in the world do you talk about that as a young boy?
So it wasn’t really a surprise that when I came to prison for such a horrific crime that she would be noticeable different towards me. I had one aunt that just flat out hates my guts. Once I came to prison I became her enemy #1. Every ounce of hatred for men now lies directly on my shoulders. Her abusive relationship from her father, her now deceased husband and her string of no good boyfriends in between. But I have a healthy respect for her because I was the one good man that she knew. I hadn’t done anything caustic yet and when I came to prison that idea was all but gone. So I respect her for her decision. I admittedly want to talk to her the most out of all my family. So, Aunt Melody, if you decide to read this, know that I am sorry…I wish I could turn back time…
My birth Mother on the other hand, I have only received second hand information from her regarding me, things like “now that I have my own grandchildren I realize that I never loved him or truly loved his children, I had to have grandchildren of my own to realize that” I guess I could try and put a positive spin on that…so…”Sorry you had to pretend for so long, I know exactly what pretending to be something I am not feels like”
I get the feeling that I will never talk to her again and perhaps that is for the best. I don’t want that though. I truly want a relationship with all my family. But with my birth Mother, its different. I understand that she doesn’t accept my sexuality. As in I believe that to be the case, I don’t agree with it though. Our last conversation involved her calling me a narcissist. I didn’t know what that meant, so I went to the dictionary and looked it up. I derive no pleasure from myself and don’t exalt myself above anything, quite the opposite. I was, however, very selfish. So I asked her that if she was going to choose to label me dammit, then do it properly. Call me selfish, call me whatever, just make sure that it’s right. Not because I need that, but because I need to know where to start in my life to change. You ain’t doing me no damn good if you ain’t going to contribute to my life changes.
Those labels defined me once, but I don’t want to be that anymore. I want to be better and back then I needed help defining where to start. It doesn’t change anything to continue to point out my flaws and past…how about helping me get over that? I guess it’s easier to look at yourself in the mirror at night when you are just thoroughly convinced that I am worse then you…
I hope to connect with her again someday, start new. Get to know her for real. The real Patty. I did that with my adoptive Mother, Valerie and we have really gotten to know each other over the years and it’s been wonderful to share this experience with her. I wish I could say the same for everyone.
Jeff Utnage 823469