After 7 long years of talking about this novel I am writing (everyone talks about the novel or screenplay that they are writing and never finish), I finished writing it in November 2009. I was overjoyed that I finally followed through on something that I have been talking about and working little on since 2003. I did it. Then I realized I needed an editor. They were expensive. A friend of mine did a perfect job editing it but it was footnoted and I had to have 2 copies open at the same time and couldn’t figure out how to use her notes so I put it aside for a bit. I’d jump in and edit here and here and my mother would always ask about it. She’s a published author herself.
I lost my job the end of May and it fueled me to finish. I finished editing it 2 days after I got fired. Again I was thrilled. I had a specific cover I had in mind and needed a “socks” model. After finding one it took almost another month to get a day set with my photographer friend and the model. Whew. Then I waited another month or so for my friend who offered to design the book cover. She did a great design for the front cover right away an d her busy schedule kept her away from the project so I figured out how to work with what she had. Meanwhile, I decided on self publishing online based on advice from friends who were published authors. Last Thursday night I finished everything and had ot published and available on the publisher’s web site.
Fear kicked in. I was afraid to finally publicize it because I was afraid it wasn’t going to sell or someone might not like it. So, I distracted myself with other things like digital art projects, writing stories, and on a woman. I’ve been cranky and agitated and full of anxiety. I forced myself to announce the publication this morning and I don’t feel excited. I’m still agitated.
“What’s really going on?” my friend Joe used to ask me when I would go on my little rants about this or that. It always shit me up and made me think about what’s really going on inside me.
I want my mommy! No, I don’t. Not right now. I want to avoid her as much as possible. I love my mom. I even like her. She’s been one of the best people to live with in years. Although, I’ve had a lot of great roommates in the past she tops the list. Lately, it hasn’t been fun.
She’s not my biological mother but she’s raised me since I was 11. When I was first introduced to this new life I was in total shock with my new reality. Consistent tough love by 2 schoolteachers that were cultured intellectuals. I came from a poor neighborhood and was living in luxury it seemed as a child. Unfortunately for them I was already set in my ways. I was destined to be an alcoholic and had an undiagnosed mental illness myself that went untreated for over 30 years.
She has never been the type to sympathize despite her spirituality. She only has sympathy for those that want to help themselves or are in great physical pain. She has a uptight teacher’s persona. She was not a nurturing type. She’d listen to my problems and then tell me the solution. Just once I’d have liked to hear her say “It’s ok.” “It’s going ot be ok.” I’d still love to hear that from her.
She has a lot of rules and outlooks that I agree with and disagree with but every one of them is stuck in my head even now. She had such a strong influence on me through my life. I respect her and have always wanted her approval despite my alcoholic mentally ill actions through the years. I would do the opposite of anything she could possibly approve of and felt like total shit because I couldn’t live up to her standard.
When I was a kid and the other parents would say “not my son” my mom would say “probably was my son”.
I’ve seen my other friend’s parents spoil them and let them do whatever they want. Then again I’ve met a lot people that grew up with unsupportive and abusive parents.
Her and my father were always fair. They just expected me to work for everything I wanted. I wanted this really nice e $200 bike when I was a kid and I had to get a job and save for it. I got it. They taught me the value of working. I have a strong work ethic because of them. They always supported my arts whether it was their taste or not.
My mother had some simple rules of what she expected of me. She didn’t care what kind of job I had as long as it was legal and I worked. She never cared how I dressed or how I wore my hair etc as long as I was clean and so were my clothes They both expected me to pay my own way and only come to them in emergencies I’ve only been to them a couple of times in over 20 years for money.
In general, I have always had a job since I was 13 with the exceptions of the end of my major fight with addiction in 1991 and I collected unemployment once in 1995 but still paid my way.
Since the first time I got sober in 1991 we have slowly grown to respect each other. Yes. I earned her respect. They approved over all of my life for a change. This lasted to this day. Well, maybe the last month or so. I moved in with her and my father Feb/ March 2009 to help take care of my father who was sick and apparently dying (I didn’t know this when I moved in). He died in June 2009. I was happy I helped and got to know him. My mother and I had great relationship until recently.
When I first lost my job she was tolerant for the first month knowing that I was wrapping up my novel etc. The second month she grew tired of having me around all of the time and not looking for a full time job, part time job or seeing about unemployment paying for an education. I made the mistake of declaring that I wanted to be a drug and alcohol counselor. Not just to her but to myself and the rest of the world. I regret it. I found a rehab that will hire you if you are 2 years sober and they will train you and put you through school to get your certification needed to be a counselor. I called about the job but I won’t have 2 years sober until October.
Ha. Everyone told me that I should have lied. Even my righteous mother who would never lie herself. In her opinion my 16 previous years of sobriety should count toward it. It doesn’t work like that. If anything it tells the employer that I am capable of relapse at anytime.
It’s not that I don’t want to work or go to school. I am just extremely involved in my creative productions. I am taking advantage of having money in the bank and the little amount of money I get from unemployment. I am following my dream but my mother keeps pulling me into reality on a daily basis. I guess it’s good but it makes me feel horrible about myself.
I don’t want to go back to waiting tables. I hated it. I was in telemarketing before that for 10 years. I hated it. I have a college degree without experience at the age of 43. I am an artist. A writer. I just published my first official novel and I’m not excited because my mommy doesn’t care. She wants me to get a job or go to school for my certification. I want to ride this out and make money at writing. I guess being a counselor is something I want to do as a fall back giving me the means to pay my bill while I pursue my dreams. I will never stop pursuing my dreams.
Mom understands this but she is acting too much like a mother and not the kind I need right now. I am anxious and irritated just being around her. I don’t like feeling like a directionless little kid with his mommy telling him what to do. I am a man. I know what I want and I strive for it on a daily basis. I am an artist. I don’t want to wait until I’m in my late 60’s or 70’s to like my parents did to flourish at my art. My time is now and I can do this.
Is it right to go through the motions just to shut my mother up? I wonder if I should confront her. If I get a job I know we will live more peacefully. I am going through the motions for now.
I need to take care of me and not worry about what mommy thinks. Like I said, I am a big boy now and I feel I am making some great decisions. Some bad ones too but I am involved in creating and promoting. One day, it will all comet through if I keep on pushing.
Even mothers with the most common sense, intelligence and good intentions can be wrong sometimes. I have to drop her off of her pedestal and let her know here I am at.