Domino Effect – Mom

Warning – this post will be very raw and may contain items that people find offensive but they will be true from my point of view and memory.

In this series of posts, I will share dominoes that touched me.  I remind you, dear reader, that the items you are about to read are true from my own point of view and may be uncomfortable for some to read. I am writing about my journey not to place blame but to help me heal and maybe help someone else struggling with a similar journey.


After reviewing my last post, I realized I didn’t really do my mom justice.  My mom was a hard working woman. Mom isn’t just a single domino, she is part of the layout and interwoven through all my experiences. We have had some rough patches in our relationship through the years but I do love her very much.

As a young girl, my mom inspired me to not be afraid to work hard.  I saw my mom as this very strong and smart woman who fought her way in a male dominated work force.  I was always very proud of her and the work she did.  Was she a doctor or a lawyer or anything like that??  No.  She worked hard for a local grocery chain.  She worked for the family owned business for over 30 years total by the time she finally retired.  She started as a cashier and worked her way through the ranks.  She managed multiple stores and when they opened a financial business she became the auditor of all their units.  She showed me what a good work ethic was.  I am forever grateful for that model.

As a teen, I struggled in my relationship with mom. I really didn’t like Ted.  I felt she was worthy of so much more than he gave (or didn’t give).  That is my point of view.  Maybe it was skewed.  However after 35 years, I still don’t like Ted. I feel he made mom choose him over my sister and me.

Mom did influence me in other ways which are going to sound very negative but they ultimately made me choose some positive things for myself.  As I said, mom worked hard but as a woman she didn’t get the pay she deserved. In my opinion, as a result, she was torn sometimes on how to handle our home finances.  I always found that odd because she was a master at work finances but I now think that sometimes a person gives so much to work that there isn’t enough left for home. This led to bills sometimes not being paid on time.

I never knew when that would be the case.  I could come home from school and the power would be cut off.  Sometimes, the water or gas would be cut off.  Sometimes the phone or cable would be cut off.  I also learned early on to lie to bill collectors when they would call.  This was before caller ID people and we didn’t have an answering machine so I had to answer the phone. I did develop some resentment to these things happening because they way I saw things, these bills weren’t being paid but Ted had his marijuana and alcohol.

So, how did these negatives become positive for me.  I vowed to myself that when I moved out my bills would always come first and I would figure out the rest.  I am proud to say that I have stuck with that for 28 years and have never had anything shut off due to late payment.  When I became a mom, I vowed my daughter would not grow up in fear of life necessities being under threat.

There are points in my life when my relationship with mom in turmoil due to other people who will be discussed in future dominoes.  The current state of my relationship with my mom is pretty good.  The fear of losing her a few years back really woke me up to being a better daughter.  Do I still have some issues with how things are in her life?  Yes.  Do I still wish she would make different decisions sometimes? Yes. Do I worry about her? Yes.

I have come to realize that I cannot change her.  I do know that some of my growth and life choices have influenced her in recent years.  No one comes with a manual.  We aren’t given a pamphlet that says “How to be a daughter at every stage in life”. I am very grateful my mom is still a part of my life and I am working on myself to embrace the positive and not linger on the negative.

Reminder: This is a very raw experience for me but I will continue with the next Domino soon. Again, my hope for sharing this journey is that someone will see they are not alone in their pain. My hope is they will see my healing and learn it is possible to accept yourself and even love yourself. Until the next Domino, treat yourself with kindness….you are worth it.

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