A Valentine’s Day Crisis: Mommy Issue Girls are Worse

After a mild break from writing my column to gain more worthwhile experiences (trauma) to make me a better, more functional, and worthwhile (hilarious and sexy) person, I’ve come back to make a proclamation on the most cursed month of all for single white men, which I feel is incredibly fitting for my presence. 

In addition to being Black History Month, this month also has the distinction of holding Valentine’s Day, and while that would seem like the most ideal target to write something sloppy about, I’ve decided to spice it up and analyze my mommy issues in conjunction, as this is the month of her birth, and thusly, the month I am guilt-ridden into being her slave while attempting to plan a reasonable evening with my situationship.

If you were thinking that final sentence was thick with mommy issues, you’re correct — as your regular cake-face pink-haired internet oversharer, you’d think I simply was bereft with grief over my daddy issues: but I’m here to tell you, Anya Lee has no daddy issues. I don’t even know him! No, the dark concoction responsible for my myriad personality disorders and ever-present struggle with mental health starts in the womb. Behind every reasonably attractive, insecure, self-harming and self-loathing girl is a mother, and if you find yourself relating to that sentence, you can put down the hair bleach you’re holding… This is a safe space.

I don’t want to sound ungrateful or entirely jaded about my experiences, but for the sake of transparency (or trans-parent-cy… hehe), my mother is an addict — and children of addicts seem to carry very distinct traits with them for the rest of their life, like, seeking and finding other children of addicts and forming extremely codependent relationships to compensate for the lack of being first in our home lives. You quickly realize, the love that should’ve been unconditional has limits, and often, you’re going to find yourself at an impasse where you think your parent is going to pick you over their addiction — and the harsh reality of that is, no, they won’t, and the guilt from allowing yourself to be so stupid is going to consume you and affect your decision making for a pretty significant portion of your life.

Most of the friends I accumulated fell under the same spectrum — as a child, I was magnetized to the kids who had parents in jail, whose bad touch dads and uncles came over drunk, the girls with questionable scars and habits who were way too promiscuous and quick, and the girls who cut their own hair with razors because they spent most of their time at home unsupervised since mommy or daddy were passed out on a couch or locked in their room on too many benzos. And something I observed when I became grossly self-aware, was that we were all really, really, really bad at romantic relationships. 

I’ve always struggled with BPD and up until my diagnosis, I simply thought I was just dramatic or unbalanced — experiencing extremely short-lived (like two weeks or less) relationships because of my extreme patterns of response and subsequent hatred of anyone who has ever touched me, at some point I had to be critical and analyze — why am I like this, why am I so afraid of abandonment, and why do I always seem to gravitate towards awful people romantically? 

Yearning for the most unavailable, rude, and completely dismissive men kept me in a state of romantic infancy, which I have to deal with now since I haven’t completely scared off the smelly man who is infesting my apartment with “boyfriend air” (a completely real phenomenon where your home begins to smell like the additional person in it several times a week) and all of my friends could relate: we all had marginally similar experiences to draw from, including elements of toxicity and abuse, degradation and harm — I can count the 3 a.m. emergency move-outs, the impassioned “dump him girl!” conversations, and the manic drunken nights spent where *someone* (more recently, me) leaves to go somewhere with someone who is supposed to be blocked. 

And why have we found ourselves constantly unraveling in front of love, struggling to keep ourselves mentally together to not scare away someone, applying glue and patchwork to things that barely serve us? I’ve seen my friends pine over the most subhuman men and women, get their hearts broken and struggle against a current of themselves and our own self-fulfilling prophecies of being scared of abandonment and then responding to the notion of it with the rudest shit imaginable, and then feeling sorry for ourselves because of a lack of control and the souring of the candy. But why is that so appealing, and so familiar? Witnessing emotional instability in your childhood can really stick with you, and the need to beg for affection or do something impossible to look away from becomes normal. I’ve spent my whole life waiting for affection to come, finding it hard-earned and bitter. Why is it any different in my relationships?

I find myself unable to connect to the untraumatized. When my childhood experiences or stories come up, the feeling of having to either omit or lie to avoid getting looks of pity or concern has become less embarrassing and more annoying. I’d rather nestle in with girls like me, who have been raped and assaulted and have entertaining, horrific stories about being chased by their moms with weapons, or a three-week bender with a drug dealer boyfriend who held them hostage and is now wanted in three states — which, sounds hyperspecific, but in my friend group, is actually not. I have no room for anyone with a happy love story, or warm, loving parents who constantly provided and loved. I can’t relate to healthy relationships or boundaries, I can’t relate to people who are simply loved and have never yearned. Whether it be jealousy or simply disinterest, I can’t understand that world. 

As I sit typing this, with Valentine’s Day merely four days away and a date on my calendar, I wonder — am I going to hold it together? Is my childhood lack of love going to manifest again, and am I going to start a fight from nothing and exacerbate getting left sooner? I’ve found myself in a pattern of breaking things apart before getting to something “good”, leaving myself with shattered expectations time and time again and disappointment, hoping to reach a day where everything is “fine”, and stays that way, but I constantly betray myself by losing control of my emotions. Is the chaos of my inner world going to take hold again, and am I doomed to repeat the patterns of my childhood and early adult life? Are we all just stuck in the cycles and generational curses of our parents, cursed to be stupid, sexy idiots begging for the bare minimum? Is there a happy ending for us soon? One day, will we be good enough to finally be “first”?

Probably not, but at least trauma has made us attractive!

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