How Can Someone Be This Self-Absorbed?

My mother gave birth to me later in life having gone through the lengthy and painful process of IVF treatment. By all accounts she was ecstatic to finally have the daughter she had longed for.

I wonder if she still feels that way?

Around the time of my fifth birthday, my mother visited the doctor believing that she was pregnant again. Unfortunately, the sibling I had hoped for turned out to be ovarian cancer. My mother was given a 20% chance of survival and a course of chemotherapy. Somehow she made it through it. She’d won the battle, but she didn’t win the war. My mother was to be put through a further two rounds of gruelling chemo before my 15th birthday.

Meanwhile, throughout her treatment, I grew up.

Did you? Really?

…there were periods when my mother was well and we had a fractious relationship. She was older, slower and more tired than my friends’ parents. It wasn’t fair. We argued every day about anything I could think of. For me, these fights were my sole act of teenage rebellion.

*rolls eyes*

It came to a head on my 18th birthday, this year. My parents and I had decided to spend the day in Brighton together to celebrate. We shopped, enjoyed a nice meal, and my mother and I even put up with one another long enough to have our nails painted together.

Unsurprisingly, my mother still isn’t in the best of health; she’s often sick and still feels the effects of the strong medication that saved her life. Therefore it wasn’t surprising when she began to throw up after what had been a long day into a plastic bag on the way back to the car that evening. Other people throwing up makes me retch, so I walked ahead a little, leaving my poor father (as I usually do) to deal with the situation.

What an absolute little {censored}…

I sat down to wait next to a group of friendly-looking students. Not realising that she was my mother, they started laughing and screaming in mock disgust with every convulsion her body endured. I stood dumbly beside them. They were laughing at a dying woman while her own body betrayed her and I did absolutely nothing.

And you think this is something that should be revealed in a newspaper? Even one with such catastrophically low circulation as the ‘Grauniad’?

I sat sourly in the car on the way home. I was angry with the students, but I was angrier with myself for letting them do it. I couldn’t work out why the incident had upset me so much.

Then it struck me. I cared about her. I loved her. Someone I loved was being hurt. I’m sure the two of us will continue to fight, but I’ll think again the next time I go to say something mean.

Gosh, that’s magnanimous of you…

I should appreciate and love my mother despite her flaws, and make sure that she knows it.

You should, yes. But like most of your selfish generation, you seem baffled as to just why

3 comments for “How Can Someone Be This Self-Absorbed?

  1. August 11, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    Mother-daughter: the fractious years.

  2. August 12, 2017 at 3:37 am

    She looks up and sees a glimmer of light far above, from her place in the dank, dark chasm where the sunlight does not reach.

  3. Monty
    August 16, 2017 at 12:10 am

    Difficult to evaluate which is the most malignant, the tumour or the daughter…..

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