My mother is a serial monogamous who very much preferred marriage to single life. She has been married somewhere in the vicinity of a dozen times to like 10 men. While she has slowed down as she has gotten older, life was a little piece of hell trying to figure out who was her hunny bunny in any given week.
Her marriages always took off with a bang and ended like a thief in the night. When she was in love, she was really in love, but as soon as things got boring, she was ready to move on. Her favorite line was “I’m just not happy.” As soon as I heard that, I knew what was up. Soon, things would start disappearing as she packed on the sly, and then one day, she would pack the car with whatever would fit and just go. No note. No discuss. Sometimes she would disappear for a few months. Other times, it as just a fresh start in a new location.
Good for most of her kids, we did not live with her most of the time. I’m not sure what would have happened if we didn’t fit in the car.
My two favorite, “I’m just not happy” stories happened after I was an adult. The first one began with phone calls about how happy she was with the new man in her life. He was an FBI agent. A few weeks later, she confessed he wasn’t an FBI agent exactly. He was an FBI snitch but a really great guy who treated her well. A month later, he wasn’t a snitch. He was wanted by the FBI and they were on the run. Could I please Western Union them some money.
Um, yeah, that wasn’t happening.
The second happened when I took her new grandson to visit her out of state. She’d been married to a Chief-of-Police who had lost his job. I never did find out exactly how that happened, but once again, “I’m just not happy” was the first thing she said when we got there. As usually, her bags were packed, and she wanted a ride back to my home state. I kind of did find out then what would happen if the kids didn’t fit. She wanted me to leave my son’s car seat behind and she would hold him on her lap the entire trip. I vetoed that idea, and she had to leave some of her stuff behind.
As we were leaving, her stepson that she had been raising for the last few years saw us driving away and tried to flag us down. Her response was to tell me to drive faster. She wanted to leave this child standing in the middle of the road crying and confused, his heart broken by yet another parent. I didn’t. I stopped and at least quickly gave the boy a brief explanation. I’m sure he still hurt. He deserved more, but at least he got something.
Halfway home, she tells me that her husband is dangerous and she is going into hiding. She left me and my family to face the wrath of her poor life decisions. I ended up living in a hotel with a newborn, a husband, a dog, and two cats for over a month after the death threats started.
I’d say Mom has relationship issue. What do you think?