The events of this moment of my life happened halfway during my senior year of high school. I don’t know how much of this to tell and that may come later, however, this post has remained a draft and in light of my current situation its come back to mind.
My mother and I had talked about this event over the years. She always says that she was trying to help and when she brings it up at random – as in to turn this into a disappointment – I’m always defensive about it. However, on my end the position had often been I’m defensive because of how it all ended. Not because I never did this Project Excel – pre-college – program, but because I didn’t keep this from becoming a thing.
The reason why this situation became an episode that I was very unwilling to give a teacher at school who I’ll identify as Ms. T – T was for Tenacious – an answer as far as my decision on this program. I don’t know if it’s indecision on my part although to be honest I just thought she’d move onto the next person. However for roughly the next month as this took place during January and February, she would come around at random and just check on me and often I was annoyed with this.
One memorable follow-up during this period was she came to my class probably pre-calculus to follow-up on me, she straight up said she tried to call my house but no answer. Well I knew what likely happened I was probably on the internet using a dial-up service that’s why she couldn’t get through as my mother would often express frustration at not being able to call home while I’m online. So anyway in the absence of a direct answer she continued to come around.
Things eventually came to a head, and I was forced to let my mother know about it. And that was something I dreaded, because in my youthful mind it was inconceivable that Ms. T would continue to chase me down. In this case, she never asked me if I was interested and I never told her. She just had me call my mother at work one day at school and my mother got excited and gave her blessing. Even at 18 I still needed parental permission to do this program, however, other than not wanting to be bothered and thinking it would go away I’m in something that I never really consented to.
Ms. T never bothered to ask me in a school office that day, she just insisted right there that I call my mother. It just never occurred to me that this would go that far and it just did. So I dreaded the moment my mother would ask for the forms she needed to sign, I hoped she too would forget about it. I don’t want to tell that story yet though.
I’ll just say that in the ensuing years she did express that she had been frustrated that I showed no progress in my direction in life. And she left me defensive when she brought it up, just something to bring up and that’s it. I never understood that strategy from anyone at all. It’s like keep that burden in his head no matter what. You made a mistake you’ll never live that down!
In later years and not making a direct reference to this I actually told my mother that if she was concerned about what was next in my future I had news for her I had no clue. I took the ACT and made an average score. Taking the ACT takes cash, I didn’t have much aside from my late father’s social security survivor benefits. Applying to school takes cash and so does tuition books etc it was a bit overwhelming and during my senior year I proved to be in very little rush on that.
I could even note that my mother was with me on two visits with military recruiters back then and she showed very little interest. Granted once I turned 18 it was all on me anyway, but what exactly did I need, why the hesitation? I had no idea but my answer to that was we never really discussed this. I also knew what her expectation was – and of course she immediately used the term steered and that was never my point – it was to go to college and do very well. I was never sold on it until I enrolled at a downtown community college just before the end of the registration deadline.
When I was still 17, I visited with a armed services recruiter and they definitely were working on me. They even provided me a form that my mother could sign so that it would be guaranteed that yours truly would enlist upon high school graduation. My mother didn’t want to sign, not so much it was a bad idea but I do think she didn’t want me to sign up for the military just yet. She expected me to go to college, it was what she wanted but what was necessary to be successful I was woefully deficient in that endeavor.
I think a real discussion could’ve made some difference back then and I also know that yours truly wouldn’t have made it very easy. It would’ve been hard to really pin me down on some things, I know this because later on she did try to pin me down on some things – let’s say about finding a job over the years. But in this case as far as what’s after high school it was really necessary.
Instead during the second-half of my senior year of high school her solution was force me into a program just because I had nothing else in the pipeline. I think I told her the basic story, a lady at school was chasing me down, never gave her an answer either way, next thing I know you get a phone call from this woman and I’m in it anyway. And it forces me to figure out how to get out of this situation and the ending was less than ideal at least from what I had envisioned, however, that’s another story for another time.
I also hit upon one thing as I write this. The year before my dad had passed away roughly this same time except during my junior year of high school. I think now during this period with my mother’s actions it only served to expose her fatalistic tendencies. She began talking in terms of she doesn’t know how much longer she’s going to live or I may not be around much longer. She wanted to see me do something right now!
It comes up every now and then and it’s only now that I concluded that his sudden demise – even if I think he did it to himself due to his substance abuse – really affected her. It’s caused decision making processes such as this over the years. A lot of what happened in this episode was unnecessary in reality, in my estimation it could’ve gone differently and it didn’t. It went the way it was supposed to.
The problem is, I handled this the way a child would. I absolutely resisted as I really had a problem with this. I didn’t know this was dangerous, however, if things had gone the way it would’ve in my head back then perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad. It was just too bad that in this moment, my mother wanted to be all over it.
TO BE CONTINUED….