day to day rambling...

Real and not always exciting adventures in life.

Location: Maryland
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Monday, April 04, 2005

Day with Mom...

As I stated yesterday, I was going to be spending time with my mom today. This is usually something that I regret doing later. I told my mom to meet at my house at 10:00. My mom shows at 9:30 and I am not ready. My mom has always had this habit of showing up very early, which drives me nuts. She is also one of those people that will call you at 7:00 on a Saturday morning.

My mom wants to go to the cemetery where my grandparents, great-grandparents and other relatives are buried. This is not an uplifting way to spend the morning, but I go along (well I actually drove). She has a plastic bag containing two plastic flower wreathes for her parents' grave. It was breezy so she is concerned that they will blow away. She messes with the one wreath so badly that the stand is very bent and the Styrofoam wreath that holds the flowers is broken. It took me a few minutes, but I was finally able to convince her that they are fine and we leave.

She then wanted to go to lunch at a nearby restaurant, but because she wanted to leave my house so damn early the restaurant is not open yet. So I suggest another place and it, too is closed. So finally we decide on Ruby Tuesdays. This is a fine decision, because I am a vegetarian and they at least have a salad bar if there is nothing appropriate on the menu. We start placing our orders. My mom orders an appetizer with meat, so I figured she was not sharing. So my mom who has told me how fat I am for years, eats an entire appetizer, an entree and a dessert. There is always weirdness when the check comes, because my mom has had so many financial problems that I always am ready to pay, just in case. So even though she invited me for lunch I paid my own way.

For years now my mom has been paying my 29 year old sister, Jennifer's bills, because she is a loser. She has two kids that she could never afford in the first place, but had them any way. The reason that I bring this up was because during lunch my mom tells me how she is taking my shitty sister and her kids on vacation. Now if she would have said that she was taking my niece and nephew I would have been fine with that, but why Jennifer. I just don't get it, I take care of things and I get treated like crap, Jennifer does nothing and the red carpet is rolled out for her. Believe me when I say that there is no love lost between my sister and me.

Since it is my birthday on the 5th and my mom's is on 7th, we exchanged birthday gifts. I never know what to get my mom, she never really shows any kind of emotion when you give her something. My mom can be a bit flashy, so I got her some bright summer time clothes. While I can honestly say that I have not received a gift from my mother that I have liked in years, I do know that it is the thought that counts and I give her credit for that. This years gift was no different than any other year. She gave me this shirt that has this crazy print on it. I am a very basic jeans and t-shirt person and have been for years, so why is it that the woman who gave birth to me can not figure this out. I pray for gift cards each year to no avail.

After lunch we go back to my house. So far my mom has not let her crazy side out. I lay Sophia down for a nap and then spend some time with my mom watching TV. We watch the Pope being moved from the Apostolic Palace to St. Peter's basilica. This prompts my mom to start asking a bunch of Catholic questions. I try to answer her questions as best as I can and even call Bob at one point for some more info. Then it happens, the thing I have been dreading all day, my mom starts to talk to herself. Every time I see her, she has at least one of these schizo moments. Today this was the only one. I have asked her to see a doctor about her imaginary friends, but she just gets mad.

So overall this was not a terrible visit. The fact that only one crazy moment happened was a plus. While I didn't care for her gift, I will send her a thank you note for it and probably donate it to charity. I wished today like I do for all of her visits that she will get some help for the voices that she is hearing in her head, but until she acknowledges that she has a problem, there is nothing I can do to help her.

I hope that you all have a wonderful evening.

Good night!!!


Blogger Rev. Brandy said...

Oh, Linda. I am so, so sorry. I know very well from my own dysfunctional experiences how long it takes to get to an OK place with messed-up parents and family dynamics. But I also know that no matter how many years go by or how many rational dialogues you have with yourself and with those who love you now, it still hurts. We still want to be children with supportive parents. We don't want to have to take the high road, all the time. We don't want to have to parent them. We don't want to worry about them or even worse --- always worse --- continue to be disappointed by their shortcomings and inabilities. Lack of love, lack of support, lack of good sense or even sanity.

My mother had a relationship with her mother and step-sister that seems very similar to yours, Jennifer's and your mom's. My grandmother acted like my Aunt Lita and her child were the only children/grandchildren she had. My mother and sister and me were never part of family vacations or even day-to-day interactions. It was strange and unexplained, and the reasons for my grandmother's visible favoritism died with her almost seven years ago.

It's so hard to get out of the hamster wheel of our childhoods sometimes. Being with our parents --- no matter how much time or distance is between us --- always pulls us back in, to a degree. Even if it's fatigue we feel, anticipating each frustrating interaction that inevitably comes to disappoint. Even at my age, I don't know how to get around wanting things to be different. It's the age-old struggle. I KNOW how things are. Doesn't mean I like them or want them this way. Also, doesn't mean I have any bit of control over what happens next. It is what it is. It will be what it will be. And regardless of the logic I apply to the situation, it still smarts.

More importantly, you're right: you cannot help your mother deal with her mental instability until she acknowledges a problem and is willing to seek help for it. I'm sorry about that --- it adds a level of complexity and is a variable with which I have never really had to deal. My mom is nuts, but not like that! I know you probably worry about her, and that's your compassionate nature. Try to keep in mind that she's a grown woman who needs to take responsibility for her health (or lack thereof).

I am so glad you have the support system of Bob, Sophia and his parents as well as your friends.

And happy birthday, girl!

11:07 AM  
Blogger Rev. Brandy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:07 AM  
Blogger The Management said...

Err... Happy Birthday...

Recently, I've been having a slight relapse of organized religion... and when you mentioned you sister... I remember how this parable always annoyed me.


4:20 PM  
Blogger Rev. Brandy said...

Otter --- great website!

5:16 PM  
Blogger bob_vinyl said...

I hope for all of our sakes that God is the God of Luke's gospel that forgives even with our feeble imperfect repentence. I find that to be the most beautiful part of the parable, not just the offer of forgiveness, but the willingness to forgive even without perfect contrition.

11:43 PM  

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