Just a place where I can rant if I need to. Praise if I can. List my hopes and dreams if I have any. Be silly if I decide to. And if you don't like it...YOU CAN "KISS MY GRITS"!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Parental Units

So I could say that the reason I haven't posted in almost a month is because I'm totally wrapped up in my little man, reading the "Twilight" series, sleeping, cleaning, watching TV...and it would all be true. But, mostly I think it's because I can't bring myself to type what's been on my mind and I haven't had anything else on my mind to type.
I haven't talked much about my family here. Mostly what I discuss is about me personally. I usually try to be lighthearted and even if the subject matter is serious or scary, I'll at least make an attempt at funny.
I've never been one to keep my feelings inside. I wear my life on my sleeve and if it comes up I'm not ashamed or embarrassed to talk about it. That being said, I also don't look for people to say "oh I'm sorry, that sucks" and I also realize that there are lots of people out there that can say "seriously, your life isn't bad at all compared to what I've been through". We all have our skeletons in the closet...we probably all need therapy.
So therapy, I'm supposed to be contacting my mom's counselor and going to see her. I was also supposed to do this years ago after the first "episode". I chickened out. Not because I don't think therapy/counseling/a shrink/someone might help. It's that once the "episodes" are over, I don't want to relive them. I want to pretend they never happened. That doesn't mean I forget, no, I don't forget. I just hate the big eared elephant in the room. But I've gotten to where as long as everyone is normal the elephant tends to move into another room.
WTH am I talking about? Well, ok...I'll try to explain myself. Again, I know your life was probably much harder than mine. I did and do have 2 loving parents, took dance and piano lessons, had cool clothes and even a car when I was 16...so poor pitiful me. Doesn't mean life was perfect...doesn't mean anyone's is despite what you might think you see. Saying it, talking about it, has always helped me.
I could type a ton of stories, stories of my parents divorce, being locked in a room when I was 4 to be kept safe from the arguement, the gun, the threats, the fighting even years after the divorce, feeling trapped and unsafe in my own home, the court case, the scariness, my father teasing me about my weight, my mother's husbands...but probably being "scared" sums it all up. My "scared" now turns to anger and I try to be as respectful as possible to my parents. I am now a parent and must try hard not to have my son see what I've seen (in me or my parents).
The first "episode" I was really aware of (I'm not sure if there were any prior to this) was about 7 years ago. I'd gone to my grandma's for Sunday lunch before I had to be back to work that afternoon. My mom was no where to be found when I got there. No one knew where she was. We were worried. It was odd for her not to be there especially since her only child had come into town for lunch and was on a tight schedule to get back to work. When she finally showed up for lunch she was livid. We'd (my aunt and cousins and I) gone looking for her and this apparently was the worst thing we could have done. She was yelling and fighting with her sister and upset with me. When I decided that I wasn't going to take it anymore, after all, I didn't live with her anymore, I was 22 and self sufficient. I got up to leave. That's when I saw the switch flip for the first time. She blocked the door so I couldn't escape. She started crying and acting, for lack of a better word, crazy. She grabbed me and wouldn't let go asking "what has the devil done". Totally freaked out and in tears now myself, with my aunt and grandma begging her to let me go. They tackled her and I ran out of the house and sped away. I can still see them lying on top of her in my grandma's living room. I hid for a day and then once I finally went back to my apartment she drove up every morning for a week and left messages on my car (a 45 drive for her). I finally conceded to talk to her. She drove us to a park (my first mistake because I'd never be able to leave of my own accord, therefore I never said everything I wanted, never let out all the anger, I felt trapped again). After that day, and until this day I could probably count on one hand how many times I've spent time alone with her. I fear that "craziness". Over the next few years I'd get emails or early morning phone calls, sob stories of "what's wrong with our relationship? what has the devil done to us?"
Despite my best efforts she doesn't listen when I actually try to tell her "what's wrong". She never actually lets me talk. She does the guilt trip thing when other people seem to know more about me than she does (though the hub and I swear we've actually told her the very things she claims not to know about us). I finally realized as of late that...she doesn't ask. When she calls, she tells me all about someone else or some other anecdotal story that has minimal relevance. She simply does not ask nor does she listen when I share.
I could go on and on...seriously.
The most recent episode occurred at the end of her visit after Connor was born. She was very helpful. Cooked, cleaned, fed the baby during the night, stayed out of our way each night so just the hub the baby and I could have family time...alone. Until Thursday night she was the perfect guest (time for her to leave on Friday). I was ready for her to leave, but mainly because I wanted things back to "normal" or for us to learn our new "normal". Earlier in the week she'd asked for a picture of Connor to take with her when she'd left. She doesn't have a camera (however she did run tons of errands and could have purchased a disposable one). The hub had 3 exams he was studying for all week and me, well, I'd just had a baby 5 days prior. Thursday night I escaped =) I went out on my own to Target to get more baby bottles and even some ice cream for myself. While at Target the lights went out...pitch black people...can't see your hand in front of your face BLACK! I was already suffering from crazy hormones I didn't need this on my first time out! Lights back on whew! Then before my heart could return to its normal rhythm...lights back out! I immediately decided to start moving to the exit when LIGHTS BACK ON. So I got the bottles and went to the closest register, paid and left. Went home. No icecream, nothing...just my baby's bottles. I got home, told my story and the first thing out of her mouth was "where's my picture"? Seriously? I apologized profusely, but it was not my intent to go back out...nor the hubs (LAW SCHOOL EXAM THE NEXT DAY...HELLO?!)
The next morning, almost time for her to leave, I tried to figure out how to print some from the camera. But the hub had his computer at school (LAW EXAM...HELLO?!) and I couldn't find all the cords, printer paper etc (I seriously tried hard). I went to take Connor to his grandma so she could feed him before she left (I figured she'd want to do that and I'd take a shower)...that's when the switch flipped again. I was attacked. Not physically this time...but with words. Purposely hurtful words. "If you'd appreciated what I'd been doing here all week you'd have remembered my picture...All I wanted was a picture to show the people I work with...Can't you understand how hard this is to leave with no picture...Why are you so compassionate to everyone else but me...I knew you'd be like this, just like your father...Apparently you have a closer relationship with (friend's name) mother than with me." It was all I could do to keep myself composed. If not for holding Connor I think I would have lost it (which I did later when the hub finally came home from his exam). How was that fair to do to me...I'd had a baby a week ago. Really? I was to blame? No, it wasn't the picture (that was just the icing on the psycho cupcake) it was that she's alone, in a tiny apartment, I have a beautiful baby, a loving husband, great friends...I have what she's wanted. She's jealous, envious...but not enough to hate me-she loves me too much for that.
I could give you so much more of the story. The many more phone calls, hurtful words, my promise to make an appointment with her counselor, that we changed our locks because I was scared (she doesn't know that part)...but now things are back to "normal". I forced normal much more quickly this time because of Christmas. I needed normal (as much as I can ever have that). I needed the stress to end. I needed to be concentrating on my child, being a mom, on me for crying out loud-because when it's only been days since you've had a baby you get to be selfish and think about yourself!
So, I've put off the therapy...again. I don't want to talk about it with anyone connected to her. Do I want it "fixed"..sure. Do I think it will be "fixed"...no. Would therapy help me deal with it better, accept it more...probably. Am I lazy, stubborn (and poor?) YES.
My mother is not the only one who drives me to therapy. My dad does his share. My dad is also selfish (ie only has negative things to say about the plans the hub and I have for our family regarding his grad school...SOOO not his life!). It's really easy to see when my parents are being selfish because their reasons aren't as logical (or at all) as they make them seem.
But that, is another post entirely.
I don't want to be them. I don't want Connor to avoid being alone with me. To hate to see my number show up on the caller ID. To think that he's not good enough for me. To think that all I want is something to brag about. To feel guilty because I made him feel that way because I was being selfish. I don't want to go "crazy".

I want to be me...but those are the examples I have. Those are also the examples I have of marriage and the hub and I vow that we'll be different in our marriage (we both come from divorce and remarriage etc)...so far we're doing pretty great. I suppose I could try to see it that was as far as parenting is concerned.
That just scares me more. I don't want to mess up my precious boy.

Thanks for listening/reading to what's been on my mind. I can't promise I won't pour out some other story again in an attempt to run from therapy and do it my own way.


Beckers said...

Oh, honey. Boy, do I know EXACTLY what you're going through. I think our mothers have the same type of crazy. Seriously.

I'm not very coherent right now, but I just wanted to let you know: My mom attacked me physically, too -- that was the last time I saw her, March 2003. I tried to keep up a relationship with dad and sister for awhile after that, but eventually had to cut them off, too -- they made it all or nothing. This is why I have no relationship with my family today. I had e-mail addresses blocked, I changed my cell phone number, I pay $5 every month to keep my home phone unlisted, etc., etc. I've spent thousands of dollars on therapy, I have a shelf full of books about dealing with Borderline mothers (as in Borderline Personality Disorder), and I've spent many, many hours in online support groups for people with crazy family members. Cutting off my family was the only way I could maintain my physical and mental health.

Not saying you have to go No Contact with your family...some people are more motivated than me to make things work...and I can especially see how you would want to have some kind of "normal" grandparent experience for Connor. But please, if you ever need help/support, I'm here. I can also send you several excellent books that will make you scream, "Oh my God, it's not me! It's not my fault!" (Very Good Will Hunting.) I absolutely know what you're going through. I'm just so sorry that you have a crazy mama, too!

Amy said...

Always here to listen...and read. Love you!

solo nicole said...

just getting it out is therapy girlfriend....i'm so sorry you have to deal with this on top of having a new baby and being a new mom and all of the hormones that go along with it!

Stacy said...

Here's the thing - just by being aware of the "crazy" and not wanting to repeat any of the "crazy" means that you won't. You will not become your mother, so stop worrying about that! As for therapy, you should go only if you want to go and only if it's for and about you. And, it shouldn't have to be your mother's therapist - go to one that you choose, as it might help you feel more comfortable talking badly about your mother (without fear of judgement). But venting - in person or in blog form - is a great form of self-therapy, and I'm all for that!

Surf Girl said...

I'm sorry you've had a hard time. I've been there and I know how hard it is to come to terms with the fact that you don't want to see your own family. But sometimes that is just the best thing.
My email address is on my blog - please do not hesitate if you need more venting. I could tell you my own crazy stories!!
I'll be thinking about you. :)