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Venting: calorie-free way to soothe raw emotions...

Friday, April 05, 2013

Thank goodness for Sparkpeople! I needed to vent again. You know how I wanted to maximize my day? Well, I told my mother I would drop her car off at the mechanic's shop. She had her car earlier serviced this week for check engine light issues. I needed my car's timing belt replaced on Wednesday, so she was going to lend me her car in the meantime.

The registration on this car had expired so I offered to take it down for emissions testing once I switched cars on Wednesday, and afterwards registered it online for her (she has a weird phobia about doing online payments herself, but spends hours each day on her email account...). I got a call yesterday afternoon from the mechanic's that I could pick up my car today. I called my mother to let her know that the check engine light was back on her car since early this morning. She asked if I could drop her car off when I picked mine up.

Here's the important fact. This is her SECOND car. This is not a car she frequently uses, as noted with its lack of emissions testing and registration until I stepped in. AND she never said there was any urgency for the her second car to be serviced. I figured it would be fine as long as I dropped it off by today. Nope. She apparently needed it done now, now, now. Apparently, she called in around 2 pm today at the mechanic's and got really upset to learn I hadn't dropped it off yet. Then she called and demanded to know what I had been doing all day (she knew I had the day off) instead of taking her car to the mechanic's. I swear, at times it's like talking to a 5-year-old having a tantrum. Even when I use a calm voice with her and talking logically seem to worsen the issue.

I quickly communicated to her that it was a misunderstanding on my part -- that I didn't realize she wanted the car dropped off first thing this morning. She then bemoaned, "I lost a WHOLE day. An entire DAY they could have been working on the car!" I responded, "What's the urgency. Is there a problem with your first car?" She then just repeated the previous statement. So basically, there was no urgency. Once again she was creating an artificial crisis. The icing on the cake? I was a disappointment to her. The statement was so ridiculous I stopped and said, "Really? You are disappointed in me because your secondary vehicle, which you couldn't even legally drive until I registered it this week, was dropped off at the mechanic's six hours later than you expected. And an expectation, by the way, that you never communicated to me? AND the fact that there is no urgency for you to use the car?"

It's clear that she is taking out her own personal frustrations out on me. The other week she relayed to me that her doctor basically told her she better start taking better care of her health (e.g., high cholesterol, high blood pressure, overweight, etc.) or she'll die prematurely of heart disease. It was weird, though, that in relaying such information her tone was that of, "Hey, it's going to be overcast tomorrow." I guess the doctor's scare tactic didn't work and she's bottling up her fears and frustrations.

All I know is that I can only take so much of her hurtful and, frankly, immature behavior. She has a habit when we talk in person to walk all over her house doing pseudo-chores so that I have to either raise my voice or follow her around like a puppy dog. When I ask her to stop what she is doing for a moment so we can talk like adults, she exclaims, "I'm really busy!" She's a 66-year-old housewife. She is not THAT busy.

I don't expect us to be close friends, but she makes it difficult to even have a civil relationship with her. The best solution is usually the simplest, and it's clear that is to limit my time with her as much as possible. Of course, I'm sure there'll be guilt tripping because I'll have to pass on family get togethers, but so be it. My mental health is more important.

Whew!! That felt good to get off my shoulders. My immediate reaction was to eat a big meal. I guess I am much more of an emotional eater than I thought... Glad I have this calorie-free way to soothe my raw emotions. Well, at least I can look forward to one of my long-term goals. By the end of the year I hope to move back to Tucson. Plan B is to then move to Tempe or a city further away than I currently live -- which is too close for comfort to my parents' house. I noticed in past interactions, the farther I am geographically from my mother, the warmer she is through phone calls and emails, and unfortunately, the formula follows an inverse relationship -- she becomes a lot snarkier and colder the closer I am geographically.

Here's to better times :) At least I can look forward to the salsa class later today emoticon
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  • SKATER787
    I can't wait for you to try that on your mom. That would be so funny. You have to be unpredicatable. She will continue to do things that she can get away with just because she can. That's human nature.
    1782 days ago
  • SKATER787
    Next time don't follow her around. In fact as soon as she starts doing that, leave the house and see what happens. If she says something, just tell her that you thought the conversation was over because she walked away. Nice experiment to try.
    1782 days ago
    WOW ! Your mom certainly knows how to push your buttons. Good for you for acting like the adult in the family. No, you do not need to be heaped with that kind of toxic behavior. It's a shame you can't have a better relationship with your mother.

    I agree. Keeping your distance for a short period is the way to go.

    1782 days ago
    boy do I sympathize with you! My mother was caustic and depressed and I never knew how she would react. It's very very hard because so many people don't have those bad relationships and they can't understand. I agree with keeping your distance, it does help.
    1783 days ago
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