Monday, July 01, 2013
So I called my mom tonight to see what she wanted from the other day. She had a conversation with a pathetically stupid person from a business on the phone and just wanted to tell me about it...it was, honestly, quite amusing and sad. So...she was talking all about the multitude of stuff she is supposedly doing right now to get ready for her move...like Dad said, she makes a much bigger deal of everything than it really needs to be. When I offered various suggestions, said things were going to be ok, she went up and down, from almost screaming at me at one point, "I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR THAT!!!" when I suggested she put her piano on Craigslist, since the person she was going to GIVE IT TO FOR FREE wouldn't return her phone calls...to randomly telling me she wasn't a basketcase, as if anyone said she was...to telling me that she thinks talking is over-rated and she doesn't need to talk about her stress...to her becoming defensive when I told her Dad said she'd been stressed (and that's ALL I said...I didn't tell her 100% of what he'd said!) I actually had to tell her, "He didn't say it in an insulting way; he was just stating a fact. He said you were really stressed. And you ARE. Obviously." So we go through all that and then she just starts telling me she is just fine. OMG it was insane. I truly, honestly, completely felt like I'd just talked to a crazy person. My mom refuses (REFUSES!) to get any kind of therapeutic help for her mental issues. I asked her about it only one time and she said she would never/could never talk to anyone about anything and she got really mad and said to never bring it up again. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that she has many mental issues...and that isn't her fault, it's just a lifetime of serious, undealt-with problems. I got off the phone with her and relayed essentially the entire conversation to Husband. He was just incredible. He hit the nail on the head so many times. He told me how I am not anything like her at all, how much better I am...how much more even and calm and consistent I am...it made me feel so good. He had a great idea on how to deal with her...next time she is venting about something, don't say anything (I kind of told Mom this when I was talking to her and she was getting so upset...I said I was just trying to help and keep things in perspective (to which she snapped that her perspective was just fine, thankyouverymuch) and also to offer a Plan B in case Plan A didn't work out, but if that was going to be more than she could handle for whatever reason, I wouldn't do that anymore). Husband suggested from now, if Mom vents, to say something (very calmly) like, "Well...I'm sure you'll work that out." He told me not to write her off completely (I couldn't do that to my own mom anyway, even if I wanted to) but to just kind of keep her at arms length. He told me not to talk to her too much. He said I communicate with her more than I probably should, and that it always eventually leads to some degree of chaos. And you know...he's exactly right. He wasn't telling me to ignore her or be mean to her or standoffish or anything like that. He was just saying keep being nice, but just back off a bit so I don't get hurt. When she (SHE) comes forward for a conversation, then keep it simple, short, and sweet. He wasn't saying stop loving or being nice to your mom, he just meant for me to loosen the strings some more so that she doesn't hurt me so much or drive me crazy. He was so right about so many things. He was actually right about everything he said. I was (and am!) so glad to have had him at that moment. He helped me see the bigger picture and it sure feels good having a friend who will be honest with me. it's so incredibly nice knowing I have someone in my corner. I feel bad for my mom, and I wish I could help her, but my husband said, "You can't be the one to change your mom. You're not the one who will make her better. Only she can do that." And he's exactly, 100% right. So I will keep on being me. The more I do that, the more comfortable I feel in my own skin. She can say whatever she wants, but actions speak louder than words. She may say she's changed, she is fine, she is happy...and she may even have some people fooled...but I know the truth. And I am finally starting to see that my husband is right...only Mom can make herself better, in the end. Not me. Not Dad. Not anyone else. All I can do is keep on loving her. And I will...forever.