Thursday, July 10, 2014
My parents are going to be here tomorrow for dinner. My mother has not set foot in my house in six years, and hasn't spent the night in my home in about 10 years. (They are not staying with us, though). My back has been hurting so I haven't worked the past couple days. I need to work on cleaning my house. My mom hasn't been to my house for a couple of "reasons." She says the drive is too far for her back. We have cats, and she's allergic to them. Also, although she's never said this, part of the reason she doesn't visit is because my house is disgusting (to her). She has honest-to-goodness OCD when it comes to many things, especially cleaning. The last time she stayed the night at my house (a decade ago) she didn't want to sit on my couch so she put a sheet over it. Then she spent THREE HOURS cleaning my kitchen, saying it was giving her the "heebee jeebies." On what planet is this ok? Or normal? I would like to stress that out of every single person I know (except her, of course), I have the cleanest house out of everyone. Everyone says so. I'm teased about how clean and tidy my home is. But my mother thinks it is gross.
She's been telling me for years that she's changed...that she doesn't get upset about that sort of thing like she used to. She says, she's "a very different person now." Whatever. Her house is exactly the same as it's always been, and so is she. When her laundry sits in the dryer for a while, I'll believe it. When she quits washing her dishes before she washes her dishes, I'll believe it. Dad said that after Daughter and I left their apartment the last time, she went into that bathroom and scrubbed it for about 2 hours (because we're so filthy? I'd been there ONE night). Even at it's worst, when I go a month without cleaning my bathroom, it only takes me an hour at the most...and that's with me having to scrub the heck out of the shower walls, etc, to get those orange hard water stains off the tub/shower walls.
All I've ever heard from her is that she can't come because of our cats...how violently allergic she is to the cats...how she can't even be around cats for a few minutes...etc. My cats are indoor-outdoor cats. Obviously I'm going to put the cats outside and put the dogs down in their yard before they get here. Then I'll clean the house really well and keep the animals outside while they are here. (They're only coming for dinner tomorrow night). I'm just really not looking forward to this. I want my mom to WANT to be here...but she doesn't really WANT to be here. She's only coming to shut me up, because a few weeks ago I really put up a stink about her not ever visiting...about her not actually wanting to visit.
So she's coming tomorrow. She hasn't said one single word to me about it. She hasn't told me she is excited to come. She hasn't said anything like, "I'm looking forward to seeing you..." nothing like that. In fact, she's been doing that thing where she's not talking to me at all. I tried calling them a couple of times within the past couple weeks. Both times I tried calling, they were on their way out the door. Did she call me back? No. Has she emailed or called to say one single word about coming on Friday? Nope. Who freaking does that? As someone with such impeccable "manners," you'd think she would have sent me some kind of pretentious email by now, saying something like "I so look forward to seeing you."
That's the kind of crap she does. But apparently she only does it when she means it.
About three years ago, I asked her if they would be coming to an Academic Awards ceremony, where I was getting a certificate. I knew her email password, so I looked at her email to see if she'd gotten the message. I did find a sent message, from her to my dad, stating, "She wants us to go to that awards ceremony. I told her we couldn't go, but now she is hurt and asking for an explanation. Please tell me you have something to do that day. I hate graduations so much that I didn't even attend my own."
Yeah. My mom actually said that.
Fast forward a year or so, when I'm actually graduating. They came, but she made sure to tell me more than once that the drive up really hurt her back, then sitting in the chair at the awards ceremony, etc. Granted, I'm sure it did. I know it did. I'm truly sorry about that.
But you can't keep that to yourself? Why do you always have to make me feel guilty? Why do you insist on making me feel bad about myself?
I swear, I think part of the reason I'm never satisfied with who I am and what I'm doing in my life is because of HER...because SHE has never really been satisfied with who I am or what I'm doing in my life. She is the same way about herself, too. But geez. I'm that way, and I like my daughter exactly the way she is. I don't wish certain things about her were different. And I DAMN SURE wouldn't ever tell her that I wanted her to be a different way.
When my mom was little, her parents were very distant, very ugly to her. She was not a loved, precious little child. She was a maid, a babysitter. Her father even did some unspeakable things to her...and every time I think about what a crappy childhood she had, I feel so bad for ever thinking anything negative about her, or for grumbling about her parenting. I know in my heart she did her best. I try so hard to be sensitive and compassionate, and I do feel like I am. But I have my own issues too, and I can't deny them...even in spite of other people's unfortunate pasts or best efforts. My issues are the result of hers, and to deny one would be to deny the other...and I can't do that. I don't feel like I will ever really heal if I do that.
I was a very scrawny, skinny kid. I had stick-straight, thin brown hair that did nothing. It was always cut like a boys. I never, ever felt feminine or pretty. My mother did nothing to change this. In fact, at times it seemed like she was intentionally trying to point it out. We used to like to watch the "Sound of Music." She always liked that youngest Von Trapp girl, Gretel. She said, "I always wanted to have a chubby little baby with blond hair like that. I got a skinny baby with straight brown hair." She didn't say it in a mean way. She smiled. She LOOKED happy while she was saying it...but as a kid, all I heard was, "You don't look the way I wanted my child to look." Especially given the comments her parents would make about her, you'd think she would be more sensitive to my feelings about my own appearance. I mean, my mother said things to me about how I looked, and I'm not being ugly to my daughter. I genuinely think she is gorgeous, and I tell her that almost daily. She is beautiful inside and out, and I want her to always feel that way.
Sometimes, we'd see a little girl about my age. The little girl would have gorgeous, long blond hair. She'd have a bow in her hair, and a pretty dress. Yes, she'd be very cute. My mom would see her and say, "Oh, look how CUTE she is! Isn't she a BEAUTIFUL little girl!" She'd poke me and point at the little girl and say to me, "Isn't she DARLING? LOOK at her!"
Yeah, mom. You're right. That is the most stunningly attractive little girl either of us have ever seen. Lucky me. I'm only seven years old and I'm looking at the most beautiful little girl you've ever seen. Thanks so much for pointing her out to me. Thank you for finding so much beauty in a person who is the COMPLETE opposite of me, and thank you for making sure I notice it. Thank you for making sure I (and everyone else in the room) hears your compliments. This isn't at all uncomfortable for me.
We were watching tv once, and a kid called his mom, "Mother." My mom sighed, looked longingly off into the distance, and said wistfully, "...I wish you'd call me, 'Mother.' I just love that."
What's wrong with "Mama?"
I mean...bringing all this up is breaking my heart. It's not even 9am yet. It's too early for all this. She's just never made me feel like I was good enough, just the way I was/am.
And I wonder why I never feel good enough about myself. I wish I could accept myself better, for who I am. Of course I can work on things. I can (and should) want to make improvements. I should have various goals...personal, financial goals, etc. But that doesn't mean I'm not ok just the way I am.
I don't know what else to say right now, so I guess I'll wrap this up. I may add to it later on.