Thursday, July 3, 2008

why is it so haaarrrrrrd?

First of all, a TREMENDOUS THANK YOU to the divine Mrs. G who is featuring moi on her fabulous blog today. She is kind & generous and makes the blogosphere so much more delightful. Even though it sounds like her mother is a lot like mine...Pray for us both, please.
________________________________
Today we head up to my parents' house for a short visit before we go to the Big Fat Fourth of July Extravaganza. As you may have surmised from previous posts, things sometimes get a tad difficult when I am with my mom & dad.
I think (though I'm not trained in psychology, I really really wanted to study it before I realized there were science classes involved) most of the difficulty comes from my parents' unwillingness to actually SAY what they mean. Ever. Well, unless they mean You've paid too much for [insert any item for sale] or I heard so-and-so is [insert unfortunate personal circumstance]. Otherwise, we don't talk about being sad or uncomfortable or disagreeable. Occasionally we'll discuss stuff I'm proud of, but there always seems to be a weird underlying discrediting going on - What else could I have been doing when I was doing what I'm proud of? Has someone else possibly done the same thing, and better? Why does it really matter, this thing I've done? Mostly it comes from my mom, which is strange considering she seems very sensitive while my dad generally gives off a We Texans Don't Talk About Feelings, Friend vibe.
And here is the thing - I know I can be a lot like my mother. I feel it sometimes, I start a passive-aggressive stance and just want to make everyone around me writhe in discomfort while they try to read my mind and decide whether to help or run. But I recognize it and stop; I make myself say out loud what is going through my brain. Sometimes I realize I sound like a lunatic (I just want to clean all of these picture frames RIGHT NOW so I need some space! Please! Thank you!), but at least I have alerted everyone to my status [crazy] and they kind of know what to expect. Plus I'm perfectly willing to admit that what I'm doing looks nutty to the outside world; I just want things they way I want them. But I completely do not want anyone to feel guilty for my moodiness, tiptoe around me, appease me patronizingly, or wish to bolt & hide. I go through all of those things around my mom, and it makes me both desperately sad for her plus seethingly angry. Neither of those is a fun emotion, in case you weren't sure.
Each time we visit, I try to inject a little more Hey, let's say real stuff to each other into our interactions. I'm trying to go from here:


to here:


Except neither of us is naked...

30 comments:

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

My favorite Gustav Klimt! The one I have in my family room--the one I gave to the mother I loved and who also drove me crazy. I inherited when she died.

Keep fighting the good fight!

not passive aggressive husband said...

I just try to stay low...

-Stu

Tracey said...

Here from Mrs. G.

I have my own dose of crazy in me, and must fight to not let it scare the kiddies too much...

Lisa Milton said...

I'm breaking my self-imposed computer ban to say I am sorry it is hard, this uncomfortable dance with your mother.

The seething/sad thing is painful and exhausting.

I pray that if there can't be snuggling and utter peace, that in some little way, the weekend is progressive. And kind. You deserve some kind.

And I loved your spot on Mrs. G's today...If she only knew how funny you are in real life. Stu too.

You are tough to leave behind.

(Yes. I am up at 5. Can't sleep. Too much to do.)

See you soon.

Lisa Milton said...

I meant kindness somewhere up above ^. Did I mention the nervous breakdown, at my door?

:)

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

It was nice visiting you and the pool boy over at Derfwad Manor. I hope your holiday is wonderful. Happy 4th!

As for this, to which I could totally relate:

"I just want to clean all of these picture frames RIGHT NOW so I need some space!"

In my experience? I eventually got over those feelings, right about the time my ass began to fall.

Janet said...

you're featured?! I'm running right over there, be back to comment in a few...

"...pumping my own gas and paying sales tax and finding all kinds of things to do with apples."<---sounds like Massachusetts!

Ahhh, Wolfman Jack...loved him back in the day!

And that poem? I have it on my wall along with a picture of my friend's dog Bailey, enjoying a ride in my car and looking out the window :-)

Keetha said...

Here from Derfwad, too, and oh my - you had me at chocolate hazelnut toast because WHAT IS BETTER than that?

I have a post about a Rick Springfield concert when I was 12. Good times.

Mrs. G. said...

Thanks for the prayer requests. Vacation starts in T-4 days. Aren't we lucky that our daughters aren't going to have any issues with us? We'll be the first perfect mothers on earth-yeah, right. Thanks for hosting today!

KD @ A Bit Squirrelly said...

I found your blog from Mrs. G. I look forward to reading you!

Oh and just hang witht eh kids and try to ignore the nay-sayers! Good luck!

Jennu said...

Hi! Just came over from Mrs. G's. This American Life has a free podcast, so you listen to it at your leisure. Best thing ever.

scargosun said...

OMG...I think your parents are my in-laws. We must be related! Whoo hoo! I've always wanted another sister.

BTW - I am crazy also. Got mad at P last night for not running his lime wedge thru garbage disposal.

Deirdre said...

Here from Mrs. G's.

I just wanted to tell you I *love* the sign "Do Not Disturb. Trying to turn 8."

That is fantastic.

carrie said...

My mom and I share a crazy gene too. And as much as I hate it, I have to accept it as part of who I am.

Now, if I can just remember not to drive my kids crazy, we'll all be better off.

But yes, please, don't bother me when I'm in my picture frame dusting frenzy! ;)

Starshine said...

I loved reading about you at Derfwad Manor today. :)

missburrows said...

You think you are nuts? Your lack of spaces between your paragraphs is driving me nuts!!

MUST ADD SPACES NOW!!! AAHHH!!!

Denise said...

Yep. We are all from Texas and my parents are the same. I'm trying to break the mold with my family. **hugs** for tomorrow!!

San Diego Momma said...

I hope you're able to make it through the short visit with aplomb. I know I feel the same way with my dad...but where your mom doesn't say what's on her mind...my dad says it all day, all night, and LOUDLY.

So we're not going there this year.

Either way! Have a fab extravaganza!

Deb
sandiegomomma.com

JCK said...

Those two pictures at the end brought tears to my eyes. I really hope the visit goes better than you expect.

I love Klimt, too! I love "The Kiss."

Your interview on Derfwad Manor was awesome! Emerson was so wise. And Rick Springfield - used to watch him on General Hospital years ago. OK, your bathtub? SO FRIGGIN' JEALOUS! I don't know if I'm more jealous of the size or the cleanliness!

MamaBird said...

love that poem and the *sign* about turning 8? i am so afraid (mine's only 5)!

katydidnot said...

i just read slow cook. best satan answer EVAR! and i will back to read today's. but it's almost 6 and i must leave my office RIGHT NOW!

katydidnot said...

and i was your cyber bff before all of these other people.

phd in yogurtry said...

a most excellent slow cook! I too fell in love with the American Grafitti soundtrack. I listened to it over & over while visiting family in Lousiana (and missing a boyfriend). Sixteen Candles and Runaway - I wore those two songs out!

phd in yogurtry said...

I just finished your blog post. I have been meandering in blogland for 6 short months now and wondered whether anyone would get to the difficult mom & dad issues. I've got scads. I can relate. Especially the mix of desperately sad and seethingly angry. It ain't fun and it ain't pretty. Thanks for sharing all of that.

All Adither said...

Sounds like you're self-aware as can be. What else can you do?

Nora Bee said...

Hi! I am in love with you now just because of Biokleen and toast. My long lost sister!

Oliver Rain said...

I think we might have the same parents. Hilarious post over at Mrs. G's place. I will "toast" you tomorrow with my own version of Nutella toast.

I do love that Klimt. It reminds me of my daughter and I.

Tracy said...

love the toast idea, though i have a nuttela addiction. It funny how the things you wnt to say and the thing the parents want to hear, so different, but small doses of anything is usually a recipe for success.

HRH said...

Thank God neither is naked.

I love your crazy talk. I find myself avoiding the passive agressive by saying something insane too. Which then makes me giggle which means it ends well...

kabbage said...

Visited from Mrs. G. because you said you live in VancWa. Imagine my surprise when I realized I used to work IRL with Bad Dad. My first recognizing a RL person in a blog! I gave up Wild Oats/Whole Foods for New Seasons, but maybe I should go back to see your eye-candy.

Wrt the mother-daughter dynamics, I found reading a Psych book called "Don't Shoot the Dog!" by Karen Pryor on my way to the old home helped immensely. A little odd to think of my mom as a psych experiment, perhaps, but it helped me detach enough to get through visits with my sanity level relatively intact.

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