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...