Sunday, October 7, 2012

And then I stuck a pen in my eye. Again.

I might need to talk to my mother less. I've been trying to talk to her once a week or so, which sounds lovely except for it generally makes me feel (at best) really annoyed or (at worst) homicidal. Usually, this has something to do with my desperate struggle to filter what I'm actually thinking so that it doesn't come out of my mouth, as that typically would not be particularly constructive. Her profound lack of insight into herself and the way she relates to other people also make me have a sudden urge toward violence. So far, I have successfully avoided actually doing anything of the sort, but the following three conversations have made me come pretty close. 

Conversation #1: 
Mom: I've decided that I should start trying to work on some of my issues in therapy.
Me (internal monologue): Wait, you've been in therapy for FIVE YEARS! What the hell have you been talking about all that time?
Me (actually talking, and taking a deep breath while wishing desperately for a vodka and tonic): Well, that sounds like a fine idea.

Conversation #2:
Mom: My therapist wants me to tell her how I'm the same and different from other people in our family. I don't really know, so I was hoping you could help me with that.
Me (internal monologue): Well, for starters, the rest of us have enough insight to be able to complete that assignment all by ourselves. Secondly, none of us are crazy. Or hoarders.
Me (aloud): Ummm....

Conversation #3:
Mom (giant sigh): I'm trying to get rid of some things. I probably shouldn't tell you this, but I've been collecting adorable baby things for a few years now and have a couple of boxes of them. But now that you're divorced, I don't know if I'll ever even have any grandkids.... (another big sigh)
Me (internal monologue, while trying to figure out if it's possible to actually reach through the phone and slap someone): What the fuck? Did you actually just say that out loud? And when did my leaving my damaging and incredibly unhappy marriage become all about you? 
Me (out loud, through gritted teeth): Yeah, you should just get rid of those.

If I had any of these conversations with someone else, I could filter what I was thinking into something reasonably socially appropriate and actually have an honest dialogue with them. With my mom, though, it somehow always gets twisted on its head so what she says becomes my problem. ("I didn't mean that at all! Why are you so sensitive?") This negates any pesky possibility of a healthy dialogue (read: mature, adult relationship) while also providing a wealth of opportunities for me to exercise my willpower by not actually sticking a pen in my eye. See? There really is a bright side to everything.


  1. Use florescent ink and there'll always be a bright side. Hang in there.

  2. I have similar conversations with my Mom, too. This year, my sister and I decided to not exchange gifts for Christmas and keep it about the kids. My sister doesn't want to give or receive gifts from Mom either, and told her so. Mom calls ME to say "You can't tell me not to buy things for my children. If that's they way you want to do it, then FINE, but just know it won't feel like Christmas to me."

    Gee, that's great. Thanks for announcing ahead of time that you're going to be a lead balloon during our family together time.

    I'm sorry she's so insensitive to you. :\

  3. It may help you to remember that no one can ever act above their current level of consciousness. Your mother hasn't done the work to see herself clearly and she has no idea who she truly is. Her forgetfulness of being can only manifest itself as suffering outwardly and that is why it is all she can offer you. When you take a deep breath you are connecting with your stillness, and that is where you will find peace. Ultimately it doesn't matter what she does or doesn't do. Your path is about finding you. When you do that, you can allow her to be as she is without it touching who you are at your core. All the strength you need is within you. Go within. Slow deep breaths, in through the nose, out through the mouth. Namaste