How are YOU?

Do you know can be incredibly frustrating about my relationship with my mother? Is that is completely almost totally one-sided! I mean do NOT for a second think that I am ungrateful for everything she has done, sacrificed and achieved in raising me. Don’t for one millisecond think that I don’t sit here in awe of the fact that from the age of eight she raised me as a single parent without any emotional or monetary help from my dad at all.

BUT it seems that the moment I started earning an income I suddenly started morphing into something else. Sure, I was always the one mum spoke to about her problems, finances and don’t even get me started on the abundance of ‘emotional scarring’ my father left on my mother where I all too vividly remember mum crying in her bedroom then scooping me up so I could sleep with her in her bed. But even then if I (as a child) wanted to cry about my own sadness my mum always told me that seeing me cry hurt her too much – me crying would make her cry so that then i’d have to make her feel ok and happy, so in most cases I’d “sort myself” out by just crying by myself in the dead of night in my room.

When I graduated university and got that full-time job I changed yet again; I became the provider, the husband, the listener, the maintainer, the fixer, the translator, the plumber, the driver… BUT I still had a curfew and I STILL had to listen and obey her every instruction. But I did it; I sucked it up and did it – because she raised me, because she did it on her own, because I think she managed to do a bloody good job of it, because I DO love her, because she is my mother.

And now I’m married and have a baby – and whilst I am now not entirely playing the role of “financier” ( though that is NOT for lack of her trying) I am still the translator, the driver and the person to has to calm her down when things seem too much (which is often, as she is a highly anxious person). What frustrates me MOST of all is she never, ever asks how I am.

Never.

Even when she calls me and its obvious I am sick; she’ll say in an accusing tone “you sound sick – why aren’t you taking medicine?” HOW do you answer this? With a deep breath and “yeah, I have a cold, I am taking some medicine – thanks”. I mean really – what else can I say?

But don’t get me wrong – she LOVES our little girl; she looks after lil missy every Monday and I can tell she loves it. And when she calls me she DOES sometimes ask about Amira towards the middle/end of the conversation… she’ll even ask about hubby as well (I know right, how the times have changed!) and how she feels she hasn’t seen him in ages.

But not me – and not about what I’m doing or got planned for the day, or if her call is disturbing me from work etc. No, instead my mum jumps strainght into her conversation and wat is frustrating her at this VERY MILLISECOND and that I, as her daughter, her one and only child – the one she raised all by herself MUST stop whatever I am doing and listen, help and fix her issue… even if it is the EXACT same situation she has already told me of 4 times before in the last other 4 converstations (of which I may have provided a solution but that it does not meet her requirements.

Take for example my converstion with her but minutes ago – as soon as I picked up and said salam she was straight into it “remember how I went to the chemist yesterday? Well they didn’t have the medication for my prescription – so I went to another one today and they said only the chemist in Applecross has this – WHAT will I do? I MUST have this medication NOW! Plus I have the problem with the neighbour still! There are 5 cars parked in front of their and my house – it makes it very difficult for me to reverse out – I have a new car, I could have an ACCIDENT! WHAT should I DO? Maybe I call police and they talk to them? They don’t understand – you can’t JUST park in FRONT someone house like that!” do you notice how there are no full stops? Because my mum doesn’t use them – I feel the need to tell you that at this exact moment; whilst I’m on the phone to my mum that my lil missy is screaming her lungs out as I was trying to get her down for her afternoon nap and that I KNOW my mum would’ve been able to hear – but she doesn’t even ask what’s going on… why? Because SHE has an issue and I MUST listen and fix it…

And I’m totally stuck – I completely caught up in her “you have to help me because I am your mother and I do everything for you” only its not that she does everything for me – it’s that once upon a time I was a child and THEN she DID do everything for me. And tr as I may to desperately make her understand that in fact, for the last DECADE or so I HAVE been the one to do everything and that the moment I worked out my mum held over my head the fact she’d done it ‘all for me’ as a single parent (so that I “owed” her) I quickly smartened up and thought that I would rather go without than ask for help as I did not want my ‘list’ of ‘debt’ to get any greater.

What frustrates me and upsets me most of all is that there is no possible resolution in this situation because try as I have to explain things it either falls on deaf ears or she changes the subject or will throw the trump card: “I gave birth to you.” I can’t argue with that… so I stay silent and realise its easier to just go along with her.

But it hurts me.

Then she asks why she looks after missy once a week and my mother in law has her for 2 days (it’s really 1.5 days) – where do I go with that? That I don’t get a bigger a debt with you? That I hate asking you for anything as it is now? That it’s easier with my in laws because they have a stroller/car seat/toys and cot at their house that they’ve set up whereas at my mum she expects/asks/insist that I MUST purchase and leave all these things at her place because she has ‘no money’.

Don’t for one second underestimate my mum – she may seem like she ‘has no money’ and by no means is she ‘rolling in it’ but she is VERY smart with her money! We go out, she’ll suggest we go for lunch and ask me to pick a place that I know she’ll like (see; the way she makes it seem like I’m picking out the place?). Once we get to said place she’ll see what she wants and tell me what I should order for her then sits down… we go to her doctor’s appointment and she wants us to park close to hospital =but she never offers to pay for anything=, she wants to go away and visit family overseas and she’ll tell me how much the ticket is and then say “I’ll get the travel agent to call you and tell you ‘details’” (details = price); even on my birthday when she gets me a ‘gift’ it’s something I KNOW she’s already had at home. But she’ll say she has no money… and then proceeds to buy herself a band NEW car… only AFTER telling me that her friends daughter =allegedly= bought their mother a new car and asked her (the friend) that my mother should ask her daughter (me) to buy her a car. And even with this new car she doesn’t come to visit me on grounds of “it’s too far” because to my mum ANY place that is MORE than a 7 – 10 minutes’ drive away is WAY too far away (FYI: my house 15minutes drive from her place; the same distance it is from my in laws place!)

Don’t get me wrong, I am not resentful about the money; money comes and goes and she IS my mum and she HAS raised me all on her own. More than anything I am upset by the “cumulative-ness” of it all. Of all the expectation without warmth, with the total one-way street with no hesitation, with the fact that I seem to be a call centre officer to her so that all I am is the ‘fixer up-er”.

I am just so very emotionally tired and hurt by it all… but have to silently, stoically keep going and pretend that I am ok with ‘this’…

But she still doesn’t ask: “How are you?”

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Our friend ‘Craig’

Susi and I have this friend – ‘Craig’… but here’s the twist, Craig is a girl! I need to give you that piece of information so you understand that the mistakes this girl makes are innately, insanely and maddeningly female! I think that due to the confusion (regarding her “name”) that I will need to take charge here (sorry Susi) and change her name to Carly… so just so you understand:

Craig is Carly

Craig = Carly

I will (from this moment onwards) be calling Craig, Carly… 

So this Carly chick has some serious issues with finding any sort of silver lining in her clouds… she has faced so many trials (both literally and metaphorically) that if Susi and I wrote out a list of all the things that she has had to face within a year you would shake your heads at us and call us a liar! I kid you not!

 

Her latest escapade has involved a situation with a man called ‘John’ who she met on Facebook (yes, the Facebook hook-up continues!) and they hit it off – fast forward a little bit (two or three days)  and they start email-flirting and then going out. This chick used to be a really good friend of mine… then it all went bad (that’s another post), she is now the ‘friend I keep at a distance’ – more for my own sanity than anything else; anyway, back to the situation at hand… 

She messages me telling me about said ‘wonderful guy’ – I respond saying that I hope it all works out and to take things slow… I tell her to NOT hit fast-forward on this relationship… she calls and we discuss this issue where she explains that when you’re older you no longer want to play games and when you know its right you know its right – that both parties involved are far more honest and therefore relationships have a tendency to progress faster…

 

BULLSHIT!

 

This gal has a problem issue with people giving her advice – she will pretend to listen and then tell you “you don’t understand” because “you haven’t been through all these life experiences” (that she has) because she’s 4-ish years older than Susi and I! Susi has far, far better coping skills than I do… that’s all I’m gonna say about that! I told her that in my experiences listening to my cousins and all the stuff I learnt in psych that the older a guy gets the more fearful he is about the ‘overly keen’ woman – he is used to being on his own and therefore in most cases doesn’t really think he needs a woman… that these older guys are pretty clued up to a woman’s ‘womanly ways’ (read: games) but that the older they are the more cautious, diplomatic, slow and steady you need to take it (seriously, I have stats to prove this point – don’t think I’m making this up)… men do not like change; they work on the adage that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it! Broad statement I know – but so far I have yet to have it proven otherwise (oh, but they exceptions include more than willing to change to a newer, larger, better TV,  new gaming console, smaller, slimmer phone… you catch my drift!) I tell her all this… to which her response is – “well, it’s all good – I know exactly what I’m doing… in fact this weekend we’re going away together!”

 

*sigh* 

Fast forward a few dinners (where I had to hear from Carly her dissection of the situation between the 2 of them and Susi…) and a Halloween party and all this staying over at each other’s houses (are you cringing yet at the speed this relationship is going???) and lo and behold he breaks up with her (total amount of time knowing each other: 2 months)…

 

His break-up conversation with her included lines like:

“… you always seem to have huge issues going on…”

“… I think you need to resolve your issues before you get involved in a relationship”

“… we have different expectations in this relationship”

“… I have a lot of things going on at work – I don’t need the added stress of this relationship”

And the best one of all time: “… I think we need space”

These are all direct lines that she had said he told her…  Ouch!

 

So they broke up… and when I called her to see how she was doing she was taking it pretty bad – she thought this was it; she really liked him – she cared about him, she really wanted to make this work. She knew that she had issues but thought she was getting through them…. she wanted him back!

 

I told her to think about what she really wanted here, that sometimes it is better to just cut your losses and move on. To have some time by herself – she’d had a shit year (total understatement) and that she needed time to rebuild herself.  

So now it has been nearly 2 weeks from said break-up. She emails me saying that she misses him and wants me to help get him back… I put on my psychologists hat (while thinking: caution, ice-berg ahead) and tell her to not go there unless she really wants him back for the right reasons. I ask her what she misses in him (ahem, except the obvious!)

She responds with:

I miss his friendship – I don’t want him back.

He had told me in the last few weeks of our relationship

that he no longer found me sexually attractive.

I just miss the friendship.

 

Oooohh, none are so blind as those who do not wish to see… or something along those lines! She continues to tell me that she wants to send him an email – just to say hi offcourse… I give the necessary quick precautions: do NOT send him something long and do not force a response. If he does not reply leave it.  

Oh dear readers – why oh why must some girls insist on prolonging the pain? Do you think he responded to the email right away? Hhheeellll no! Finally, two days later (today) he responds:

 

Hi Carly, 

No, I’ve never said that I respond to personal emails that way. I’m not mad at you for returning the box.

 

I am keeping distance from you because clearly your feelings haven’t changed, and it’s impossible to be just friends at the moment. Maybe in a few months – not days we may end up as friends, but right now you’re making the same old impatient mistakes and I need to give you time to work through your feelings yourself. 

Take care of you and your dog.

 

Well – needless to say – (double) OUCH!

Clearly her orinigal email to him was slightly more than “hope you’re doing well” – I wonder if this is why she chose to not tell me about it??? 

If she had told me about this email before she responded I would have told her to leave it – to not respond! Or if she had to, to limit herself to half the number of lines he had emailed her… and so when she sent me her response I read it… oh the cringe factor…

 

Hi John 

I can see where you’re coming from and why you’d see things that way. 

We were more friends and that is what I miss my friend. I’m not looking to get back together with you. That is done and dusted. The magic stuff is gone. I am resilient I accept and have even moved on. I am going out this weekend! Once I actually split its final.

 

 We had not gotten serious I really care about you but I do know the difference between that and being in love. I’m more upset over losing you as my friend. My friends are my family – my everything.  

Boyfriends come and go but friends are for always (stupid staying but true for me)

 

And months to a dog is years 

*sigh* 

Where does one go with this? Where oh where?