While i was away…

My mum came into my office to see me on Friday 30/04/2010 (I left Friday afternoon but had taken the Thursday off to pack and make sure that all things like holiday insurance, etc were sorted!). I spoke to her on the Saturday to tell her that I was away – to NO avail! Upon trying to tell her she cut me off telling me that she did not want to hear anything that would make her have a car accident (as she was in the car). so I didn’t tell her…

The first week went by and I called her on the Wednesday as apparently she had come into my office on the Tuesday to give me my early birthday present. I told that although I was thankful that she had gotten me something, that all I had wanted (as I had previously told her) was for her to finally accept my decision and accept Mr A. She responded with her usual reference to satan (aka Mr A) and not accepting him. I got off the phone to her and told Mr A that I had still not told her –  he called me chicken poo and told me that I needed to call her back and just tell her…

I called a few days later – mother’s day evening (from outside Discovery Mall, Bali) and listened to her tell me about her problems, what she needed and what I must do for her when I come over, about her doctor’s appointment in July, about how no one had come to visit her on mother’s day, etc – I cut her off and told her that I could not talk to her for very long as the call would cost a small fortune from Bali and that I WAS calling to wish her a happy mother’s day.

I then had to hear her go on about how she thought I was going to Jakarta – I told that I had said to her that Mr A and I were intending to go to Indonesia, I never stated which part! She then went on (and on) about how Bali is predominantly not Muslim and why would I go to where there are no Muslims? I told her that there were Muslims everywhere; that a lot of Muslims come to Bali – that in fact she used to live there! She commented that thi was before she went for haj and that I should know better – that who knows what food I was eating. I said to her that I think she forgets that I speak nearly fluent Indonesian and that I know exactly what meat we are eating! I told her AGAIN that I had previously already told her to stop coming into my office as it undermines my professionalism and makes me looks bad. I got off the phone feeling terrible, frustrated and annoyed and wanting to take photos of the many Hijabi’s and Arabs I saw and send copies of them all to my mum.

I heard nothing from her on my second week.

I didn’t call her at all…

I returned (to Aussie-land) on Friday afternoon and did not tell her.

I spent all weekend doing my own thing and was blissfully happy at the fact that I did not have one single missed call from her (I normally have her call me often) – that when my phone did ring I wasn’t all anxious or distraught about the imminent guilt trip my mm would dish out to me.

I returned to work on Monday and discover that my mum (after talking to me and finding out that I was in Bali) had come into my office 2 more times; one of which was on Thursday to find out when I was coming back – the guy on reception did not know and told her that he was not sure when I was returning.

The irony is that on Sunday Mr A and I sat on the sofa watching a DVD with him telling me that maybe I should visit my mum – tell her that I’ve come back and that I’m ok. The shocking thing is that even after being away from her and not going to see her since January (aside from the times she has seen in my office) I don’t want to see her. I am not angry with her, not at all. I am just tired of it all… SO beyond tired of the repetitive crap that she keeps giving me; the same comments, the same tears and the same emotional intensity that makes me want to move across the country/change jobs/change my number, etc.

But even in saying/writing the above paragraph there is another part of me that wonders why I haven’t heard from her in about a week. A part of me that says a prayer for her hoping that she is ok and hoping that Allah opens her heart to accepting me as I am and the decisions that I have made. And then there is this part of me that wants to call her – not to have a conversation with her as I know that that is unlikely but rather just to hear her voice (sans lamentations) just to know that she’s ok.

But THEN I am overcome with curiosity and against my better judgement I read the birthday card she gave me. Why do I bother? Sentences not particularly worth mentioning include:

“So sad that someone forgot my birthday last time or not ring me – maybe not allowed to send me anything – I know Satan is very strong in your place”

Numerous references to about me and “latnatallah” (it’s a muslim thing that I cannot really explain)

“what you are doing is a big sin and Allah will teach you a lesson”

Comments about how she will be patient and wait for me to come home as God loves those that are patient

That she is my real mother and cannot believe that I am doing this and why won’t I just come home?

Mum had also included some story about how some friend of mine (when I was 14; she was 17 and had a car) took me out and we went to Fremantle and to the beach and that when we came back home late she was really angry/upset and told me that I was not allowed to talk to her anymore and how now look at her life? How she is still single (as far as mum knows) and that she cannot be happy as she lives away from parents etc.

Really – why do I bother? What else can I do to make this stop? I am really beginning to get tired of this; I am beyond frustrated of all of this… I don’t know what else to do – worst yet is that I am baffled by how she seems to still have this way of getting to me? of making me question what I am doing… and with each word that I read and morosely re-read I feel numb, more empty and more resolute at my not wanting to see her. I just want to keep walking; I want to move – I want her to move.

I tried… whilst I was away I told her that we were thinking of coming back to Indonesia in January; that she could go to Jakarta if she liked… she said that she wanted to go to Jakarta in January as long as I went with her… I told her that if she went then that we would visit her – she said she didn’t care about anyone else and that she just wanted to go with me.

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When is enough enough?

So I think this afternoon is it – mum has been back since Sunday and although I haven’t seen her since then I have gotten to the point where I have no idea where else to go to from here.

I drove home from mum’s place and had to have a little stop off at the end of a (and dark) quiet cul-de-sac so I could have a little cry. I don’t even really know how to explain it all – maybe its because I haven’t had to deal with her antics for the last 4 and a bit months, or maybe its because I am PMSing or perhaps its just I have gotten to the end of my tether… but I don’t think I can talk to her anymore.

It just seems so selfish – that I am meant to do things for her, take her to appointments, fill out forms for her, buy things for her, run errands for her and essentially be the husband… AS LONG AS I DON’T talk about what’s happening in my life. Its not even a case where I just don’t mention Mr A; its knowing that I get judged for everything; knowing that everything I could say will be under such intense scrutiny that I just don’t say anything at all… so that at the end of the day our conversations revolve around her and I am baffled that she doesn’t even seem to ask about what is happening in my life?

It’s mum’s birthday on new years eve and Mr A and I discussed that it was seriously about time she acknowledged that we – the 3 of us were a family. And that maybe we could all go out to dinner at a place my mum would like… The Prophet in Victoria Park. Now if I had my way I would just turn up on the evening of said birthday dinner with Mr A in tow and pick up mum and see if there are any explosions and then go from there. But Mr A thought that that wasn’t fair – that I should tell my mum what we are doing.

So today my mum called me and told me that I had to come over before Zumba class and fill in some forms for her. She didn’t ask – she just told me that they needed to be returned tomorrow so she would need to be there sometime tonight. Anyway; since I had her on the phone and I was remembering that I seriously needed to book a table I mentioned her birthday:

Me: Since I have you on the phone mum, I want to talk to you about dinner for your birthday? The 2 of us were thinking we could go to The Prophet? Just the 3 of us?

Mum: I am not talking to you bout this anymore – remember when you talk his name to me at your Aunty’s house? You know I feel down then; because you talk about him I fall down. I don’t want to go anywhere with anyone I’m not agree with. I don’t want to talk about anyone I’m not agreeing with.

Me: You can’t be like this all the time mum – this is mad! We’re a family!

Mum: no – only 2 people in this family; me and you!

Me: mum, I know that me and you are a family; but now he’s part of my family – so he’s part of your family.

Mum: no – we talk abut this when you come fill in the form for me.

Me: fine – and we WILL talk about it mum. I am tired of the way you are acting about this and if you want to be like this after tonight – after we talk about this; then after I fill in the forms I’m not going to talk to you or see you for awhile. I can’t keep doing this mum, I’m serious here.

And that’s it… I guess we’ll see what happens then. But I will say that I mean every word of it… I just don’t see any other option… the irony is the reason that I kept holding onto for SO long was because Mr A kept telling me to go back, keeps telling me to call her, keeps telling me to try again… ironic isn’t it? That she can’t STAND the thought of hearing his name and yet he is the very reason why I keep some pretence of communication with her!

PS> I do NOT think my mum fell based on hearing me mention Mr A’s name – if she had I am certain my aunt would have called to see what on earth I had said to her!

Mum’s trip = my holiday

I’ve planned mum’s trip and told her the details… and gotten into an argument with her about what I will be doing whilst she is away.

Apparently I am not meant to do anything that will kill her; when I asked her to explain what she was talking about she said that I am not stupid and that I know what would kill her.

Then in the same conversation she tells me about this lady she had made friends with who apparently has a good looking son and that this lady thought my photo looked lovely and that they should set us up… what the??? I told mum that I was not interested in getting ‘set up’ as I already have a fiancé and that I didn’t remember reading that women were allowed to have 4 husbands (otherwise I would be more than happy to oblige her!). Well – as you can imagine that little joke went down like a lead balloon!

I told mum that whatever decision I was making and intended to make in the very not too distant future that I hope to do so before Ramadan and that contrary to her belief she was not dying (although in saying that aren’t we all essentially dying?) and that she would not be having a heart attack.

I told her that her going overseas was NOT me wanting to do ‘stuff’ behind her back but rather that I was tired of her going on (and on and on and on and on and ON) about being lonely and that she had no-one and that the house was scary because it was quiet and that she would die alone because I wasn’t there, that when I was growing p she never left me alone and now she could not believe what I was doing, etc. so that essentially sending her OS worked on numerous levels:

A) She won’t be alone (as there will always be someone at my uncles place; he has 4 young children + his wife, my aunt is currently there; my cousin and his 6 kids + wife are coming to visit from Doha (Qatar) and that failing all those people there is the maid)

B) She will be insanely close to the mosque so she can come and go as she pleases

C) She will be close to her friends and family

D) She will be far enough away from me that I will actually miss her enough to want to look after her and make sure she’s ok

E) I will not have her giving me 15 missed calls to tell me something really ‘important’ when really it’s not that important as clearly I was not in a car accident that you saw in the news because the accident happened at 12.30pm and I would have been at work (the other details included that the accident happened over east and I am in Western Australia and that none of the cars involved were red or my make/model type!)

F) That I will not feel guilty during the month of Ramadan that my mum will be having sahur (eating before sunrise) and footoor (opening fast just after sunset) by herself as I must admit that when I think about it I do feel terrible about that!

G) When Eid rolls around I will be comfortable in going to the mosque with Mr A as apparently my mum did not want him to come with us (although now she is taking it back saying that she said no such thing and that if Mr A wanted to go to the mosque he has a car to drive himself and that why would he be going to the same mosque as both of us when there are other mosques available to him?).

Hmm – I wonder what she’ll be thinking/saying/screaming/crying when I tell her about me heading off to Melbourne?

Thankful

I am sometimes reminded how lucky I am to have Mr A in my life.

I am sometimes reminded how much I may want to slap him across the head for his idiocy sometimes or throw something at him… and then he’ll do something sweet and I will be left baffled, awed and amazed by him!

So what happened you ask?

Last night I’m having dinner with Mr A and his family – we finish dinner with Mr A saying that he’ll clean up (because his mum cooked). I am standing there helping him clear away the dishes when he tells me to sit down and relax and watch some TV.

I normally give my mum a call at about 6ish; letting her know that I’ve finished work, having a chat with her about her day, etc. On a Monday and Thursday my mum is fasting so I will generally call her at 8pm (so she can eat in peace and enjoy her food). So last night I called her at 6pm and her phone went straight to voicemail; which is seriously odd for my mum as she never turns off her phone. I try again every few minutes then again after dinner and then again just before 8pm. Each time I am becoming slightly more anxious (but totally trying to hide it) and each time all I get is her voicemail which tells me that the phone isn’t even on.

I go to see Mr A in the kitchen who is clanging pots and pans as apparently he’s had a little ‘disagreement’ with his mum (I swear those 2 are so similar they are always butting heads!) and is mumbling stuff under his breath – he looks over to me and even though I am pretending everything is totally fine and I am so not worried he takes one look at the smile on my face, looks me in the eyes and says; “what’s wrong?”

Me: nothing.

Mr A: crap! Just tell me what’s wrong…

Me: nothing – I just tried to call mum for the last 2 hours and I can’t get through – its like her phone isn’t even on. It just goes to voicemail.

Mr A:  maybe she switched it off?

Me: she doesn’t know how to; it’s a new phone and she normally never has her phone off.

Mr A: …. Ok (* putting down tea towel as he was drying dishes*); pop your shoes on – lets go.

Me: what? Where?

Mr A: We’ll go for a drive and see if she’s ok; come on.

At this point I am telling him not to worry, that I’m sure she’s fine (although inside I am hoping that she’s fine – it doesn’t help that a week ago my mum was telling me that if she were to pass out or fall in the house no one would know that she would be bleeding to death with no one to help her… I know – melodramatic much?). Mr A is telling me that he is 99.95% sure my mum is totally ok and that there is some logical reason but that he’d rather I would definitely know that be wondering the rest of the evening. So we get into the car and drive over to mums – it’s a 25 minute drive (its not far but it’s not exactly down the road!).

I get to the house and the lights are off; I walk in and she’s not there – I look around the whole house and her handbag’s gone, her mobiles not there and there is a cooked meal on the stove that is cooling (its still warm to touch), her car is there (she doesn’t like to drive at night) and all seems in order – so I leave a note asking mum to call as soon as she gets it. Mr A tells me to see if the house keys are there; they’re not. At this point I’m pretty happy that mum is ok and probably sleeping at a friends house – we drive back; Mr A telling me that I should go to her friends house because at least I would definitely know one way or the other…

So we’re now on the way to her friend’s house (Mr A is telling me that I should get their mobile number in case this sort of thing happens again) – we are less than 2 minutes away when my mum calls!

Me: where are you? I’ve been trying to call you!

Mum: I’m at Dina’s house; I came here after afternoon prayer and didn’t realize that it was already dark and she asked me to stay over…

Me: but I normally call you at 6; didn’t you wonder where I was?

Mum: yes – but then something happen to my phone; maybe battery finished… and I didn’t know what to do.

Me: well you’re phone is working now?

Mum: because Dina’s mum has a Nokia also…

Me: ok… well, me and Mr A drove all the way to the house to see if you were ok.. .he told me that I should check up on you and make sure… I left a note on the kitchen table.

Mum: you came to the house – did Mr A come inside the house?

Me: oh my god – surely that doesn’t matter? Who cares; he knew that I would be worried about you and wanted to come just in case.

Mum: so he didn’t come into house right?

Me: look, you’re ok Alhumdullilah; have a good night and I will see you tomorrow for dinner after work; goodnight, I love you

Mum: I always love you

*I hang up*

Mr A: you looked like you were about to cry talking to her – is she ok?

Me: yeah – I’m ok… she’s ok…

Mr A: what did she sau when you said that I drove you over to check up on her?

Me: nothing – I think she was just surprised that we came over…

I mean what am I meant to say? That she was more curious as to whether I let a man into the house? I know even know why she would care if he was or wasn’t in the house… I mean really… where do I go with this?

*sigh*

I really need to get her overseas so it is one less thing for me to worry about!

What’s an emergency anyway?

My mum called me today at work – she does this every once in awhile; calling on my mobile. While I lived with her I would wait until I got home and then talk to her about the fact that when I am at work I am at work and that she should only call me if it is an emergency. Since I have departed that residence I am trying to show her that though I am not physically there that our relationship will be all the better for it. So when she called me today while I was at lunch I decided to call her back – I mean, it could be something important right?

Me: Sorry I missed your call – what’s up? Is everything ok?

Mum: It was raining really heavily before….

Me: Yeah – it’s raining here too (thinking: well, we are in the same bloody state!)… Is everything ok? (trying to get to a point where I can see if this call is emergency related)

Mum: I was scared because of the big rain – I took aunty XXX home before and now I am at YY’s house… I am fasting today.

Me: So nothing major is happening right? There’s no emergency?

Mum: well, I am scared because of how heavy the rain is and I am fasting today… so come back home tonight so I’m not scared.

Me: mum, I’ve told you that unless it’s an emergency that you can’t just call me over things like this when I am at work… I’ll call you later.

And the frustration continues!

I don’t know why I bother sometimes – I mean really, I should just ignore her calls and then call her later once I have finished work because I will say that NONE of her calls made during work hours have been emergency related! But I live in fear that one of the days I totally ignore her calls there will be an emergency and I really will be the terrible daughter!

So far the rationale behind her calls made to me at work in the last few months (that I can remember) have been because of the following:

“I am bored… what are you doing?” 

“Aunty XX invited me and you to dinner – so after you come home we go to her house…” 

“You think its ok for me to cut my hair next week instead of tomorrow?” (Can I just mention at this point how maddening this question is because she wears a scarf/hijab… no one would even see if she had or had not cut her hair! This line of questioning is redundant!) 

“What time will you finish work today?” (Again this is a lame reason to call – I work Monday to Friday with the exact same working hours every day…)

“… Don’t forget to pay the bill…” (I wish!) 

“you know what happened today? I went for a walk and then -” (I generally will cut her off and ask ‘is this important?’ or ‘can this wait until I get see you tonight?’ in which case she gets all “huffy” and I get off the phone with her!) 

“I went to the shops just before and I bought the wrong thing… do you think I should return it?” 

“I am at the shopping centre and I locked keys in the car – what should I do?” (hmm – call the RAC – that’s why you’ve paid for road-side assistance). When I told her to call them you know what she said? “Can you call them for me because my mobile phone bill is too high and I just called you…” (cue: internal desire to scream) 

There are a few more instances but I cannot remember them at this point… once upon a time I was stupid, naïve, gullible innocent enough to give her my extension number at my previous employment (never again my friends! Consider it lesson learned!) to which I told her to use when there was an emergency and she needed to get in touch with me. Imagine my frustration when to her the emergency was whether or not she should get a fringe or not!!!!

A fringe!!!!

I turned on my most ‘calm before the storm’ tone and asked the following questions with utter seriousness:

Is the house on fire? (She said “no”)

Has the house flooded? (She said “no?”)

Has there been an electric fault? (She said “no”)

Did you leave the stove on or are broken down on the side of the freeway? (She said “no”)

Have we been robbed? (She said “no”)

Have you been arrested? (She said “no!”)

“Then Mum (*speaking firmly*); I love you but this is not an emergency… I will talk to you later!”

*hang up*

Quick funny Mr A moment

Claire (from work) was reading about things about blood type which made me curious about what blood type Mr A is. So I sent him a quick email saying: “hope your day is going well – just wanted to ask what blood type you are?”

 

His answer?

“Greek”

 

 

Bless!

Where do I go with this?

Motherly Murmurs (Part 8 & 9)

My mum has unknowingly given me carte blanche to do whatever I want without telling her!

 

On Saturday day I had to get something from Sportsgirl (female clothing chain store) that I intended to wear that night. I told mum that I had to get into there and that I knew what size and what I wanted so it would only take a few minutes & not interfere with the things she wanted me to do. Her response was:

“its ok – if you need we’ll go but if you’re doing something that will kill me… that will be you taking a knife to my heart don’t tell me… if you want to do something just to kill me don’t tell me.”

 

Well isn’t that wonderful? I can essentially now do whatever I want and just not tell her!

 

& then the next day:

Mum: remember when you were 13 I met this man & started seeing him? Remember you told me that you didn’t really like him?

Me: um… I guess so…

Mum: well, I ended things with him because I knew that you didn’t like him & because I love you & you are the most important thing to me I did correct thing & ended things with him. Now…. I not happy with Mr A you must do correct thing and end it with him ok?

Me: mum you had only known him for a few months and it was your decision to end it… I didn’t tell you –

Mum: *Walking Away* Just do the correct thing – make your mother happy & give me good news. You must fix problem now… I’m tired of living with you always saying or doing things to hurt me.

 

 

I mean really – is it MY fault that she decided to listen to some angst-ridden 13 year old who was a bit of a loner? Really? I mean come on…. meanwhile does she seriously think that I’d break up with him and then suddenly I’d have this splendid relationship with her… as though none of this – all the berating, the put-downs, the toxicity that was there LONG before Mr A would just suddenly not be there? Little does she know that if it wasn’t for Mr A I would have left “home” more than some time ago & maintained contact with her to a required minimum + monthly cash deposits into her account.

 

Meanwhile she does have a point – the problem does need to be fixed soon.  So what am I doing to fix things? Recommencing the collection of necessary clothing to my car & the slow movement of clothing to Mr A’s parent’s house… I CANNOT take much more of this… plus at least this way I can’t say or do anything to hurt her when I’m not there can I?

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