Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's not, wait, it is you

I have this cheerful post started about Paris and all the chocolate and pastries I'm searching out and my attempts to make sure I see and eat all the good things here before I leave…and the nice French people I met while I was out having dinner alone last night.

I'd like to write about that, but, instead, I have to ask, why does my mother hate me?

Tonight, I called her. I called her about a week ago, when I got back from my adventure with Kent. She'd sent at least one cryptic email while I was abroad and I knew, just from the tone, that she was not pleased with me. The last real conversation we'd had was one where she was angry with me for not staying in touch. So, I thought, calling her in a fairly timely fashion would please her. Plus, I was making the effort…that's good, right?

Wrong. As soon as she answered the phone, I could tell something was off. She wasn't happy that I called. Maybe she's just not happy at all right now, that's always a possibility with her. I asked what was going on, she told me a little. She seemed to perk up a bit. She asked me about Kent. When I answered, she got silent and said, "I don't understand. Let's talk about something else."

I said, "What don't you understand? Maybe I can explain it."

"No. It's not that. No."

"What's the problem?" I said. "Is there a problem?"

She said, "You know, my world doesn't revolve around you."

"I don't think that. I started the conversation asking about you, I hope you noticed. I could tell right away there was a problem. [Aside, I don't know how much of her problem with me has to do with Kent. Likely very little since she's said things like this to me many times and it's not man-related.] Maybe you can tell me what's wrong?"

Mom said, "It's that…I don't know if I want to do this."

"Do what?"

Apparently, the answer to that is to have a relationship with me. Oy vey. How many times are we going to go down this road? I asked what she wanted. She said someone who would be civil to her and sincerely wanted to spend time with her. I took offense at that and then she gave one example of when I "yelled and screamed" when we last saw each other (a complete exaggeration, but I will admit I lost my temper). The problem is that I was "out of control" a few (??) times. I felt blindsided by this because she was recalling an incident from our trip to Paris together back in April.

You know, if she had a problem with something I did back in April, it would have been nice if she'd talked to me about it then. I know I apologized at the time and I'm even pretty sure we discussed it. I'm not inclined to apologize anymore. Enough.

I finally said, "You're over involved and I can't do it this way anymore."

She agreed but added, "It's a two sided thing."

I said, "I don't see how your over involvement is my doing."

"Maybe you're encouraging it. Maybe it's something you want."

I said I certainly wasn't encouraging it and that I knew I didn't want it. I was getting really angry by then (no yelling or screaming, though!) and I said, "You know, you do win for the number of times of being out of control in this relationship, that's for sure."

She started to say something else but I knew I would start yelling if I stayed on the phone any longer, so I said, "I have to go now" and hung up. Ah, good, more reason for her to hate me, decide to stop having a relationship with me and evidence that I'm out of control. Awesome.

I tried to call Amanda, Pele and Audrey. No one answered--people have lives. I'm very sad now but maybe I should be happy? Every time I try to please her, it fails. It backfires. It's sad because the last conversation we had was friendly and good and I was hoping we were back on an even keel. I'm tired of her moodiness and how she's always taking it out on me. How she demands that I stay in touch because she's worried about me but then isn't pleased when I make an effort. I wonder, is she depressed? Am I missing something? Have I been that bad? Is it the boyfriend thing? Dammit. I was a little lonely today and hoping for a nice chat with my mother. Where is she when I need her?

Grateful for: separation.

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