Mama Drama, part… 50?

November 8, 2012 at 10:03 am | Posted in NaBloPoMo, Stuck with You (aka: Family), Stuff Outta My Head | 9 Comments

So the whole drama with my mother has been wearing on me.

Lucky wrote his FIRST SENTENCE, with me only sounding out the phonetics of the letters, on a card meant for her. I have yet to get a response from her.

Nor has Charlie heard from my dad since he emailed him, at work, to tell him about my miscarriage and resulting D&E.

I can tell you the discussions that’s happened in my parents’ house. My father tells my mother, Charlie Brown emailed me. Serenity had a miscarriage and surgery.

My mother’s response: I don’t care if she had to have a foot amputated. There is NO excuse for the way she treated me and I’m not calling her until she apologizes.

Which is why I haven’t heard from them, I’m certain.

And right now, I want to laugh from the sheer absurdity of it all. My mother will not talk to me until I apologize? Over a stupid phone call? She’s willing to walk away from a relationship with me, her son in law, and her grandson because she didn’t like what I had to say – no, wait, the WAY I SAID IT?

Seriously? Is this happening?

I very nearly called her yesterday. My plan was to ask, Are we really DOING this, Mom? Because it seems pretty ridiculous to stop talking because of a phone call.

But then I thought through it. One of the things my mother might do is lecture me on how hard it is on HER to have surgery, deal with all the recovery crap and physical therapy and whatnot. And how she has such bad allergies, and can’t travel. And that will make me angry, because honestly, her shit isn’t that bad.

I have a son who has life-threatening allergies, where we’ve ended up in the Emergency Room. TWICE this year. I had a miscarriage and D&E, which by the way, was surgery. And we’re traveling.

Can I keep my cool when listening to her woes? Not sure I can.

I’ve been thinking about our relationship and what I want from my mother. Because I know I’ll never get what I really WANT – someone who actually thinks about ME and asks about me. Someone who cares about me, as a person, and what makes me tick.

It’s not that my mom is a bad person. She just can’t see past herself to look at others, to really care about others. Her world is myopically focused on herself. Her health “issues.” The weather in Texas and the things SHE likes to do.

That’s the reality of our relationship. And I’ve known this for years.

So why can’t I accept it? Why can’t I smile and nod when she talks? Why can’t I humor her, like everyone else does?

I don’t know.

I want a relationship with her for my son. My grandfather was the light of my life when I was a child. My parents are really, really good grandparents. Restricting Lucky’s access to his grandparents because I’m pissed off that my mother is selfish doesn’t FEEL right to me.

Which means I HAVE to humor her. Accept that she’s selfish, and will never travel to us, and that if I want Lucky to have a relationship with his Texas grandparents, it’s going to be work. For me.

With that in mind, I just drafted an email to her.

Hey, Mom.

It struck me yesterday, on the way home from work, that this whole situation is really kind of ridiculous. Are we really doing this – not speaking because of a telephone conversation?

I am sorry if you felt like I was yelling at you. It was not my intention to yell. I admit: I struggle a lot with the fact that you and Dad live really far away and don’t like to travel much. It hurts to hear that you won’t come to Massachusetts because the weather is never good enough for you, and I was looking at the Christmas thing as yet another reason not to travel. Which isn’t fair, because I know that surgery is hard and you NEEDED to get it done.

I also had some things going on with me. We’ve spent the past 2 years trying for another baby, which for us requires surgeries and doctors, because we need in-vitro fertilization (apparently many) to get pregnant. I finally got pregnant about a month ago, which turned out not to be viable. Our conversation happened in the midst of the waiting to find out if it was viable and then to finally miscarry. There was a lot of emotion not related to you in there.

I love you and Dad both, and I very much want a relationship with you. The irony of this whole thing is that I’m frustrated because I’d like to see you both MORE than we do. And I really would like for this whole thing to be over, if you’re willing.

Anyway. I’m working from home today if you want to talk.

Love you.



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  1. Wow, that email is WAY nicer than is be willing or able to send to your mother. You are a much bigger person than I. I hope things between you two get better and that they do so without you conceding to much to your mother. Good luck.

  2. You’re much kinder than I am. My mother and I are similar to you and your mother. There just isn’t much there – all she cares about is her SMALL little world in the small city they live in (where they seem to be big fish – which makes her very happy). I find out from my sister if my mom is having a silent war with me, or not, over something I said 6 months ago. It’s unreal. Like you, I don’t miss her for me – but I miss her for my son. But – it’s not ever going to change for my mom and me.

    I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this. Your parents should ALWAYS acknowledge your pain (like a MC) no matter what crap is going on behind the curtain. I am just appalled that no one has contacted you about your miscarriage and D&E. Selfish. There is no other word.

  3. Ok, so I’m going to talk about this in terms of my mom, since I don’t know yours and while I think there are a lot of similarities, I don’t think it’s fair to make your mom out to be the same person mine is.

    That said, my mom is incredibly selfish. Everything that happens she processes in terms of how it affects her. I never ever heard from either of my parents after my D&C, and they’ve never once brought it up. They didn’t visit for over 2 years. My own mother refused to come up (and mine only live in So Cal and we live in Nor Cal) after I almost died in childbirth and had twin infants at home. We had a hugely awful visit with them at the end of which I almost completely cut them off.

    Like you, I wanted my kids to have a relationship with my parents, whatever shape that takes. They aren’t the greatest grandparents, and that is really hard for me to take. But I didn’t feel like it was my place, in the absence of them actually hurting the kids, to keep them away.

    But here’s the thing. I could never send an email like you wrote. Because it would trigger a whole downward spiral of crying and blame. And I agree with Esperanza, you’ve been WAY nicer than I would be, and I think you’re making concessions where, as a friend, I’d say you’re letting her off the hook way too much. But as someone who knows how difficult it is to manage this kind of relationship with your mom, I know that sometimes those concessions are necessary.

    What I’ve learned with my mom, is that I have to accept not only that the relationship with her will never be what I want for myself or my kids, but also that she’s never going to validate me in the way that I need. She’s never going to acknowledge what we’ve been through from an infertility standpoint, she’s never going to be a participant in our relationship as a support person in my life. I’m never going to be the person who says I got through something because my parents were there. Accepting the relationship on those terms is difficult, because it means interacting with them knowing that if they weren’t my parents, I would have cut them out of my life a long time ago.

    I hope, for yours and for Lucky’s sakes, that your mom comes around. It is possible. And I hope that whatever happens, however it plays out, that you find some peace in whatever it ends up being. That, for me, has been the hardest.

    I’ll be thinking of you and hoping your moms reply is the step toward healing. Either way, I’m here to vent to if you need.

  4. When J was first learning to walk, I bumped into him once and knocked him over. He started crying and held up his arms for me to pick him up. I commented to my mom, “isn’t it funny how, even when I’m the one who knocked him over, he still wants ME to comfort him?” And my mom said, “think about how abused children feel!” That really stuck with me, the analogy: no matter how much some parents hurt their kids, it’s human nature to keep going back to those same parents looking for validation and support. Sometimes even if your mom is the one who knocked you over, she’s the one you want to reassure you & pick you back up. Even if it’s never worked out that way & never will. It is sad, and I don’t know how to fix it.

    That said, my mom had a difficult relationship with her own mom, and she said it did make her feel better to see what a wonderful grandmother her mom was. It helped her put some of the bad experience behind her. I feel similarly about my dad, who was difficult for me to grow up with but is great at having an adult relationship with his kids and has such a close relationship with K. It helps me, not forgive exactly, but move on from my high school experiences. I hope that seeing Lucky develop a relationship with your parents can provide some of that for you, too. It’s just too bad it requires such a commitment, since they’re so far away. 😦

    • Interesting, because AS an abused child all I ever wanted was to get as far away from my grandmother (The abuser) as possible. When I was 18 I refused to ever speak to her again. I stopped having contact- which my father (her son) couldn’t understand (it was years before I could speak of the abuse) and while everyone understood she is a horrid, awful person to be around my vehement reaction to refusing to have contact, seemed like an “overreaction.” Until I went through enough therapy to be able to talk about the 18 years she brutally abused me, molested me, threatened me, The first time I truly felt safe in my life I was in my 30’s when she died, and that was after hiding from her for 15 years.

      • Chris, though my mother wasn’t an abuser like your grandmother was (though I often wonder if she crossed the line into abuse sometimes, but it wasn’t a constant awful thing), I can tell you that my sister and I have very different reactions about our childhood.

        She asked me yesterday if I had found a replacement mother figure in my life, since clearly our mother isn’t capable of being that for either one of us, and it was nice to have someone to mother her. My response? I don’t need a mother. I’m fine on my own, thanks.

        Just interesting how different people respond. I’d have done the same thing you did, and I’m so sorry you had to suffer for so many years.


  5. I hope this is the beginning of palatable resolution and I hope reaching out made you feel better regardless of how she responds.

    The only thing I will add is that your mother’s relationship with your son is up to her. While you may think that because it he is young it is up to you to negotiate a relationship with her for him, it ultimately only works if your mother decides what she wants it to be and puts forth effort in that direction. I worry that you (and Lucky) are going to be disappointed if you don’t come at it from that angle. Yes, you can appease her and tolerate her on his behalf, but you can’t manufacture their relationship.

    I hope she responds positively and that you can mend fences.

    • Agreed, fully. It’s less about negotiating a relationship with her grandson and more about allowing her access to him (and to him of her). At the end of the day, I can’t change her OR create a relationship for Lucky with her. But if I’m not talking with her because I can’t accept her for who she is, then he doesn’t get a chance to have a relationship with her, because he’ll never get to see her, since we have to travel. Tolerating her and appeasing her at this point means he’ll be able to see them and create his own relationship with my parents, to the extend my mother is willing to do that as well.

      The good news is that she is a really good grandmother. She is not a good mother. And that’s the reality and I need to accept it.

  6. What you are willing to do in order for Lucky to have a relationship with his grandmother is beyond words. I hope Lucky gets to develop a wonderful relationship with your mom that he will treasure throughout his life. And when he can better understand the complexity of relationships, he will also one day understand what you did in order for him to have that relationship.

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