Thursday, March 27, 2008

On a theme or two

Even when I try to knock some out in advance, these two posts a day are killing me. I thought one was bad.

Today's bonus fill in is entitled Today was Progreso. It provides a lot more detail and variety than yesterday's, which will be beefed up once I get the underwater cameras developed. I think the Progreso post especially shows how much I enjoy and respect ancient cultures and traditions.

Progreso has so little written about it that when I was researching more for today's delayed post, my mere mention of it once came up near the top 10 on Google.

My appointment yesterday did wonders.

For example, I know I am not off base that I am chagrined/mortified/anxious/angry/put out about her videoing me getting back on the boat after snorkeling. Per her request, I had just showed her the day before how to use the video feature; I had no idea the skill would be a weapon. When she panned through pictures later that day, I saw it and politely asked her to delete it. She said she wouldn't. The next day, during the cowboy show, her camera filled up, her saying it probably happened because of the videos. I laughed and suggested she delete that video of me for the room on her card, but she declined again; she'd rather have no additional pictures on the cruise. It makes me feel that she has some purpose for it.

My therapist felt very strongly about it, how inappropriate it was to do in the first place. She said that, besides supermodels, very few women want to be videoed like that; it's not just my paranoia about my weight. How would you react if you were less than clothed and videoed without your consent? Then, if you found out about it, you were told twice it wouldn't be deleted? Gosh, I wish I'd gotten my hands on that camera. Before last week when I taught her, she didn't even know how to delete anything. And, as I'd mentioned, the camera contained pictures of her dog who died in Nov 06, because she didn't know how to download. And, yet, she in her ignorance has all the power.

See, my sister and I know we cannot tell her anything without it becoming her source of conversation around the office and with her "friends." We are the fodder for her attention-seeking. I've known it since I was a child as I kept my cards very close to my vest. She knows little about my life and it is that way on purpose. She sees me as an extension of herself, in part, that her rules rule. My desires don't matter, are considered frivolous. I remember during my college breaks her volunteering me to babysit for her friends so she could go out; my plans, even as an adult, didn't matter. In her desperation for conversation, she would have two hour gab fests in KMart with unsuspecting acquaintances, my teenaged sister and I waiting and not allowed to wander - so.many.times. I remember being in elementary school and being sick with asthma and allergies all the time; she was at home, but on the phone constantly and the school could never reach her to tell her I was ill. She has such voids within herself that she most go elsewhere to try to fill and it is at no one else's convenience.

Being an extension of her of the low self-esteem makes her value me less, too. I even saw it with J when she cut him off when he called her after we landed Sunday; she was on her way to church with her aunt and cousins, people she respects, and hearing from J that we'd gotten home didn't hold up. She didn't even try to call him back later. I know she has painted me a bitch to her cousins and aunt and then it'll go to the rest of the family. Considering they didn't even know my last name, I'm not a very strong member of the family anyway, but I'd rather my mother's mouth not make it worse.

I remember after I got married what the sense of family was, how ex's mother was, how he and his brother interacted, all in spite of his alcoholic father. In the family sense, but also within the realms of generosity, selflessness, and caring, I think of ex having raised me all over again. I do not consider my parents having raised me. I was a hollow shell. I have done so much work on myself since (mental illness has forced me to face all the demons) and it frustrates me to death to hear my mother telling silly stories of my childhood, ones in which she actually mocks my innocence, and it turns my stomach. I want to tell her that I survived in spite of her and her yelling and beating, not because of it.

I see myself entering a distance phase again. I've done it for years in the past. She's commented that, essentially, they were my immature years which happen over and over sporadically. Au contraire. They were the years that I felt no need to prostitute myself for the sake of getting along. Of course, she sees no part she's played. Later, when I could manage and felt stronger, I would and, of late, it's mostly because of my son. However, when I realized that she valued church and her aunt/cousins over a very quick talk with him, enough to make him feel listened to a bit, that notion has come tumbling down. I've had enough. I began shutting down last week.

Famous quotes from the last few years:
When she came to visit 3wk old J with 1 hour's notice (although she's been on the road two days and knew she planned to come by), I'd gone upstairs to pump in privacy before they arrived. I was coming downstairs with the bottles when she came in. Her first words to me in years were a snide, "Is that all you make?"

Almost four years ago, she came to visit and she, J, L, and I went downtown to the museums. J was walking ahead, thank goodness, when my mother suddenly turned to 14yo L and asked point blank, "Does your dad always date fat women?" Even L had the good sense to stutter and be embarrassed on her behalf.

I know I have trouble forgiving her, but she does so much stuff that needs forgiving that it's tough to keep up.

Thanks, if you've read this far. I have not railed on her in a very long time and was overdue a more detailed rant.


Anonymous said...

I know I said the same thing yesterday (or was it the day before) but are you sure we don't have the same mother?

I'm so so sorry to hear that there is another one out there.

It sounds like you know that sometimes, you just have to get out of the burning house (to use a metaphor one of my early therapists used with me.)

Hold you're boundaries.

Aunt Becky said...

Sounds like my mom, too. She's mellowed out with old age and repeated ECT treatments (seriously), but I recall those days well. I'm sorry that she's so nasty to you.

Anonymous said...

I'm so's my dad who was the a@#h#$e in my family. Really really bad...and still is...I feel for you. I try to stay away from my dad at all costs---

Anonymous said...

I have no mom or dad issues at all. My folks are the coolest and always have been. I wish everybody could have had parents like mine.

Anonymous said...

W0w, I am s0 s0rry y0u are having
t0 endure a11 0f this right n0w

my keyb0ard is fucked up at the
m0ment and I can n0 10nger type an e1 or 0h 0r peri0d s0 forgive this rubbish print

this was bri11iant and s0 heart wrenching cricket

kn0w that y0ur truth is c0rrect and y0u are incredib1y str0ng and a w0nderfu1 m0ther

Hang in there

Much 10ve t0 y0u


Cricket said...

Okay, I appreciate all comments. And on this, I am so sorry when someone can relate.

But, Julianna, you take the cake. It warms my heart you had to work so hard to say something. And it cracked me up, too. At first, I thought it was spam! Thanks. I needed that.

Anonymous said...

Much love to you sweetie,


Anonymous said...

Sorry I am late to the "party" on this, but...

You Are Not Alone. And you do not have to forgive her. You can decide she's not worth it. Or that you're allergic to her. Rather than administer allergy medication after interacting you with her, you can just avoid it. Especially if she's mean to J, in which case she does not deserve contact with him.

So with you on learning what "family" can mean only after marriage.

Big hugs.