Saturday, March 15, 2008

Beware the Ides of March

Apparently it's not enough that I get one peaceful day.

It started last night before bed. Bad weather began to roll in. The power went off and on, I woke up each time. Little rest later Annabel was up for the day and I climbed out of the bed with her. I came downstairs and perked up at the sight that greeted me. A beautiful table lined with gifts (I will post a picture later, I need to take pictures) and cake.

But when I came downstairs Logan was in the middle of a breathing treatment and when I looked out the window it had begun to rain again. I sat down and Jimbo wished me a happy birthday before the phone rang.

It was my Mother. She wished me a happy birthday and told me she couldn't get Arwen because of the weather but then she had a stroke of genius.

"Hey! I have an idea! Why don't I got get Zoe and pack up some bags and come stay the night there??!!??"

As usual I sat in silence. Because once again, on my birthday, my Mom puts me in a tight corner. What do I say? If I say yes, she will come here and expect to be entertained. I will have to run the children as usual while she plays Grandma. I will have to clean, cook and run ragged so she can put on the pretense of helping. I won't get to go out to dinner and if I do I will be hassled on the phone from her calling every 15 minutes, "When are you coming back?? Are you almost done yet??". Even worse, I won't be able to enjoy a drink or two at home afterward to celebrate, because my Mom detests alcohol.

But if I say no, she will get hurt and angry.

"Well...Jimbo had plans for me Mom. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet..." my voice trails off as I don't know what to say.

She sits as she always does. I can feel the tension through the phone line. So she quickly goes into another area of attack.

"Well, if the weather clears I'm getting Arwen. And I'm telling you right now, I want her and all the kids next Saturday night."

"Why?" I ask.

"Because I'm taking them all to church service for easter."

"Uhh, Mom, we have plans that weekend. We have the company picnic on Saturday and then we have Aunt Joanne's house."

Now, we have went to Joanne's every single year, every easter, since the children were born. My Mother KNOWS this. My Mother never plans Easter. We've spent exactly one year at her house and it was ill prepared. At the last minute she was so pissed that we were having Easter at Joanne's she threw together her own. She called two days beforehand and told me we were expected to come because if we could go to Jimbo's family, we'd damn well better come to mine. We arrived to our children hunting eggs filled with little biblical relics because they were sold out of all the other eggs and such because she went shopping for things that morning at the last minute. The children became upset because she didn't have any food cooked or prepared, it was a nightmare.

I let out an audible sigh through the phone and said, "Mom, we do this every year, you know that."

"Well I want to start a tradition HERE." She begins to get huffy. "It's not fair..." and she starts in on her usual tirade. It's not fair she says, that we will spend time with Jimbo's family and not her. It doesn't matter that Jimbo's family plans this a full year before or that we've known about it for months. It doesn't matter that she has burdened us with her last minute planning and expectations.

This is the way my Mother is. Always planning things at the last minute, always expecting to come over, stay the night, have a get together. Always wanting to go to vital Dr's appointments but never having time off when help is needed here at home. Always wanting the children when out in public to show off and hurriedly passing them back off to us after no one is watching. Always wanting to be the center of attention, expecting equal rights, expecting everyone to function around what makes her happy. Always with her plastered fake smile and nosing in on other people's tragedies as a way to make people say, "isn't she such a great person," or "she just loves those grandbabies so much".

Even if it's on someone else's day.

This is why I don't get on well with my Mother. God help me. I love her, she is my Mom. But years of her abuse have left me bitter. She used to maintain such control over me. She used guilt to control me and make me afraid of the world. She taught me early on that she was my salvation and then yelled and ranted when I clung to her and was afraid to be away from her. She made me a mental case until I finally got married and learned there are other people in life you can trust that won't make you afraid to stand on you own two feet.

I don't know why she does this each year and I don't know why she does this on my birthday of all days. So now I have to make phone calls, find out when Joanne's party is, and make arrangements to go out of my way to a Easter thing at my Mom's that will be tossed together at the last minute, all because my Mom can't stand the idea of my children loving other family members more than they do her.

She always has to be number one. Always.


Lawfrog said...

It's so hard to deal with narcissists. It can drain the life out of you.

My unsolicited advice: don't go to Easter's at your mother's. It's a hassle and a HUGE inconvenience that you just don't need. You have your plans already, keep them. Don't let her continue to control you with her guilt and emotions. You deserve better. The great thing about being an adult is the ability to set boundaries and not have to acquiesce to this kind of thing.

She will be upset if you don't come, but then, she will be upset anyway at something or someone regardless of what you do.

She's an emotional vampire. Cut off the blood supply.

Anonymous said...

I agree with lawfrog, sweetie. Your mom is more harm than good. **hug** You aren't ever going to win with her. Hang in there!