I’m learning that all this contact and good will with my mom seems to come with a cost, namely in the form of a family reunion. As I have mentioned, I have been in contact with my mom recently, and it’s been very civil. She has softened her tone even if deep down I know she hasn’t really changed, but nonetheless, sometimes you have just have to grow up and deal with a person’s quirks, if that's what you can call them. Maybe this is especially true with your parents.
My mom isn’t getting any younger, though she lives a very active life with lots of activities and social interactions. She still drives herself around and travels a lot overseas. I don’t get a sense she’s lonely, though as I’ve learned firsthand, being socially active doesn’t mean you’re not lonely. I remember living in New York and even in LA, you can go to parties all the time but at the end of the evening you still go home alone to an empty house.
I could go on and on about what a rough relationship we’ve had, but truth be told, I’d like for her to see the kids, even if it’s brutally painful for me. I know that she’s going to be catty and go for the jugular when I see her, it’s even starting a bit now when we talk on the phone. Then again, when I was dreading calling her weeks ago, she turned out to be way more civil than I had ever expected, so it might be fine. I hope it is.
I’ve decided that it all boils down to me. I need to prep the kids and R about what to expect, and I myself have to just deal with it and not retaliate. I don’t know if this is passive agressive or just outright vindictive, but she always begins every interaction with an attack of some sort, just so that she feels like she is setting the tone of the interaction. It’s a power thing, but that puts the ball in my court as to how I respond. I need to just suck it up, let it roll off my back, and move on.
With this in mind, I think we should keep the visit to a minimum and maybe plan on just a few days, which for the record, will earn me some wrath, but what else is new? Throw my derelict brother into the mix and you have the makings of a Jonathan Franzen novel, in the flesh.
This should be interesting. It’s not easy confronting a lifetime of emotional abuse that not even 2000 miles can ameliorate. I need to mentally prepare.
Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Bianca for the pic.