You can treat me like shit all you want….but when you start to disregard my kids’ feelings, that crosses the line.
Let me explain this with some back story about this weekend:
For the Memorial Day weekend, I had some extra money so I decided to take a small mini-trip out to Long Beach. I wanted to take The Boy to The Aquarium of the Pacific on Sunday. So Saturday, we drove the 1 hour out there then stayed at a hotel there in downtown Long Beach only about 5 minutes from the Aquarium. It was a Marriott and it was ok. It didn’t have room service and there was a very loud bunch of people partying two doors down from me late at night that I had to complain about but they took care of it fast enough. The restaurant it did have was pretty expensive but it had to do as there wasn’t much close by and I didn’t want to be walking or driving the streets of Long Beach alone trying to find something. It did have a pool which The Boy enjoyed and a great exercise room with little T.V.’s attached to each machine. That was nice.
My room also had a great view of the Queen Mary from the balcony:
On Sunday, after we spent a few hours at the Aquarium we ate at Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Co. which was right across from the Aquarium. Then we walked around the harbor and took some photos around the lighthouse there and just enjoyed the ocean breeze. We were even able to see a Sea Lion swim up to the harbor and catch 2 fish! He was also talking to us. The Boy got a kick out of that. I have a SD card full of photos but I haven’t had a chance to get them onto my computer yet. That will be coming soon. Lots of great Aquarium photos.
Anyway, here is the reason for my above beginning statement. Just as a safety precaution, when I go out of town like this, I let my sister know when I will be gone and what hotel I will be at. Apparently, even though I told my mother a few days before that I was going to be driving down to Long Beach, she was upset that she didn’t get told all the information, as I told my sister.
First, I don’t need to ask her permission to take a trip out of town (which is really what she was wanting me to do, ask for her permission). Second, I did not want to tell her the info because, in all honesty, she gets upset when I do things like this and starts to discourage it. She says that I can’t and shouldn’t take trips with The Boy alone (uh…I’m single mom, how else am I going to do it?!). Her reasoning is because I don’t have a husband and will get killed. No joke…her words. I tend to try and stay away from her negativity on things like this.
First of all, I do not take these trips at night nor do I take my 9 year old and roam unfamiliar streets at night. I get a hotel in well populated areas and do research before booking. I recently took a trip to Sea World in San Diego and that was a 2 hour drive away and I also took the same precautions. My mother constantly wants to point out that A) I don’t have a man around and B) that I can’t take care of my kid properly.
I have since figured out that she is just jealous. This theory has also been confirmed by my sister, who agrees that this is the case. Commandent #10 Thou shalt not covet (jealousy). Oh how I can not tolerate hypocrisy especially when she was telling me just days before I was a bad mother because I had missed some church. Yeah, remember that CULT you brought us up in Mother? Don’t bring God into it.
Anyway, my sister was at our mother’s house all weekend (my mother gets along better with my sister because my sister tolerates her better than I do. I tend to get really exhausted of her drama). Come Monday, I call up my mother and say that I wanted to come over and The Boy wanted to show her the pictures he took with his camera at the Aquarium. At this point, I pretty much have no idea that she is mad at me for taking a trip to Long Beach. She tells me no, I am not welcome and I’m taken aback (first thing I think is WTF did I do now?!). I say, well The Boy would like to show you his pictures and she very curtly says no she doesn’t want visitors. At this point, I realize she doesn’t want to see me, fine. So then I offer to just drop off The Boy so he can show her his pictures. To that she says no. This hurt The Boy because she is never this way to him, only me. (oh how he will soon start to see how cold and cruel his grandmother can be….I’ve seen it all my life but he will soon start to pull away, as I have).
We were already in the car, ready to go and I just happened to think I should call before arriving unannounced even though she says we can show up anytime. So we are sitting in the car, The Boy is on the verge of tears, I already am fighting back tears because this woman hurt my boy and it’s like I see my childhood, through him, how she has hurt me so many times in the past with her cold words.
I think quick for a distraction and suggest to The Boy that we go to Gamestop and trade in his old games and get him a new one (something he’s been wanting to do for a while but been forgetting to do). This proved a good plan and The Boy was better.
Later, my sister joined us and we had a nice lunch. She told me of her weekend with our mother and she explained to me that our mother is stressed because she is preparing to move her elderly step mother into her house (her father died back in September leaving her step mother needing to be cared for). She is also stressed that she is also caring for my memory loss father. His doctor doesn’t want to give him the diagnosis of Dementia because he thinks he’s to young to have that but pretty much, that is the diagnosis. My father is 62. She also has a problem with her knee and will be needing surgery in June.
Now, I understand my mother’s is stressed and she hates how her life is going (hence the jealousy at my freedom to get in a car and take a mini road trip). She has said she wanted to travel in her Golden Years but now she’s taking care of elderly people and stuck at home. I can see how that is frustrating, I WOULD be frustrated.
However, that does not mean that she should push away the ONLY people who have been there for her since all of this madness started. The only people who haven’t left it ALL up to her to deal with are my sister and I. Granted, my sister may have helped more by being there more emotionally for my mother but I just don’t have that kind of relationship with our mother and I am a mother myself and will always put my child first (something that I think my mother is also jealous about, that I put someone else first, above her…). We have helped her through A LOT of trauma in the past 10 years caused by her family. Her own two sisters leave a lot of this up to her because they are too selfish to do anything else.
My mother has already told my sister that she knows I’ve been pushing away from her, limiting my time at her house and she is right. In essence, I only visit so that The Boy can have some time with his grandparents but with the way its going pretty soon its going to be me just dropping The Boy off and I leave. For me, I would be fine to never see her more than a few times a year. That is probably as much as I can take of her mind games, manipulations, guilt trips and “whoa is me” drama. Until she gets her priorities straight I can’t tolerate her attitude nor mask my disgust for it. As harsh as that sounds, it is how I feel. I have my own child to raise and think about. I don’t really have time for her drama.
So now, I have to worry about what mood she will be in as I have scheduled her to watch The Boy on Friday’s and Monday’s in June and July, which was at her request as she always lays down on me the guilt trip that The Boy is her only joy in her life. OH yeah, that was very apparent yesterday when you told him he wasn’t welcome at your house all because you were jealous that he and I took a trip to Long Beach.
NOW, who’s being selfish…..
*sigh* Regardless, I’m ready to ask for any of those days off if needed since I have already put in his summer schedule with the summer camp, which can’t be changed unless I pay a fee. I will probably end up paying the fee if that happens. But this is how my mother is and has been my whole life.
I was invited to guest blog at Black Box Warnings and I tossed around what I would blog about. I thought of what has affected me most in my life. Is it my current loneliness? My life as Single Mother? Maybe my short married life ending in divorce?
In the end, I chose to write about my mother and why, after 36 years, I realize that I neither want nor care for a close knit relationship with her. She is what I like to call an Emotional Vampire and I think for my own sanity, I keep a safe distance.
That guest post will show up early June.