Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Relationships Are Hard

I've written in the past about my rocky relationship with my Mom.  This post is partly a venting post about that and partly cathartic to just get it all out.  It's MY feelings about how the relationship looks and feels to ME.  She doesn't have a chance to respond to this because she has no idea bout this blog.  I understand that how she comes across may not be her intention and that she does these things because she cares.  That said, here goes....

I never told my Mom I was going through the process for the gastric band.  I did this purposely.  I did it with the approval of the psychologist who interviewed me for the process.  I did it with the support of my husband and my sister.  I just knew not to.

I think that my Mom is partly narcissistic and very controlling.  She has been this way all my life.  It's why I struggle with things like asserting myself in my personal life, having confidence that I can do things on my own, and living life for myself.  I learned through her actions that she would speak for me so I didn't have to, she would fix everything for me so that I never had to do it myself, she would control it all and I could take a back seat and just be.  But I'm almost 42 and I need to live my own life.

After dinner on Monday I psyched myself up mentally for a call with my Mom to tell her about the band.  I thought about all the things that she might say and what I would say in response.  Then I picked up the phone and called her.  When I told her she was shocked.  She kept asking if it was really what I wanted.  I assured her that it was.  She kept saying that, as though she thought that Pete had talked me into it.  I told her that I had a friend who had one for 7 years and I thought about doing it several times in that time frame.  She asked why and I told her that I had sleep apnea, pain in my knees and feet, higher cholesterol, higher blood glucose and I was tired to struggling and doing all the work with the gym and getting nowhere.  I told her I wanted to be healthier next year than I was today.

The call lasted about 10 minutes.  She told me that she couldn't take off work to be at the hospital as she had other plans and that she wanted Pete to call her at work to let her know how it goes.  I assured her that he would.  She said she'd talk to me before the surgery and we hung up.

I sighed a big sigh.  It wasn't that bad.  Our relationship was in a better place and she finally realized that I was an adult.

But I was wrong.  She called back about 3 hours later.  Likely she had spent the time ranting to my Dad about how Pete led me to this and how I didn't know what I was doing and I was dumb for doing it.  She reminded me about my horrible experience with Versed (the medication that makes you forget everything leading up to surgery) about 10 years ago.  She asked what the plan was for anethseia.  I told her that all through the process I had been talking to the nurse and the doctor about my anxiety with that and how I needed to know that something else was available. 


She demanded that I call and set up an appointment with an anethseist at the hospital and she would go with me to explain what happened.  I repeated what I said earlier.  Again she demanded that I call and if I wasn't going to, she would set it up and go with me.  The conversation ended with her not hearing me at all.  Her last sentence was a directive to make the call and then call her and let her know what the plan was.

I was shell shocked.  I was deflated.  I felt about 12 years old.  What her statements say to me is that she has no faith in me to figure things out by myself or confidence that I will do it "right".  I am almost 42 years old and she still thinks of me as a 12 year old that she can/has to control and do everything for.  Doing something my way is not the "right" way because it's not her way.

I cried in the dark with Pete laying next to me in bed.  My Mom will never be the kind of Mom that I can tell things to or get advice from.  She will never be that normal Mom.  Ever.  And I lull myself into thinking that our relationship is better because these episodes of her trying to control me are less.  But they are still there.  Pete thinks I should tell her all of this.  The thing is that I have.  I've tried.  She doesn't hear it.  And when something like this happens, all she can think about is how it will effect her - how her life will be effected.

And so I again grieve that relationship that I never had and never will have.  I commiserate with my sister about it as she too has the same off kilter relationship with my Mom.  I vent to Pete who listens and gives advice to make me feel better.

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