Last week, the last time my mom and I talked on the phone, she became very angry at me when I suggested trying a draw-a-name gift exchange for our [all-grownups] Christmas. She yelled at me that I was so selfish, and that I wanted to make Christmas about me, me, me.
So I tried to stay calm, which I’m amazingly good at doing as long as someone else around me is losing it. I said, “That really hurts my feelings and makes me feel awful. Can you explain to me how I am being selfish?” I thought this idea could make shopping/finances easier on everyone, especially my grandmother.
She began crying and spat out that it didn’t matter for me, that I would get presents from my boyfriend’s mother and father, I was going to get a lot of presents no matter what and I didn’t think about anyone except myself.
She said that a few times. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to explode.
Then she said she was very tired and had to go.
My mom is having problems lately. I know that, and I know that whole thing was more about her than me, but it still made me feel terrible, terrible, terrible. And I was afraid she was right. Am afraid she was right. No amount of reassurances from my boyfriend or close friends seems to lessen that. They've certainly tried.
I haven’t really talked to her since then. I’m not NOT SPEAKING to her, but I just haven’t been very motivated to pick up the phone for a chat. I’ve also been pulling 14 hour days and just super busy, which you would not guess from reading this blog.
My stepdad called me today. He never calls me. He said, call your mother. She’s home sick.
I called my mother. She was nice and cried twice during the conversation. Lately she cries a lot on the phone, but for different reasons. When I ask why she’s crying, she’ll get angry or blow it off. So this time, I just pretended not to notice.
Pretending not to notice was terrible, terrible, terrible.
When we hung up she was choking back her own tears. I know that sound so well: my mom's voice when she's crying. She said, very stiffly, “I’m very glad you called.”
She won’t tell me what’s going on.
File this one under Resounding Failure.