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Petty family crap

I love my mother. She raised my by herself and is an amazing woman. She has medical issues and financial problems that give her difficulties - memory problems due to a small stroke, arthritis, some nerve damage to her legs that gives her a staggering gait, ill-fitting dentures, etc. To keep this in perspective on the wonderful things about her, I did write a history of her life and how wonderful she is for her 70th birthday back in April.

Despite all of this, she annoys the ever living shit out of me, and it makes me incredibly mad at myself that she annoys me. She should NOT annoy me just by being who she is. I don't want to be annoyed by these things as much as I am, and it makes me feel PETTY, disrespectful and unloving.

- She is very country, despite no longer being in the country and KNOWING how to properly pronounce words. I try to 'correct' her way too much because I don't want my kids to talk that way!!! I'm sorry, but there are no such words as 'wrasslin', 'Saterdee', 'sireeen', 'wirehouse', 'warsh' and some of the other prime words that make me crazy. I've told her (probably should have kept this to myself) that she is a smart woman, but the way she talks makes her SOUND dumb. People judge you by the way you talk and make assumptions that you are some country bumpkin when you talk like that. I REALLY don't want my kids to pick it up.

- She has dentures that don't fit her, because she never went to get a new set once her gums shrunk back after her teeth were all pulled. Because of her dentures (I'm assuming this is the reason), she keeps her tongue between her teeth when she talks, making her slur her words and lisp. I've ridden her for some time to get new dentures, but she just makes excuses. This has been going on for YEARS. We've offered to pay for them, offered to make the appointment for her - excuses and delay tactics. I've told her that she will have to relearn how to talk when she gets new dentures, because she has now spoken like this for so many years.

- She has anxiety and depression, among other things, but won't do a DAMN thing about it. She complains and complains, but she won't mention it to a doctor. The times she does, she tells me they blow her off. I KNOW why they did - she downplays everything. If you just mention in passing to a doctor that you sometimes feel anxious, but then say it isn't a problem, how will that doctor know that it actually keeps you from leaving the house and driving sometimes? They only know what you TELL them! They aren't mind readers! Going to a different doctor because that one couldn't read your mind isn't going to change things. I actually go with her to her important doctor visits to act as translator, but I can't go with her to ALL appointment! I've told her to write things down, so she can take a list, and we've actually done it before, but then she didn't give the doctor the list. Either do something ABOUT it, or stop COMPLAINING!

- She is the queen of passive-aggressiveness and guilt. One time I asked her not to say something to the kids (shut up) and she immediately said that she doesn't know how to do things our way, so she shouldn't be watching them and should just go home. That's overreacting for you. If she wants to do something, she will NEVER say she wants to do it. She will not make any decisions, no matter how small. What do you want to eat? Oh, whatever YOU want to eat. The kids were out of school today, and she told me on Friday she had a doctor's appointment on Monday. I said that's fine, to which she immediately said she will cancel it so she can watch the kids while they are out of school. I didn't ASK her to watch the kids, and I didn't give any impression that I was bothered by her having an appointment, yet I ended up YELLING at her that her health comes before coming over to my house, and that my kids are my responsibility, not hers.

- She has the nerve to judge what I feed my kids. I was raised on fast food. She always told me that it was cheaper to eat fast food than for her to cook for just the two of us. Cooking at home meant heating up frozen dinners. Those frozen dinners were fried foods, mostly. We ate foods such as vienna sausages or potted meat on Saltines for snacks. I try to give my kids MOSTLY good foods. They don't get many sweets. We make healthy choices, such as low fat milk, veggie hot dogs, yogurt, things like that. Then they also can have cheese pizza, chicken nuggets or things of that nature a couple of times a week. She blamed me for Matthew's reflux saying that I was feeding him nothing but tacos and other spicy foods even though it made him sick. WTF? Not only is that wrong, but who are YOU to judge what is being fed to kids?

God, she makes me crazy. I wish I could recognize that she is getting old, her health isn't great, we are blessed to have her here to see every day, and that I want my kids to see a healthy relationship in the family. Nope. I find myself screaming at her, critiquing her every move and trying desperately to NOT be anything like her. Why can't I just accept my mom for who she is?


( 8 thoughts — Whatcha' think? )
Oct. 3rd, 2005 09:50 pm (UTC)
I think every woman can identify with you here. I could make a list a million miles long about my mother.. but the bottom line is.. the most stressfull part of my day should NOT be the 5 mins she stops over at the house to get her mail. I love her dearly. I love spending time with her. I call her and try to get her to spend time with me when its nothing she can judge me on, to make it more pleasant for both of us. .. I do understand.
Oct. 3rd, 2005 11:07 pm (UTC)
Information about the Sociology CLEP
I recently read that you had passed a Sociology CLEP test.

I was wondering what information you could provide about the test such as things that are on it.

Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Think you could leave a comment on my journal?
Finding people through google is kinda hard
Oct. 4th, 2005 12:20 am (UTC)
Re: Information about the Sociology CLEP
Posted a lot of info about it in your journal :)
Oct. 4th, 2005 02:31 am (UTC)
Oh, I could commiserate on so many levels. I do love my mother, I really really do, but she is just not good for my psyche. I'm happy that I am on this earth, I can enjoy a conversation with her on occasion, but we not friends, no matter how much she wants it.

Why? She wont change, she's too old, too ornery, too scared, too comfortable, too complacent, too insecure, too ...too...well you know.

Part of me says, "She's 72, let her live her life the way she wants, it isn't really hurting you. " The other part of me expects her to never give up, to never settle, and to persevere. I don't know why I expect that, she has never really fought for or against anything.

I wish my mother was someone I could look up to. I do find good things about her, but when I need a role model, I have to look elsewhere. It is just so, sad.
Oct. 4th, 2005 03:33 am (UTC)
The other part of me expects her to never give up, to never settle, and to persevere. I don't know why I expect that, she has never really fought for or against anything.

That is SO it! I know she's great and I know she's smart, so I want her to do so much more for her life. I want her to have friends, keep her mind sharp, enjoy life and have an OPINION! I know she has one in there somewhere. But I don't know why I think she's going to start now when she's never given a flip about her life before then.

One example - when my dad died, she was 40 years old. She has never gone out with anyone since. Never thought about it, never even tried. Yes, dad might have been the most wonderful man in the world, but he was GONE and she was only 40. You don't have to condemn yourself to being alone for the rest of your life, and your only daughter can't be your only friend because you won't even try to meet other people.

Take up for yourself, better yourself and at least try to be happy. There isn't any respect for someone that doesn't at least TRY in their lives.
Oct. 4th, 2005 05:04 pm (UTC)
one of my aunts was like that. always going with the flow, never offering her view (unless whispered) about much of anything, lest she upset someone. i'm convinced it was learned behavior, because her husband (my uncle) was a poorly-educated domineering type. when he had an opinion, it was mostly contentious and he alienated a LOT of people. his wife probably tried to even that out, so they'd at least have some friends!

what she needed (using my Keen Psychiatric Skills) was gradual, positive reinforcement in those rare instances when she was coaxed out of her shell. she had to understand that her opinions were valued and that the change of pace was appreciated. i suspect it's Learned Behavior to understand that it's Perfectly Okay To Have An Opinion, or even to have a hankerin' for Collard Greens and Turkey Necks when the grandkids' reaction is .. yeeeeuk!
Oct. 4th, 2005 04:54 pm (UTC)
imagine having Yogi Berra for a dad
so much of your post is deja vu, but then I'd recall The Serenity Prayer and not drive myself crazy. There are downsides to a life of serenity; I seldom give anyone a second chance to screw up (if they do it once, I note that in their list of Character Flaws and don't return to that well).

You may have noticed my "Iowa-Nebraska accent" which is radically different than my mom's Southern twang; others have trouble understanding her .. your mom's warshing and wrenching (rinsing) are all too familiar. For whatever reason, I always equated accents with Moral Turpitude and avoided them whenever possible. I can fake a lot of accents when needed (excepting the Benihana chef from Alabama, but that's another story). You may want to expose the kids to this, such that they can speak a second language!

Your mom's behavior isn't going to change in this life stage; don't try. My own mom's dementia eventually became Alzheimer's and that's a whole different plate o' tamales with which to deal. Your kids are still malleable, though .. and should be encouraged to understand why you make the nutrional decisions you do (for example), vs. your mom's unintended saboteuring! Don't assume she's passive aggressive; I'll lay odds she'll think your tacos are buttered wrong if you try to explain that to her. If Michael/Matthew grow up to become structural engineers (to support you and Scott in your twilight years) the explanation of why will pay big dividends down the road.

Okay, now I feel better. I'll get the invoice to you ASAP.
Oct. 5th, 2005 07:49 pm (UTC)
seen this blog yet? it's all about aging:

As Time Goes By
( 8 thoughts — Whatcha' think? )