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8:31 p.m. - 2012-05-03
I am not looking forward to this
I'm leaving for Vermont tomorrow morning for my mom's graduation dinner (friday) and graduation (saturday morning).

I am thrilled for my mom and utterly un-thrilled for myself. I would rather go to the dentist than go to my mom's.

And that's saying something, because the mere idea of going to the dentist makes me feel like I'm going to have a panic attack and die.

As I tell my daughter, "Sometimes we have to do things we don't want to do, because they make SOMEONE ELSE happy."

I don't like seeing my mom because she makes me feel uncomfortable in my own skin. I don't give a damn whether the rest of the world thinks I'm a freak and a screw-up, but I still have a daughter complex, and therefore I still believe on some subconscious level that my mother (like mothers everywhere) is ALWAYS RIGHT.

There are also several things I dislike about my mother on a conscious level. I dislike that she sees me as a screwup, as opposed to someone who is interesting and adventurous and funny and who can take a hit (including the self-inflicted kind) and get back up again. I dislike that she's so NEGATIVE.

I dislike that she's narrow-minded and judgemental; self-professed liberals never see themselves that way, of course, but my mom is a hell of a lot more narrow-minded and judgemental than my fundamentalist Christian mother-in-law. My mom unilaterally judges and refuses to listen to anyone who doesn't share her views exactly. She proudly denounces things she knows nothing about. It drives me up the wall.

I dislike that my mother doesn't seem particularly interested in being a grandmother. She is kind to my kids and has toys for them to play with and sends them presents, yes, but God forbid I ask her if she can watch them for an hour or two when we're visiting her; she gets all bent out of shape and sees it as me taking advantage of her. I go to my mom's once every couple of months so I don't feel this is taking advantage of her; I accept that she feels this way but I don't like it. Matt's parents are always willing to take the kids for a couple of days if Matt is going to be out of town and I have school; to the best of my knowledge they LIKE to do this. They certainly don't bitch and sigh and complain about it. My mother on the other hand -- after the last time I asked her if she could watch the kids for a couple hours so I could have coffee with susan, I vowed to never ask her again.

I am always using the wrong towel or sponge; I stay up too late; I get up too early. I don't pack the right clothes, I don't feed them the right things and I change diapers the wrong way.

I walk around on eggshells waiting for her to say something mean, humiliating, infuriating or otherwised destined to make me wish I was somewhere else.

I never felt my mom was there for me when I was a kid; I've tried very hard to have a relationship with my mom as an adult; I would like to get along with her and be a good daughter but dammit, I HATE being around her 99 percent of the time.

If my mom was a random stranger she is NOT someone I would be friends with. She isn't someone I would dislike either, just someone I have very little in common with.

I know she wants me (and the kids) there this weekend, so we will be there. I'd like to stay through Sunday so I could see Susan and maybe Neil, but i don't think I'm going to be able to handle two overnights. Every time I leave I feel like screaming "hallelujah" all the way to the vermont border. I'm looking forward to leaving right now and I'm not even going to be thre for another 12-plus hours.

If I didn't have kids I would never visit. I use the kids as a buffer and I won't make excuses. I hate being 1:1 with my mom.

I know that someday in the not-to-distant future my mom is going to die and I'm going to wish I spent the time I had with her better. I wish that right now. But I've felt profoundly uncomfortable around her for probably 25 years and I don't know how to change that.



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