Postcards from the cross

So, I sent the UEOEH an e-mail this morning. A simple paragraph, really. I said that I’m having a guest for Thanksgiving. And that she can have a ticket to Pennsylvania or Ohio if she wants it.

I also said, in no uncertain terms, that I’m over the way things are here. That she let every man in her life walk all over her with no complaint. But here I am, her daughter, crying uncle and needing out. And it’s like a joke or like I’d never spoken at all.

I get this diatribe back that other people are spending Thanksgiving with their families. And that her own flesh and blood is disowning her. And that nobody loves her and everybody hates her and she’s going to go eat worms. Blah blah self-pity-cakes.

My reply was acerbic, that I want her to take a photo from atop the cross so I can see this view that she CAN’T LET GO OF. And if it makes me a bad person to want to spent Thanksgiving the way I want, with whom I want … withOUT whom I want — and, for that matter, my life in general — then so be it.

As I drove to work this morning, I wondered whether I was going to hell for wanting a few peaceful years on earth — that I will be denied my chance to go to heaven for eternity all because I wanted to enjoy my brief stay as a mortal.

This is the shit that keeps me up at night.

I said I gave her two years. It’s four now. And no signs of improvement. That the guilt trips are no longer effective. That she can’t take me down with her. That she needs help and I don’t think she wants it. Never met anybody who resisted help more.

OK, so maybe I offended her in the first note that a friend wants to donate some of her furniture to me, and I thought it would be a lovely idea to re-do the master suite into a smaller version of my friend’s place so that she can stay here when she comes to town. Oh well!

The whole thing that’s bugged me about my stupid family is that everyone HAD to take care of everyone else. I remember when my great-uncle Joe threw my great-grandmother Anastasia out of her own house so he could live there with his obnoxious second wife. Anastasia came to live with my grandparents and mom (and cousin and her infant daughter) and me.

Yep, seven of us in a two-bedroom rowhouse in the ghetto. I ran away at every opportunity. I hated it. I shared a room with my mom and grandfather. My grandmother slept on the couch. I don’t remember the rest of the arrangement. But it was embarrassing and it sucked.

As I also told the UEOEH in my reply, she chose to live with my grandparents when they were still well. Then she got trapped when they weren’t. That’s not the life I want. She might not have chosen it but if I have the chance to choose otherwise, I want to take it. Again, does it make me a bad person?

No, really — I am asking you, O Holy Internet Pulpit. Am I the asshole in this? I’m sure in God’s eyes, I am. In the UEOEH’s eyes, I am as “mean and nasty” as it gets.

But I look at this dysfunctional mother-daughter dynamic as exactly that — we are not good for each other. This is a relationship that is dying on the vine. It’s not about money; it’s about space.

My colleague’s mom lives in Paris. She is here in Florida. She says that’s how their relationship works best — when they are on different continents. They have dinner occasionally, and go shopping now and then. Another colleague’s mom lives in India. He sees her when he’s out that way. I don’t know the relationship but I love that she’s doing her own thing and he’s here doing his.

The way the UEOEH always positions this is that I “don’t want” her. I could see me being evil if I were trying to get rid of, say, a CHILD. Momma got knocked up and it’s been a good five years, but she’s kind of over you. Please take the next train out of here, yes?

(That would be me, BTW. Hence, no kids … and not because I pinned a $50 to them and dropped them at Amtrak!)

What I had to point out to the UEOEH is that this is the millionth time I’ve said something. And the millionth that she’s pretended it never happened. So, she’s always shocked when I erupt — AGAIN.

I hate feeling this way, you know? I miss loving my mother. I miss wanting to see her. To buy her dinners and get her away from my grandparents for a day. To bring her presents. To gossip and confide and have her tell me how special I am. To look forward to her amazing cooking and unforgettable baked goods, because there was always extra love in it for me. To listen to the same stupid stories about the same stupid employers and same stupid boys. And never judge me or tell me anything other than how wrong they all are and how much better I deserve.

Yeah, that doesn’t happen anymore.

Is it all my fault? Sure. Let’s go with that.

She says I make her feel like shit and that she can’t rise up out of it. But what I can’t convey to her — and maybe it’s because I’m selfish and mean and nasty like she says — is that she weighs on me, too. I’m drugged to the goddamned gills. I spend money I don’t have on shit I don’t need so I don’t have to come home.

I remember telling Lady L that when I first arrived here, in the rehab capital of the world, I simply could not understand why there were so many people boozed or cracked out of their minds here. It’s beautiful, the pace is slow and there isn’t a care in the world. Now, I see why everyone’s got a weakness for Jack ‘n Coke, or plain old Coke. It’s boring. There isn’t a damn thing to engage your mind. And a tropical environment doesn’t solve a stressful work or home life.

Anyway, I worry about my mom. She hasn’t been the same since we lost my grandfather. She is very sensitive and misses all the dead, actually. I am a foreign being to her. I am not very emotional unless I’m angry. I do miss the dead but crying won’t bring them back. I miss my friends but I don’t call them EVERY NIGHT like she does. If I hate my job or relationship or life situation, I LEAVE IT.

Felix and Oscar, I say.

I miss my mom. God, I miss her. I want her back. I don’t know what to do with this sad sack. I just wish that telling her to get her shit together and make a life for herself would make her DO it. I pray that she meets a rich man. I pray that she wakes up and feels better. I pray that she finds the superhuman strength she needs to get out of this funk. I pray that she understands why I’m so angry. I pray that I don’t become her. I pray that God doesn’t punish me because I have to answer to Him, and my answer is, “I give up.” I pray that she’s stronger than she thinks. I pray that the magical solution comes to me and that it’s easy and quick. I pray that I don’t run out of time to fix our relationship.

God answered one of my friend’s prayers in just 10 months. Makes four years seem a bit excessive, no? 🙂

One Lonely Response to Postcards from the cross

  1. Silver Blue :

    Sometimes, to need, is to let go. Trite, yes. Tripe, perhaps. But Goddess Dawn, you can only help those who wish to be helped. UEOEH has proven time and time again that she doesn’t wish to be helped. She wishes for someone else do it for her. That’s not the way life is. At least, not a life worth living. It’s time for you to be happy, and if that means giving UEOEH a one way ticket to Timbuktu to start her life on her own, then by all means do it. God, or whatever name you give the Higher Power, knows that you have done the best you can do. You should not have to turn yourself into an effin’ martyr just because she wants to sit around and eat pity-cake all day. It took a lot of “what ifs” before I realized that the situation *I* was in was toxic. It was killing me. Every day, I died a bit more. Then, one day… the lightbulb didn’t go on… it had been stolen, by the succubus who was leeching my life from me. That was the last straw. Things changed, and while i’m far from having the life of my dreams, I at least now have moments of happiness, and am creating myself, once again, just as you will. Be blessed, dear Dawn, and be a blessing. – John