More phone calls

When I’m sick my mother has this awful habit of converting her twice-weekly phone calls into twice-daily. *sigh*


Mum: “Are you feeling better yet?”

Me: “Not really.”

Mum: “Oh. What have you been doing?”

Me: “Not much. Watching TV. Sleeping.” (and playing on the internet, but I’m not going to tell you about that because you’d just lecture me about wasting time)

Mum (with definite disdain): “Oh. Well, have you rung the real estate people about the water issue yet?”

Me (in my head): No I f*cking haven’t. I’m sick and for once in my life I’m trying to rest – that isn’t an “indulgence”, you know, or an excuse to catch up on jobs around the house. Besides which, how many times do I have to tell you I’m not going to waste my life chasing those idiots over every damned thing? I could ring them every day, ten times a day, and it wouldn’t make an ounce of difference!

Me (to Mum): “No. You know I’m not going to waste time on that.”

Mum: “Oh well. You can’t expect them to do anything if you don’t chase them. They’re hopeless.”

Me (in my head): Yes, they’re hopeless and if I have to tell you again that I’m not wasting time on them then my head will explode.

Me (to Mum): “Ok.”


Those of you who commented on my last post made me realise that my mother really is incapable of supporting me emotionally. She always has been. She has the emotional capacity of an ice cube. At her age, that’s going to be hard to change, and it will be up to me to steer. I just don’t have the strength for that at the moment.

Oh, and before you suggest it, if I don’t answer the phone she starts sending me text messages. I’ve less patience for that than I do the phone calls.


8 thoughts on “More phone calls

  1. My dad is an ass too, and I felt he was intruding into my boundaries by calling all the time. When I didn’t answer the phone, he called more. Finally, I told him “You know, we seem to be having a hard time connecting at the right times. Why don’t we set aside a time once a week for us to talk on the phone?” So now I only have to deal with him once a week. It sucks and I dread the weekly call, but at least I only have to dread it once a week now.

  2. K — Worse than losing your mind? 😉 I’m just saying.

    I’m curious … what would happen, do you think, if you completely cut them off and never saw or spoke to them again? Do you owe them something? Would they care? Would they notice, except insofar as you wouldn’t be there for them to annoy, which they seem to enjoy?

    I’m really intrigued, genuinely, as to where the guilt comes from. Why don’t *they* feel guilty? I mean, of everyone here, you’re sinned against rather than sinning, yes?


  3. @ Butterfly – That’s such a lovely, tactful way to handle a horrible situation. I have Wednesdays at 6:45pm, and Saturday/Sunday at 5pm – sometimes both Sat and Sun. Trouble is when I’m sick, that converts to daily or twice-daily. And if I don’t answer the phone at any of those times she panics and texts me. Thank (whatever deity you believe in) that I don’t have to talk to my father that often.

    @ David, why do you always manage to strike at my nerves? Your insight is amazing. 🙂

    What would happen if I cut all contact? I’d upset my mother. She told my therapist that she loves me and cares for me. My therapist said that’s just coming across “wrong” sometimes. I carry HUGE guilt around my mother… for her lost life with my father, for being a “bad” daughter, blah blah blah.

    I’m sure she carries some guilt as well, but would probably not admit it. Although she did say to my therapist that perhaps staying with my father all those years wasn’t the best thing to do.

    As for my father… he’s incapable of guilt. It would never even cross his mind that he ever did anything wrong, or treated me or my mother badly. It’s his god-given right as an eastern european man to rule the house like a dictator. Some fun that was with a mother/grandmother who were strongly “feminist”.

  4. Is it OK if I ask why you carry guilt around your mother’s lost life with your father, when staying with him was entirely her choice and responsibility (as was marrying him in the first place)?

    I’m asking because I had a similar problem with my own mother, and I’m curious whether you know what the origin point of your guilt is; I’m wondering if this is something that falls into a standard pattern for people.

  5. Sure, David, although I’m not sure I have a coherent answer for you! 😉

    I often wonder about that myself. Is it because we (I) feel some responsibility for her pain? I know my mother often said to me as a child that we were in it “together” and it was “you and me against the world”. I guess that encouraged me to be protective of her in some way, or something.

    My therapist has said numerous times that I need to start putting my pain ahead of my mother’s . Guess it’s just taking a while for that message to sink in.

  6. Hi,

    Although I don’t know a huge amount about your parents, I would take a guess from what you have posted about your mom. You are the mother, she is the child. I’m just guessing here based on your guilt and her saying things like it is the two of you against the world, etc.

    Both my parents did this. They were more effective in doing this to my older sister than me, I rebelled and tended to go my own way and let them cope with whatever they did and left the rest for someone else. I have known so many other survivors who have gone through the same thing. It is like they robbed us of everything, not just one thing.

    Sorry, but I can’t remember the psychological term for that, learned it in a child abuse and neglect class in college. This kind of stuff robs a child further from any form of childhood, making them the adult, the responsbile one, the one to blame.

    It is not your fault. I totally understand the feelings.

    Good and healing thoughts to you.


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