I very recently made the mistake of exposing a vulnerability to my mother. Several years ago, I made a choice regarding an educational therapy for my son; the choice was not whether he would receive the therapy, but where and with whom. There was nothing “wrong” with the choice that I made; I just didn’t have the information that the people I was trusting at the time were totally worthless. So, ya know, when I did get that information, I made a different choice that has gone well but had we started worthwhile services for him when he was much younger, he probably wouldn’t even need it at all by now; it’s also possible that potential has been lost there that will never be regained. Obviously, this is something that hurts me, something I wish that I had done differently, something that has caused me some sleepness nights and murderous thoughts for the people who promised us everything and failed us miserably. In other words, it’s a very tender spot, and like a fool, I expressed my sadness to my mother that I had not made the other choice when I had the chance.
Big, Big Mistake.
It wasn’t 60 seconds before she turned it back on me, the sharp end expertly filed into her patented jagged edge and then laced with salt and acid for a little extra thrill. “Since you admit that you made a mistake…” (yes, a direct quote – and what, like I never admit to a mistake — no, Mom, that’s you) and then proceeded to tell me something else she thought I needed to do for my son, with the emphasis being that I was falling down on the job in that area. Mmmmkay, if you wanted to tell me you thought I was a bad parent (twice apparently), then I think I would have taken it better if you’d just said exactly that. If you wanted to encourage me to do something in particular for my son, then I would have taken it better if you’d just said exactly that. If you wanted to piss me off, push me away, and remind me why I moved the hell away from your hypercritical, have-to-be-in-control-of-everything, condescending, bitchy self, then kudos – ya nailed it!
When I sounded a bit upset (the nerve of me), even though I was being agreeable with the idea of what it was she was ‘encouraging’ me to do — and had been, mind you, as we talked about this just last week, but the office was closed on the one day I could stop and call — she decided to up the ante and tell me that she would not be letting me have money she’d promised for other therapies for my son if I didn’t get that done.
Wow… can you see my head exploding from where you are? I’m sure it’s showing up on satellite photos.
I’m going to be totally honest and say that I can’t even remember what the hell I said to that.
Suffice to say, that was basically the end of the conversation, though no confrontation was really had beyond that, so I’m still equal parts seething and traumatized. I mean, let’s just take a tally there: My mother, the person I was (foolhardily, I admit) lamenting to because I thought (I’m obvious brain-damaged) I could find some motherly-type solace, just knifed me with a shiv after I handed her the materials. She told me she knows better than I do how to parent my child. She told me I’m a rotten daughter for not immediately doing what she thinks I should do AND for even considering that I should have a right to take offense when she thinks she needs to ride my ass about it. Then, when she sees me knocked to the mat, she stands over me and threatens me in a way that can only hurt the very same child she claims to be the only one capable of caring for.
Did I miss anything there, Mom? Anything at all now, don’t be shy.