May 13, 2011

My Mother, Myself

Tonight I realized that my mom does not really think of me as an "adult."  It came across directly in her language. 

My uncle A has been ailing for the past four weeks, and I was told two days ago that today was his day to be taken off life support. I've been pondering a flight up to be with him and our family during this time, while I have a pause between the end of the school year and weekend commitments, next weekend.

I have not told my mom of my thoughts, because she is not exactly supportive in most challenging situations.  I and my HP do a better job deciding together, without her input. 

Quite interestingly,  my mom calls tonight literally as our family is leaving the baseball field.  I pick up the cell and quickly she reveals her agenda.

"Don't involve yourself in any drama. Take care of your family."  she says. "I am managing things."  My mother is 3000 miles away from her brother, with no plans to see him before he dies that I know of. The previous phone call she had told me that my uncle is doing fine on his own off the respirator. He had just come off life support four hours before@!  How do you spell denial?

Next she says, "There are plenty of adult people up there, and they know how to take care of things." Obviously she has no plans of helping.  

What's more, I am not stupid about her choice of words.  I am thinking, at 53  I am not an adult? "  Instead I say, "There is only one chance to say good-bye, mom. " Hint hint. Maybe you should say good-bye to your brother, and support your siblings, so that I don't feel so much like I need to go North to represent our family?  But I am quiet.

Her parting words were the perfect touche':  "If you overdo it, you'll end up in the hospital." I've noticed she brings that up every time she really wants to discourage me from doing something that actually might be strengthening for me.

It is exactly being of service to others and doing my part that strengthens and empowers me. But of course, your motives are to undermine me. Otherwise, you would see me for the adult I am. And you would support me in my interest and caring.

Thanks mom, for the vote of confidence. NOT. 

 The other day, I came across a quote that gave me an antidote to this kind of thinking--this way of deliberately putting me down and undermining me, so that  I seem to be  less than I actually am.  Today it is these words that help me see,  she has a lot less power than I ever thought: 

There are many who pretend to despise and belittle that which is beyond their reach. ~Jonathan Huie


  1. My sister, the only real family I have, when I was young use to suggest that I do something creative for a living. What I heard was your too stupid to do what I do a lawyer.

    It was the fear I had that it might be true that made me see it this way. I spent 15 years proving to myself that I was smart. Now I am in a creative field doing what I love. Hmmm

    My point is I read my own fears into what she said. Sounds like your mom may want to make sure you don't over extend yourself so she won't feel guiltly for not being there, when she thinks she should be. Just a thought.

  2. I respect that alternate point of view and will ponder it in the days ahead. Grace-Workin... I just bought my ticket online and am going up North on a wing and a prayer...


  3. She sounds like a mother. It is hard to not be out in a child spot around parents, especially mothers. I realize that others make their choice but I can make mine and be the adult.


I welcome your thoughts. Keep me honest~