Monday, July 27, 2009

parental issues...

I just got back in town a little while ago. I went home Saturday evening after I got off work. I just hadn't seen the baby or the rest of the family in about 4 weeks, so it was past due time to pay 'em a visit .

I just realized that I haven't posted a single picture of the baby yet. It just so happens that each time I'm there with my actual camera, there is something stopping me from taking his picture. He used to be so deathly afraid of the flash that I could never get a good one, plus it would have been evil to keep trying. And now that he's a little older, I'd bet that he could stand it a little better, but he just got his first round of shots on Friday, so he was feverish and fussy all weekend. I didn't want to press my luck, he was barely letting me hold him in the first place. He showed a definite preference for his parents, which is good and natural, I suppose.

My mother and I fought this afternoon. Because she's dating someone. I've been aware of this man's presence in her life for about a month and a half now. She's grieving the death of my father and he's freshly divorced after an abusive relationship (his ex-wife beat him like he was a ragdoll and he finally left her). She said their friendship is of benefit to them both because they help and encourage one another through their loss. I didn't really pay it any mind. Until she began to talk about him often...asking her friends what they thought about him....he sends her [childish] poetry in the mail...she told me that they went to a park in another town so that they could hold hands without starting rumors around town....at that point, I told her that she needs to drop the facade. It's not just a friendship. All the signs point to something else. She told me that they're friends and that's it. I got mad and left the house and came back to Indy. That was about 4 weeks ago. So today, she asked me to accompany her to dinner over at my uncle's house. My uncle used to be a chef, and his cooking is the bomb, so I was excited. Then she said that her "friend" was coming. I had mixed feelings about it and then ultimately decided that I didn't want to go. She saw me sitting on the couch, still in my pajamas, and asked me why I wasn't dressed. I told her that I wasn't going. She wanted to know why. So I explained to her that I wasn't comfortable with it. My dad hasn't even been gone 6 months and she's dating someone else. I told her that if he makes her happy and is helping her heal and whatnot, then she should do whatever makes her content, but I just am not ready to sit down to dinner with him, or get to know him, or anything along those lines. She said she could respect that, but she didn't stop there. She said that it's nice having someone that calls her multiple times a day and asks how she's doing...and she said "you and your brother don't call me everyday...you don't call me every other day....it's nice knowing that someone is thinking about me and checking on me." I didn't snap, but I was burnt the hell up. She's dating someone because I don't call?? Last I checked, she's the parent...she's correct in feeling like I should call her more than I do, but she should be calling me too. We went back and forth about it and I made a remark that I probably shouldn't have. She said that she never intended for my brother or I to know about this man this soon but that she didn't want to lie. I asked her why she wanted to keep him a secret if she isn't doing anything wrong. She said she wanted to spare our feelings. I said "When I was 15 years old and you were having an affair and I tried to talk to you about it, you didn't care about my feelings, so why are you trying to save feelings now?" She got up and left the room. (The exact same thing she did when I was 15 and would ask her why she's wrecking homes.) And just like she used to do then, she would go in her bedroom and shut the door and think of something to say, and then come back to wherever I was at, and try to continue the discussion. It used to piss me completely off...I thought it weak to flee just because someone says something you don't like. The feeling was the exact same today. She came back in the room wanting to keep talking. I apologized for bringing up the past and she offered to cancel her plans. I told her she didn't have to, she should go ahead and go. So she went on. 

I don't want my mother to be unhappy and perhaps I was selfish today for the things I said and electing to not go to dinner. However, I feel that she was also selfish...why on Earth would she think it's a good idea to be dating someone this soon? If she didn't have any children, it might be different. But to ask my brother and I to sit down to dinner with this man is very insensitive and kind of disrespectful to our feelings. 

I love my parents but really hate some of the things they've done. All of the affairs that my father had, he disrespected the hell out of my mother while he was alive. Even when they got back married 4 months before he died, he was still looking her in the eye and telling bold-faced lies. I kind of feel like she's disrespecting him as well as my brother and I by dating someone so soon....but at the same time, she's really not. I was very very angry with my mother and still have a lot of issues with her because of the affair that she had when I was in high school. I blame both of my parents for my brother and I's tendency to separate love and sex. We're both fortunate enough to be in relationships right now where we actually love the person we're having sex with. But we have definitely seen and grown up with the example that you love one person and you have sex with others. That isn't how I want my life to be, but I feel that we each have it honest. I've shared this with Shanee before, when we first began liking each other...and she trusted me enough to enter a relationship with me anyhow, knowing that I come from scandalous parents. I'm glad that she trusts me and knows that I strive to do better and to be better. 

Time for bed...




1 comment:

Glo said...

Hmm… this is deep. So…. hope you don’t mind my two cents… just an opinion…

I’d like to give your mom some credit on at least being upfront with you and your brother about the man. By upfront, I’m meaning giving you guys the chance to meet him, and talking to you about him. She didn’t have to. Sounds like she’s trying to do things the right way this time around. I do agree that she was being insensitive by asking you and your brother to break bread with him so soon, but it could be totally innocent on her part. She could really be thinking about how he’s helping her heal, he could help ya’ll too.

At most, their relationship seems like a friendship that is progressing into more. She wants the two most important people in her life (you and your brother) to give her their blessing. I can respect that, as I’m sure you can. The only problem is that you are not ready. She really can’t expect you to be though. Also, one thing to keep in mind is that, your father had a different relationship with your mother than he had with you. (Not trying to state the obvious, hear me out) Your brother and you were his like sun, moon, and stars, (just going by the fact that he had affairs) your mom could have genuinely been optional to him. I’m sure he loved her. I’m sure. But you guys got the best of him, and she got the worst of him. I have an uncle who’s been the father I’ve never had, and he cheats on my aunt and has had kids outside of the marriage and all that but he treats me and my siblings like pure gold. I feel bad for the way he treats her, but that doesn’t alter my perception of him. He’s still a King and I love him unconditionally, though I know he does her wrong. I can’t see from her perspective why she does the things she does (stashes money, over the top flirts with men, etc) because he’s terrific to me. When she says something negative about him, I’m offended, even though the rational chick in me knows good and well that he’s a jackass to her.

So really, to you, your mom is being disrespectful. But to her, though he’s gone, God rest his soul, she doesn’t feel like she’s doing anything ill because of the way he treated her at certain times. Yes its warped, and she’ll see it eventually, but it doesn’t change her love for you, your brother, or your father.

Just my thoughts….