Warning! This post is kind of ALL OVER THE PLACE and reading through it just now it seems as if I have the grammatical efficiency of a common fly. I apologize in advance for not feeling like taking the time to properly proofread and fix things.
You know how when you were 13 you’d stomp into your room and slam the door and swear that you’d NEVER GROW UP TO BE LIKE HER? God I can’t tell you the number of times that I did that. Weekly? Daily? I don’t know, it was a lot. Most of the rebellious things I did growing up I did to piss my mom off. Sneaking out, bringing home dumb loser boys, ditching class, all of it I did because I wanted her to react. It’s a small miracle that I didn’t end up a meth head or an alcoholic. Going to a private Catholic school full of the richest, most skanky and stuck up kids in the county meant that on a weekly basis I’d party around the best blow in the COUNTRY (YAY FOr GROWING UP IN THE METH COOKING CAPITAL OF THE USA) lined up on tables with shots of anything hard to chase it. I can count the number of times I got drunk in highschool on one hand and never touched anything harder than pot. As bad as I wanted to piss her off, there were always those lines I wouldn’t cross but believe me, there’s PLENTY you can do to piss off your parents without doing any actual harm to yourself. heh
My mom was REALLY controlling. That’s such a complete understatement. My mom IS CONTROL. Staying out 10 minutes past curfew mght as well have been 10 hours. There was no balance. Either she was happy or pissed and it was normally the latter. When I finished high school, turned 18, started pulling away even harder, it really started to get bad. She INSISTED I live at home and go to school but wasn’t allowed to work. However, if I asked her for gas money to get to school, I was a lazy fucking moocher that only wanted to be around her to ask for things. I was in a no win situation. “Stay home and go to school” really meant “Stay home, have no social life, do what I tell you to do, help raise Cameron and go to school. PERIOD.” The fight the lead up to me moving out started because I got a part time job helping out Troy’s mom do her bookkeeping a few hours a week. Seriously. I made $50 in two weeks and brought it home and she FREAKED THE HELL OUT because I was out there “pissing off my life” because I had gotten a very small part time job earning less than minimum wage cash “behind her back”.
When I found out that I was pregnant I went to her office to tell her. I’d know for a few days and I was past the HOLY SHIT I’M PREGNANT WHAT THE FUCK AM I GOING TO DO stage. I’d weighed out the options, I’d considered abortion, I’d REALLY struggled with a decision and then one morning I woke up and just KNEW I was going to have the baby. I decided to drive down to tell my mom who’s initial reaction was “Well, have you considered abortion?” Not, “What are you going to do?” “Are you okay?” Hell, I’d have been okay with her yelling at me at first for being irresponsible, but instead she took the reins and practically had the phone in her had to dial the abortion clinic. Then the entire time I was pregnant she’d pull the typical moves. She’d act all happy and WOW THIS IS GREAT when other people were around but when it was just the two of us it would be guilt and “You are making a big mistake” “It’s not too late” “There are options” “You are ruining your life” etc.
It killed me. And it continued for years. And no matter what I did it was always that way. I went back to a junior college when I was pregnant which she thought was great and was so encouraging when people were around but when it was just she and I together it was “about time I started to think straight and stop screwing around”.
And here’s the kicker…
I’ve spent a good part of my life feeling guilty for letting her down and being a complete disappointment. And for most of my life I’ve made excuses for the way she is. And for most of my life I’ve secretly prayed to a God I don’t even believe in that please, please don’t let me grow up to be like her. PLEASE.
And. I’m really good at building walls. They’re kinda my thing. In the case of my mom it was walls that allow me to ignore things like COMPLETE NEGATIVITY. Brick and mortar surrounded by steal covered in aluminum and painted pink for good measure. The problem is that even the strongest walls are prone to damage and, eventually, complete and utter failure.
My mom decided to move up to the Bay Area about six months after I did and at the time I wasn’t in the most mentally stable state. Again, complete understatement. I knew I needed to put my foot down but I just didn’t have it in me to confront her about it. I just couldn’t. I’d rather have dove head first into an outhouse than tell my mom she needed to not move up here thinking it was okay to be in control.
So Ben told her. Rather forcefully, actually. He shouldn’t have had to do it but he did because he is amazing and I was weak and fragile and a complete pussy and riddled with guilt for having to possibly disappoint her YET AGAIN.
The problem was because I didn’t say it somehow that translated to her as “I have to be on good behavior when Ben is around, but when it’s just the two of us all bets are off.” I could go on and on and give example after example. I still felt like no matter what I did it wasn’t good enough. Oh good, you have a job at Stanford, when are you going to start trying to move up positions? When are you going to go back to school? You could stand to lose a few pounds. When if Ben leaves you tomorrow, how will you support yourself? Why do you always waste your money on stupid stuff? I don’t like ANY RESTAURANT YOU TAKE ME TO EVER.
On and on and on and on and on. And on.
This all finally came to a head when my grandmother came to visit a month ago. Whenever she comes, my mom turns into this obsessive, overbearing, super controlling, fake as hell person. It’s absolutely unbearable. This time it happened to coenside with my birthday so we planned on my grandma, grandpa and Aunt Suzanne to come up on the day or my birthday so we could have dinner FOR MY BIRTHDAY. My mom asked where I wanted to go and I told her to the Irish Pub near our place that has AWESOME chicken pot pie that I LOVE. We haven’t been to many places and she specifically told me NOT to choose a Mexican place because “Grandma won’t want to eat Mexican.” Okay, that’s not that big a deal, if she doesn’t like Mexican I can understand that.
So the weekend before my birthday and before they arrived my mom calls and says that she want’s to “try out the pub”.
Me: Are you actually trying to VET the restaurant?
MeL You want to eat there to make sure it’s OKAY for grandma.
Her: No! I just want to TRY the restaurant, it sounds good.
So whatever, she came up to eat, ordered fish and chips (probably the MOST BLAND food you can order on ANY menu) and it was immediately clear to me that the pub wasn’t “up to par”. So when we were done eating:
Me: Is it good enough for grandma?
Her: It’s fine!
Me: You don’t like it.
Her: It’s okay.
Her: I just don’t think it’s their kind of food.
Cameron: WHAT!? David will LOVE THIS. (He;d had the chicken cordon blue which is AWESOME)
Her: No, they don’t eat this kind of food.
Cameron: YES THEY DO!
Ben: Well, it’s Anna’s birthday and she gets to choose where she wants to eat and she wants to eat here so that’s the end of that.
Ben was pretty firm when he said this and my mom knew enough from his tone to just drop it but it was VERY clear to me that 1) she hated the restaurant, 2) there was no way she was going to be ‘okay’ with my grandma eating there and 3) she was going to complain about it and try and RUN MY BIRTHDAY.
I can imaging that this ONE thing shouldn’t have bugged me as much as it did but this combined with years and years and years of this crap had done a lot of damage to that big wall I’d built up and in the six months before this we’d gotten married, bought the house, had just moved in the month before and my nerves were pretty shot and I just didn’t have the extra patience to deal with it.
I ended up asking my brother what she REALLY thought about the restaurant because I knew that she’d lie to me but tell him the truth and sure enough, she was pretty much APPALLED by the idea of taking my grandma there. And that was the point I just started to fall apart.
I called my mom the night before and told her I was tired and wasn’t feeling well (which was semi true, I’ve been having some bad sinus problems lately) and since it was a work night, I didn’t feel like entertaining them and lets just do it on the following Sunday instead. Also, since they weren’t coming for my birthday, she could pick whatever restaurant she wanted to eat at.
Gmail chat with him. He’s talking about my mom telling my grandma that the restaurant sucked:
me: ahhaah Why?
Cameron: oohh its anna bday tomorrow and she wants to eat at some irish pub and its good but its nothing to right home about
well i like it and its her bday
well yea but it was just not that great
while talking to gma and i said to gma that mom was a food nazi and it would be good
me: Yeah, she could tell by the ONE dish she tried.
When they FINALLY showed up on Sunday Ben was “busy” working on garage stuff and my mom out out of the car with tons and tons of birthday bags in tow. So okay, I guess this IS for my birthday, whatever, I’m just going to try and get through this without my head completely exploding. We went to the garden center (everybody but Ben) for an hour or so and putzed around and my grandma LOVED IT. RAVED about it. Couldn’t stop talking about how great it was. They had originally decided to not eat while they were up here because my mom had taken them to a late breakfast.
Well, when we got back Ben had showered and was relaxing, we sat around and talked for awhile and my GRANDMA mentioned the SHE THOUGHT we should go eat WHEREVER I WANTED FOR MY BIRTHDAY. Well, I had mentioned a Mexican place that had gotten pretty good reviews on a website while we were bouncing around places to go but when it came down to it, my MOM HAD SAID THEY DIDN’T WANT MEXICAN originally so I got up and said ‘Well, lets go to the pub then.’
My mom waited a few seconds for everybody to be up and talking and not paying attention and looked at me and in the most fucking snotty voice said, “No, I want Mexican, lets go to Mexican.”‘
Ben heard her though and Ben didn’t go. He made an excuse about his back hurting and needing th lay down. Honestly, it’s probably a REALLY GOOD THING he showed as much restraint in that moment has he did.
That was it. I was done. I literally had a vision of me slapping her directly across the face and telling her to get the fuck out of my house. Instead, I just said ‘fine. lets go’. On the way there I asked Cameron what else had been said about where we were eating and there were things like:
“Well, the food isn’t going to be that great but at least there will be good company.”
“Don’t mind her house, it’s a mess” (HELLO! WE JUST MOVED! I THINK THEY GET THAT! Plus, my grandma LOVED the house, raved about it).
And I was just LIVID. It took every bit of restraint I had at the restaurant to ‘deal with her’. She kept pointing out how polite and well behaved Cassidy was and it became clear to me that it was a “Look, my daughter didn’t turn out that great, but at least my grandaughter makes up for it” She intentionally kept trying to “talk me up”. Making my job seem more thrilling that it is “even if she won’t try and advance further there”, explaining how things at the house were going to get better “even though it didn’t look that great now”, how GREAT Ben really is “even though he’s quiet”, it just made me feel WORSE because it felt like my life was such crap, she had to sugar coat it to make it seem better than it really was.
It just… gah.
ONCE AGAIN, my mom said the restaurant was good and I KNEW that I’d hear later how it WASN’T and by the time she left I wanted to curl up in a ball and just DIE because ONCE AGAIN I let my mom make me feel like a complete failure and I’m STILL not good enough for her.
I should add, my grandma was NOTHING but nice. SO polite and interested in the REAL me, what my work is REALLY like, how the house is a LOT or work but I LOVE that, etc. My mom just couldn’t stop butting in with her little bullshit quips.
Then the kicker was this conversation that I had woth my brother.
7:01 PM she asked if i new why ben didnt eat with us … and i asked her why and she said… well grandma thouhgt he didnt like her and then …. i said no not at all …… and then mom said o is it cause i didnt want to eat at the pub.. and i said sort of but that she should talk to ben so he could explain and mom is like… he can go to his grave keeping that from me i dont care… and i jsut walk away so yea wierd
7:03 PM me: Go to his grave keeping it from her?
7:04 PM I don’t get it
She shouldn’t assume crap. It’s not because she didn’t want to go to the pub. She should realize that and if she’s to thick headed to ask than she doesn’t deserve an answer
7:05 PM Cameron: prety much thats why i jsut walked out cause i knew at that point she was just blowing hot air
me: What did she mean by that though?
7:10 PM ???
Cameron: because it alll stared when after eating the mexican leftovers that were NOT that great mom admited that it wasnt the place she thought it would be and i said Karma. So she is like huh and I said oh that for not wanting to at least try to eat ( at first ) with you guys…. so then she asked a min after that is that why ben didnt blah blah.. an i said waht i said ( above ( but also to talk to ben but she said that he made a point in a childish way ( wich mom hates i guess ) and so in conclusion she said na its ok ben can go to his grave not telling me why he didnt go with us
7:11 PM yeps
7:13 PM me: Ben wasn ‘t the childish one! She was the one that was throwing a fucking hissy fit over WHERE WE ATE FOR *MY BIRTHDAY*. Even GRANDMA said “Let eat where Anna wants to eat.”
7:14 PM Cameron: which is why i told u
cause i thought that was irresponible of her
me: Her entire attitude lately has been bullshit. Treating me like my feelings on MY BIRTHDAY in MY HOUSE in MY TOWN are secondary to grandma’s is bullshit. THAT”S why Ben was mad.
7:15 PM Because 1) she negative ALL THE TIME and 2) because she was dictating how MY BIRTHDAY went.
7:16 PM He wanted to go to dinner so when we got up and said “lets go to the pub” and mom looked at me and said with attitude “No, I want to go to Mexican” he decided not to go.
well sorry for making your night a bit crappy but i jsut had to share that
me: Because it was the last straw for him. He was sick of her acting like a stuck up, negative, have it all her way or no way, bitch.
7:17 PM Cameron: well again sorry if i spioled your night
but that was just well rude
7:18 PM me: You didn’t. But seriously, she’s about to get a rude awakening. I’m not a fucking child anymore. I’m done letting her treat me like she can push me around like a 10 year old.
What was rude?
Cameron: o what she said
7:19 PM Cameron: for the first tiem it REALLY hit me
me: NO RESTAURANT will ever be goon enough for her
Cameron: i knew she was meh meh but that was like wow
me: I will never be good for her.
Cameron: she is fing hard to please
7:23 PM me: Well, I’m done trying to please her.
So yeah, that’t it. My wall is officially a used up pile of worthless rubble laying all around me. I can’t do it anymore. I just don’t have it in me.
She called once about a week later and I didn’t answer so she left a message like NOTHING WAS WRONG and I haven’t called her back… and she hasn’t attempted to call me again. It’s been a month now. Normally we talk at least once or twice a week.
I’m stressed about all this. I’m depressed, I’m letting it effect me, it’s bothering me, I think about it all the time, I lay in bed at night and dwell on it, I miss parts of conversations because I’m thinking about it and the most stupid part is that I feel like I’ve let her down AGAIN. I know I need to confront her but the thought of having to do that and having her tell me how wrong I am is just not something, mentally, I think I can take. I’m not strong enough to be the ball she kicks around anymore. I have my own family with my own problems to deal with and I need to focus on US right now but how do I do that with all this bullshit playing around up here in my head taking up all this space?
I seriously, honestly don’t know what to do…