My mother will go dormant on facebook, only to resurface every two or three weeks and splatter my wall with comments and likes. Easy enough to ignore, which is the wisest (or most cowardly?) thing to do.
Now, she has sent me a message that she will be in San Diego in October, can she come see me? Actually, to be fair, I’ll show you her actual message:
Need to ask you a very very important question. Lee is flying us out to SD, in Oct. Will it be possible, if I or we come up there would you be willing to see me. If not then I will not ask again, I do not want to upset your relationship will your brothers. I will always love you., Mom
What to do, what do to. I let it fester for a few days and then wrote back my truth:
Mother —I’m going to try to make this very clear.It’s not that I don’t want to see you.The problem at this point — twenty-some-odd years later — is that I feel very unwanted/unloved. You can argue the reasons why you have stayed away so long all you want; the end result is still the same. You can say you love me all you want. I can’t feel it.I want you to want to see me badly enough to fly/drive/train/walk/bus across the country regardless of the personal cost to you in order to see me and make it right.I do not want you to come see me just because you happen to be on the same side of the country that I am, on a trip that you didn’t pay for, and I’m therefore just an added inconvenience of the trip that you are making for a purpose that is other than to see me.
Of course, I shared the conversation with my family, and Tree made an interesting observation, “I don’t know any effort she makes will ever be enough Mom.” Hmmm…
I took that to mean my daughter thought maybe I was being too stubborn — rather than the equally plausible full defense of me mode that nothing my Mother does will ever be enough for her either… So, apparently, I feel so guilty about not speaking to my Mother that even when my daughter is defending me I take it the wrong way. I am not being defensive! :}
Prince Charming came to the rescue of course with, “Good for you. Seeing her only causes you heartache. I vote stay away unless she wants to make all the efforts. Even then I am a bit apprehensive.” That is why he is Prince Charming. He has lived the ups and downs of my relationship with my Mother with me. He is not acting as a fair and compassionate judge; he is my advocate, my knight in shining armor. (At this point, I’ve lived with him longer than I ever lived with her.)
I further probed Tree, was I in fact being too stubborn? Not stubborn, she says; “decided… To you, maybe no matter what effort she puts forth it won’t be enough to counter what is already done.” (Oh, so I did read that right. Check.) There’s probably truth to that, and I should probably examine whether that is fair, particularly in the context of:
I believe our purpose in life is to love.
I believe in forgiveness. I believe I should be forgiven my errors, omissions, moods, ignorance and forgetfulness. I should be allowed to be my full and unfettered shelf. (I rarely show it all; I’m just saying that’s how it should be.) Should I not therefore be willing to forgive others, most particularly the woman who gave me life? Yes, yes I should. I believe I have forgiven. I just haven’t forgotten, and I don’t wish to be dragged back into the muck of our earlier relationship.
I also believe some relationships are toxic and should be left alone. I believe I should be allowed to defend my happiness and psyche by allowing others to live their own lives outside the realm of my life. Would I allow an abusive husband/boyfriend back into my life? Absolutely not, under any circumstances. It’s true, with sufficient therapy abusers — even sexual abusers — may change and grow; we are all capable of reaching our potential and changing our behaviors. However, once you’ve been abused by someone — anyone — that relationship should not be tested again. Let the abuser lead a more exemplary life with a new partner. I’m out.
So, shouldn’t that apply to the woman who allowed me to be abused? She should be out, right?
She gave birth to me. Doesn’t that mean I should allow her a little more trust? How would I feel if Brandi or Tree refused to allow me in their lives? I would never do anything to warrant that punishment.
In the meantime, she wrote back she will answer me “soon.” Do I really want to know?
This is my brain running circles around the question. I simply cannot find the right answer. Perhaps that means the right answer is to enforce “not now.”
Perhaps that means I’m just being too stubborn to admit I’m wrong. Wouldn’t be the first time.