Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Aftershocks...

"Funny how family sees your for who you were and not for who you are, right?"


I'm thrashed. Less from my mother's visit and more from the discussion with my husband afterward.

The baby was overtired and/or teethy, I was unsteady but maintaining. The hubs was stressed from work/traffic and quickly pushed over the edge by our fussy baby in addition to my post-visit preoccupation. It was not the best time for a "talk."

I felt attacked and blamed, like I was completely at fault for the relationship with my mother-not so much the relationship itself but not moving on or dealing with it differently... I thought I was doing all right, not quite falling to pieces this time like others, but then the hubster started pressing.

Ugh. My body aches, I feel sick, leftover tears still wobble behind my eyes. I know he meant well but his frustrations spilled over on me and instead of a productive talk I went through a much less helpful "wringer."

He's not the only one sick of this dysfunctional status quo that has taken root. He's ready to move on, for better or for worse, but I continue to avoid conflict, keeping my head down; distance and boundaries being the only tactics I can muster.

He asked me what I want from my mother and I couldn't come up with a good answer. I just want to be able to talk to her without being confined to "small talk" or being ignored or shut down. I want her to know me instead of assume that I am the daughter she once knew.

The small talk is exhausting. The awkward silences heavy. Somehow I felt lonelier being with her today than I do on the days that I spend alone...

I feel pressure to make progress, to fix, to make a stand, but I also feel fearful and weak. I understand the hubby's desire for things to change, I feel the need for progress as well but I'm also very well aware that my reserves are quickly depleted by Baby Bananaface, anything beyond just keeping my head above water seems like an impossibility.

For now, I'll just keep bobbing as best I can.

11 comments:

  1. Family situations can be quite complex. It's not easy to make decisions about moving in/cutting ties/making changes when it comes to the people within our circle. There are so many emotional ties involved, not to mention all the psychology! Perhaps you and your hubby can talk about it more productively when you're both feeling just right.

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    1. Yes.... Yes! I wish we could just push through it and be finished, but I'm not sure if that's realistic. I guess all I've ever known is a place of angst and pain, not too familiar with a state of peace and stability-but that does exists, right???

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  2. Family dynamics are often so profound that the individuals involved don't even realize what they are and the roles that each person is thrown into. It sounds, if I am hearing you correctly, that you want a more adult and intimate relationship with your mum while she is still reacting to you as the parent she once was, and that does not fit with you as an adult now and a parent yourself...Perhaps your therapist would have some suggestions for setting appropriate boundaries and expectations with her, and discussing the issue with your husband in a calmer fashion so that neither of you feels blamed by the other. Also, you are a sleep-deprived new mum and adjusting to new babies and new roles as parents isn't easy, according to all my friends with kids. Perhaps sleep will help in the interim. Thanks for the birthday wishes, smiles and giggles!

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    1. Yep, you read it right :) I am working on boundaries, and making some slow progress, it's very difficult for me especially as I was assigned the "Mrs. Fix-it" role in my first family and taught from a young age to put everyone else's needs first... I definitely think I underestimated the changes new motherhood would inspire! Between the emotions and the physical challenges... I wish sleep came in pill form :)

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  3. I don't think your hubby should be putting blame on anyone...after all, a relationship, good or bad, takes two. My mother and I never got along very well (and I was an only child)...my father and I got along really well! Both my parents died within a year of each other, my mother in 1983 and my father in 1984. I was just in my 20's, and my mother was 67 and my father 64 when they died. Sometimes it takes a third person who is NOT emotionally involved or part of the family to help work things out. A social worker, therapist, etc. Someone who will encourage you both to talk openly and who will not take sides. I will keep you in my thoughts. Sending you a warm hug.

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    1. Thank you Linda, I have been thinking about having the hubs come in for some therapy sessions to help us develop a better game plan. My therapist has wanted my mother to come in for sessions with me for a long time, I'm just so stricken by the idea... not to mention I don't feel like my mother could be honest enough to make use of it. *sigh* Something has got to give though!

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    2. You are right, Hannah! And many people don't believe in therapy or think they need it, or that it will do any good, but how can they know this if they don't at least give it an all out chance?

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  4. Family dynamics are frequently a minefield. Being tired (exhausted) essentially lobs a rock onto the nearest mine.
    If I can I don't interact with difficult people or on sensitive topics when either I or the person in question is tired. It rarely ends well.
    Sometimes rescheduling those talks is a life saver.

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    1. Amen! Love the minefield image, it just might help me pull the plug on any future doomed discussions. "We're in a minefield here, we need to shelf this until we're in a better place" etc. Thanks :)

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  5. Without knowing the whole situation, it sounds like a lot of wishes and expectations are going unmet-- on everyone's part. When we can release expectation, then we are less likely to be disappointed and more able to accept simply what is. Easier said than done, I know. xo

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    1. You are so right, I've been able to achieve this before but haven't kept it up, it really did help. Thank you for reminding me!

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Thank you for reading and commenting!

Be well, HBF