Monday, September 8, 2008

I really don't think I can do this

Had the bright idea of just going down to Mom and Dad's in the evening and not interrupting either of our days. They were apparently having a bad day (missed a doctor appointment day-showed up a day early and waited awhile before being told).

I thought to change the subject by telling them some plans I had made for Thanksgiving and how it to make it easier. Mom got offended because I said I'd find things for the kids to do, and they both piled into me for my housekeeping and my failure to display the snakes last Thanksgiving. I got hurt and mad before I could disengage myself....finally did a "I'm leaving now" and stomped out.

And the rub of it all, is the reason for the bad day (appointment trouble) is part of the reason why I just can't leave. I had a fantasy where I gave the keys of the house to my brother and said "it's all yours, adios".

I know there is a solution that doesn't involve me losing all sense of who I am and what I want out of life or abandoning them to old age and doddery. But I honestly don't know how much more I can take. It's not even that the criticism is that biting or over anything major. But it's constant, constant, never ending, endless droning on and on. Nothing you ever do, nothing you will ever think of, any idea you will ever have-none of it will ever be good enough because you are not like us.

And I don't want to be like them-if I did, I would, but I don't. But why can't they just let that go and focus on the good things I am. That's what I do with them-it works pretty good up to a point. Hmmm, a why can't YOU statement...I hate those. Let's rephrase it-Why can't I just learn to let it go and focus on the good things they are?

I guess the real problem is I have no clue when it's coming or what is going to hurt. I was in a pretty upbeat hopeful mood when I went down today, so I thought I was well prepared for any onslaught. I was trying to get out when the veneer started to crack and my voice was strained but I just didn't make it to the door fast enough.

Now, on the good side of things, I recover much more quickly than I used to. A swipe that hurt that bad would have put me out for a few days last year. Now I'm calming down and almost ready to move on. But I also have consider what that movement needs to be.

Cue Cate Blanchett from Lord of the Rings "Do we leave them to their fate, do we let them stand alone?"

Fuck no. But I do have to figure out how to do it without losing so much of myself in the bargain or I really AM going to end up being the crazy lady who stays behind closed doors with her animals all the time.

I'm usually really good at self preservation too, but the people closest to us live in the place where there are no defenses. I think I need to build an emotional holding pen for my parents where I can look after them but they can't hurt me.


Mim said...

Deb girl - you need a vacation. Time to regroup and put some distance in.

Debra Kay said...

I have a weekend in Tulsa with friends in a few weeks, and then after Puggerfest I'm going to Chicago for a Reptile show....and I supposed to go to Orlando the first week in December but I was going to cancel. Honestly I don't think I can make it till then.

I am seriously thinking about moving plans around and going somewhere for Thanksgiving. Bill will be here HE can troubleshoot with his kids and grandkids or they can all go to hell and be miserable for all I care...LOL.

What I really want is to feel comfortable in my own home, and that might not be possible here on 49th street. The idea was always to have convenient access, but my parent's really don't comprehend the boundaries thing. What is that old adage? Out of sight, out of mind. I need to move out of sight and out of the line of fire.

Slipstream said...

the last idea in the post... might not be such a bad idea.

I'd do it.

Debra Kay said...

Slip, you are correctamundo. Moving will do no more than complicate my life further. I did indulge in a fantasy of my home in the country with no animal limits and a refuge for fat bottomed animals, but that isn't for now.

And, as it always seems to be the case, it's not so much a matter of managing or controlling the externals, but rather my own reaction. Negativity is kind of like a vampire-it can't come in if you don't invite it.

I never understood why people, intrigued by the vampire, didn't just ask them to go for coffee or something.

soulbrush said...

if you could build this emotional pen it would be wonderful, but it's probably impossible.

Debra Kay said...

I really don't think it is impossible. I've been successful in working with difficult animals because the energy is so simliar to my parents in many ways. I just need to go over some lessons learned with my furry/feathery/scaley friends.

And, get over the "why is it so hard for me" line. My other family members living near their elders are different people living near different people. It was foolish (but understandable) to expect the same thing....nice coffee chats in the morning, etc.

The biggest benefit to this arrangement is still mine-getting used to the day to day stuff has been tough and ever changing, but I do go to sleep at night and sleep soundly not worrying about having to get to someone in a hurry-they are all right here.

I am a product of what I did for a living for awhile-consolidate businesses...but it IS a good strategy.

Mim said...

This is such a tough topic. When I was at my folks last weekend, I went for a haircut. The hairdresser did the usual hair blow dry, try to make me look sexy etc. (never works!). When I got home mom looked at me and said "oh you cut your hair"...then dead silence. Then "I never liked totally straight hair on anyone, it never compliments the face...nadda, nadda, nadda...". No outward statements that she didn't like my particular haircut - just an overall statement. This way she doesn't have to admit that she said something negative to me. I calmly said "Mom, I have stick straight hair, and she did a good job cutting it and I like the way she did it". Then I went and read...and sulked. I just couldn't help it!!!

When will I/we all get over the need for parental approval?

Debra Kay said...

My Mom does the same thing. If I said that I liked green grass she would emphasize that SHE likes blue grass. I don't think it's the actual statement (who cares what color of grass anyone likes?) but it's the constant with holding of the "you really did that right". I don't think we are so much "overly sensitive" as we are just looking for that little smidgen of approval.

Now, knowing Mom does this with everyone does diffuse the personal hurt-somewhat.

When I identify that she's saying/doing something out of habit rather than real communication, I put up that fence-checking every now and then to make sure I'm not missing something important. Oh-my mental pen surrounds HER, not me. Not going to fence ME in.