How is it that you can have the closest relationship with someone and also have the most fucked up relationship with the same person, at the same time? It’s like two sides of the same coin.
I am talking about my relationship with my mother here. I can recall having the best emotions in my whole entire life associated with her and can also remember vividly those emotions that were the lowest of the low. And she was the common denominator, she’s ALWAYS the common denominator. Our relationship has a factor of codependency to it and that takes things to a whole new level of crazy.
Let me give you some background info. We are originally from Russia and came to America, just the two of us, when I was only 7 years old. The reason was because the love of my mom’s life was in America and he realized that he couldn’t live without her so she packed us up and we moved across the ocean, away from every single family member. Things didn’t work out on that end but I was grateful to have established ourselves in this land of opportunity. It was worth the stress and tears, at least for me.
So as you can tell, being as we only ever had each other, we relied on each other completely and depended on each other for everything. However, the move to America and my mom’s strenuous relationship took its toll on her and she was diagnosed with bipolar very early on. For those who don’t know, it means she gets a high where she has tons of energy to do everything and starts all these projects and then all of a sudden she will hit a low, and this low is worse then any kind of low that people with good mental health experience. Emotions attached to these two extremes are heightened and much more intense then is usual.
Today something happened that made me really upset and made me reevaluate my relationship with my mother for the millionth time in my whole entire life. About a week ago my mom took my car to pick up some furniture and in the process broke it, to the extent that it was completely destroyed and needed thousands of dollars worth of repairs.
What ensued was a drown out game of finger pointing and what I would call “the blame game”. It was argued that the car was already not in tip-top shape to begin with, that she was driving it in reverse when it was set on 4-wheel front drive…..etc. Both parties were at odds and disagreeing with each other, complete with a whole pile of hurt feelings as well.
If that isn’t bad enough, the day that it was found out that the car was not working and needed major repairs, my mom stopped talking to me for about four days. Now, if you know me, you know that I am the type of person who hates any kind of prolonged fighting or tense atmosphere surrounding the people involved. For me, I can’t really be at peace until the conflict is resolved and everything has been discussed and laid out on the table. My mom is quite the opposite, she internalizes everything until she can finally look at you again and even then, she won’t make it clear why she was mad at you in the first place.
I only found out later that the reason she was angry with me was because I just assumed that I was going to use her car from now on, in order to drive my daughter Izzy to Pre-K. It’s a habit of hers to “assume” what someone is thinking or what exactly someone means, even if that’s not what was said or even mentioned whatsoever. For four days I racked my brain, trying to understand why my mother was mad at me for something I had nothing to do with.
We were supposed to have a talk about the car when it first happened but she was seemingly so upset about the whole thing and it being even partially her fault that she couldn’t even be around us or see us or have anything to do with us whatsoever. Well, finally on Monday, after Mike texted her that we should talk about it because he wanted to use some of the money she gets from claiming me as a dependent on her taxes towards fixing my broken down car, we had the talk.
It began with both parties claiming that neither one of them was at fault because of various reasons and nobody wanted to back down. I sat in the middle, as I usually am in these situations, hiding my face with a pillow because the whole talk was disturbing and very upsetting to me. Then, my fiancé got a bit angry and started to raise his voice towards my mom because she has a tendency to play the “victim” and make everything extremely emotional and not about just mere facts. They had hit a wall and were not moving anywhere because my mother could not admit that she was partially at fault in this situation.
It started negatively and he was accusing her of not having to pay much whatsoever in terms of bills or the majority of the mortgage but he quickly apologized for saying those things and the conversation moved towards how he gets really upset because of the way my mother treats me. How she shuts me out because of her tendency of jumping into conclusions and exaggerating everything and makes mean comments towards me like, “You are a horrible mother and your children live in filth.”
Mike was saying that he wants us to talk to each other and to figure out our issues because he hates to see us like that and he apologized more then once to my mom for his previous outburst of anger. I was laying on the couch in tears, joy in my soul that Mike was finally telling her what I couldn’t tell her all these years, mostly because she never listens to me or takes much value in what I say.
After the conversation was done, I was praying we would be able to sit down and have a heart to heart but instead, she got up and walked away, shutting the door to her room behind her. I was flabbergasted but thought that maybe tomorrow would be better and she just needed some time to think about everything that was said.
Well, let me just tell you now that it DIDN’T get better. Oh no, on the contrary it got much worse. After I broke down because she couldn’t say “hi” back to me in the morning and instead just walked away, shit hit the fan. The pain that I have been dealing with so well and trying to keep at bay for a change, quickly bubbled to the surface and penetrated my whole entire body and soul. I couldn’t even workout like I usually do during my midday break because I was in so much emotional pain and decided to start a blog instead and maybe have a talk with a friend.
Things got even worse when my mom ended up taking Izzy upstairs with her into her room because Izzy knows how to manipulate us all and knows that grandma will give her what mommy doesn’t, like her phone. I was pissed off because you won’t talk or acknowledge me but you’re going to spoil my daughter and go against what I’m trying to discipline her with? I was so pissed. I know I shouldn’t have done what I did but at that point I was just beyond hurt and confused. So, I walked into my mom’s room and demanded she tell me what the hell I did because at that point I just couldn’t take it anymore.
There’s only so much one person can take before they snap. I was proud of myself for controlling my emotions before that but today just completely pushed me over the edge. My mom, full of hate and hurt in her eyes, told me that I was enjoying the conversation while Mike “tortured” her for all that time and that she is scared that he will kill her next time! Like, for real? He got mad, yes, but there was nothing beyond a raised voice. This is another instance of my mother taking nothing and turning it into something completely different and out of wack totally. When I told her that she was being ridiculous and not right, she told me that I am a liar and that if we want to talk to her she will need a mediator present or a recorder.
This all ended with her shaking and freaking out on me, screaming for me to get out while I was holding Nate in my arms and Izzy was laying on the bed next to her. As sad as this whole situation is though, I have been through these kinds of situations my whole entire life.
At first I was mad, so freaking angry, I wanted to tell her, “You know what, if you don’t move on from this and just let this ridiculousness go, I don’t need to let you see the kids anymore and we are done for good.” Of course, I didn’t do that because I am not that kind of person and once I calmed down, I texted her saying that I am letting all the negativity go and I hope that she can do the same. She is obviously not forgiving or forgetting yet, so we’ll just see what ends up happening. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a good outcome but you never know with my mom.
What baffles me the most is that she is willing to damage our relationship because of a five minute part of a conversation that lasted an hour or more. There are much more horrible things going on in this world and being bitter or holding grudges is just silly when you look at the big scheme of things. I hope she comes to her senses and sees that life is too short for these stupid fights and misunderstandings. Perhaps she just needs more time. Here’s hoping.