I spoke to my mother for the first time since the end of 2018 I think it was.
I called her to simply wish her a happy mother’s day and keep it all on the surface, not getting into anything emotional. I knew that just calling her would drain me emotionally so I resolved myself to keep it at a more intellectual level.
I even thought, you know, maybe I can do this and not worry about resolving anything. I mean, she made it pretty clear last time that she isn’t really capable of it.
So there I was, before I had much time to even think about it, calling her on our land line and even expecting her not to answer. But she did and she seemed happy as well as surprised to hear from me.
We talked for at least an hour before anything that falls under the ‘elephant in the room’ was brought up and guess what! It wasn’t even me that brought it up.
Well, kind of.
We’d been talking a little about my siblings and I’d asked if they were still not talking to each other. It turns out they are and from there she asked me if I was in contact with either or both of them.
Well with that, the emotions are difficult to curb and I even said that this brings us dangerously close to exactly what I didn’t want to get into in this phone call.
But I found myself explaining my feelings again, the abuse and bullying and the betrayal, including her part in it.
She seemed to validate, acknowledge and she even apologized! Which took me by surprise. However, last time we talked, after we’d hung up, I had something else come up for me, something that hit me like a ton of bricks. I had realized that I had felt insignificant to her, in the midst of my siblings and I caring for my dying father.
And when I emailed to tell her that, her response was quite dismissive and illustrated that she had not understood what I’d said to her during our phone conversation.
So after this time, even though it seemed to go well, I still don’t trust that she truly and authentically understands and I know putting myself out there to her, yet again, is a big risk.
She invited me to visit again, when all this crazy ‘rona shit lets up. She has invited me every time she’s had the opportunity, offering to pay my air fare. So I have to admit that makes me feel good.
This time though I think I was more clear than last time about where I was at, concerning any sort of relationship. I said yeah, we can talk about it, but let me have some time, absorb this conversation and we’ll see how it goes.
I want to go. I want to visit her in Florida so much. I haven’t been out of my state in years. I also miss my mother.
I don’t know if this is going to work out. It hasn’t so far. I don’t know if she is capable of talking more or further. She said she is, but she said that before and she wasn’t too receptive when I attempted shortly after.
However, last time she didn’t apologize. This time she did. Last time she fell so short of validating my experience. This time, she was very validating. So when she said to me, “I’m glad we got a chance to talk through some stuff and (something like) we can work through more in the future.”
My thought was, “Well you said that last time and that didn’t work out so well.” But I didn’t say it, because, at least for today, it feels like a better outcome.
There were some disappointments within the conversation. Some things we didn’t agree on that I wasn’t as prepared to prove differently in reference to the ‘growing up’ environment. But I also have to realize that she has her own perspective and certainly her own baggage. She seems to think that the three of us were raised the same way, at least for the most part. I differ in that opinion and said a few things about my take on it, which she listened to. But then I thought of other things that proves that wrong. And that’s where I think listening to and hearing her perspective is important. I mean after all, there were interactions among us three that she wasn’t present for. And when she says that I think she is thinking things like, where we went to school, how much money they spent on us for clothes, birthdays and Christmas.
I of course want to go deeper on that topic and think our experiences were pretty different, despite the attempts fairness on both parents’ parts.
I was just satisfied to know that she seems to be open and receptive to hearing what I have to say.
We’ll see. It was nice to talk to her. I do miss her. But for my own self-protection, I can’t get my hopes up too high and I think I should be prepared for disappointment.
Happy mothers’ day to all my motherly friends out there.