Dealing with Mother
What's REALLY going on here?
Date: 6/10/2006 3:15:28 PM ( 15 y ) ... viewed 2341 times
As I journey on through my process of achieving self-love, unequivocal self-confidence, and a healthy mind and body, I've gotta be real about what's going on with my relationship with mother. Oh boy.
Mother is an extremely intelligent, strong headed, lonely (tho she doesn't know that), stubborn, isolated person. She has never remarried since her divorce from my father when I was in the 2nd grade and now I'm 38. I am the first born girl and have one younger brother. Her sense of physical affection (giving or receiving) is pretty much non-existant though she has been very generous to me monitarily these past couple of years. Only reason I say that is because I want to give credit where credit is due with her generosity. Don't want to paint the picture that she's all bad and horrible.
Since my upcoming wedding in 3 weeks is my 2nd, mama ain't paying, and rightly so. Nor have I asked her to burden herself with the undertaking neither monitarily or simply helping w/ any of the details. She wouldn't want to do it anyway. That's why I don't ask.
My brother, mother and I share a lakehouse from my deceased grandparents. Mother is the deed owner but my brother and I take care of the house and have unlimited access. Mom says her elderly state doesn't allow her to contribute physically to it's upkeep which was the mutually agreed upon arrangement amongst the 3 of us with her decision to keep posession of the property. It's a sentimental place for all of us we do not want to give up. I grew up there during the summers swimming in the lake, jumping off the dock, shucking corn together for family dinners, building forts, catching lightening bugs, learning to ski, visiting with family on the screened in porch watching the sunset. I too want the same wholesome experiences for my children someday. I do believe my mother wants that for me too.
Because of the sentimentality I hold for the lakehouse, David and I decided to get married there. That's well and fine, right? The more I think about it, WRONG!
Okay, here's the deal. Growing up I was a child with, let's call it, a lot of energy. I recall thinking, I just want to go and do what I want to do but mom won't let me. Everything had to be a fight because I wasn't allowed to do a lot of the things my friends were. Many times I just did them anyway, and so it was always mom trying to constantly pull my reins back. We clashed and I mean hard and therefore I grew up with very little affection. I grew up having a sense of feeling what I interpreted as mom's resentment toward me. It didn't help that now I see mom never let her resentment toward my father go either. I'm sure mom was really hurting from the divorce, but she countered that hurt with demanding unnegotiable control. That didn't mix well with my high energy level.
Let's fast forward to the present. Within these past 3 or so years I've been really thinking about this dynamic I've got going on with mom. I've taken on this little trick these past 3 years of just not telling her stuff because I don't want to hear her demeaning feedback of "no you're not going to do that." Hell, I'm freaking 38 years old, ya know? Well, after mom finds out about these things I don';t tell her, she freaks even more. Damned if I do, damned if I don't. Having a civil discussion w/ her when she disapproves of what I'm doing has been USELESS.
So, guess what I did? I've just gotta laugh about this latest stunt I've pulled: I haven't told her we're getting married at the lakehouse for July 4th weekend! Ha! She knows we're coming for the holiday weekend with David's family, she just doesn't know there's going to be about 30 more people joining us for a ceremony and outdoor bbq reception. Do you know how crazy she's going to act when she finds out? She uses the lakehouse for control over my brother and I as we make sure we accommodate her maintenance and upkeep requests which for the most part have been warranted tell-to-dos. She tells me I'm always inviting people over to the lakehouse and that it's selfish of me when in my opinion, she's just a recluse and doesn't want anyone else around.
I've agonized over this wedding deal since the day David and I decided to do it. Oftentimes thinking of calling it off at this location because of my intense anxiety of dealing with my mother and what I know is going to be her reaction. But it's too late to change the location. We've got people flying in with reservations made and secured. No turning back. Done deal. So now the question is, do I tell her now, go ahead and take the medicine, risk her sabbotoging the day saying "no you're not going to do it. Tell everyone they can't come." OR don't say a word and watch her gasget blow when she sees all these people pulling up in the driveway for the wedding? Thing about it, she could possibly not go to such an extreme reaction too.
This mom-anxiety has made me the queen of non-confrontation and avoidance my whole adult life I've come to realize. It's krept into all areas of my life, this avoidance thing with me. I believe this to be the catalist of my unhealthy immediate gratification behavior. Don't however want to give the impression I've been an angel by any means. I've been guilty of knowing how to push her buttons too. It's just that, knowing and identifying the source is what I've been reading as the first step to change, right? Now I just have to figure out how to harness this avoidance anxiety and dismiss it from my life. How do people do that? As long as mom is alive, I will always seek her approval in thinking that I'm a great person. I hold this deep notion that she thinks otherwise. And even when she's gone, if I don't grab ahold of this, I'll feel guilty and failuristic until it's my time to go too. Gotta get real with this. Journey on.........
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