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Tuesday, July 31, 2007


The last time I spoke with my mother was just over a month ago. No, wait, she called me a couple of weeks ago just to ask me to order some wine for her sister. She couldn't stay to talk as she was expecting a neighbour around.

So today, I thought, okay Fiona, it's time to reach out. So I called and we chatted a little. Of course about her neighbours. She mentioned she hadn't heard from Rhona for a while but I told her that she'd been very busy, and she has been. After she told me about the neighbour with something wrong with her hand, as yet undiagnosed after almost a year, thanks to the 'wonderful' national health system, I thought I'd hop in with an update about my shoulder. She'd forgotten I have a problem with my shoulder. My tale of the problem with the MRI was met with her telling me about my dad's similar problems (of which I'm very familiar). I tried to tell her that the final decision seems to be bursitis, but she was more interested in talking over me about her friend's problems.

Then she said: "Oh, while you're on the phone, could you order some wine?" Yes, of course, is it the usual mixed case of white? Yes. I took the opportunity to mention that the last order she asked me to arrange, I sent as a gift to her and she said: "Yes, I know, I saw the little note on the box. I meant to say thank you. But I don't want you doing that." I said well, now and then I like to make it a bit special by sending it as a gift. She just said, okay and that was that. Alrighty then.

The reason I called her was that I wanted to tell her my happy news. I really wanted to, I wanted her to be happy for me. But I didn't. I didn't say a word about it. I didn't even tell her I'll be away for a few days. I don't need to, she won't be calling me, I've taken care of the wine for a few weeks. To be honest, after my conversation with her, she took the wind out of my sails. I tried so hard to make that a really upbeat and positive call, gearing up to tell her how happy I am, but she pulled me back down. Everything I told her about me, she had to compare me with someone else. She made me feel inferior, less important than a neighbour. I guess I thought she might do the same with my happiness. I don't know why I thought it would be any different.

I've long since stopped wondering why she's like this. But why, oh why, does this sort of thing even bother me any more?


freebird said...

Ohhhhhhhh, Fiona. How my heart sank to read this. But I don't have to tell you that you only have to focus back on your amazing new life to come bouncing back up. Yeah, damn shame she can't share it but... (shrug)... some people are just like that and you can't expect to change them. I have a friend with a mother like that, and while they are still your flesh and blood, you just have to detach yourself. Don't let it spoil anything. Of course it won't! Just wondering though, if she'd take more notice of a letter? Pity for her if she missed the biggest event of your life.

anna said...

It bothers you because you're a sensitive and caring soul. It bothers you because she is your mother, damn it... and mothers are supposed to care about and be interested in their children's lives.

I'd better shut up. I'm getting myself all worked up.

Share your happiness with those who care about your happiness... like us! :)

~Tim said...

Families are wonderful things....

Jonas said...

Sigh. Your mother is not a happy human being, and there's NOTHING you can do about that, Fiona.

My mother and I couldn't seem to get close, either. Pity.

Fusion said...

What FB and Anna said Fiona, and we've talked about this before too.

Hopefully she will wake up and realise this is important to you soon.


Sunny Delight said...

It hurts because you know that if your roles were reversed you would be nothing like her! She is not a person that can see past her own self interest...and that is not you.

Plus everyone else is right...we have this "supposed to love us unconditionally" feeling about parenting/parents...but there are some like your mother that are simply incapable of nurturing...it is not in them...

She is not ever going to change...but someday...you will be able to let most of it go...you are your father's daughter...not hers.

Ask yourself this my friend...if she were not your mother...would she be a person you would welcome into your life with open arms? Would you even like her?

Matt K. said...

It looks like she's rather narcissistic, really. That, and perhaps she's belittling you as her way of coping for some of the many other wonderless issues that your family seems to be marinated in. When someone makes that kind of effort to make someone else feel small and worthless, it's because they feel small and worthless and want someone to feel worse than they do, as if it would make them feel better about themselves - but it never works. And like an alcoholic thinking that the next drink won't be anything like the last one, that they'll be able to retain control, they keep trying the same remedy over and over again, to the same results.

Best to simply put distance between you and her. I'd even consider telling her to order her own wine - give her some lame and transparent excuse like you're too busy and leave it at that; perhaps she'll get the hint, perhaps not, but it'll be one less person in your life dragging you down.

Sally-Sal said...

You love her. And when we love people, we want to invite them to share our happiness.

It's sad that some people have that compassion, that love, that goodness of spirit missing. What makes it tragic is when those people decide to become parents.

What I admire the most about you Fi, is that even through all that, you're you. You've made your life what it is of your own accord.

Instead of using your past an excuse, you've risen above it, you've made the best of it, you've become the woman that has the kind of love most people never realize exists.
That's all you. Your amazing, beautiful, incredibly radiant spirit that simply cannot be broken.
And oh, how proud your dad must be of his little Fifi ;)

freebird said...

What I don't understand is how she managed to produce a daughter as wise and caring as you! x

Fiona said...

FB - she doesn't make me feel less excited, you're right. Hell, I won't let her. I'm in love with an amazing man and he's in love with me. It doesn't get much better than that :) Maybe a letter would be a good idea. Perhaps this visit we can get a good photo together and and I'll send her a copy. Then she'll see how happy we are. Thank you for that. Oh and as for your later comment, I think Sunny got it right there with her comment that I'm my father's daughter :)

Anna - I should be used to it by now. Used to her ways. I guess I just keep hoping that one day she'll care enough to tell me so. I do so appreciate you and the others for sharing this with me, for being a part of such a wonderful future ahead. Thank you :)

Tim - Aye, indeed, Tim.

Jonas - I think you're right. And she doesn't want to be happy. She used to talk of her own mother as being so bitter and emotionally detached from everyone. But she's turning into her. Sad, isn't it. I feel for you too.

Fusion - I don't know that she will, and even if she does realise it, I doubt she'll ever care. I need to stop caring about her not caring.

Sunny - you're right, I AM my father's daughter and I bless him for all he gave me, for all he instilled into me. Interesting questions. To be honest, no to the first question and I'd probably pity her. Hugs and thank you for your words :)

Matt - I wonder sometimes if she's even a little happy. I really doubt she is. She could have been so many things, done so much. She trained as a nurse then gave it up to have her family. She could have gone back, she didn't. Perhaps she sits now and regrets her earlier decisions and battles with herself over them. On one hand I suspect she admires my success professionally, but it's mixed in with an equal, or perhaps larger, dose of jealousy.

I can't just desert her when she needs things. And in time it may end up being a lot more than just ordering wine. I should be able to offer her at least that much help, I just need to find a way to do it, without letter her make me feel bad about it. Thank you :)

Sally - You made me cry. I realise that I'm me despite so much, as well as because of so much. And I know you relate so well because it's the same for you. I don't know if she loves me, truly I think she's only ever really loved her dogs and cats. They always came first. I think she respects my opinion and trusts my integrity. Perhaps thats as close to love as I'll get from her. And thank you for the comment about my dad, I hope he is. No, I know he is. I want to keep making him proud. Thank you and major big hugs :)

FB - Because I'm my father's daughter, as Sunny said. More and more I see that. Maybe that drives her off, too. Thank you hon :)

kimba said...

Hey Fi..

My heart sank too reading this.. My initial thought was something not real kind I must admit.

But you know the next thing that came into my head was - isn't it sad that this woman

a) won't know the full extent of her daughter's happiness..

b) probably will never be as happy as fiona, ever again..

(and ok - I'll give you the unkind thought I had too - with my apologies because I know she is your mother..)
forgive me fiona but I thought.. she's probably going to die soon and this obligation that fiona feels will die with her.. gah! sorry - but that is what I thought..

Anonymous said...

She is self absorbed, for whatever reason and I doubt she'll change. She can't give you what you want, probably she can't even give it to herself. I'm sorry Fiona, it sucks.

Jac said...

Our moms were the first persons in our lives who had such power over us that they could give us the love and security we needed, or could turn a cold shoulder on us. That was your first lesson in lovablity, and she rejected you then, and she continues to reject you. No matter how much love you have in your life(and you have plenty),it can never heal this wound of primal rejection! Every phone call brings it back up. But, you are too good of a person to just cut her off. I don't think, no matter how together we may be, we can ever understand, or get over that sense of loss! I'm so sorry dear!

Fiona said...

Kimba - don't feel bad. For if you do, imagine how I should feel for feeling that if I had to lose a parent, why couldn't it have been my mother. Honestly, she's been brave and tough in her life, she looked after a family here, without the perks of the usual expatriate life, while my dad was at sea for months on end. I admire her for that. But I do agree, that one day I will have a release. Not just me, my sister too. Thank you for your honesty hon :)

Deb - I agree, she's not a happy person. When my dad died, she said that she could finally get on with her life. I wanted to strangle her for saying that. He never stopped her, she stopped herself. But she probably will never admit it. Easier to blame others. Thank you :)

Jac - Yes, I do have so much love in my life now. I have a man who has quashed my belief that I am unlovable, by loving me the way he does. She's the product of her own rearing, she just chose to keep that legacy going, whereas I will not. I am so like my dad, so I can only imagine how much he had to repress in order to live his life with her. That makes me the saddest. And you always make me think a bit harder about things, from your words. Thank you.

kimba said...

I had the same thought when my father died Fi.. If one parent, why couldn't it be my mother?

Terrible confession.

Fiona said...

We have both made these terrible confessions, but Kimba, we didn't just sit and dream them up, there's a reason for them.

Laurie Anne said...

Fiona, I sympathize. My mother is also self-obsesseed with her own life. The other day she complained to my son "oh, your mother works too far away!" And I do, I work very far away from where I live which leaves me stressed out and less time with him etc., but instead of saying....your poor mom is in this awful situation...she chooses to make a condemnation of me.
If it were someone else, she would be more apt to be kind. It's sad, isn't it?


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