There's rosemary, that's for remembrance.
William Shakespeare: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Double Helix

Mothers and daughters; sometimes a complicated relationship.  My relationship with my mother was troubled, intense, rarely fun, distant.  My relationship with my daughter is fractured.  Not the first time that has happened, but the broken line never really heals and eventually it starts to stress. She is angry with me for not protecting her as a child in a step parent marriage. She denies this. 

My daughter is strong, beautiful, talented, professionally brilliant, lives every day to the fullest. I am beyond proud of her and there are no words to express how much I love her..  I can't tell her this enough.  She is generous to a, not generous, giving.  She has gotten me little meaningful gifts...a hand painted picture of violets, a collage portrait of my grandson's wedding, a necklace with a picture of the two of us, a cup with Penelope's picture...just special gifts.  And then there was my surprise 70th birthday gift of family, tickets for us to see Jackson last summer, snowboarding trips to Schweitzer when Mammoth is closer and in the end less expensive. She calls me every Monday on her way home from work and sometimes on the weekend if she isn't busy.  She loves me.  She just doesn't like me much. 

I realized a very long time ago that I had become a lot like my mother.  We share depression, worry, low self esteem, frizzy hair, and an Italian face. My daughter deeply dislikes most of  these traits in me, calls me Debbie Downer and bickers with me over pretty much any little thing I might mention about my health, financial circumstance, or my hair.  These subjects are pretty much off limits....most of the time. 

The car accident in 2005......called her after I was sure we were at least OK. Steve's 4th hip replacement because of the accident....didn't even tell her until he was on the ortho floor.
My heart attack.....called her after I was moved out of CCU. Louie.....called her after the needle biopsy was done.

She wasn't happy when I told her after the fact with all of these issues, but it was the best decision.  I never even told my sons about need. 

She has been upset with Steve and me the last few years because we haven't been able to travel to So Cal to visit.....we simply can't afford a trip.  I did talk to her about the consolidation loan we eventually got, but those calls were short  because she couldn't understand how it was we were so deeply in debt....we get Social Security don't we? My daughter has no clue about retirement finances.  She has said she will worry about that when the time comes.  She buys what she wants when she wants, has a nice home by the beach, recently leased a 65K car, and she and her husband both bring in a nice 6 figure salary.  Steve and I did too at one recent as 2009.  Then the words Great Recession came into being and all of that changed with a lay off and a tumbling retirement account.

So, 3 weeks ago as soon as I said the words I knew it was a mistake; a big mistake.  Here is sort of how it went:

Why have you waited 2 months to see the doctor if your fingers are numb and you feel lopsided?

I just thought it would go away; you know, it was gonna pass.

And of course you are thinking the worst like you have a tumor or had a stroke or something else drastic, right?

No, I am just concerned because it hasn't gone away.

And whose fault is that?  Yours. I'm sure it is nothing, maybe some PT will take care of it. I'm going to think positive and you can think horrible.

I hope it is something simple and that I don't need PT because at 40 bucks a pop I can't do that.

So, it's about money now? Didn't you just pay off all your bills with that loan? 

Sweetheart, paying off those bills got us a little stability not a total fix.

Has it occurred to you that all of this is just old age?  You are old, mom. Deal with it, get over it. Move on, just take care of this shit and move on.

And that was it.......she had hurt me, or to be psychologically correct, I guess I let her hurt me, set myself up to be hurt. I told her I had to go, I loved her, said goodbye and hung up. She hasn't called me since. It took me over a week to realize she wasn't going to call. I emailed and finally left a message on her cell over the weekend. Short and to the point with both....I love you, I miss hearing from you. 

I'm not sure what comes next.  Like I said, this has happened before, but it has been years.  I am old, I am.  Physically I feel old, but mentally I haven't caught up to 71, not by a long shot.  I know/acknowledge my faults.  She is right about all of them. Are mothers and daughters not supposed to talk about things that trouble them, worry them, hurt them?  I'm not sure what comes next. 



at least your daughter talks to you..mine not only won't talk to me, she wants to dance on my grave..I said ok,but you can't disco.

rosemary said...

Why does this happen, JackieSue? It hurts. I am far from perfect, I didn't raise a perfect daughter. You'd think we could figure this out somehow.

jp said...

I don't know much about anything. I know that I did blame my mom for a lot of things, and maybe they were valid, but it wasn't doing me any good. And it's not like she was evil. She just wasn't perfect, or what I felt perfect should be. But with a bit of age I figured out that I wasn't perfect either, far from it, and still am. And that's nobody else's fault but mine.

One of my faults is that I sometimes hijack comment sections on blogs to make it all about me.

rosemary said...

Oh,jp, I hijack all the time. I don't know much about anything either I guess. I like that phrase....I've forgotten more than you will ever know about -------fill in the blank for yourself. Doesn't fit, I just like the phrase.

Mom said...

Oh Rosemary, why is life so complicated? This is painful. I am sorry you are hurting. wish there were magic words to make it all better, but i have none. I believe the hurt is temporary and will heal, but sounds like it will take time and patience and it will be hard. It is good to know that she loves you and that you love her, but you need each other. hang in there my friend.

Mom said...

Oh, one more thing. Since I am older than you I refuse to think that you are old.

Random Thinker said...

Families are messy and people are complicated and the whole damn thing sucks sometimes. I hope you and your daughter have patched things up.