I’ve been thinking and reading so much about boundaries, that I even found a recent bout of food poisoning symbolic of boundary setting! 🙂 I saw a parallel in the way that my body was setting its own boundaries against the toxins in the food and my need to no longer have contact with some of the toxic people in my life
Not suprisingly, my mother is attempting to rewrite history with the rest of the family. Shortly after my brother and I had our falling out (largely in part due to issues regarding my mother), she had surgery. I sent her wishes for a quick and full recovery. She chose not to respond, aligning herself with my brother. The 2 of them and my sister in law chose not to contact me. Fine, fair enough, they’re entitled to their choices. And honestly, it’s refreshing not to be constantly swept into the whirlwind of drama that always seems to surround these 3.
Well, my mother’s taking a page from her last cutoff, when I was 24. That was caused by her asking me to get documents for her after my father’s death from my uncle (who was acting as the executor) without saying they were for her. I was willing to ask for the documents on her behalf, but I wasn’t willing to lie and say they were for me. For that, I was called a b*tch and all sorts of other names. When I told her not to yell or curse at me, she kept doing so, so I ended the conversation by hanging up the phone. She called again a week later and said she didn’t want to fight. I said I didn’t either, but she couldn’t yell and curse at me like that. Her reply was to yell F**k you and hang up on me.
We didn’t speak for several years. She tried to tell me a few years ago that I cut her off without explaining why I did it and that she just wanted a copy of the document because she was out of town (she was actually trying to instigate legal proceedings against the estate).
We reconciled after several years because she started attending AA meetings and I believe in giving people second chances. She was a bit more subtle this time around, but eventually she started sliding into her old habits and treating me like a second class citizen of the family.
Now, after she cut contact with me, she’s trying the mama martyr bit with a great aunt who is very close to me and a very important person in both of our lives. My great aunt knows she’s cut off her father, both of her sisters, me and many of her friends. But she does want to see us reconcile.
She’s trying to sell my aunt a song and dance about how my brother and I had an argument and she doesn’t know what it’s about. And she’s doing an Oscar worthy performance of pretending to care about how I’m doing . Maanwhile anytime I’ve tried to talk about the issues which upset me, she shuts me down and says, “that’s how I am, I’m not going to change.” I’m so exhausted of hearing her pretend to be the caring, interested mother to the outside world, when she makes it a point to spend what little time I would spend with her miserable for me by constantly criticizing and belittling me. She spent less than 48 hours with me when I was in town for my brother’s wedding. She kept criticizing me for buying a yogurt and for using my cell to call the nail salon when we got lost instead of hers. She actually raised her voice at me for both things and kept going on about the yogurt repeatedly during the day.
I was sorry I even mentioned the yogurt. I was just trying to make some conversation by saying how I had a really nice walk by the beach near the hotel and then picked up some yogurt and coffee and enjoyed a nice breakfast on the balcony before taking a dip in the hot tub. I didn’t even get to finish as she interrupted me and started chastizing me about the yogurt. She was angry about the cost, even though I’m in my 40s and haven’t asked her for a penny since college. The thing is she’s criticized me for being negative and cynical. Here I was, trying to make some nice, pleasant small talk and I get yelled at and criticized for it. I’m glad that I picked a hotel a bit away from the rest of the family. At least I had an escape from her and her negativity. I even skipped breakfast with her and my stepdad the next day. We hadn’t made plans yet, so I used the fact that I had a drive to a friend I was visiting as an excuse to get out of it. I could have gotten on the road a little later. But honestly, I didn’t want to hear more criticism and harping on me.
I don’t regret giving her the chance for reconciliation after the first cut off. It made this one easier even though it was of her, my brother & SIL’s choosing and not mine. I gave them the chance to hear me and they chose not to.