Friday, January 13, 2006

this is the last I'm gonna say about it (alt. headline: "Call Me Che")

Sunday night I wrote a post about some... unpleasantness with my mother. Tuesday morning I took it down. Some people have been asking why. "Was there a nuclear fallout? Are you out of the will?" No, and probably, but the thing to understand is that I didn't write that post for entertainment, I wrote it out of frustration. It was a hard thing to do. And I didn't publish it out of spite, I did it because I was desperate, because it seems that this public medium is the only one through which my mother will absorb important information in any lasting, meaningful way. It's a simple matter of communication style; some people listen better without the distraction of talking. I'm the same way. Once my Mom read what I had to say, my point was made and I could take the post down.

Preliminary data collected through the grapevine indicates that I may have only fueled my mother's indignation, and angered a bunch of her friends to boot. Long-range results are anyone's guess. To be fair, when we got together last night neither the blog nor the tantrum were discussed, and my Mom was being extra sweet. I'm just not sure if she was making an effort or gloating under the mistaken impression that I un-published the story out of shame.

Here's what: I've always borne the brunt of my mother's rage and been the only one to stand up to it (one of many reasons I am considered "the difficult child"). Last weekend my entire family was involved and affected, and while the discomfort was nothing new, it was, for me at least, the last straw. I felt that to tell the story of our latest altercation, in all its ugly detail, was the only way to make Mom realize that maybe the problem lies not just with the lazy, ungrateful children who give her no choice but to roar her terrible roar and gnash her terrible teeth. (Again, in the interest of fairness: There's no shortage of love and praise there. She's proud of us and tells us all the time. She tells everyone all the time.)

My family backed me up on the post, but our solidarity lasted only a day. The storm blew over, the mess was swept away, and as usual I'm the only one still tripping over debris.

So for now, it's done. At least I can say I tried. If the rest of my family wants to keep the trailer parked in tornado town, I guess I'm stuck there too. To unhitch and move away would mean leaving them behind and for me, for now, that just isn't an option. Even in the path of occasional destruction, there's no place like home.

(Can you tell I saw "Wicked" last night? So good. There are monkeys. See it if you can.)


Anonymous said...

Remember this life-affirming principle: No movie that has monkees in it is a bad movie. Perhaps the same is true of Broadway productions.


Davey Jones

Reya Mellicker said...

Thank you for this beautiful update. No wonder I like you so much, for I, too am the "difficult child" in my family, also known as "too sensitve."

I'm fascinated by your experiments with blogging - and unblogging - as ethical communication. When you initially published that post, I thought, Wow she is so brave. Later when you took it down I wondered what happened, but after reading today's post, I'm thinking, Wow, she is so respectful.

I salute you.

Velvet said...

Another "Difficult Child" checking in. But I must say, only when I moved away and stopped calling them, did they become nicer and more respectful to me.

The Daily Rant said...

I'm so sorry I missed the post. Must have been up there briefly, as I have been checking in. After spending a month with my mother and then being there again this week for just one night, I would have really loved to hear what you had to say.

I never thought of 'standing up to a mother's rage' the reason for being the difficult one, but after reading this post I realized that I too, must be the difficult one in the family. My brother says less and just ignores any negative comments and therefore is labeled the 'respectful one'. I respond to the negative comments and or "suggestions" and am labeled the troublemaker or difficult one.

I have a problem with parents saying whatever they want to the child, hurtful or otherwise, and then expect to be respected and not talked back to. I agree that you should respect your parents, but when it gets out of hand, what is the alternative?

I have not been as brave as you to voice my displeasure through my blog to the extent that I want to. I'm glad to see you do, though. It's great to really 'hear' someone talk about things so many of us deal with.

Look forward to your next post.xim

playfulinnc said...

I want to play a monkey one day.

Please include me on the "difficult child" roster, and especially the "too sensitive" one.

I am not sure what I would do if i knew my family was reading. You have true cahoonahs to post like you do, but the grace to know when your writing has done it's job.

It's funny, though, thinking of you and me and Velvet and Reya being the difficult ones...but it breaks my heart to think of you bearing the brunt of anyone's rage, especially a family member. I feel that this rage helped the body image issues we discussed the other night.

Rage can be managed...but it takes professional help to do it.

Bless your heart, AW.

Barbara said...

It's unfortunate that you seem to be carrying the bulk of the emotional burden from this whole incident, while everyone else has moved on. I could sense your careful deliberation as your finger hovered over the SEND key on Sunday night. I hope something of this can untimately strengthen your relationship with your mother. She must see what a strong person you are and she can be proud of that!

Washington Cube said...

When you posted the removed article, I wasn't sure what to add in response to it. There is much to be said about the relationship of mother and daughter: I know few mothers and daughters that do not have a troubled relationship, or that of parent and child. Each has their own perspective on how things should be.

My own mother died a few years ago, and that gives me another perception which is that when you are arguing over these things that seem of some import and weight now, down the road it means nothing to your relationship with one another in comparsion to the finality of death where there is never a chance to retract, amend or undo what has been said and done. I look back on some of the disagreements (still unresolved) I had with my mother, and they can't be worked on any further.

I think you were right in taking the stance that you did. I do hope, for your sake and your mother's sake, that as time passes, you will be able to see the bigger picture in terms of the limited time we have with one another and what we do with that time; in how we treat one another.

The sad truth is, we can wish for a wise, compassionate relationship with our parents, and it may never come. The problems that evolve from blocked empathy and perceptions can lead to a lifetime of dissatisfaction and regret. I can't even tell you that in your knowledge of what is occurring to rise above it and let it go, because that stance rarely produces any resolution either. Just keep the channels open.

Vixen said...

I haven't seen Wicked yet but my friend did and has been raving about it.

Thanks for keeping us abreast. Families are strange...can't live without, and can't live without them.

Take care.