Monday, December 21, 2009

A Visit From Nana

Believe it or not, I invited my mom to come and spend some time with us to attend our annual family get-together. I know, crazy. Total moment of mental failure. If you don't know the back story, we are estranged for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is her repeated abandonment of me during my lifetime. In other words, I don't trust her so I keep her at arms length. Our arrangement is that she and I communicate via email. Rarely on the phone. I made this arrangement after Bam-Bam's first birthday. And I'm not going into the entire story except that I decided I would give her one last chance to actually try to act like a Grandmother (or Nana as she insists on calling herself...which annoys me.) To my surprise, she decided to come here and stay with me. I warned her before her visit that this was just a very small step for me and I needed her to chill out about thinking we were all made up. I think she got a little overly excited.

On top of all of that and the fact that we have this estrangement, she is also a really annoying person. Let me give you the comical description of it so you can understand just how fun my weekend just was.

She follows me and my husband around the house while she's here. I am not exaggerating. I will go to do something and feel a strong presence behind me. I turn around and there she is. I have to say "excuse me" to get around her. Hubby, normally a pretty patient guy, can only take about 24 hours of this and then he gets a little crusty.

Everything, and I mean everything, is about her. If you tell her you knew someone that is a midget with one leg and a parakeet, by God so does she. Oh, and her story is much more interesting.

She likes to make "suggestions" constantly. My hubby came home from a shopping trip to Costco after having spent a lot of time vacuuming in preparation for our Sunday Christmas party. When he returned she said, "It's so nice and sunny outside, I bet you could take the dog out for a walk now and then you wouldn't have to take her out when (Bam-Bam) goes to bed." Hubby said, "No, I don't think so. I'm tired." And of course she had to come back and reiterate why it's such a good idea.

She flatly refused to sit on the couch for most of the time she was here. Instead she sat in a less comfortable chair, from which she seemed ready to jump from at any moment. She would absolutely never relax.

And, of course, she had a meltdown in the car on the way to the airport Monday morning. I was honest about my feelings for her (or lack thereof). Seems she was expecting some miracle to occur with our relationship. It didn't. I was glad she came so my son could actually experience what it was like to be with a grandmother. But I didn't magically just get over things. It doesn't work that way. For some reason she thinks I should just forgive 36 years of emotionally abusive behavior. It just isn't that simple. Anyway, she accused me of being "unkind"...which is her favorite way to say "stop speaking the truth because it hurts."

When we got out of the car to get her suitcase, she hugged me and told me she loved me. I said, "God damn it, I love you too. Why do you think this is so hard?"

I still don't think she gets it, though. I think she was actually just hearing me reciprocate the "I love you" and decided that everything is ok. She's delusional like that.

And now, I need a drink.


  1. Oh my gosh... I cannot believe this person gave birth to you. Talk about polar opposites. I think you've come a long way and am encouraged that you're in this place in life that you can step back and see her actions objectively and stay strong in how you interact with her. That's a hard thing to do. That being said, though, it still sucks.

    Well, as the old saying goes... anyone can have a baby, but not everyone can be a mother/father. That's true even when the kids are adults. Some people are just completely clueless about how to do it. At least she made the effort. I suppose that's something.

    It sounds like you handled it beautifully!

  2. LOL...I can't even believe she actually gave birth to anyone. For real. She is so not motherly and she really, truly thinks she is very nurturing and kind. But it only happens if there is something in it for her. Amazing. I've come to realize that this is just the hand I was dealt and I have to handle it. Oh, and she told me she really "appreciates my parenting style"....I wonder though, why couldn't she just tell me she thinks I'm a good mother?

  3. Good for you for trying but also for staying strong! Be true to yourself and your feelings...Bam Bam will respect that and you will be better!
    If it's all meant to be, it will.

  4. Oh honey I'm so proud of you. You are one amazing soul and don't you ever forget that.xxxxxx

  5. Brenda! Thanks. Where you been, girl? I need an update? Miss ya! XOXOXO