Today I celebrated another birthday….my mother’s birthday. It’s kind of ironic when I sit here and write about it because last year at this time I only sent a card to her. It was during one of our bouts of estrangement. I always sent cards, however. I never was completely out of touch. We won’t go into how she handled special occasions because frankly, it was quite the opposite.
I come from the thought process of “do unto others as you’d like for them to do unto you”. This means, I recognized her birthday each year whether or not we were talking because I know how much it means to me for someone to wish me a happy birthday. I bought her a nice gift and had it nicely wrapped and gave it to her this morning. She was very happy with it.
She turned 74 today. We’ve only been back in communication for a little over a month. Today was not the typical birthday for her. She had to have a root canal done. I volunteered to pick her up early this morning to take her to the dentist and wait there for her for as long as it took. I set up the appointment for her last week with my dentist because I know the dentist very well. They knew she was going to be stressed out and nervous and I gave them the heads up ahead of time. They went out of their way to make her feel at home.
The root canal took a couple hours and lunch time had passed and I was still waiting for her. That’s not complaining….I’m just giving background here. I have hypoglycemia so I’m not supposed to miss any meals. One of two things will start happening….or possibly both. I will start getting really weak with a headache and I will get extremely agitated from not eating. Although I think some of us can relate to the agitation from being hungry.
Either way, we were the last ones to leave and she had to check out. The front desk girls wanted to make her next appointment but I don’t know my Mom’s schedule so I suggested they wait for her to get up to the front. So many things happened at once in a matter of two minutes. The girl up front says “your mom was supposed to talk to your dad about pain meds?” I shrugged…I knew nothing about this discussion. Then my dad calls to see how she’s doing so now I’m distracted on the cell phone. My mother comes around the corner and I mentioned what the front desk girl said about her pain meds and then she came unglued.
“That is my business and I don’t need to discuss my pain meds with anyone.” She says this to me LOUDLY….and in front of two girls sitting behind the desk. I feel about as big as an ant at this point. Then immediately the girl behind the desk says “no, I’m sorry I meant payment not pain meds”. “Oh thank you for helping me out now, sister” I’m thinking to myself. Meanwhile I’m on the verge of tears because I’m hungry, I’m frustrated and now I’ve been humiliated in a dentist office that I frequent and I feel like my mother just spoke to me like I was five years old all over again.
We walk out and I decided to have open communication and address it as calmly as possible. “You really hurt my feelings back there in the office when you snapped at me….it was a misunderstanding what the receptionist was saying”. She apologized and we moved on.
I took her home because all I cared about at this point was getting home and eating and getting something for the banging headache that was at the forefront of my skull now. It felt like someone was using an ice pick behind my eyes at this point.
I get home. Take something for my headache and the phone rings. It’s my mother. “I understand you got your feelings hurt and I already apologized but I don’t need discussion about my pain meds out for the public”. Here we go. She’s stewed on this for a little while now and so I’m going to get the full on “I’m wrong” speech. I tried to explain AGAIN that it was a misunderstanding and she went on about how she had a long day at the dentist and it was HER birthday and on and on and on. I finally told her I had to get off the phone because not only was my head pounding, I was now feeling nauseous. I told her happy birthday and we both hung up.
I shut my phones off, crawled in bed and cried myself to sleep. I couldn’t believe I’d just dealt with this again. Where does the anger come from? Why do I always feel like I’m one step short of doing everything right. Aha! I just said it….I’m still trying to make her happy and please her and I lose sight of my growth. It’s so easy to do.
Therefore, I end up in a bubble. I block everything and everyone out. Except for Rudi my German Shepherd, of course. I want to stay in that bubble for the most part. I speak to God about these feelings of mine because I feel so stupid for admitting to others that this relationship still has very rocky moments. That I know I can’t fix.
But I always try to be forgiving and always try to have compassion.
It just drains me sometimes.
Thank you for reading. This too shall pass.