Thursday, December 13, 2007

Strained Relationship with Mother

I know it has been so long since I've written consistently and I've probably lost all of you as readers, so I suppose this blog entry will be seen by few if any.

I am in California visiting my mom with my wife and my son. We came here because I needed a break from my not-so-full-time job which wasn't bringing in any money. Actually, we came here because we thought it would be a vacation where my wife and I would give my mother who has been an absentee grandmother living all the way on the west coast next to the richest neighborhood in the country a chance to spend some quality time with our son. Obviously, having the opportunity to have a babysitter is also what we wanted, along with a chance to spend some quality time with my wife who has been so helpful and patient during these hard financial months.

My mother has been very kind to us, driving us wherever we want to go, and cooking for us and giving us her every moment of time, but something has been wrong. She has not been letting my wife and me move around and she has held us back from getting our own transportation essentially secluding us in and around her apartment. We tried to rebel by wanting to go off on our own and to rent our own car, but then she turned kind and generous and offered us her car only to revoke that offer every time we need it. We decided that this is the way grandmas house is and that we'll remember to get our own car and our own hotel next time we come to visit.

However, as nice as we have been, tonight my mom turned nasty. Over the many years we have all had issues with my mom and computers, or her intentional lack of knowledge regarding them. I learned early to avoid computer conversations with her, but my sister has always gotten sucked into them always leading to fights. Tonight she told my mom to hit "refresh" regarding one of my mom's computer problems. She asked me how and I told her "hit the F5 button." When she told me that nothing was happening, I told her that I wouldn't help her further because obviously I didn't want to get into one of those conversations with her. She then started mumbling to herself and calling me names. She called out, "you are selfish!". After calling me selfish, I walked over to her and quietly (but angrily and forcefully) said, "don't you ever call me selfish and don't you ever embarass me in front of my wife."

While she was wrong in what a mother-in-law should and should not say to poison the relationship between a mother and a son, and while I was wrong for saying a "don't you dare" to my mother because that showed lack of respect for my mother, I am hurt because I feel that my mother was uncarefully playing games with my life and with my family by trying to make me lose my cool in front of my wife, all because I wouldn't help her with her computer.

Now I am upset because I feel that my relationship with my mother is strained, and this could be a permanent strain. Between you and me, I really just want to pack up and leave this place. This environment is poisonous for my family.


Ahuva said...

Would she have let you sit down in front of the computer and play with it until the issue was resolved? If so, that probably would have been the way to avoid the issue. Don't tell her how to fix it-- just go over there and fix it.

As for being secluded-- is there a bus you can take? I see people getting on and off the buses with babies all the time. It's a pain, but it's a lot more cost effective than renting a car (which it sounds like you really can't afford to do right now).

And why does it bother you so much that you mom called you selfish? That isn't something that should make you lose your cool. Your wife knows that you are not selfish-- and these words reflect far more on the person who speaks them than anything else.

How long are you visiting?

Zoe Strickman said...

The visit was for one week. I'm writing an update now.

Anonymous said...

get over it. Give your mom a hug and tell her that you love her.

I don't know how I ended up at this site. Tried doing a search for "strained relationship" and your blog note was up there.

I'm fortunate in that I still have both parents, siblings & a wife. I also have a couple of out-of-house kids & I do hear what you're saying re: the control thing.... sure, your mom is different than you but enjoy her and the rest of your family in the moments you have.

Be thankful you aren't in some retarded space having to worry about the drinking water you desperately need or having to duck bullets and avoid homemade bombs.

Life's too short, get on with it! Wish I had recognized that much earlier.

Oh yeah, Merry Christmas just because.

Stray Websearcher.