A busy weekend of visiting family, dealing with a sick cat, and then two days of being run through an emotional wringer with mom on one side and my cat on the other has left me pretty much spoonless for probably the rest of the week. I spent most of Wednesday in a fugue state, crying, or napping. My skin feels like it’s crawling off, and like there’s sand under my skin, everywhere, and in my eyes. Everything feels scratchy and nothing is comfortable. Soft things feel like I’m rubbing a cactus on my skin like some sort of loofah of pain and loathing. Even after doing nothing but sleep I don’t feel rested.
I wrote a lot of the story down on my Livejournal, so I think I’ll just copy and paste from there.
From my LiveJournal, April 2nd, 10:39 AM:
I got a text from my mom this morning that simply said “I’ll call you at noon.” I barely slept last night after crying over all this nonsense for hours. I think I got three hours of sleep, and all I want to do is go crawl back into bed, but I’m not sure I’ll wake up for this call if I do.
I’ve got a roof over my head for the next month, anyway. I’m not sure what’s going on with my family now, and I find it really upsetting that mom will refuse to help me after I liked something irreverent on Facebook that just so happened to pop up on her feed. If that’s all it takes to get me written out of the will, so to speak, I’m surprised it hasn’t happened sooner. That, or she’s been contemplating it for a long time. I’m sorry she feels that I’m such a horrible person, but I am 29 and my own individual, with my own likes and dislikes, and I don’t have to toe the line on a normal basis. To make helping me conditional on how well I’m censoring myself around her, is very painful, and makes me wonder about our entire relationship.
April 2nd, 6:01 PM:
So after thinking about it for a while (and getting some sleep, because I didn’t really get any last night and thus by noon I was pretty hysterical to begin with,) I came up with this idea for a truce of sorts. I tried to call mom but hit her voicemail, which might’ve made it easier to explain my idea anyway.
I asked, “What would you like to see from me? What would satisfy you and calm your fears about my health and my ability to care for myself? What I would like would be to be able to set healthy boundaries that we can both live with.” I of course didn’t manage to be that succinct because god forbid I write stuff down first to get my ideas straight.
After a very hysterical conversation/me sitting there silently crying and falling into a state of shock around noon, it really all does boil down to mom is convinced I’m always playing the victim and not doing enough to “counter” my health problems and thus am going to die of the deathfats, because I don’t eat and exercise to her standards. Also, everything I believe in is wrong because it isn’t what she believes, and she doesn’t want to hear my science because “everybody can lose a ton of weight” and she thinks there are long-term studies out there proving this. She also read my blog- after I warned her that she probably wasn’t going to like it- and she feels like I’m blaming everything on her, and I’m always playing the victim and woe is me card rather than doing something about it.
(I guess the years of therapy and careful tending to my overall mental health and stability, and doing my best to be as independent as possible isn’t “doing something about it.” What she wants me to do about it is eat and exercise how she feels I should because obviously that’s REALLY the problem at hand.)
The worst part is, I just get… stuck. I don’t even know what to say, I feel like I’m on the defensive now, and that we can’t just have a conversation without blaming each other, and I don’t feel that I’m playing the victim card. Yes, a lot of things that happened WHEN I WAS A CHILD had a lot to do with my mother, but I’ve been working on changing and growing since I’ve become an adult. The way I wrote my response to her was to show her “this happened, and this is what I’ve done about it,” but I think the way she’s reading it is “this happened and it’s my mother’s fault, and I’m such a victim, I’m just going to wallow in being a victim.” She also yelled at me that two of the cars I owned as a teenager were given to me by her and my stepdad, and the fact that money changed hands doesn’t count because the cars were worth more than I paid. I was just trying to make the point that I’ve been as independent as possible as long as possible and yes, now I have run into a roadblock with being unemployed, but that doesn’t give her the right to beat me with it or use it as leverage to make me do something the way she wants it.
Thank god my therapist called in the middle of the conversation to reschedule our appointment next week, and so we talked a little and she basically sent me to bed to rest and regroup a bit before trying to continue talking to mom (after making sure I was safe, I love my therapist), and we moved my appointment to THIS Thursday. I texted mom this and then went to bed, and it’s amazing how much more clear-headed I feel after a klonopin and being comatose for a while.
I don’t know. Am I being a victim? Am I being unreasonable? My head’s spinning so much just trying to keep track of all of this, I’m not sure anymore.
I had a lot of support from my friends over this, thankfully, and the final conversation we had went well. Essentially, mom wants me to exercise, and this will help me feel better, because it helps her feel better. Okay, fine. But I’ve *been* trying to increase my overall activity level, and I’ve *been* trying to improve my overall diet, and I am the master of my own underpants and she is not. I quietly agreed to work on it to make peace because I was already borrowing spoons from the rest of the week at that point.
Mom admitted that she doesn’t know a lot about bipolar disorder, and she didn’t sound all that inclined to start breaking out the studies. A lot of “we all have a lot of crap in our lives, that’s part of life” got thrown around, which was NOT my point, at all. I just… I’m not even sure what my point is anymore. I am just so tired and emotionally I feel battered and bruised. Setting boundaries is hard when you’re trying to set up a chain-link fence to keep out an Abrams tank.
Thank goodness I see my therapist at 2:00 on Thursday. I’m going to need all the help I can get, to sort my brain out after this.