Friday, February 26, 2010

Not Saying It

My brother Michael and his wife Deb and their two children Daisy and Flo are here, visiting from Amsterdam, where they live, until Sunday. I haven't seen much of them so far though as I've been working away from home such a lot this week.

My mother's having a great time. They went to the Museum today and she loved it. I am happy that she's had such a good time, but sad that I don't often enough give her such great times.

"And did I tell you we went to Casa Mia for lunch yesterday? It was wonderful! I wish you could have been there! It was like a party!"

Instantly I'm furious. I open my mouth to say it.

"Mum, I hate parties! I have hated parties all my life! You always say it was like a party as your top indicator of enjoyment - - well, to me they are pure misery and I wish you could understand, just for five minutes, how much I've always hated them and how painful I have always found it when you can't understand this."

But I didn't say it of course. Instead I said "Well we're going to an Indian restaurant tomorrow and I expect you'll enjoy that too."

I don't know if my seething anger was obvious to her - I don't think so and I hope not. Why can't I just get over it, and understand that she's eighty-five, and that there are some things she will always say, and that she can't help it, and that it doesn't matter? Although I didn't say the paragraph above, I can't bear myself for wanting to say such things, to the kindest, most well-meaning mother in the world.

Sometimes I really, really hate myself and this was one of those times.


Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

We are so used to logicality - justifying the things we say and do but sometimes there are feelings which have no logic - they just well up in us and it's wrong to try to logic them away.

12:24 am  
Blogger Silverback said...

You're being very hard on yourself, Daphne.

You've had a long, hard week with not enough sleep most nights. I know you also worry about Obama's health care reforms, the jihad placed on Switzerland by Col. Gadaffi and whether Leeds will win tomorrow.

So don't beat yourself up. In any case, that's my job !

5:02 am  
Anonymous Milo said...

We ALL treat our parents like that so you're not alone. I have been exactly the same my whole life.

What's obvious is that your mother is an E and you're an I (on the MBTI preference indicators thing I mentioned a while ago) that we went through at work. 'E's love parties and social engagements, 'I's very rarely. Sheridan is the polar opposite of me - an ISTJ, I'm an ENFP. He is confident and accomplished in his job and being around people, but he doesn't LIKE social engagements, parties, any grouping of more than 4, etc. Whereas I really do.

The E means you are 'energized' from being around other people and if you are an I you get energy by recharging (more on your own without big groups of people).

8:18 am  
Blogger Ailbhe said...

But Daphne, her age doesn't alter the fact that she's known you all your life and still not grasped this very fundamental point about your character, which people who've known you much shorter times have grasped without difficulty. You're allowed to be annoyed about that while you still love and admire her.

You're right that you shouldn't say so, of course. But even almost perfect mothers make big mistakes.

11:09 am  
Anonymous Ruth said...

Thank goodness you have this blog and us readers to sound off to. I, for one, completely understand the frustration and annoyance a parent can instil. It's maddening isn't it but, like Silverback, I think you are being very hard on yourself.

Please don't hate yourself or, if you must, remember to forgive yourself too.

2:11 pm  

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