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Mama Drama

PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:25 am
by Agate
I've now been a vegetarian for just under three months, and my parents have not yet caught on. This will come as no shock to those of you who know them (I'm looking at you, Iso!)...but it's suggestive of some rather large issues.

I've put a lot of work into building a decent relationship with my mom and dad. Trouble with that is I'm the one doing all the work. Despite the phenomenal amount I've grown the past few years, they still react in the same patterns that (sort of) worked when I was eighteen. I have very little in common with that girl...and even less in common with the shattered wreck of a young woman who moved into this apartment 6 years ago.

I've shed a lot of negative behaviors and embraced a lot of positive ones, yet when I try to explain this, I get shut down.

Taking a couple steps away from the situation, I can see some of the dynamic. Mom was the oldest child of 6 siblings born in 1950s Midwest America. Two of those siblings died before she left home of a form of kidney disease she later developed. About the time she left home, her parents divorced; an almost unheard-of event in the mid-1970s. Being the oldest girl in a family that was superficially perfect while rotting from the inside out shoved her into the role of Perfect Child.

In my opinion, that left her ice-cold and emotionally crippled. She jumped at a chance to escape by marrying my dad...a geek before the word even existed. He's not exactly big on expressing feelings, so he probably felt very safe to her.

And then I came along.

On my more cynical and bitter days, I say they should have adopted a puppy instead of having a child. It's easy to get rid of a dog when you don't want it anymore...not so much with a kid.

I dunno what they expected when I came along, but I'm pretty sure that I am NOT it! Highly creative and observant with some significant special needs...yeah. I'm not what they expected or wanted. And though that fact hurts, I'm mostly okay with it. Eventually I figured out what they wanted, and how to pretend to be it. So long as it's for less than 72 hours at a stretch, I can play the role pretty well.

Well, until I get back home and am melting down and puking my guts out from the stress of play-acting.

Somewhere along the line, a psychiatrist told my parents that they should avoid doing anything that would induce strong emotion in me. They embraced that advice and never let go. So even when I want to be excited about something, there is an immediate attempt to damp down my elation. When I'm upset about something, they do whatever they can to avoid a "scene".

I can see how Dr. Q's advice would resonate with mom and dad. Both being unaccustomed to strong emotions, my intensity was probably rather alarming.

But I'm in the best mental health of my life...and I'm still intense. That's a critical part of what makes me myself. A few times they put me on meds that leveled out everything, that turned down my natural intensity. It was horrible. Probably easier on my folks, but I felt like a cat shorn of her whiskers. I was breathing, but not really alive. I went for months at a time not writing a word. Though my mood was stable, even relatively good, those were some of the worst months of my life.

I've dined with Mom and Dad enough times by now for them to see a trend. Mom and I have lunch together a couple times a month at a Greek place. For years now I've always gotten the same thing; a gyro and fries. We had one of these our occasional lunches last week. When I ordered a salad instead of my usual, I made a quiet point of emphasizing "no meat!" to the waitress. Mom's only comment was a "good for you!"

I can only assume she was referring to my choice of getting a salad, period. Like I said in one of my early posts here, I'm dangerously overweight. So the commendation was nice...but it hurt.

I leave the drama behind soon. First week in October, I'm out of here. Perhaps the adage about distance making the heart grow fonder is true...but I'm not holding my breath.

And I can't really say I'm sad about that.