Posted by: Judy | May 18, 2015

Final Follow Up on MD…

The rest of the story.

NM left a note for me, in the bathroom, later in the afternoon.

She apologized for being in the kitchen during my afternoon time and telling me she noticed what time it was (after family left) and “skedaddled.” The insanity of this apology is mind boggling. Siblings were visiting for Mother’s Day. Everyone was in the kitchen. I didn’t care. It doesn’t matter how many times I say it doesn’t matter to me, she makes a fuss about it.

It’s a show, for me. This is the same woman who wanders through the kitchen during my time, needs to get this or that, and will only be a moment.

She said that she couldn’t understand the words of the conversation, at the same time she answered questions asked to her back. She answered appropriately, so she heard the question fine. I think what I’ve noticed is that she doesn’t hear what people are saying if it is of no interest to her. I want to observe this more to see if I’m reading this correctly.

Then she apologized for not being a clock watcher. Wait… what? The woman who uses an alarm clock set to go off at regular intervals? The woman who writes what she eats and at what time she eats it, all day long? She manages to be close to the kitchen when my time is scheduled and leaves as soon as I finish in there. Again, I think it’s a case of it isn’t about her so she isn’t interested.

She finished by complimenting me on being a mentor to my nieces and nephews. Except I’m not. I’m not sure she truly knows what a mentor is.

I’ve been a mentor, and my relationships with my nieces and nephews do not qualify as mentoring. I think. Now, she has me questioning myself.

My nieces and nephews are not accountable to me. I’m their AUNT. I treat them the same way I treat all my friends. Okay, I’m more emotionally invested in my nieces and nephews. In any case, I’m not a mentor to my friends either. I may do a little mentoring in that I endeavor to help others, but that isn’t quite the same thing. A mentor is not required to love the student they are tutoring. I love my nieces and nephews. I want them to be happy. I don’t want them to go through some of the things I did, so I share myself. I do this with everyone. I am not a mentor to everyone. I think what bothers me is that I resent her attempting to pigeonhole me. She’s always trying to put me in a box that makes her feel more comfortable. Ah. There we go. That’s what bothers me: She labels me as something less. Mentor is lower than aunt. NM values academia more than family. I don’t share the same value.

Not to mention how often did I hear lectures about not labeling. Practice what you preach.

More tomorrow.

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Responses

  1. Indeed, labels like that are bothering. I feel that when others try to define me (without an intimate, connected relationship first) that it feels controlling. The behavior then serves to control what I think about myself and my relationships with others and then plays on my self-doubt. It seems like you found her flaw in making a ‘blatant’ remark like that.

    • I wonder if it’s because she isn’t actually comfortable with emotional relationships herself. She wants them, but she’s so tied up in protecting herself that she isn’t able to be vulnerable enough to connect.

      I know she’s jealous of my relationships… I was going to say with my nieces and nephews, but I think it’s really with everyone. She wants to connect but doesn’t know how. However, she doesn’t want those relationships enough to seek help in becoming healthier. It’s really very sad.

      • I see what you mean. That NMothers can’t handle seeing their children express vulnerability and in turn have intimate relationships. And it is like you mentioned in another post on jealously (and if I’m wrong let me know), that she tries to destroy it, taking it a step further? I felt like that with my mother and my school friends.

        • I’d forgotten that. I’m wondering now if the destruction isn’t so much with malice a forethought as because they don’t know how to do it themselves. They attempt to mimic the relationships but lack the ability to be vulnerable and the ability to protect someone else’s vulnerability.

          • That makes a lot of sense, that helps me understand her behaviors differently.

  2. “I think what I’ve noticed is that she doesn’t hear what people are saying if it is of no interest to her.” It’s likely that you are correct: my sister used to do this in our conversations too. you could see in her eyes that she’d switched off when the subject didn’t interest her.

    “She’s always trying to put me in a box that makes her feel more comfortable.” I get the feeling that the apology was to make herself feel more comfortable. If you look at her -crazy making- actions from that perspective they make a lot more sense.

    • Oh… it does make more sense! This is one of the things that continues to annoy me about myself. I know it isn’t about me, and yet I still have to work through first how it applies to me. I really need to learn to flip what is being said so it isn’t about me but her.

      • I keep worrying about being enmeshed, and my last counselor assured me, and I agreed, I was emotionally independent. However, in her own mind she is still enmeshed with me. I’m not sure how to frame this in my head. Need to work on that.

        • I think the reason why it’s hard to be able to see this, is that logically, you’d think that an interaction with us, would have something to do with us. It’s quite hard to come to terms that one is just there as some sort of “prop” to their lives but that they’re not really interacting with us, but with the “imaginary” person they have made us out to be in their heads.

          • Thanks, kara, that makes it much easier to visualize how I fit into the insanity, so to speak. 🙂


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