Impending family paranoia

I called my mom today on my way back home from work. I can tell she is getting antsy about my visit. About this time every year, she tells me that her health is going downhill, that she doesn’t know what’s wrong with her, and that she thinks she needs to have her head X-rayed because she’s constantly getting headaches and her head feels like it’s spinning. She also tends to catch colds around this time of year, so that doesn’t help her mood either. She does the same thing — interrogates me to see which of my family members may have contacted me, or who I may have told that I am coming home. She hates it when I tell my cousins, aunt, or uncle that I am coming home. She thinks when they want to see me, they suggest a meal, and they “expect” her to pay for the meal. “They just sit there, looking! It’s so embarrassing! They are just waiting for me to pay the bill!” she says time after time after time. She says this, yet she or my dad always feel the need to secretly pay the bill in advance, allowing no one the chance to pay. Or, when my cousin or aunt actually does this, they feel guilty and bad, so they feel the need to immediately take them out, or buy them too many excessive gifts. It’s lose-lose no matter what.

This time, when I told her that my cousin was driving up from San Jose to have dinner on my last Saturday in town, she got angry and demanded to know why he was coming. I said it was for dinner with me. She raised her voice, saying she refused to go and she should not be expected to pay since she’s no longer working, she’s disabled, and she cannot pay for everyone anymore. I told her to calm down — no one said she has to pay for anyone. It’s the same stupid conversation every single time. Her main point? She wants me to have no contact with any relatives. Why? This would mean no one pays for anyone, which is her dream… Even though she constantly is asking about each of them every single call.

I always wish I could just see my cousin alone with his wife, but he has to insist his mom or my uncle come. And that’s really when it gets annoying. It can’t just be a regular family get-together because my mom insists that everyone is out to get her. She then accused me of being sullen and said that I should be positive when I call her and not be negative.

Really? I am the negative one? I am not the one making up paranoid, baseless stories in my head about people being out for every dollar she has.

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