“Maybe you can get your mom to stop antagonizing you and being negative by just telling her that it’s bad for the baby,” my friend suggested. “No one wants to stress out a pregnant woman, right, because that could stress out the baby!”
If only things were that simple. If only my mom just stopped talking about a topic simply because I asked her to stop. She really has no idea when to stop, and the worst part is that she is manipulative and tries to make it seem like I am actually the problem when she is choosing to be negative and bring up bad stories from the past of “wrongs” that people have committed against her 5, 10, 15, 20+ years ago.
My uncle recently asked me to share my new address with him, and so I thought I’d just be efficient and share our new address via email with all my family members. In the email, I also let everyone know that I’m pregnant. I BCCed everyone (minus a psychotic aunt) since I know my dad has a tendency to report back to my mom (who is also basically HIS mom) every single detail of every message or action he’s aware about that I’ve done online. And he certainly did not forget to do that this time around.
So my mom called yesterday, and I knew it wasn’t going to be good because she started the conversation in her surly voice with one of her favorite starter phrases. “You know, you aren’t going to like this, but I need to share something with you” (when does a conversation ever go to a good place with a preface like that?).
So then she starts raising her voice and saying that I better not have emailed a specific cousin and a specific aunt because they are trash and they don’t care about me or my baby or my new address. She then starts reminding me (for the 10th or 20th time) of grievances she holds against them for things they’ve supposed done to “hurt” her. When I repeatedly try to tell her that I don’t want to hear this and that she’s shared this pretty much every year for the last ten years, she interrupts me and says, “Why can’t I share a story with you? We’re close, so I should be able to share a story with you. Why do you have to be so mean? I told you that you need to be NICE to me!” With each time that I interrupt her, she continues talking as though I’ve said nothing and allows her story to just keep droning on and on and on.
When I finally say that I don’t want to hear this anymore, she gets angry and says, “You know, it’s clear you are in a very bad mood today. So if that’s the case, then maybe we will talk another time.”
At that point, I was really done. “Okay, if you don’t think I’m in a good mood, then maybe I’m not in a good mood and we don’t need to talk. Have a good day. Bye!” I waited a few seconds for her to respond, and she mumbled “okay,” and I hung up.
In her mind, everyone else is always the problem. She is never the problem. It doesn’t matter what age my parents get to, or what age anyone ever gets to. Holding grudges is toxic and unhealthy and says more about the person holding the grudge than the person who the grudge is against. The person who the grudge is against has likely forgotten or potentially even had zero awareness that there was ever the problem. The person with the grudge is the person held hostage in her own negativity, in the past, and always incapable of being in the present or even thinking productively about the future. Wouldn’t it be so amazing if instead of brooding over the past, which both of my parents constantly do, that they were actually firmly set in the present and appreciative of all their life’s blessings and good fortunes? Well, that’s impossible because they will never be happy regardless of what they have. Something is always wrong with other people, and they themselves are untouchable.