I'm just recently (as in an hour or so ago) recovering from a complete meltdown of sorts. Full on panic, dread, doom, numbness, dizziness, shortness of breath, tears, and the feeling of wanting to be out of my own skin. It's a feeling that is so hard to describe, so that anyone who has never experienced it, could actually get an idea as to what it is like. Saying it is awful isn't enough. Saying you start bargaining immediately to make it go away isn't enough. I will quit smoking. I will take better care of myself. I'll go back on Celexa. I'll do yoga. I'll meditate. I usually wind up being mad at myself. Angry that my brain is in control. Angry that I can't control my brain. Long story short. I took an Ativan and a long hot shower and it has subsided. Just like that. As quickly as it came. This particular attack wasn't unexpected. I'd been waiting for it. I knew it was coming and as I sit here now, feeling somewhat okay, I know there will be more.
The latest and the greatest in the Parental visit saga is that they are safe and sound now back in Las Vegas. As it should be. The whole two weeks was emotionally draining and extremely nerve wracking, and the night before they were leaving the Time Bomb that is mother went off. Boom. If you knew my mother you would know a few very basic things about her. You would know that she is loud. Not only loud but abrasive. Like an S.O.S. pad only less soapy. She talks a lot. She's a bit selfish and only knows how to "give" by using money. She is bossy and she contradicts herself constantly. Sometimes within minutes. I'm not sure why that is. I'm not sure why any of it is. But it is. I had learned over the years that it was safest to mostly sit back and shut up, but if you know anything about me, it's that I don't always do what is safest. I also tend to zoom in on the details, and if there is a contradiction, I will be drawn to it like a magnet.
On the day before they were leaving we had a phone conversation that was basically to set up a time for them to come over that night to say goodbye. (Originally they were planning on another Auction night but had decided not to go. I won't lie. The fact that visiting with us was an option and not a definite was a confirmation that felt like shit.) Anyway, I thought they could come over and visit with Jack after he got home school, then maybe we could order take out. NO. No? No we don't want to eat anymore food. Ever?? Weird. Anyway. Her first plan was they would come over after Jack did his homework around 4:00. Okay. BUT, they have to print out their boarding passes at exactly 5:00pm. Exactly? Yes not a minute later. At this point it dawns on me, I need ink for my printer, so I say I will go out and get ink for my printer. NO. No? NO. We'll just come back here and print them. My mind is calculating, which sucks because I hate math...but...basically that means they will visit for a half hour. On the night before they leave. Breathe. I'm getting a little annoyed by this point. The refusal to eat with us. The insistence on printing the boarding passes, and I realize that if they had gone to the auction as originally planned there would have been no printing of the damn boarding passes until they had returned home. In my mind I'm thinking so why not just come and stay longer, you're going to have to eat at some point, and print them when you get back to my Aunts. Boom! BOOM!!!
She exploded. Like a stick of dynamite. Looking back, I think it was the fact that I pointed out the boarding pass situation. How she wouldn't have been able to print them if she had stuck to her original plans, so why is it so important that she do it now? (In my heart of hearts I think I know why. She didn't really want to come to my house and any excuse to shorten the trip was usable) In any case, she yelled and she screamed. I could barely get a word in edge wise. I'm sure my Aunt and my Father who had to have been close by listening were confused as to what the hell I might be yelling about on the other end of the line. Only I wasn't yelling. Except for once. To tell her to stop yelling at me and that I wasn't going to fight with her. I never raised my voice prior. I simply said something she didn't like. Something that exposed her motives. I hardly remember all the words she said during her tirade except when she accused me of being selfish and wanting everything to go my way. Irony? Or just plain sickness? I think I might have laughed then because it was so completely ridiculous I could hardly wrap my brain around it. She said a few more things that made about just as much sense and then she handed the phone to my father. We both just sat there like...hey. Hey. Neither of us sure what to do with any of it. After about a minute she calmed down a little and said they would come over after they printed their boarding passes, so a little after five. After I hung up my head was literally spinning. What the fuck just happened?
As crazy and unpredictable as her outburst was, it was nothing I hadn't experienced in the past. I think that maybe I might have thought this kind of behavior was over. Done. That it used to happen, but it doesn't happen anymore. Needless to say, my brain linked on to the pattern, and the floodgates of my memory opened wide. It wasn't pretty and I'm still having a damn hard time shutting the door.
But as if that unwelcome drama wasn't enough... there is more. The icing on the cake so to speak. After winding down from the phone call I pretty much went about my day. Jack came home and did his homework. I told him Grandma and Grandpa were coming for one last visit tonight. He got excited and started picking out all the things he wanted to show them but forgot to show them the one time they came before. BF came home from work. Because I kept getting a very loud NO regarding eating with us, I ordered take out for us three only. And we waited. When are they coming? Are they here yet? Didn't they say a little after 5?
At 6:30 I pick up my phone and call. My mother answers. Hello? Hi. Are you guys coming? NO. No we're not. We talked about it and we're not. Wait. What!? My mind is a little bit blown by this point but I manage to ask the question. "Were you going to call me and let me know?" To which she answered. "No, I wasn't." I had to ask again."Okay. Wait. You decided you weren't coming to say goodbye and you weren't even going to call and let me know?" No. No I wasn't. She started saying something else here, but I simply said "Goodbye." and hung up. Then I kicked a bucket that was in my driveway clear across to other side.
Again, my head is spinning. My son is asking are they coming. No, they aren't coming. Why?? Did you call them? Call them again. Tell them I want them to. My hands are shaking as I send one last text message to my mother letting her know that her grandson had been waiting since he got home from school to see them and basically that was one shitty move on her part. How do I explain to my son why they aren't coming when I don't even fully understand it myself? I now feel guilty. I feel like, because they don't want to spend time with me, I'm cheating him out of Grandparents. I dismiss this thought immediately. Fuck them. They should feel guilty. I tell him the truth. Not as harshly as I do here. I tell him that sometimes people don't do what they say they are going to do and we get disappointed. Sometimes we know the reason why, but somethimes we just don't.
That night was a sleepless one for me, with my own life movie playing on the screens behind my eyes. I wasn't dwelling. It was on automatic play. Like experiences attract like memories. They don't play like movies for everyone, but they do for me, and what I saw I didn't like. It was a fact facing night of finally accepting that they (my mother in particular, because my dad does nothing on his own) aren't good for me. They are hazardous to my health. By the time I went to sleep I had convinced myself that there wouldn't be anymore contact. That I had to shut them out completely. I'm not sure what I think now. I'm still processing.
The next morning I received a text message claiming to "just be getting your message now". There was an apology and an I don't know what happened. A second message came through right after saying they'd like to see me, either at my aunts or at my house, and that they were leaving for the airport at 1pm. I didn't respond. Instead, I shutdown, grabbed my new CD and headed out. I went to breakfast alone, I went shopping at few places, I drove around, got a coffee, had lunch, and was sure to return home after 1pm. It was actually a good anxiety free few hours.
Later that night I got a call and let it go to voice mail. In listening to message, I felt like Alice in Wonderland. Nothing made sense. Her voice was small and quiet, almost childlike, and her words were soft, somewhat matter of fact, with a We Love You at the end. This message surely wasn't left by the same woman who just the day before couldn't have cared less. I didn't call back. Instead I got angry again.
This afternoon I got an email from her. (This is where the above panic attack came in to play) I haven't even read it yet. Just seeing it in my inbox was enough to set me off. I definitely have no desire to speak to either of them right now. Maybe that will change. Or maybe I won't let myself get sucked in again, because it's too fucking much. I know she knows she was wrong. I know that's why she's playing all meek and mild and tossing out I love yous like they actually mean something. But it's not an excuse. It can't be an excuse anymore. If someone attacks you physically, treats you like shit, and then tells you it's your fault, does a sorry make it okay? No, it doesn't. So it shouldn't be okay for someone to attack you like that verbally either.
This was a long ass post. I apologize. Mostly I wrote it for me. Also sorry for the all the bold and italics. And spelling? I have a get out of jail free card for today.
Hope, who is going to get her money's worth out of therapy tomorrow.