Reminder From Mom & Report From Neighbors

I got a call at work Friday morning from Mom.  She called to remind me that Dad’s birthday was this weekend, and he was home, while she was at the beach.  She said that since she wouldn’t be there, I should take the kids over and at least tell him happy birthday.  She also said something like ‘didn’t you have a birthday  a while ago’.  Yes, I did – last summer.

She also had burned her hand on the stove, and it was bandaged in the ER, but it still hurt.  She has an appointment for dental surgery some time in the next week or so.  Just so that I know.

And that was it.  Total conversation time under three minutes.

First, her mood.  She was sarcastic, and probably in a tightly controlled hypomanic state, judging by the speed and tone of her speech.

My first (guilt induced) thought was, maybe it would be a good idea to take the kids over to see Dad.  We’ve got a present that we found a while ago that he would really like.  Then a few minutes later it struck me that I was being manipulated.  I know that I should have known it from the minute she called, but the guilt conditioning runs deep.  Then I thought that Mom must have incredible intestinal fortitude to call and ask that I remember Dad’s birthday, when the only birthday they remember is my Daughter’s.  And both my Sons’ birthday were completely ignored by them this year.

So, I told my Wife about it when I got home, and she thought it was funny because ‘guess who she ran into at the store today’.  Dad’s neighbor & his formerly estranged wife – apparently they are now back together.  According to them, Mom is doing really well, normal even.  Dad on the other hand, has health problems, has been getting very forgetful, and was ‘lying in the ditch’.  The ditch thing seems to be a recurring theme for him – probably because his driveway is a little different than Dad’s.  Dad’s driveway has a concrete pipe under it that lets water get through.  Unfortunately it frequently clogs up with twigs and leaves, causing water to run around and undercut the mailbox.  About twice a year, it needs to be cleaned out to keep it from happening.  Usually, this means lying down in the ditch, using a shovel to remove the debris.  Because of the width of the driveway, you have to do it from both sides, and there is still an area in the middle you can’t reach.

My Wife asked me if I was considering seeing Dad, and I told her no.  Dad has told me every time I see him, that he will call or stop by ‘the next time he’s in town’, but he doesn’t.  I answer when he calls, and fit whatever he asks into the schedule.  If he doesn’t want to see us, I’m not going to force it.  His choice, and his loss.

*UPDATE*

I missed two calls from Mom’s cell on Saturday.  I was changing the window motor in my truck, and didn’t have the cell around – not that I probably would have answered anyway.   I finally got around to listening to them this morning.  Mom was calling just letting me know that Dad was home and eating lunch, so now would be a good time to go over, if I wanted to go over, which I probably didn’t, or my Wife wouldn’t let me.  And it was such a shame that I was depriving her grandchildren of benefiting from a relationship with my father, and I would really be sorry since he is getting old and won’t be around much longer.  And my kids would probably blame me for that, and treat me exactly the same way.’

Nothing new, and as usual Mom left all the contact numbers again, as if the reason I don’t call is that I don’t have the number or something.  And it’s funny, because this is the first time I’ve noticed, but Mom leaving those numbers sounds a lot like the computer generated voice that reads off numbers on some voicemail systems.

Done with that for a while, probably.  The next event where I *might* hear from Mom would be in early July.  That’s her birthday, but it is close to our wedding anniversary as well.  She hasn’t ‘reminded’ me of either in a year or so.

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~ by namegoeshere on May 22, 2011.

6 Responses to “Reminder From Mom & Report From Neighbors”

  1. I’ve been wondering how everything was going with your family. I’m from babycenter and about a month or two ago I read your entire blog. It’s amazing to me that you are such a grounded person. Having a mother like that must have been incredibly hard growing up. And now being an adult, husband, and a father, it must be hard to watch her continually decline. I like reading your post. You write very well.

  2. My Mom wants to be sick with everything EXCEPT bi-polar disorder. She has a new disease every six months or so… it’s usually a big production. She has now decided, after 37 years of marriage, that she wants to divorce my Dad. She packed her stuff Mother’s Day weekend (drama always happens on holidays), told my father she was visiting my sister and my sister she was visiting her mother in Illinois. To make a long story short, she had already found an apartment near her mother and moved there. She has been back twice to “collect her things”. However, she left things that I bought her over the years. She even left something I bought her when I was a teenager.
    It’s hard to bear, but necessary. I don’t talk to her, she doesn’t talk to me. It’s better that way.

  3. Once again, so similar to my mom. The dental appointments, and Dad is losing his mind to dementia. My mom says, “Son, it’s all gonna backfire on you one day, and then goes into some sorts of Biblical rage and usually quotes scripture. Then proceeds to blast my wife and daughter.” She loves my son to death, because he feels the pain when she brings the guilt. ” It all takes a toll on him,” she says.

  4. Exploring through your blog…I was sent here b/c I have a MIL w/Narcisstic Personality Disorder, Histronic Personality Disorder, and a mother who has 5/7 criteria in the DSM IV to be a sociopath (only 3 are needed) plus also fitting malignant NPD.

    On one hand, reading here is validating. On the other, that other families deal w/this kind of crap sucks. I’m in the process of cutting out my mother, and frankly, just plain exhausted.

    Thank you for creating this blog.

  5. Birthdays: I find it interesting that you wrote about birthdays. Ive read your blog a little bit and find it painfully familiar. My mother forgot my birthday last year. This year she called and left me a voicemail to only tell me her new address. she didnt say happy birthday, nothing. it was all about her.
    I have struggled for years with the guilt of not wanting to talk to her. Im now in a place where i cannot talk to her because I know she cant be empathetic and nurturing or even help me for a change. Im ok with this and know she wont be the mom with want her to be, but i also know i cannot managed the painful experiences anymore and dont want to subject myself to her any longer. Ill continue to read your blog. Have you read any books that have helped you in dealing with your bipolar mom?

  6. I swear. I havent read this blog in years? I never will forget the sense of amazement that ran through every microbe in my body, to find out there was someone in the EXACT same situation as I am in. I mean it is truly unbelievable. Although, my mom is even more manipulative and mean. Well, actually, my parents. My dad has morphed into the same type behaviors. And, anything and everything that ever happened to anyone or thing is because of me. I finally cut my folks off about 3-4 yrs ago, but there is an occasional manipulation that comes down the pipe. My parents even sued my wife and I for grandparents rights, which is virtually unwinnable, but it kept us from being able to make our dream move to the beach. Oh, not just once, but annually. I even sat my dad down and made him read this blog once. He said,”Son, you’re the one with the problems.” You cant explain to someone that your family is the scum of the earth, without making your self look bad. I know my mom is bipolar, or borderline personality disorder or worse. The thing is, she never got help. My dad is an enabler, and as far as Im concerned a horrible human being. He hates the day I was born. Literally washed his hands of me when i was 14. He works “on the road”, so he’s never there. 70 and still at it. Oh well, this aint my blog, but it is comforting to know there is others. I mean, I dont wish it on anyone, but at least Im not all alone. Im gonna read this whole thing again. The last time I did, it was so similar to my own situation, it just amazed me. Thanks for posting this online. I wonder does it help emotionally. Im not sure people would even believe the things my parents do to me and my family. Im 40 yrs old and it just never stops…

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