Jesus motherfucking Christ.

Just got an email from my mom.  Subject line: “no response.”  Body: “Okay, I don’t know what I’ve done so I can’t apologize or fix it.  Have I been permanently exiled from your life?”  I guess this means she wrote me an email at some point that I forgot to respond to.

Let’s pick apart why this email pisses me the fuck off, shall we?

1) Apparently, everything is about her.  It’s not like Christmas is my busiest, most stressful time of the year or I’m prone to clinical depression or anything.  The only reason I could possibly not have written to her in a while is that I hate her and I’m never talking to her again.

Now, I’m trying to cut my mom some slack here; I think she has anxiety issues like mine, and they can make a person paranoid.  But this massive self-centredness is a huge pet peeve for me, and it goes beyond social issues.  This is the woman who once accused me of cracking my knuckles solely because I knew she didn’t like it.  She would not believe that cracking them just feels good to me and I do it even when she’s not around.  This is also the woman who – when I moved to a different city to escape my abusive father – wrote me a letter whose theme was “I don’t know why you’re punishing me like this.”

2) Apparently, I am a drama queen. This is the second or third time my mom has abruptly decided that I’ve shut her out of my life…forever!  And every time, she expresses bafflement because she doesn’t even know what she did to deserve it.  I am very mysterious in my motivations, you see, and prone to bolting at any time for reasons no other human could possibly comprehend.  A few years back mom somehow got it into her head that I’d get irrational and bail on her if she told me she was having a hysterectomy.  I learned about her health issues through my dad, and seriously, when I asked mom why she didn’t tell me about any of it, she was like “Well I don’t know what would make you turn your back on me again!”  WHAT IS THIS I CAN’T EVEN.

Now, as mentioned, I did once exile my parents from my life.  It was not for “no reason” or for mysterious reasons.  I wrote my mom a massive letter at the time, ranting about my dad’s abuse and his sexually inappropriate behaviour.  I expressed anger that my mom did nothing to protect me from any of it.  I said that I had to get away.  My mom seems to have retconned “my daughter took a five-year time out once to get her head together after experiencing twenty-odd years of abusive and controlling behaviour from her immediate family” to “My daughter is unreasonable and volatile!  She’ll stop talking to me for nooooooo reason!!!”

3) I’m sorry, WHO’S the drama queen here?  Mom never fires a warning shot; there’s never any “Hey, it’s been a while, are you okay?” email.  She always goes straight from “normal” to “OMG YOU’VE ABANDONED ME WHAT DID I DOOOOOO?!?” with no steps in between.

I kind of want to call her out on her bullshit but I’m not sure what level of bluntness is reasonable.  What I want to say is “Jesus Christ, it’s high time you got over this idea that I could bolt at any moment for no good reason.  That time I bailed on you was almost twenty years ago and even then I did it with enormous fanfare and a fifteen page double-sided letter explaining exactly why I left.  Or did you think that twenty years of abuse is ‘no good reason’?  At any rate, rest assured that if I’m pissed off at  you YOU WILL KNOW IT and it will be for a thing that most people (maybe not you, but reasonable people) would clearly see as a transgression.”

That might be too mean.  But I think I have to say something, at least once I’ve simmered down a bit.  This is just too irritating.


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2 responses to “Jesus motherfucking Christ.

  1. Have you considered simply answering with “no”? With these kinds of emails, your mother is inviting you to play a fairly sad game. You don’t have to play along, explain yourself, or otherwise give too much energy to her drama. Simply answer the question and, if you want to, ask her something different and unrelated or share what you want to share. Resist the manipulation. Resist too the subroutine in you that it triggers: you’re exasperated, you rant, you want to yell at her, etc.

    YOU have choices about how YOU will engage with her. Model maturity here, rather than playing along. (It won’t change her but it will change you.)

    Been there, done that

    • Oooooooooh. It…actually didn’t even occur to me to just casually go “Nope, I’m fine” and then change the subject. I like this idea. I can (maybe) choose to brush this off and not get pissed off about it.


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