The last couple of times I've had planned visits with my mom they have actually been quite nice. (I hope I haven't jinxed myself now.)
I never wrote about a HUGE fight we had back in March where my mom called me a F@*&ing A$$hole and stormed out of the house after Greg called her on it. The whole fight was about me standing up for myself and my mom's opinion that you never talk back to your elders, you give them respect no matter what. When I disagreed with her she called me names to gain my respect.
The timing was particularly bad because she was going on a 5 week cruise as a birthday gift to herself for her 70th. I was pissed off, and did not acknowledge her birthday. No card, no gift, no party. And, I know that I hurt her but at the time, but I was hurt too. We have never again talked about this fight that we had, but it's been a slow recovery. There is also no point in trying to talk about it, because we'd end up just rehashing it all over again.
So, in the past few months I don't call as much as I used to which was every day, but I do call about every third day and we have our 2 minute phone call. She never calls me, I'm not even sure she knows my number by heart. I'd go by maybe once every two weeks for an hour visit, that's all I could trust we could handle before one of us would get upset.
I have a feeling that my relationship with my mom is one of the reasons my emotional status took a nose-dive. I've always had a sense that my mom can't be happy for me. She's extremely critical of my life and I think that there is also a good amount of jealousy thrown in. In all honesty, I don't think that she was truly happy for me when Greg came into my life, and when we decided to get married. She looks positively grim in our wedding photos. He has always been warm towards her, makes her feel special, makes her laugh. He is my brother's best friend. Never mind, that I think he is a really great husband. On more than one occasion when we've been talking on the phone, (when she even bothers to ask,) she'll say 'and how is your husband?' I'll say 'do you mean Greg?' She'll say 'all these names are so confusing for me' Uh, ya. There are 4 people in our family, including Greg. That's it, no extended family on our side.
Anyway, I got off on a tangent that I didn't really mean to. But that's some of the background story about what my mom is like.
After our big fight, I managed to keep my distance for the longest time. She was away for 5 weeks, then Greg and I went to Europe. Like I said, I managed a few short visits, without Greg at, her house.
Since Buddy's arrival, he has taken on the role of icebreaker. One of the nicest qualities about my mom is her love for animals, a good trait that her children inherited. I'm not sure if it's pet therapy, but now when I go to visit my mom there is a distraction and the conversation is not as stilted. The visits have gotten longer and she seems genuinely happier, which of course, I find more tolerable.
I know that I will never have a fabulous mother-daughter relationship with her, but at the same time it is important that I have some sort of relationship with her, and that is not stressful. Peaceful would be good. Greg (my very own Dr. Phil) says that she can't change who she is, so I should just accept her as she is, and it'll bother me less. Is this the same thing as "You can't teach an old dog new tricks?" You love the dog, hate the behaviour, but they have that behaviour so ingrained you just give up, but keep loving the dog. (Ooops...did I just compare my mom to a dog?! I didn't mean for it to sound like that.)
Anyway, things are slowly improving, we are both making an effort at getting along.
And Buddy is a young dog learning new tricks. Apparently, he as already won his Oma over, so he's ahead of me.