Parenting with Depression and Anxiety
The mirror really does have two faces. I’ve seen them both now. Mine today and mine in 25 years, which is in fact, my Mother’s face. And I’m not happy about it. Don’t get me wrong, it has nothing to do with “looks” or vanity of any kind. It’s all about what’s going on inside and there’s a whole lot to be worried about. Mostly because there ain’t a whole lot good going on in there. I’ve seen the future and it’s looking bleak.
If you read my last post (thank you!) you know I was curled up in the fetal position days before our family 4th of July party..dreading her arrival and praying for her departure. Well friends…it is now day 6 of our adventures here in CrazyTown and I’m still desperately awaiting her train to head out. Because I’m sick, I’m terrifed of her saying something typically nasty and demeaning, so I’ve been avoiding her. I try not to engage in much conversation at all. I figured this would give her the hint. She almost never comes here because she hates my husband (I’ll tell that story another day) so I’m not sure why my proverbial cold shoulder hasn’t sent her packing yet. But she simply won’t go. And it’s making me CRAZY(-er). But I really don’t want to have a confrontation about it. Whenever we fight I’m even more depressed than normal for days.
The only reason I have any relationship with her at all is so the rest of my family won’t hate me and so my kids don’t think of her as any stranger than she is. But she comes here and sleeps half the day or sits in the den with them staring into space. She doesn’t play with them or interact with them at all. She was always like that with me. That’s why I’m screwed up. But for them it’s weird. For years my husband and I made excuses and said it was because Poppy (my father) died and she was upset and lonely. But NOW….she has a boyfriend. Yes, someone has stepped up and been brave enough to take on the crazy and it’s like having the Wicked Witch of Southeast Florida being reborn as a 16-year old hormone. She is still depressed and sullen, unless she is talking to him. She says she’s exhausted and skulks off to bed at 6pm only to proceed to spend 2 hours on the phone with him. Like we’re deaf and can’t hear her??? Isn’t that exactly like a child? If they can’t hear you then for certain you can’t hear them?!? And I realize all over again that I could have never made her happy..only my father could. Oops, correction, ONLY A MAN COULD.
So this begs the question, “Why is she still freaking here?” I’m not sure, but she’s asked me about 20 times to go get a mani/pedi. I refuse to ditch my kids to go hang out with her in a salon for 90 minutes. I don’t care how long it’s been since I’ve seen her. She’s their Grandmother and frankly shouldn’t want to ditch them either. And it infuriates me that she wants to. But I’m thinking, maybe she won’t leave until she can get her nails done before she goes back to see her boyfriend. In hopes that this theory is correct, I’m going to take her to the salon today and drop her off. Maybe I’ll pick her up too. (Just kidding). And if I’m lucky, her next question will be, “where is the train schedule.”
Now this may all sound like a light hearted kind of nuts…and to some extent it is. But my kids feel it. They think, “Wow…haven’t seen grandma in awhile and she really doesn’t give a crap.” And that makes me mad. But I watch her drifting off into space and I think, hmmm, I do that….I have my own little world. It isn’t one where I only exist if there’s a man around, but I do have my own “place” where it’s quiet. And my kids can’t get in there. And now I’m thinking I need to stay in the moment more. Play more with them. Stop isolating. Clearly that’s genetic. I want to be with my kids and should want to be with them more than be anywhere else in the world. I’m still learning. Never did have a role model.
The bottome line is this..I don’t want them 30 years from now praying for my departure (to Florida or the hereafter) and saying to themselves, “Why is she still here?” or worse, saying to me, “Mom, did you want a copy of that train schedule?”