Highlights From Hell — I mean, Home

So much to post, so little focus. Bear with me. I’ve spent most of the week at Mamala’s. I’ll try to sum it up briefly.

The following quote pretty much says all I can say at the moment about the trip and my relationship with my mom:

“Honey, you really must look at the bright side. At least you’re thin.”

This profound statement was uttered by dear Mamala, as I was expressing some of life’s more recent frustrations, which included some heavy stuff with the kids, aftermath of Gil’s dad’s death, and Gil’s recent depression that left him unable to leave the bed for two weeks.

Yeah. She did say that. And the most perplexing part is the whoa-is-me look on her face when I accused her of not understanding anything in my life. She continued by hard-core guilt-tripping after I calmly talked with her about our plans to stay home this holiday season.

I’m really struggling these days with proactively putting myself, my kids, and my marriage first. If Gil and I have any chance of staying together, these things have to happen. I’m discovering that the very people in my life who have been all profound and made sweeping, sound-great-in-moment statements like, “I know, when you have kids, you have to do what’s best for them — I know, I’ve been there,” are the very people who are seriously perturbed now that Gil and I are actually making that happen.

Really, everyone is doing okay. Gil is better. He’s been working out of town during the week, and we always get along better when he’s only home on the weekends. The kids are active and thriving and have enjoyed being out of school this past week. I’ve enjoyed parts of the vacation.

Being at my mom’s house is always tough — lots of painful memories, and I turn in to a basket-case. Eating is difficult while I’m here, and it doesn’t help that the ONLY approval I ever receive from my mother is in regards to my size. To top it off, she made her famous comment as I was walking out the door to meet a friend, and she kept telling me how amazing I looked. Great! I know — I feel bad complaining, but she knows I’ve been in heavy therapy for an eating disorder for years. Yes! I’m better and I’m nowhere near falling off the edge, BUT it seems to me if she took my problem seriously, she would NEVER mention that I look “thin and great” because I immediately twist it in my head to mean I’m only lovable when I look good.

I miss my father SO much when I’m home. He was my parent who truly believed that I was wonderful — thin or not, pretty or not. My mother’s love feels SO conditional. I love her, but I really can’t be around her very often. This makes me sad, but right now, it’s just reality.

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2 thoughts on “Highlights From Hell — I mean, Home

  1. Thanks for the kind words. It’s particularly helpful to hear encouragement from a marriage veteran — wow! 30 years. I always heard that marriage takes work, but the last couple of years have made me truly believe it. Love and light, friend.

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  2. Good for you for trying to make your marriage work. Sometimes it takes real work, I’ve been married over 30 years and we paid a severe penalty for ignoring it at one point. Fortunately everything is fixable–if both are willing to try. Unfortunately, it’s also difficult to work on your marriage while the rest of your life seems to keep moving on, placing new demands on both of you. I wish you the best. It’s worth staying together, but it can be hard. I always used the “would I be better off with or without him” test.

    I’m sorry your relationship with your mom is strained. Perhaps with your father’s passing you can bond with her, as you grieve together? I hope things improve for you soon.

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