My mom is coming to visit me and will be arriving at the local airport at 9 pm tomorrow. She is actually coming because I asked her to come to drive me out of state to visit the doctor who is helping me so greatly. The doctor feels she needs to see me mostly for legal reasons I believe but at this point I think we’re both quite interested in meeting each other.
My mother asked if she could visit me back in April. She wanted to come in May. I told her I was too unwell to have a visitor. I could barely sit up for 2 hours a day and virtually never spent time with anyone as it was too demanding to have a conversation. I told her if she wanted to come and have a vacation in the area and visit me a couple of afternoons that would be fine but I couldn’t tolerate a visitor who was around for any length of time. She was very understanding and said she would see about coming in the fall.
Then about three weeks ago my doctor asked that I come see her. I can’t do the drive myself and my husbands job is relatively new and he can’t take time off, so I called my mom. It works out nicely for her because she really wanted to see me. I want to see her too, but right now it’s a bit nerve racking. Even at my best she is sometimes difficult for me to deal with. She is coming for 8 days and we will be on a road trip for half of that. We are doing one 5 hour drive, then stopping for the night. The following day we arrive at our destination in about 4 hours. We will spend the night there that night and then take the next two days to drive home in similar fashion.
I have all sorts of concerns.
First and foremost the last several times I’ve traveled I’ve decompensated to some degree. I simply stop sleeping. It doesn’t matter if I’m in a car or a plane and it doesn’t matter if I change time zones or not. I’m not sure what it is but my body gets all messed up and I just don’t sleep. I’m dreading that as I’ve been sleeping like a baby for over a month now after not sleeping much at all for at least three months and maybe more. I have terror of not sleeping at this point—which pretty much assures me that I won’t sleep. Nothing like a phobia at bedtime to keep you awake.
Generally once I return home from a trip I do get to sleep easily again, but because my mom will be visiting I’m not sure I’ll be able to relax with her here—I also tend to sleep much less when we have visitors.
I feel I need to entertain her. This is my hang-up. She does not demand to be entertained and is really very easy. In reality she would be happy to completely take care of me meaning taking over all household duties including cooking and cleaning etc. And expect nothing from me at all. She is rather selfless that way. Actually she is selfless to a fault and it’s part of what drives me nuts about her—I’m sure many of you are thinking my gosh, if only my mom was like that. But mothers have a way of irritating us I think regardless of how good they are. She is actually rather self-deprecating and doesn’t look out for herself and basically has no sense of self. That makes me angry somehow. I want to liberate her—give a good dose of feminism. She’s been controlled by men all her life. And I’ve never managed to be able to do that and I’m sure I never will but as is often the case with mothers and daughters—we simply don’t accept one another the way we are. In this case though, she accepts me completely, so I feel like a shit for not accepting her.
In any case, I cannot allow her to do what she would do by nature—that is take over household duties. And even though she expects nothing, I expect a lot from myself as a hostess. And I simply won’t be able to do all the things I’d like to do. It’s simply not possible. And that will lead to my feeling stressed out and therefore possibly keep me from sleeping well even before we leave on the road trip and then when we return.
The nice thing though is that I am doing better and better and getting stronger. Hopefully that may mean I’m also more resilient and maybe I can handle a bit more stress. I have had a consistent energy boost now for 10 days which is a record—probably not been well for that long in about a year. I can get out and drive and run errands, but I still poop out after a maximum of 4 hours and sometimes much before that. Basically I’m out of shape. Complete immobility for months will do that to you. I need to build up my stamina and it’s not going to happen immediately.
Anyway—wish me luck with mom. I hope I can relax into it and enjoy her visit. If I can be comfortable making boundaries I should be fine. I just need to try and step back from being the perfect hostess and go and hide in my room when I need time alone. The road trip—well I really don’t know what to expect, but somehow I think that may be easier than having her in my home.
I will be active online to some degree, but certainly not as much as usual.
yes my mom seems happy and content too…and it really sounds like we have the same mother…though mine had to go through a crappy divorce with a cheating husband…(my father)
she still ended up with another man to take care of and revolve her life around….(thank god this one treats her well)
I suppose we should be happy for them. I’ve always called my mom “simple.” But she is a good woman and I feel guilty doing that too. As though that somehow makes her less than.
mmmm…she’s due to arrive here in about an hour!!
I’ve been trying to figure out why that bugs me so much…because she seems perfectly happy and content. Maybe it’s because I know I wouldn’t be happy and content with that…or maybe it’s because it seems like she never really got the chance to figure out who she is, and maybe if she’d had that chance, she wouldn’t be happy and content…she met my dad at sixteen, married at nineteen, she’s never had the chance to just live for herself.
When I was about fourteen, I had a really hard time getting along with her, and with the whole idea of anyone being content with being a wife and mother. Not because being a wife and mother was so bad, but because what she taught me was that being a wife and mother was all there was…she never did anything else!
the fact that she seems to have no interests of her own other than taking care of the house and my dad, just drives me up the wall.
yeah…why does that bug us so much??
My mom NEVER expresses a preference…last time she visited I kept trying to get her to tell me what she would like to do and we got in a fight when I demanded she tell me what she preferred—I gave her a choice of several things we could do and she wouldn’t give me an answer!! “You decide” that was her answer!!
I live here…I can do any of this any time I want…what do you want???
And I just have to add–I know that “sleep phobia” stuff so well. I think that’s why I stayed on trazodone for so long.
I, too, know this mother-daughter dilemma. Your mother sounds a lot like mine. While I can talk with her about just about anything, and she’s incredibly selfless and sweet, the fact that she seems to have no interests of her own other than taking care of the house and my dad, just drives me up the wall.
I liked what Coco said above, and I will second that. Try to let go.
And it’s awesome that you are going to meet your doctor. You’ll have to let us all know how it goes!
Love, luck, and peace,
No…I haven’t left yet…mom isn’t due until tonight and then we aren’t leaving on the trip until Thursday…I will be around for a bit…
I think it’s great that you are able to visit your doctor with your mom. I realize that you’ve probably already left, but I hope that your doctor is everything you want her to be. And I hope that you and your mother have a wonderful time together.
Me too, I know the mother/daughter dilemma just too well. Some thoughts about it: the “martyr”-thing has something sense of guilt-evoking about it. I actually read clearly between the lines of your post, Gianna, that it serves its purpose even in advance: the mere thought gives you “all sorts of concerns”. Coco’s right. Try and let go. Don’t expect a catastrophe. Don’t expect nothing. Try not to meet your mother as “a walking personal history”, and try not to live up to who you think she thinks you are. Just be yourself.
I know, that’s something of the hardest to do, especially when it comes to family members. Your mother may very well be surprised. But if she really is an accepting person, she’ll accept this, too. And you’ll be surprised how liberating it can be. To both of you.
I had a very dear friend visiting from Norway some time ago. Selfless to a fault, she too, wanting to help with everything, and not used to me objecting to anything… The second day, when she stood right next to me in the kitchen, asking what she could do to help with the cooking, I got up courage (I really had to) and told her that I quite understood and appreciated her wish to help, but that, as a matter of fact, I couldn’t do with people meddling with my cooking, so, if she really wanted to help, she’d just sit down and let me do the cooking. She gasped, and then said: “Awesome. This is the first time you explicitly draw a line. Congratulations!” Same reaction when I told her, that I was awfully sorry, but that I just needed a nap in the afternoon.
Unfortunately, I haven’t any such success story to tell about my mother and me. I never reached to show her that I was anything (“-thing”, yep, it’s not a typo) else than which I thought she thought I was.
Lots of courage and positive energy to you!
You described the mother/daughter dilemma nicely – my mother is also a “martyr” and although she’s the sweetest and most accepting person, she drives me nuts. It’s the challenge of a lifetime, I think, to learn to co-exist with your family.
I wish you luck and love – have a safe trip!
Good luck with the visit and the doctor’s visit. I understand about sleep. Even medicated, I didn’t sleep on our trip this past week. I couldn’t wait to get back to my own bed!
thank you coco,
that felt like a comforting prayer….and you know exactly what I need to let go of.
One thing that I can do is talk honestly to my mom about where I’m at. She is really a saint that way.
Oh my gosh, I can relate to so much of what you express here. The positive thoughts I am sending to you, Gianna, involve letting go. Letting go of expectations for yourself to be a good hostess; letting go of your fears of not sleeping; letting go of the tension of being with another person most of the day; letting go of your anger and frustrations with you mother and her lack of self; letting go enough to let her take care of you as she sees fit (you’re her precious child). I hope all this tension simply just dissolves and runs off of you. And above all, I hope you can communicate honestly with your mom, as to what your needs are in any given moment. I know it’s so hard dealing with one’s mother; you’re right we do have a hugely hard time accepting one another for who we are and where we’re at. I think it’s designed that way so we can learn about and stretch ourselves. And learn about real love. I’ll be thinking of you!