Friday, December 7, 2007

Combat Fatigue

The original title of this post was "I feel......uuuuhhhhhh.....????" But I had to change it and you will see why in a moment.

I seem to be doing everything in my power today to avoid figuring out what I'm feeling. So I'm here to try to make myself figure it out just so I can begin releasing it. I know I'm not happy today.

Shell-shocked.....that is how I feel.
Numb.....that is how I feel.
Tired. Overwhelmed. Listless. Sad. Angry. Unmotivated. Disorganized. Stressed.

I got that far and I went to my trusty friend to look up "shell shock". And under that entry was simply listed "combat fatigue". So I went to the definition of combat fatigue and it says: post-traumatic stress disorder under wartime conditions (as combat) that cause intense stress
Ironic. Almost funny, actually. I certainly have been fighting a war.....for more years than any decorated veteran. And I'm tired. Just so very tired.

I spent the day with my mother and my DD yesterday. That could certainly be part of it. But I don't know....the anger work I did definitely shifted me in the right direction. Not that I'm done, by any means....but at least I felt like I had a real handle on what the triggers were. My phrase to my mother from anger work was "You get in the way of everything. Why didn't you get in the way of the people who hurt me?"

This is a slightly different spin on what I've recognized my issue with her to be, which is that she wants to help me all the time in things I have no interest in her helping me with. Why now? Why try to help me now? Why not then?

Also, she doesn't listen to me. And so....that's clearly a theme I feel repeating as well. She didn't listen to me then. She doesn't listen to me now. And it's all for her own comfort. I know she *thinks* she is doing what's best for me....but really she is doing something to soothe her own wounds. Yesterday in the city, we were ready for a taxi. There was one parked nearby but there was no driver. I said forget it, we'll find another. Instead of listening to me, she goes over to the cab and then starts scouting nearby people to see who drives the cab. She finds the driver who is in the middle of getting lunch from a street vendor. I keep saying "forget it, forget it....there are a dozen cabs up the road" but instead she interrupts the guy getting his lunch and tells him we need to get to the train station. He looks irritated but says he will take us, which means he has to wait to have his lunch. I just was pissed off at her. I said "Let the guy eat his lunch!" and she says "He can take that okay??" NO IT'S NOT OKAY. Why???? Because I said I was ready to find a cab, she has to get hysterical to "please" me and jump hurdles to get the nearest one. I don't want your help. There is nothing you can do today to make up for what you didn't do when I was a kid. And frankly to see you go out of your way to do something so tiny pisses me off extra.....was it too much trouble to ask you to go out of your way to protect your only daughter?? It was the same thing yesterday with Starbucks. I said I wanted to find a Starbucks. This is NYC, for God's sake....there are Starbucks about every 2 blocks. But as soon as I say I want a coffee, she starts asking every stranger on the street. "Where's the nearest Starbucks?" Dammit. SHUTUP!!!! I am capable of asking for's not what I want to do. It's a fun day in the city....we're walking around seeing the sights, window shopping. We will stumble onto a Starbucks in no time. It's not like my jugular has been slit and we need to find the hospital, you know?? But that is how hysterical she gets. She seriously cannot stand to see me or my DD want for anything..............................WHY NOT THEN?????? Dammit. I don't want your too-little, too-late offerings now.

You know the fact is that this is just my mother. This is who she is. She desperately wants to make up for what happened, I know that. Except she is only capable of doing it in this manner. I know that. And so, here are my choices:

1. I can confront her and tell her these things. And then she will sulk and apologize and will act funny because she doesn't know how to be any other way. but she will try to be the way I tell her to be. Because she has no idea who she is. She has no identity of her own. She wants to be the way other people want her to be.

2. I can just accept that this is her and set boundaries when I need to. I was on edge yesterday waiting for another episode of her interfering in my disciplining DD. I was prepared to say something...anything. But it never happened. Still...when it happens again, I want to say something to her. You know, but then it's more of #1. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry....I'm so sorry...."

I thought I'd already done #2. I thought when I saw her reaction when I confronted her last summer that I accepted her for what she is. Maybe accepting the facts and accepting HER are not the same. Or, maybe I haven't reached acceptance. Just acknowledgement. Or maybe I really have accepted it but it just still totally pisses me off. I feel like a prisoner of her behavior. If that's how I feel, then it's something I'm doing to myself somehow. How do I set myself free from that?? The thing is, like I mentioned in #1 above, I can say something to her and I know she will try to stop. But it makes things supremely uncomfortable because she doesn't know who to be anymore. And I'd rather have her just continue being the way she actually irritates me more when she tries to change how she is for my sake. Because she doesn't understand the weight behind it for me. Because it's not real change. It's "keep the peace" acting. And she's a crappy actress. And there will be a million slip ups, and profuse "I'm sorry"s. The apology for existing. Just shove it. I don't want to hear it. I don't want to hear your guilt when you STILL can't, in any meaningful way, acknowledge what happened or hold my brother accountable for anything. I hate that you carry on a separate relationship with him as if nothing ever happened.

I hate that *I* have to do all this extra work to adapt myself to the way she is. Nevermind coming to terms with what she didn't do then, but now having to deal with a whole 'nother set of issues to deal with her guilt-alleviating, unwanted actions. For years, I have told her not to do things for me that I don't ask for. It's pointless for me to ask. She is who she is. She has her good points, no doubt. She's just so clueless.

And I am spending the day with her again tomorrow. *sigh*

1 comment:

Enola said...

We absolutely have the same mother. I need to think about what you said with accepting facts and accepting her. That makes a ton of sense. But the word "accept" and "mom" just don't go together.