Monday, November 7, 2011

Fight or Flight

First of all, this will be my second time writing this story.  The first time took 2 days and a lot of tears, but I had done it on my phone and then my phone decided to eat that post.  Thanks a lot Blogger for Android, you're freaking awesome.

Due to the fact that I've already brought myself through the emotional roller coaster of telling this story once, this one probably won't be as "good" of a post.  If it feels rushed, I apologize, I just don't know how deep I can dig to write this all over again.

I've struggled with mental/emotional issues my whole life.  Depending which doctor you talk to, there are about a billion different diagnosis that you may hear, the most popular being bipolar disorder, depression, or borderline personality disorder.  But every single one of them would tell you I have severe generalized anxiety disorder and I'm even lucky enough to have a history of panic attacks.

It wasn't until recently (like, past year recently) that I was able to discover through self examination rather than traditional therapy, that at the root of my "issues" is really a severe self hatred.  I always knew it was there, I just never really thought twice about it.  Everyone says they're their own toughest critic so I assumed it was normal.  I bring "toughest critic" to a new (dangerous) level.  And as hard as it may be for me to admit and accept, it isn't normal to feel the way I feel about myself.

My "issues" surfaced early in high school.  At that point my Mom said it was normal; it was just adolescents.  As things got worse she said I was just trying to get attention.  Never did she admit that there was actually a problem, and to me that translated to she just didn't give a damn.  After one of my worst incidents my Freshman year of college, I was advised by a few doctors that I shouldn't live under the same roof as my Mother, not even for the few short months of summer.  So, when I finished my Freshman year I officially moved out and things were pretty good between us after that.

Fast forward to me eloping, her not speaking to me, then her speaking to me, and coming to visit last week.  I already told the first full day wasn't really good but I guess it wasn't bad either.  Well, the next morning, things got bad.

First thing in the morning we got in a blowout.  It was stupid, but it happened.  We were about to leave for breakfast and she mentions I have dog hair on my jacket.  I respond (as I usually do if people point it out) that I have two dogs, if I tried to get every hair off of me I would drive myself insane.  Then she starts following me around plucking hairs off me making disapproving noises (sighs, tsks, etc.) as she goes.  I ask her to stop, she doesn't.  So I say/yell/beg, "Mom, just stop it!"  And she starts lecturing me on how I can't be so uptight, it isn't her fault I look like a slob.

And I kinda lost it.  She had been picking at me, both mentally and physically, since the moment she got off that damn plane.  I couldn't deal with it anymore.  So I said I was leaving.  I packed my bags, was damn near about to leave and she starts bawling and apologizing and I agree to stay.

That day sucked.  We walked around San Francisco barely talking.

We get back to the house boat and she agrees to rest until it's dinner time.  That lasts all of 20 minutes, and she wants to go shopping in the tourist-y part of Sausalito.  I really didn't want to, but whatever, I didn't want to fight either.  So we head down.  As we were approaching the shops I asked here where she wanted me to park and she responds, "I dunno..." almost like a child would.  So I pulled into a parking lot since that was the simplest option.  Then she goes, "well I'd rather you go find a space on the street!"

At this point I was thoroughly annoyed.  I didn't want to go shopping.  I definitely didn't want to drive around in circles looking for a parking space on the street just to eventually end up having to come back to the lot that I was currently in anyway.  Instead of fighting, I recommended she go shopping while I go back and rest, and when she's ready for dinner she could call me and I would come back.  Well, that didn't work for her.

She starts going on and on and on about how I'm soooooooo depressing and I need to live in the moment and it isn't her fault my husband was deployed and I chose this lifestyle so I couldn't complain (which I wasn't complaining about the Military lifestyle, I was truly just tired)...and on and on and on. And I just couldn't deal with it anymore when fight or flight kicked in.

I didn't have the emotional energy to fight with her.  She clearly does not approve of the life that I've chosen to live, but then again she never really has.  So I told her I was leaving.  She could take a cab to the airport in the morning, I couldn't do this anymore.  And I really couldn't see us having any sort of relationship since she had been nothing but hateful and judgemental towards me the whole time we were together.  She said I needed to find an ATM for her to get cash out, and instead I handed her the cash in my wallet.  Her response is still blowing my mind; she said, "well your Papa (my grandfather) will be hearing about this!"  And I almost laughed as I asked what he would do about it since we've never really been close to my Mom's side of the family.  She says, "it isn't what he will do, it's what he won't."

You see, over the past year, in an attempt to get rid of some of his liquid assets (apparently my grandfather is quite wealthy, and until a year ago I had no idea how wealthy) he has been very generous to his grand kids.  So, she was implying that if I'm not speaking to her, my grandfather will not be giving me any more monetary gifts.  This was supposed to be some sort of punishment.

I can live without gifts from my grandfather.  As much as my mom believes we can't afford to survive on The Sailor's salary alone, we can.  Yes, these gifts are nice, but they're just a bonus to us.  I can't, however, live with the constant disappointment of trying to build a relationship with a woman who I will clearly never get along with.  So I got my things and went out to my car.

In all honesty, I waited about a half hour before I left.  Deep down I was hoping she would come out to stop me, or call, or text...something.  But there was no call, no text...nothing.  That was Thursday evening, and I still haven't spoken to her.

I've talked in detail about the whole thing with my Dad and a few other people.  Honestly, under normal circumstances I don't think I would have reacted so strongly.  But I was exhausted, I'm fucking pregnant (and emotional), and yes, I am having trouble getting used to the Navy life and my husband being gone.  I don't think most people would have held that against me.  But the thing is, the things my Mother says to me, and the way she treats me is not normal.

Knowing that I was self conscious of my pregnancy-acne she still picked at it and pointed it out the entire time we were together.

When I brought up the fact that I hadn't eaten all day (on our first full day together) she basically told me I was going to be a bad mother if I couldn't be prepared for situations like that (even though I had no idea we were going out in the middle of nowhere).

While talking about breastfeeding, her exact response to me was, "Well, Amanda, you really shouldn't count on breastfeeding.  Given your history (referring to my emotional issues in the past) you'll almost definitely have post partum depression...or worse..."

The fact alone that she did not want to see where I'm living is pretty strange.

This whole thing really has me shaken up.  I'm making a conscious effort to get out of my house and do stuff in an attempt to prevent myself from falling deep into a hole that I don't want to go in.  I have cried more in the past 3 days that I have in the past 3 years, and that's including dealing with all the shit after I eloped.  My automatic mental reaction is to say that it was all my fault, I was being depressing the whole time, I am going to be a bad mother if I can't be prepared for situations like that.  But I just have to keep telling myself that it isn't true.

And I may not be the best mother ever, but dear God, I will do everything in my power to make sure that my children don't have to struggle with hating themselves of their lives.

Any advice or words of wisdom would be really appreciated right now!

Until next time...

PS - I really just don't have anything to say about week 17 of pregnancy since most of it was just spent arguing with my Mom, so here's my belly picture:
Personal Photos


  1. I don't have much in the way of good advice, but just wanted to let you know I'm sorry about what happened with your Mom's visit. :( but you can change the cycle of parenting styles, and be different with your own baby! you already sound as though you care so much about your child, and just the fact that you already know how you want to parent differently than your mom did speaks wonders.

    if you ever need to vent, I'll listen! although, well, I'm sure it'll be a blog-vent. but I can comment supportively ;)

  2. My fiance's mother is also very critical and currently barely talks to us because she does not support the decisions we have made. However, as hard as it is I try not to let it get to me because I am confident in the decisions we make are good ones. And we are not children anymore, so our parents should not control us. I think it is good that you walk away from bad situations and I think you are right to keep her at a distance since most of the time she just brings you down.

    By the way, I just happened to come across your blog and it is now one of my favorites.

  3. I don't have much advice to give in the mother-daughter relationship category, but I can tell you a little about post partum depression and breastfeeding! :)

    First of all, the fact that you want to make a change and be a better mother to your child then yours has been to you is SO AWESOME! Just remember, you are going to be great, not perfect, but really really great!

    Secondly, I had post partum depression and still get it every once in while and I am STILL breastfeeding at 9.5 months! (It's not exclusively but I'm still breastfeeding at least 50%!) So you can do it! In fact, I think breastfeeding saved me with my PPD! If you ever want to talk shoot me a note or email or something! I LOOOOVE to talk!

    Also, this may be weird but I'm just thinking about something I think I could send to you that would make you smile if nothing else. So if you are interested...let me know! :) HUGS!

  4. Awww, you guys are awesome. I'm tearing up again from reading comments! Damnit hormones, lol.

    I don't know why everyone doesn't blog, its therapeutic, lol!

  5. Amanda - I am so sorry to hear you had such a bad week. I've been following your blog for about a month now and I'm addicted!

    I also have severe generalized anxiety disorder. I have struggled with it for about 5 years now. And you have to remember - it is not your fault! Do not try to blame yourself for the things that have happened to you.

    It is clear that a relationship with your Mom is toxic right now. Especially being pregnant you need to take care of yourself! Try not to stress yourself out - it is NOT worth it!

    I know this is a small comment in the scheme of things - but I really hope you can keep your head up! You inspire me!


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