Monday, April 14, 2008

Weekend warriors

What a clusterfest, my weekend. I don't even know how to describe what happened and why. I'm still trying to assess my part of the blame and to try to learn where I made a misstep and how to avoid it in the future. I do feel like I ended up with most of the worst of it, but of course, that could just be my perception.

I'm writing this because I need a space to lay this all out and then work on moving past it. And I don't even know if hashing it out is good for me. What I want to do is let it go, put it behind me, learn where to shore up my defenses and boundaries and move forward.

It all started with a bad waterheater. Evidently since the plumbing problems of a few weeks ago, the upper element had burned out of the waterheater at Reata South. I just found out about it on Friday, when Mom told me that Bette's pseudo-boyfriend, driving in from Illinois to stay a day and half was going to fix it. I asked why they hadn't told me - response: "We didn't have the money to fix it ourselves and we didn't want Bick out there working on it. Jeff said he could replace the element". I asked if it would be easier just to replace the whole thing. Bette called Jeff and he agreed that if it was his, he would just replace it. I emailed Bick and asked him what he thought - he said he would just replace the element, if it wasn't leaking. I mulled this over and decided that I had someone who was offering to fix this and I had the money and it wasn't some middle-of-the-night emergency, so I made the decision to buy a new, energy efficient water heater. So I went out to Reata South to take measurements, etc to go buy a new waterheater.

Jeff was supposed to arrive early Saturday morning after driving 12 hours and the place was an absolutely mess. Bette was frustrated. Mom was pissed and they were sniping at each other, so I took Mom with me to buy a new waterheater. Oh, and on Friday night, the whole family was supposed to gather at the horseraces for Bette and Pebbles birthdays. Anyway, Mom got to waxing poetic about how wonderful Bubba was and I said, "well, he damned near killed me, with all his spending" etc (of course she totally sides with him "he can't help it"). And I reminder her of his porn addiction and how, since he was using my work stuff, that he could get me fired at worst, losing Pebbles' education, or humiliated at best. Her response was "men will be men". She then told me that I was so much happier then and I said I've never been happier and more stress free than I am right now. And she said that "Of course you are happier, you are away from your family and you have no responsibilities at all and Bick keeps you to himself and of course you are happy". This was not said in a kind nor loving tone. Then she launched into how Pebbles never calls, never sees her, thinks she's too good, etc. Most of which is true, sadly.

Anyway, this crap went on and on and on and on. Then we get to the races and I don't know what happened, as Bette and I were standing in a long, long line to buy food, but return just in time to hear Pebbles tell my Mom that she was senile and Mom call Pebbles a bitch. At that point, I just got up and left.

So the next day, Bette calls and Jeff is replacing the waterheater and it turns out to be a bear. I tell them they can back out of this and just replace the element. Meanwhile, Bick is being an absolute dick about all of it, pissed that I didn't take his advice. I told him, in probably the sharpest manner that I've ever addressed him, that he didn't have a dog in this fight, it wasn't his time, and it wasn't his money, it wasn't his place and that I had made a decision and perhaps it had turned out wrong but to just back the fuck off. (Finally got that mess all untangled on Sunday and we are okay, but jesus christ on a cracker.)

Pebbles called on Sunday and I talked to her about her behavior and setting limits and not getting sucked in. She talked about her negative feelings towards her grandmother and that she could not have a caring and loving relationship with her after the dramatic blowup they had about four years ago, when Mom called Pebbles every name in the book - it was really the first time that Pebbles had been the recepient of the kind of crap I dealt with for years and years. And as to Pebbles, I'm kind of in a quandry - I've told her that she needs to decide if she wants any kind of relationship with her grandmother and that she is never going to change her, and that if she can't accept her for what she is, that no one benefits from their exchanges. I'm certainly not trying to excuse Mom, she is what she is, either find a way to deal with it that leaves you sane or leave it alone. Just be able to live with your decision long term.

So there it is. And holy crap, I'm just beat down.


  1. A lot to process in your post, but I wanted to make one comment regarding perceptions of your overall happiness. When I came home to San Diego, I told my boyfriend that you looked more serene and comfortable in your own skin than I had ever seen you look. You seemed gloriously, radiantly at peace with you life. And, that looks good on everyone.

    Of course, no one knows if you're happy but you. However, I refute your mother's assertion that you were happier in the past. To my eyes, you are doing great.

  2. The Mormons are fond of a saying, "Families Are Forever". Actually, it's a part of their theology. I've always chuckled because I consider such an aspect to be more of a curse than a blessing (and of course just one more reason I'm glad I'm not a Mormon).

    It's hard to process/sort this thing out because by the way it sounds your mother is not a normal, rational person. If you are happy NOW, then just BE happy and screw anyone else who can't deal with it.

  3. Long time away, just catching up. Sorry things went so bad. Maybe we all have these dysfunctional folks in our families. I think you have a steady grip on reality. Your mom is plain wrong. I know you didn't ask for help but I've found that resisting the ticket onto the crazy train is key. I loved that you walked away. It also helps to remember when, as you told Bick, you don't have a dog in the fight. When parents and siblings and children are involved it's really easy to forget that part. Feel better soon! Suz


We'll try this for a while.