Monday, April 21, 2014

The House of Lannister ...

Fundamentally, I'm like my Dad.  I'm a diplomat.  I like peace.  To quote Cards Against Humanity?  All I want is some goddamned peace and quiet.

Mom, on the other hand, is fine with confrontation.   Years and years ago, Dad told me that Mom liked being angry ... that she wasn't happy unless she was angry with someone.   In fact, at one point, she was upset at my brother about something ... and my Dad and I privately agreed that we were glad she was mad at him ... because it meant she wasn't mad at us.

But now ...

Now Dad is gone ... so she can't get angry with him.  My brother lives three states away ... so she won't get angry with him.  She's pulled away from her group of friends ... she rarely sees the three women that used to form her clique.  Her sister, my favorite aunt, is like me.  She simply doesn't do drama.  Mom wouldn't dream of yelling at her sister because she would completely withdraw if Mom did.  And her brother?  I don't think it would cross her mind to yell at him.  He doesn't take shit from anyone ... I can't even imagine what she'd get if she tried.

So that leaves ... me.  When she's spoiling for a fight?  I'm the only one left.  She's like a Klingon ... she's a warrior ... and the fact that I don't want to argue isn't a virtue.  It's a sign of weakness.

It's not that I don't want her around ... it's that I want peace.   Arguing is mother's milk for her ... she thrives. For me ... it saps me.  It drains all my energy and it depresses me to the point I can't hardly function.   If I were at my old job?  I would've called in today. I would've stayed in bed and slept or cried. 

The worst part of it ... is that it isn't over.  I'll sit here all day, sick to my stomach, dwelling on the fact that I have to call her ... and hear the disappointment and disapproval in her voice.  Yesterday, at the end of the phone call, I apologized.  I said, "I'm sorry."  She said, "I'm sorry too."  Only her tone of voice didn't say, "I'm sorry too."  Her tone of voice said, "I'm sorry too ... because you are such a disappointment." 

So the next time we talk, even if she's friendly, she'll say something hurtful.  She'll say something offhand like, "It's okay ... you're just like your father ..."   She'll never genuinely say I'm sorry ... and leave it.  It's always followed by the dig.   "I'm sorry ... I should've known I can't talk to you about some things."

I know that a big part of it is my fault.  I don't like to argue ... I don't enjoy debating uncomfortable topics.  I'm sure I do things that disappoint her ... because she does things that disappoint me.  We all do things sometimes that disappoints or irritates someone else.  But that's life ... and I don't know why we can't just understand that and write it off and move on without listing our grievances as if it's Festivus.

It doesn't matter ... in the end, she didn't get her way.  I didn't agree to go to Easter and I didn't ask her to come over for Thanksgiving and she feels slighted.   So I'm going to pay ... it's just a matter of how long she wants to make me miserable before the debt is paid in full ...

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