Thursday, April 5, 2007

Recovering - the Good and the Bad

I survived the visit. My Sister and her three kids (almost 8, 6 and 4) arrived Saturday late afternoon. I'm sorry my BIL couldn't make it - we missed him lots. My Mom came Tuesday into Wednesday and Sister and crew left this morning. My house is clean (thanks to 6 loads of laundry and some scrubbing this morning) but quiet and empty.

The Good -
  • Getting my DD's swingset put up in the backyard and watching all the kids play on it.
  • Lauging hysterically with my Sister and DH as we cracked jokes, watched movies and just had fun.
  • Serious talks with my Sister about our dysfunctional family - not finishing sentences or being coherent, but knowing she understood anyway.
  • Being comforted by Sister in my moment (one of a few) of crisis.
  • Surviving Mom's visit.
  • Hugs from my niece and nephews.
  • Girl time with my DD and niece - especially painting toenails and dressing up like princess.
  • Dancing around the living room like crazy.
  • Doing the "Dance Dance Revolution" game with Sister at the indoor play center - looking like a total fool, but making the kids laugh hysterically (my leg is still sore from that one)
  • Hanging out in the backyard playing Duck, Duck, Goose, kickball and flying kites.
  • Snuggles - lots of them.
  • Being told by my niece that her favorite part of the day was cooking with Me.
  • Prayers said by 4 kids around the dinner table.
  • Reading bedtime stories and then all holding hands while we prayed together.
  • DD saying "I have Jesus in my heart"
  • Even sleeping on the floor, air mattress, oversized chair and toddler bed; doing uncountable loads of laundry and dishes; and having several items broken by kids - was good. It's all good when it's family and fun.

The Bad - and my attempt at a positive spin

  • Getting overly worked up about Mom coming - I survived.
  • The awkwardness of Mom being here - I survived. I wasn't rude. I interacted with her. I didn't play games though. Wasn't overly enthusiastic and refused to pretend everything was okay. Refused to hide my hurt and pain for her benefit.
  • Seeing mom cry - I ignored her. Didn't ask what was wrong. While that may seem harsh to some, I know it was her invitation to "play her game" - to ask her what was wrong and engage in the "let's pity mom" role. For me to be the mother and she the child, and for me to put aside all my hurt in order to make her feel better.
  • The panic attacks - oh there were many of them. One major one when it came time to go to bed and I had to avoid her hug and kiss. Another in the morning. I did try to be good to myself and take 5 minuts in DD's room (the only one that was free). Unfortunately her window was open and I could hear Mom on her nextel walkie phones talking to her husband. Hearing Toilet's voice pushed me over the edge. I did make it to the other room and bathroom before getting sick. I did manage to keep from pinning. I did manage to unlock the door and let my Sister in and not hide from her. I did manage to avoid playing the "I'm fine" game with her. I did let her take my hand and pray with me. Then I let her help me wash up and go back out there - with her by my side.
  • Mom's role reversal - confiding in Sister about how she (Mom) can't do anything right, she thinks I am at the end of my rope, she doesn't know what to do, etc. - I did heed Sister's advice when she (sister) said, "Don't you dare feel guilty. You treated her fine. Better than she deserves. Don't fall into her trap."
  • Meds, drinking and pinning - I did take meds as often as allowed but stopped at that. I did drink more than I normally do, and for reasons I normally don't. I try to drink when I'm with friends, and want a drink. Not to drink to escape. I had one glass of wine with my sister one night which was just to relax and have a drink with family. The 2 1/2 I had the night mom was there, was not for the right reasons. But I did resist the urge to drink more, which would have put me into the intoxicated category. I did pin, but did limit it pretty well I think. Of course, sharing bathrooms and never knowing when kids will barge in is a good deterrent too.
  • Mom's email - "thanks for including me. Thanks for the good food" - I'm not responding. The ball is still in her court. Let her figure out the next move.

So today is all about ME. I did throw some laundry in and straighten the house. I'm ran by the office and picked up some files. But resisted the urge to be talked into staying. I am sitting at a coffee house relaxing, drinking cofee and enjoying my internet rambles.

1 comment:

Tina said...

I read your post yesterday, but couldn't respond until today.

I think you did AMAZINGLY well! Even with the pinning and getting sick, I think you did much better than you thought you would - and, you are even praising yourself for it! That is a great turning point for you - and I am very proud of you!

Hearing Toilet for the first time in a long time is something that must have been the hardest point of the entire visit - but, you did very well and you should be happy with yourself. And, you definitely should not feel guilty about how you treated your mom - you do need to draw lines now, especially as you become more confident in yourself and you really begin to accept and move on from your past. Remember when I said something to my MIL about not talking about things concerning Chris behind my back with me standing right there? The way you treated your mom - letting her know you will not play her game and make sure she understands how hurt you really are - is akin to how I stood up for myself that day. It can only GET BETTER FROM HERE for you!

And, even though you might have drank 2 drinks for the wrong reasons, it's okay. You stopped yourself from more, when you knew you weren't drinking for the right reasons. :)

Enjoy your time off! You deserve it!