As I am still enjoying my überlong stay here in Europe, (I am presently writing from Dresden, Germany) there is something that has been on my mind for a while now. It’s not easy for me to write about this, and frankly I may not even publish it, but yet I feel a strong desire to blog about it and very interested in what people may have to say.
When I first decided to stay in Europe for a while, The idea was to travel extensively without rushing from place to place, but also connect with family and friends.
My mom lives in Berlin, and said I’d be crazy not to stay with her while visiting Berlin. To some of you this might seem like an odd statement, like, of course you would stay with your mom, duh! I have tried staying with my mom in the past while visiting Berlin and it didn’t go so well. It never did in fact, not when visiting alone or with my children. My mom and I just don’t have a loving mother daughter relationship, nor did we ever. We are literally strangers to each other, and even though I have tried so many times over the years to change that, I was always confronted with a sense that it really doesn’t matter to her wether I’m in her life or not. I want to add that since she has been with her boyfriend of seven years now, my brother and I get texts, pictures and emails from him. From him not my mom. It is always me who calls and asks what she is doing, how she is feeling. She would tell me about her trips, her friends that seem to never do anything right in her eyes, or how without her, this or that would have not been done right. She won’t ask about her grandchildren, nor about what I’m doing or how I’m doing. Mostly when we hang up, I’m left feeling somewhat drained and also sad because she never has any questions for me or shows any interest in what we are doing.
So I asked her one evening why she never takes the initiative to call or even write a text or email me. She stated she hates cellphones and will never use it. She has her very own cellphone and carries it with her everywhere. I said, isn’t it wonderful that you can connect instantly with another person, even see them while on another continent. No more waiting for pictures in the mail, they are always with you. It’s a great way to connect with family. I know it’s nice to get a letter in the mail, but this is the new way now, you don’t even have to wait for the mailman. It’s faster and so much more convenient and freeeeeee!
I have a love/hate relationship with technology, too, but if it means I can stay connected to my kids I will learn.
Her response: I’m not going to do it and you can’t make me. It was a heated argument at this point, and the fact that I mentioned she could use the regular house phone if she hates her cell phone didn’t help either. Honestly, this whole thing wasn’t even about no damn cellphone. Things from my childhood were brought up again, not sure of the context, but suddenly I felt like a child again who could do nothing right.
My mom is, and always has been very good at gaslighting me. I think, and obviously I’m no expert, that this is her way of dealing with guilt. She literally twisted my entire childhood around to be able to live with her version of why she sent me away to this home for bad girls at the age of 15.
It may have been the only way to deal with that decision for her, but I forgave her a long time ago and told her so many times, even though I never received an answer from her as to why she sent me away in the first place. I accepted it, let’s move on. Carl Jung said, ” I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” I became strong and dependable, yet I had to learn to walk away from relationships that are not healthy, including my marriage of 24 years in which I was a codependent. So then, what if it’s your own mother? Do I walk away from that relationship and is it even a relationship? I call her because I feel in my heart that I want to hear her voice, want to hear how she is doing, even with the unwanted feelings it leaves me. I said yes to her invitation to stay with her because I had hopes that this time it would be different. I can be an optimist, but mostly I’m a realist. I am not staying with her any longer. In fact, I moved out 2 1/2 weeks ago. Is a long distance relationship the best I can hope for?