So, last night we went to dinner with my mother. As I have written before, she is my biggest tool tester. Before we pick her up, I do a check list of all of my tools that I have packed and bring with me. For those of you who are thinking, what could this sweet, old lady possibly be able to do that would require such preparation? You have never been the subject of my mother’s skillful passive-aggressive undertones grouped with a sprinkle of bitterness. Truly, it is simply how she is, but that doesn’t making it any easier knowing that.
By the end of the evening, my face hurts from over smiling and my tongue twinges with pain from biting it. Keeping my mouth shut is the only weapon against her barrage of subtle digs. Wouldn’t it be nice to just have a simple relationship with her? Do I crave the type of closeness that many of my friends have with their mother? Well, the answer is yes to both of these questions. As I wrote yesterday, she simply has no coping skills. That ingredient alone breeds her toxic outlook on life.
Honestly, as we were on our way to drop her off at home, God’s quirky sense of humor wasn’t lost on me. The moment we neared the railroad tracks, the gates went down and a train approached. Not just any train, but the longest train on the planet. Of course, I exaggerate, but clearly, when I am stuck in the car with this tiny, elderly lady who can cut you with just a handful of words, it feels extra long. I could hear my husband’s insides scream at the realization that we would endure more of the same as we watched the train pass.
While I was proud of how I didn’t accept the invitation to engage with her, it still affects me. It is a potpourri of feelings…….anger, annoyance, along with a touch of regret for allowing myself fall into her trap. In her world, bitterness is the fuel that keeps her moving, but unfortunately, it only really causes her to stall.