So my sister, Kelli, calls me on Monday or so, asking me if I talked to my mother. Bracing myself for the newest drama, I told her no.. I was in no way prepared for the conversation that transpired.
“You know, I feel bad,” she said.
“Why?” I asked.
“Mommy went to the hospital last night, she’s been having mini-strokes.”
Okay, now for the back story…
For the past year and 1/2 – two years, both our (my sister and I) relationship with our mother has been extremely strained. To the point where her number on the caller ID made me cringe. She (my mother) has been extremely angry and bitter for this period and it has/had gotten to the point where I didn’t even want to talk to her because the only thing she ever wanted to talk about was usually about four things…
My ex-girlfriend and if I will get back together with her. (um, no. It’s been over 2 years. Not going to happen. Digging being single WAY too much).
Bitching about Kelli’s ex-husband. (Not my business. Kelli’s business.)
Bitching about Kelli in general. (Won’t talk about it. Kelli is happy, thus making my mother miserable.)
Now sometimes, the conversation is about how much she hates my father’s side of the family or when I am going to give her grandkids (arrrrrrrrrghhhhhhhhhh), or bitching about just about anything in general. It got to the point where I just couldn’t even talk to her. I do not have time for bitching or negativity in my life. There is no place for it. I’m happy, don’t bitch to me about things that either I won’t change, I can’t change or it’s not my business to change. But it didn’t matter. EVERY SINGLE phone call was a bitch-fest that usually ended up with me cutting the conversation short because, quite simply, I didn’t want to hear it.
I have been telling my mother since 2002/03 to go get some help. And I was serious. She seriously needed to talk to somebody. But she swore up and down, nothing was wrong. The whole family is telling her to get some help, but she said we were all against her.
Then my sister called.
Oh yeah, one of the symptoms of strokes is a change in personality. Fuck. Me.
So how did my mom get to the hospital to find out she was having mini-strokes? Someone, outside of the family–someone who my mother hasn’t talked to in YEARS–told her she wasn’t acting the same, maybe something was wrong.
Well NO SHIT!
So my mother checks the net for stroke symptoms that night (because strokes run in the family) and found she suffered from all the symptoms, save one. She had my dad drive her to the hospital that night. And there you have it. She suffered at least one, but she has probably had more than that one over a period of time.
First feeling, guilt.
I’d gotten to the point where I couldn’t, and didn’t want to, talk to my mother. I could not deal with a fight every single phone call.
Second feeling, anger.
The anger encompasses many levels.
Angry at myself because everything is clearer now.
Angry for feeling guilty because I have no reason for feeling guilt. You can only do so much.
Angry at my mother for not getting help sooner.
Angry at my mother for not listening to her family.
Just anger, anger, anger.
Third feeling, relief.
Now, I’m not happy my mother had a stroke, I’m happy there is an explanation now. I love my mother, and I hope our relationship can get back to where it was, but–sickness or not–it won’t happen overnight, especially since she is still calling me and bitching. I feel as if she has a green light now that she knows I know there is an explanation for the problem. I feel as if she thinks she can get away with it. Sickness or not, she won’t. I love my mother, but I will not be used to take sides against my sister or my father.
I’m very relieved that things may change for the better.
But I’m still angry. And I think, after being angry for two years, it’s not going to just go away.
I hope she gets the help she needs, for the family’s sake.