I went out shopping with my youngest son and his girlfriend yesterday for prom clothes. We found what we needed (and he looks so handsome and grown!) and we genuinely had a lot of fun hanging out together. It was just what I needed.
On the downside, I tried to make time to call my mom when I got back (even though I was still super busy and also had to run out and get health-related stuff for my husband) and told her it was about my genetic test results. I felt like she brushed me off. She asked if we could talk another time because she was tired (and hey, so am I! Pretty much always, to a medically abnormal degree!) but my life is so busy between now and Dylan’s graduation that I don’t know when I’ll have more chances to talk any time soon.
Yes, part of me is a little salty. This was very important stuff to me, even if it wasn’t to her—I mean, the answers I’ve sought for over 20 years are a big deal—and I felt like she couldn’t make time for me. I also get being tired, as I live with overwhelming exhaustion every day and still have to push through it anyway, no matter how much is on my plate. Frankly, the amount of stuff on my plate right now is way more than what’s on hers.
J gave me a hug after I told him that I was disappointed that my mom wasn’t there for me and he reminded me that he was (even though he’s currently on chemo.) But I couldn’t help but think about the fact that he won’t always be here when I need to talk.
But the problem is, apparently, neither will my mom. I still feel like her needs come first and she’s very, very limited in how much support she can give me and when. There’s no particular reason for it, as far as I can tell; she just seems to have an extremely limited capacity for trying to meet my emotional needs (or anyone else’s.)
And of course, I also can’t help but compare it to my own efforts that I put in for my children. I actually felt extremely sick and all-around crappy before I was supposed to take out Dylan and his girlfriend, but I sucked it up because I knew it wasn’t viral (and I ended up feeling better, anyway.)
It just reminds me that my mom is probably not likely to ever be there to provide emotional support when I need it. Frankly, I can see a number of occasions over the next few years when I will need (probably substantial) emotional support, and she probably won’t be there for much of it.
It will probably be like the other occasions when I’ve really needed emotional support over the past couple of years and she just wasn’t able to provide that, either. I truly don’t know if she doesn’t know how or doesn’t feel comfortable in that role, but it very often feels like she’s too wrapped up in herself to have anything left for me.
And to some extent, I get it: providing emotional support didn’t come naturally to me either at one time and I had to make a real, intentional effort to learn how. Sometimes, I feel like she’s just given up on trying to learn: take it or leave it. I know I can’t change her or force her to learn. I just wish she showed more initiative in trying to learn how to do better.
I’m facing a whole lot of really scary things right now. And honestly, I’m pretty tough. But I really wish I didn’t have to shoulder so much without her. What’s the value of having your mom still around if she doesn’t do anything that a mom should?