My daughter came over yesterday to finish cleaning her room for final move-out. We sat around talking for almost two hours first.
It was really interesting because I told her I didn’t want to say anything to try to poison her against my mom, but she had plenty to say anyway—which lets me know it’s not just me. Oddly, that’s kind of gratifying, because it makes me feel less insane.
She was thinking of trying to reach out to her various grandparents (as well as my youngest son.) I find that interesting in itself because it seems so grown-up and I definitely wasn’t at the same stage at her age.
She has a hierarchy of who she wants to talk to. J’s mom is at the top—I guess we’ll see if she finds my mother-in-law less frustrating to talk to than J or I do, lol. If she does tolerate it better, maybe that can work to our benefit.
My dad is second. As Amy said about the various grandparents, the fact of whether or not they have values determines whether or not she wants to talk to them. She sees my dad’s values as essentially being “relaxing is cool” (she’s not wrong) but at least that makes him chill to talk to.
J’s stepdad is dead-last because he’s made very inappropriate comments about trans women before and my daughter says he’s “creepy.” By her definition, his values are bad. I can’t argue with that.
Interestingly, about my mom, she said she’s essentially like a non-playable character in a video game (without the alt-right connotations that term sometimes has.)
My mom says all the right things about being supportive but she really isn’t; there’s no action behind it. That was Amy’s perception but I have to say it was dead-on. My mom doesn’t really have any hobbies or interests and she completely lacks self-awareness.
I get that, because that’s the exact same dynamic I had with my former best friend. She also had zero self-awareness and just wasn’t interesting to talk to.
On another note, though, I feel like I am really getting along well with my daughter. We’ve made plans to go out and do stuff, though they’re tentative and I’m not sure when they’ll actually happen.
She also told me that we had very clear values we raised her and her siblings with—namely the values of “family first” and supporting their creativity and interests. I am honestly so glad that that’s what she said, because those were the values we were trying to teach and it’s good to know we were successful.
On a different topic, my son said he was doing much better yesterday, so I’m relieved by that. And I’m getting together with his girlfriend and taking her to lunch on Saturday. I’m really looking forward to that. I’ve always felt like I’ve taken her under my wing and I’m really glad we can keep doing that.
And on yet another note, I wrote another article for Medium! I don’t think I’m going to share this one with my mom, though. It just doesn’t feel safe anymore. But I’m proud that I got over my issues and could write again. It even got chosen for further distribution.