Thursday, August 26

Hung up

A bit of a doom and gloom post, so if you don't want to read it, no problem. I just need to get it off my chest.

I'm so tired of trying to do my best, keep everyone happy and ending up being wrong yet again. 

I moved away from my home town.. 3 hours drive away... 21 years ago. My mum and one of my brother's lives in my home town still. My other brother lives 5 hours away from me, 2 hours away from our home town. We've moved on, got families and are living our lives. We make trips back home as and when time and money allows it. We all try to get together at least once a year at Mum's house, twice if we can co-ordinate it, but we always meet up a couple of weeks before Christmas to swap presents and see each other. There's always an argument from mum about us being with her at Christmas, but with young kids (Isabelle is 5) it's so difficult to do, and also spoils the magic of Christmas for her. Anyway, I digress.

A couple of months ago, Mark booked the last week in August off work for his holiday. We compromised on the holiday and split his time off into two sections. One for Isabelle and my benefit of days out staying in a hotel and the second part of the week for Mark to go off on his motorbike with a one man tent so he can do his hunter-gatherer thing and walk up mountains. Everyone is happy. Then I got an unexpected phone call on the Friday evening from my mum saying she was going into hospital on the following Monday night for a knee replacement operation. She'd be in hospital for 4 days, coming home on the Friday, the day before we went on our holiday. I tried to work out a way to go and see her. Because of the timing of everything, it would have to be the Sunday (this Sunday coming) for the following reasons.

Mark will be away Thursday to Saturday. My 20 yr old son will be away Thursday to Monday at the Leeds festival. I had a Drs appointment this morning, and a hospital appointment tomorrow morning (Friday). 

I phoned Mum twice a day while she was in hospital, and then twice a day when she was home, despite us being on holiday. I sent a text when we got home late on Tuesday night to say we were home safe and had had a good time.

When I got up the next morning there was a text sent at 12.45am from Mum saying she was struggling and could I go over for a few days. I didn't notice I'd got the text until later and was out at the time so couldn't phone her, so I sent a text back, explaining the above, plus there would be no one to feed the cat and rabbit until Saturday night at least. I can't leave them for 3-4 days without them being fed, and my neighbour who would normally do it is also away. Mum didn't reply to my text. I had told her I would phone later that night, but let her know that I had an evening photoshoot and might not be back till late evening. When I got back, Isabelle had got upset over something and wouldn't calm down. It took me ages to settle her and by this time it was 10pm. I text mum to see if she was still awake, no reply. So I phoned this morning to receive a telling off. I'm 42 but felt like a 4 year old who'd been a naughty girl.

Despite me phoning twice a day for the past week and a bit, she told me I never phone her (past history - and had been discussed) unless I needed councelling. She told me next time I need to complain, phone a councellor and not her. She then complained that she'd asked for Isabelle and I to go on holiday with her for a few days, but didn't happen. I told her at the time that I couldn't drive the 3 or 4 hours necessary on my own. I have huge anxiety and panic attacks when I have to drive any distance and especially somewhere I don't know. I've also had a meltdown and had to go on anti-depressants to calm me down a bit so I can deal with sorting myself out. She dismissed all that.  She then told me that she'd not received a get well card from me. I told her it's in the car ready to be posted, but we've been on holiday.. she told me not to bother posting it, she didn't want it. And she told me not to come on Sunday because she doesn't want to see me and hung up the phone.

To her, I suppose they look like excuses, but they are all genuine reasons. I didn't mean to upset or hurt her. I've supported her in the best way I can, but it's not good enough. Apparently instead of just telling her I couldn't come over and giving reasons, I should have asked if there is anything I could do. I should have asked if I could call the Dr or something. Should I? It never crossed my mind to be honest. My sister-in-law visits in the morning, my brother in the evening and my aunt who lives two minutes from my mum around the corner drops in at various times and is on call if necessary. She also has paid home help twice a week. If she needed the Dr, surely she would have asked one of them to call or she could have called herself. She's only 63 and is no way senile. So I'm still trying to understand why I was expected to ask if there was anything I could do when I live a 3 hour drive away.

I must be missing the point somewhere. Was I expected to cancel our holiday and drop everything to go and stay with Mum? I thought there were enough people around her to care for her and help with anything she might need. It was all so last minute too. I didn't know about the op until the Friday night, she wouldn't be out of hospital until the following Friday - the day before our booked and paid for holiday. 

I'm very upset and hurt by what she said on the phone to me this morning. It's not true I only phone for councelling. I'm stuck in the middle when trying to plan visits. My mum and my hubby don't get on and hubby doesn't want to visit, he only goes because he knows I can't do the drive on the motorways. I also have fits and although I'm ok to drive because I've not had one in over a year, they come on for no reason. What if I'm on the motorway when I have one with just me and Isabelle in the car? Mum just thinks it's an excuse, but it's not, it's a real anxiety and sends me into such a state, I can't function. So visits to mum's are a bit limited, but a three hour each way drive makes for a long day with a couple of hours visit in the middle of the drive, or an over-night stay. Add the cost of the petrol and an extremely grumpy hubby doesn't make things easy.

The more I sit here thinking about it all, the angrier I'm getting at the things said to me. I've never been good enough.. should have done better, should have done more. Any success seems to have been met negativity, it wasn't good enough or my decisions questioned. Even aged 42 I'm still being told that my decisions are wrong, I should have done differently, or I should be doing things that I haven't thought of. I was sure that I'm a caring and considerate person, sometimes been called for being too considerate and thinking of others before myself and my own welfare and always putting myself last. So to be called for doing something to the best of my ability given the circumstances really hurts, especially when it comes from my own mother.

So I'm sitting here sad and feeling lonely, with only Isabelle for company until Saturday. Mark won't phone while he's on his hunter-gatherer holiday as he doesn't have a mobile phone, and he's highly unlikely to use a phone box. So I'll sit and fester away on the words that made me sad until I can put it out of my mind and get over it.

Where do I go from here with my mum? I'm too emotional to phone her to try and discuss things rationally, and she's not generally a rational person anyway. I can't email, it's too impersonal, so my only option is to write her a letter. But i feel that if I'm writing to her, I'll be justifying myself to her for my life and my actions and decisions. Am I wrong? I'm not sure what I need to apologise for except for not being there in person although circumstantially, it wasn't possible.

I don't know :(