I wonder: what will I be like at 40? At 65? At 80? Will I be proud of who I've become?
My mother has been flipping out for various reasons all week. I'm well aware that the root cause is my sister's impending move to Phoenix. Mom doesn't want her to move away; none of us do, but most of us fully support this adventure. Laine desperately needs a change, and this could save her marriage. How can you not support that?! Mom, on the other hand, is vehemently against it and is up on her doomsday soapbox. She's proclaimed that her son-in-law is incapable of being successful at his new job and the entire venture will be a disaster. Her negativity then drains into every other facet of her life, until it's turned into a cesspool of little catastrophes.
"Your sister is moving away with her husband! Next YOU and your boyfriend are going to get married and move to a third world country. And I'll be left all alone here in Kansas with no one but your dad and Scott!"
This then devolves into: "And your brother's been horrible all week long!" (Scott's anxiety level, incidentally, could NEVER be influenced by hers) "He's been a total wreck and I refuse to go home tonight!"
Which then devolves into: "I can't find the remote! It's gone! I don't want to spend money on a new one, so I'm just going to throw out the television and all the DVDs!"
I'm not kidding; she just called a few hours ago about the remote thing and I had a migraine by the time we hung up.
I understand, and yet DO NOT understand, where she is coming from. It's easy to compartmentalize her emotions and try to explain them based off my frame of reference. But I don't live in her world every day. And I can't even BEGIN to explain how Mom has healed over the last few years.
Mom is extremely sensitive, whether or not she would like to admit it. She is fragile, like a ballerina or a butterfly. She has been hurt, destabilized, and undermined to the point where the only way she knows to protect herself is to END. It could be a friendship or something more... but at the slightest hint of dysfunctionality, she ENDS it. Completely.
This, in and of itself, is a self-defense tactic. It's all self preservation. But you can't end EVERY interaction just because it makes you feel bad; because it makes you doubt yourself.
I started to get really anxious, thinking: What if I turn into her? Is that the next step after 30? Somewhere along the way, will I become a giant stressball?
Don't get me wrong; I love my mother. She's not always irrational and volatile like this; by now, I've learned to just wait her out. She'll come around eventually... but I see these pieces of her in myself already, even in my own stress response to her today.
* * *
So I went outside and meditated in the hammock. The wind was blustering the tree branches, gently bouncing the hammock up and down as I sat cross-legged inside. I felt like a little Buddha on a lotus flower in the middle of the ocean, rising and falling and utterly untouchable. As long as I take the time to center and remember what's truly important, I think I should be ok.
Now what am I going to do about these budding crows' feet???? OH MY GOD!!!!!