Saturday, June 25, 2011

Lovers' quarrel

I'll be the first to admit that I haven't been the sunniest person lately. Having to deal with school again, after such a short break, and making myself read until my eyes bleed so that I fulfill a silly goal I set for myself, are taking their toll. I feel like I haven't been able to fully enjoy my summer thus far and I'm becoming frustrated. When I want to write about my past, I have to write a paper for school. When I want to lie in the grass and read, I have to sit inside and read off a screen for school. When I get painful wanderlust, I remember I don't have the time nor the money to travel and won't for another year or so when I'll be done with school and can get a better position at work. When I just want to relax and have a nice evening with my beau, we wind up fighting over seemingly nothing.

Last night, my beau said that I was quiet and asked me what was wrong. Nothing was wrong. It was finally Friday and I just wanted to wipe my mind clean and have a quiet evening of being lazy. I didn't really have anything to talk about as nothing newsworthy had really happened this week. I've just kind of been keeping my head down, dealing with things I've been procrastinating for awhile. Thinking that my quietness and seeming inability to talk about anything meant that something was wrong and that I was mad at him about something, he kept asking me what was wrong. Well, nothing was wrong until I had to answer the same question over and over with the same answer. Asking me, practically pleading with me, to talk to him made my brain lock up further and I could think of nothing to talk about. He did find something to talk about and I joined in, but my voice betrayed my building, hidden frustration and he took offense at the way I had corrected him. I sunk back into silence, afraid of hurting him again. He then stopped talking to me because I wasn't talking to him. I asked him what was wrong and he said that nothing was wrong despite all body language clearly answering in the affirmative. I told him that when he felt like being honest with me and telling me what was really wrong, I'd be right there, checking my email. At that point, the argument really started.

Around and around we went on this sickening cyclical argument based on nothing. Nothing was wrong to begin with and now we're arguing about transgressions based on that nothingness. It made my head hurt just thinking about it and made me increasingly frustrated. If I'm going to argue with someone, I want to argue about something, not nothing. Despite my desire to keep my annoyance at bay and to speak rationally, my attitude reared its ugly head and made snide, snapping remarks to him. He called me out on it and I felt awful, biting my tongue and sinking back into silence. My guilt overcame me and I apologized, knowing that loved ones do not deserve to be spoken to like that- no one deserves to be spoken to like that. We had had this conversation before and knowing that we had reached this point again made me feel sick.

My mother hates me because of my attitude. She can get nasty when she argues and years of arguing with her coupled with teenage cockiness conditioned me well to have a quick tongue and biting words whenever I enter a disagreement, especially with her. It's a hard instinct to break and her incessant harping did little to change my ways as I had lost what little respect I had for her when she drug me through her hoarding hellhole for a decade. I honestly cared little if I hurt her feelings. Now that I'm in a relationship with a sensitive man, I find my words coming back to bite me in the ass after I have a fleeting moment of relief when they bite him in the heat of an argument. I need to rewire my brain to speak calmly and rationally, lovingly and full of understanding. The last thing I ever want to do is hurt him and yet my tone of voice is the exact opposite. How can I break this callousness that is such an unwelcome part of my personality?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bad food, TV shows, and lies unfolding

On the Mom front, a few interesting discussions and some research have occurred over the last few weeks:

First, while my brother was visiting, for some reason, we got on the subject of how laughable my mother's cooking abilities are. We came up with a very short list of things she used to regularly fix us: frozen pot pies, homemade chili (!), cheeseburgers, hot dogs and canned baked beans, fried pork roll, kielbasa, cube steak (forever chewing), Jell-o pudding (priding herself on the fact that it was not the instant kind she makes, but the kind you have to cook on the stove), spaghetti and meatballs... the list pretty much petered out after that. I cannot remember her once ever baking anything. Our birthday cakes were always made by my grandmother.

Second, my supervisor asked me the other day if I had ever watched the show Hoarders as she had caught an episode of it the previous night. I hesitated when I answered, no I had not. I have, of course, heard of the show, but I have not attempted to summon the guts to watch it. She started to tell me about it and it was all I could do to bite my tongue and not respond with, "Oh, I know exactly what you mean without having seen the show. My mom is a hoarder." I just kind of nodded and acted surprised when needed. Once she started talking about how she couldn't understand how their family members allow them to hoard like that, I had to turn my back and pretend that I was absorbed in something else. A crazy person can't stop being crazy just because you ask them to. Hoarders will find a way to hoard no matter what until they are receptive to the psychological help they need to break the compulsion.

Third, shortly after I graduated from high school, my mom told me one day that our landlords were selling our house and that we were being forced to move. Even though I was clicking my heels in joy, I knew her story sounded phony and I had a feeling that what had really happened was that they had found out how awful the state of the house was and evicted us. I never had any proof of my theory though and never felt compelled to look into until now. I remember my mother had gone to court to ask for additional time to move (I think the landlords didn't give us the legally allotted time, but I could be wrong) and I went to the county court's website to see if they had civil court records available online. They do, but only until 2008. I made a mental note to visit the courthouse the next time I'm in Pennsylvania and considered it the end of the line. I was talking to my roommate about it and she mentioned looking up the records for the house itself to see the last sale date. Ingenious idea! I found the house quickly and discovered that the last date the house sold was in 1988; however, that doesn't mean that I'm completely right. Maybe the landlords decided not to sell it after all when we were moved out. Overall, though, my theory still looks good. Hopefully the next time I'm in PA (probably in September when my nephew is born), I'll have a spare couple of hours to investigate.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Hazy

Sorry for the silence, friends. Lately, I've been pulling myself away from social media and the computer in general and taking care of other things in real life. I think summer as a whole usually does that to me. I just can't bring myself to sit in front of a screen for hours when it's so sunny and beautiful outside (or super duper muggy and hot like it was last week). Regardless, I'm popping in for a little update.

Life's been chugging right along. I had to pay over $400 to get Betty, my black VW Golf, back to tip top shape. That hurt my savings account a bit. My brother and sister in law came for a short visit this week. It was really nice to see them as I hadn't seen them since Christmas. My sister in law's got a full baby belly already and I was able to feel my little nephew kick a few times. I'm now on book 6 of Harry Potter, so it looks like my goal of rereading the whole series before the last movie comes out on July 15 will be attainable. Lynn and I are supposed to watch the second Harry Potter movie tomorrow during our quality BFF time. The first class for my summer class is next week, so I'm getting kind of pouty about that. Now that I've got complete freedom, I'm very reluctant to give any of it back up. Sigh. I have to keep reminding myself that I'll have my degree this time next year. Just keep it up.

Well, I think I'm going to enjoy some more Harry Potter and continue with the relaxation. I've been thinking about ways to improve this little blog and to write more about my mom and my past in a more structured way. I'll see if I can't figure out a way to keep on track.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Things that I love

Photo credit: cuttingboard via Flickr
Making chocolate chip cookies last night was probably the best idea I had all week. I've been feeling sick on and off for a few weeks (nausea, sore throats, headaches). Typically when I'm ill, my appetite gets really wonky. I'll either barely eat for days or crave unhealthy and or unusual things. Despite having made healthy things for both my lunches and dinners this week, my stomach has other ideas. Pickles, chocolate chip cookies, potatoes, Slurpees. I've about given up and resigned to my stomach. I guess I'll have to put all the other food in the freezer and binge on junk food for awhile. Sigh.