Sunday, June 8, 2014

Ahhhh. Narcissism and hoarding. The gifts that keep on giving... Or is it taking?

She drives me insane.  

Absolutely flipping insane.  

Her amazing abilities at denial, rewriting history, and being an ethnocentric and racist old woman defy my ability to understand at times.  

I called her on Thursday of this week.  (She remains on the 3 times a week plan for phone calls for my emotional well being, and honestly, it is too much/too many times...)  I reminded her that I was not working on Friday, and that I might be going bowling with friends that night if I felt up to it and my eye appointment on Friday went okay.  She immediately asked about my eye appointment, wanting to know why would it NOT go well?

Ugh.  I know I should expect no different, but two years ago I was diagnosed with an eye condition that can, potentially, lead to reduced vision/blindness, painful surgeries that can go up to and include corneal transplants.  The type of disorder I have is similar to one that many folks have, but mine has a bit of a twist, it is found predominately in folks with specific ethnic heritage, in my case, Native American.  A fact that my mother has attempted to deny, to feign ignorance, and has reactions that run the gauntlet from surprise to out right racism... "Does your [then fiance'] know?  He will not think you are white!"  Um... that is because I am not. 

I told her the day I was diagnosed.  She immediately went into denial mode, and then started talking about her own vision woes.  Last year she again used it as a springboard to talk about herself.  This time, she again seemed to have zero memory and this was new information to her.  I again reminded her of my Native American heritage, how that came about, who in Dad's family, and why it did not appear on birth certificates.  Basically it was a cultural accommodation, and a response to racism and genocide.  In the state my father's family comes from, if the indigenous person's name was left off the birth certificate, they were 'white'.  Also, it was 1969 before a law preventing First Nation people from owning property was struck from the books.  She was more interested in minimizing and denying, and demanding to know how I found out, who knows, etc.  She also immediately launched into her eye problems, and focused the conversation on her.  I ended the call quickly, and anyone seeing me drive down the highway might think I have lost my mind.  I did a little primal scream therapy as I drove the 4 lane home.  If anyone noticed, and I am sure they did not, I was most likely quite the picture driving along in my little sedan, looking straight ahead, and screaming my fool head off.

I have not spoke to her since, it is only 3 days later.  I doubt that she will ask, and I do not intend to tell her anything about my appointment.  It did not go well.  The condition I was diagnosed with has not progressed much in the past two years, which is good, but I have another concern.  It appears that my eye pressure is elevated, and glaucoma does run in the family, with devastating results.  I have to return every few months for the next year to monitor this, and the treatment options are yet to be determined... but this can reduce or eliminate options for the first condition.  The good news is I am being monitored, and both are being caught early, if glaucoma is truly an issue here.

Most folks with relatively normal interaction and relationships with their families, their mothers, could seek support for this.  Due to the extreme narcissism and mental illness of my remaining family, support is something they are simply unable to give.  As with most other things, I will seek support from my friends, or I will walk alone with this.  Either way, I am better off than anything she has to offer.

And I am not keeping this secret.  I have already shared it with a friend or two when I went bowling that night... so thankful for the friend that came an picked me up so I could go since I was still effected by the dilation medication administered.  I had a lovely weekend of friends, food, wine and fun...  Whatever this yields, I will deal with it in its time and its place.  Worrying about it now only spoils the 'now' and does little to improve the 'then'.  I have little time or patience for hand wringing.  Life goes on. 

I am not usually one for smug little sayings and memes... okay, maybe I am... but I believe in the one that talks about being as happy as you choose to be.  Life is too short to be spent on the safe side of the street, and always looking to the worst case scenario.  

Thank you for reading... Have a great week.

Hoarding...  No one wins. NO ONE.

Update:  Spoke to her briefly on my way into work.  She did not ask about my eye appointment, or anything about my weekend, just began her normal hoardy monologue.  I am relieved, and the smallest part annoyed.  I spoke to a friend who I had not talked to in a few days that knew this was coming up, and called to check in.  A friend... and my friends are my family of choice, but someone who heard this mentioned in passing made note of it and followed up.  But my mother?  ::Fail buzzer::  And honestly- to be fair to her, if she did ask, I would most likely not tell her anything because I do not want the rapid fire 1,000,000 question interrogation and the resultant craziness and inappropriate assumptions.

<Sigh>  And so it goes.

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