Monday, June 27, 2005

Ostrich Time

Not sure where this blog entry is going to go, as I sit and write it. I'll begin with a weekend recap, I guess.

Friday was basically wasted for me. What with the intense problems at work, it pretty much drained any energy I had. I didn't end up having to work this weekend, so that left only the last-minute meeting I had to attend at church. So I was able to head to karaoke, get 3 songs in, went to the meeting, then came back to karaoke for another song. I felt really off that night though, between work and personal issues bothering me, it was coming through when I tried to get into singing. Since there is no karaoke this week, I'll have a week to rest up and kick ass next time.

Saturday I had a visit from Regan, who brought me a ton of plants and took a walk around the yard with me discussing what exactly I could do with it. I guess what I need to keep in mind is that I don't have to have a beautiful-looking lawn/yard right away. It's going to take time. Since I am impatient, that's what has been stressing me out with this yard stuff. I like things to be planned, to keep moving, to see progress. Just need to yank myself back a bit and not worry so much about it.

I headed to church on Saturday, where mass was being said in memory of Grammy. I happened to walk in right behind my aunt, uncle & cousins so I joined them in the pew. Mother looked over at me from the other side. My great aunt was sitting in the pew in front of us, so it was nice to see her as well. After church I talked to my aunt & uncle for a while, passing on some info which I secretly hope will get back to my mother. That sounds evil, it's not intentional. What I meant by that was that I hope my mother finds out the crap that has been going on in both of my brothers' lives and reaches out to them. Myself? Don't really care about myself & her right now. It's my brothers I am worried about. Someday my mother will realize I am not the horrible disappointment of a daughter she thinks I am.

I headed from church to pick up Jenn and got some groceries and prep for the evening's BBQ at my place. Still feeling out-of-sorts, I ended up spending a lot of time inside making a salad, to the point where a few people came in to check on me (thanks, btw). In the end we had a fun time, although I had forgotten how bad Pod People really was. Am looking forward to bringing the projector home and showing the episodes that my younger brother downloaded for me, since he said they were really good.

Sunday was a busy day for me. I started the morning by getting up and throwing the sheets in the wash. Younger brother called and asked if he could come over and do his laundry, so I delayed my plans to do laundry that day. Not like I really wanted to with it being so nice out and I had places to go.

I cleaned up a bit from the night before and then headed over to the Nature Park. Was the first time I had been there since the start of the season. It was nice to get back there, it reminds me of the woods around where I grew up, which is just up the road from the park so that explains the familiarity. I made the somewhat silly decision of walking the whole perimeter of the park, the squirrel, seal and heron trails. Silly because I had to dance later that day. Needless to say I am a little sore after being on my feet so much yesterday.

I also packed some things up to take to the recycling drop-off, before it piled up any higher. Stopped to grab a few more things at the grocery store, since it was a brand new sale week.

Back home I rushed to make sure I was able to catch Jaybird's radio show. I arrived right on time and really enjoyed the show. Jay did an inaccurate impersonation of me so I had to call in and tell him that was not what I sounded like :P I got a couple of requests in so that was awesome! Looking forward to hearing more shows, and if you need a co-host, I've got lots of crap, er, I mean music I can bring in ;)

It was then off to find out where in hell the belly dancing hafla was. I had received a phone message that it was going to be 5pm at Fisher Lakes, which covers more than one area, so Jenn, B and I ended up walking around looking for it. Eventually we found the right spot, with help from a phone call to Joanne. For someone who hadn't practiced since Monday night, I did pretty well on my routine. I have claw hands that I need to work on, and need to get a "face" and not look like I am counting. But what was really awesome was an unexpected comment from one of the members of the dance troupe that I had done very well. I was floored to hear that, an unsolicited compliment coming from someone who is really good at what she does, and I am only a beginner.

I left the hafla early, heading over to the big Parish meeting at the church hall. I got to sit up with the other councils at the front of the room. A ways into the meeting I started feeling sick, I think from some of the middle-eastern food, which I am not used to eating. Ended up shuffling off to the bathroom twice during the meeting, which I was not very inconspicuous since I was at the front of the room, but what else can you do when nature calls? The meeting went pretty well considering the fact that there were no reversals of the decision. I hope we hit home with the parishoners that the church will not be closing, the bishop is behind us, and that there will be a lot of capital work to be done in the near future. In the end, it's up to the parishoners to decide what happens to the church. If people decide they no longer want to attend our church because the Redemptorists have left, then we won't be able to afford to keep the building open. But if we stick together and stay committed to maintaining our parish community, with or without the Redemptorists, then we can stay alive. I hope we don't have defections to other parishes. The interesting parts were that the Redemptorists will be back on occasion for visits, missions, vacation replacements, etc., so it was nice to hear they are not leaving and never coming back. The bishop has committed to finding us a new pastor in early 2006 so that the new pastor has time to work with the leaving Redemptorists and ensure as smooth a transition as possible. The bishop is also actively seeking another religious order to come to our church. What makes us unique is the fact that we are the only church in the Maritimes with this particular Catholic order, so some of the parishoners feel we'll lose that uniqueness. I think they were supportive of finding another order to come in and maintain that special quality.

Then came that part of the meeting that filled me with horror and dread: my mother got up to speak. Those of you following the saga of my mother know that she is currently not speaking to me since realizing I think towels are more important than her. So I am sitting at the meeting, already feeling sick to begin with, and then I see her get up out of the corner of my eye. Oh crap. Please don't tell me she's gone to a new level of craziness and will start to air dirty family laundry in front of the church? As many of you likely feel when a relative gets up in front of a crowd of strangers, "please don't say anything embarassing, and if you do, don't tell them we're related." Thankfully that wasn't the case, well, for the most part. Mother did act like her eccentric self but did make a good point (though one I could have scripted for her, I know her so well). And then she added the line "since I raised the chairman of your finance committee". Not sure how many stages of red I turned, but thankfully that was as embarassing as it got. I stopped afterward to talk to one of the parish council members, who I knew from university, and I was telling her how freaked out I was when my mother got up to speak, since she's mad at me and not talking to me.

A friend of mine made a comment to me that perhaps my mother isn't crazy, as I often refer to her as being, that perhaps there is a discord between how she thinks the world of me, but that I am unable to meet her standards or expectations. That is actually the exact problem. I do know my mother is proud of me, because she "was the best mother she could be" and raised wonderful children but doesn't know where she "went wrong". I already know what her expectations are, I've heard them many a time. She demands you to be on her side, there is no neutral ground. Therefore, if you are not with her, you're against her. She would prefer I have no contact with my father after all that he has done to our family. She can't understand why we'd want to have anything to do with him after that. She says lots of other children have gone and told their fathers that they didn't like what he did to their mother, but since we didn't do that, and tried to stay neutral, she took that as a betrayal (I am pretty much quoting here). This is why we are estranged right now. She has expectations that cannot be met. I am not going to cut either parent out of my life for the sake of the other. It's something I just can't do, nor should it be expected of me to do.

My mother demands perfection. I came 7th in my high school graduating class, but all that I remember from that time was my mother telling my grandmother "but wow, look at that girl, she must be really smart, she got a 98% average." Made me feel like chopped liver. She has always had extremely high expectations of me, and I have apparently let her down over & over again. She has no problem pointing out to a crowd of strangers at a church meeting that she raised me, but neglected to mention the fact that she can't stand who I am now. Now that she has pointed out to the whole church that we are related, I wonder how many will notice that we sit on opposite sides of the church? They won't know it's because she refused to sit in the same pew with me.

I didn't think I was that bad. Maybe I am. Obviously I can't control my own life, I've made a mess of it, am making silly, unrealistic decisions and need people to tell me that I am doing things wrong.

If anyone's looking for me, I'll be the girl with her head buried in the sand, playing ostrich. Ostrich is fun. I may stay here for a while.


Joanne said...

Your mother doesn't realize what a wonderful, successful daughter she has!!!! Your are kind, very intelligent (you kicked my ass in university), loyal parishner (not many people our age are), always ready to help anyone in need, a wonderful hostess, and... you are a great belly dancer!!!!

After having lost my mother, I can only think that it is twice as hard for you. You see her every week and realize that she isn't there for you or your brothers.

Hopefully, a bolt of wisdom and insight will hit her and she will realize what she has, instead of what she doesn't have.

Cyn said...

This is precisely how my parents are... when I'm useful to them in a way that makes them look good then all of a sudden I'm their wonderful successful and bright daughter. But if the situation doesn't allow them to show off (ie anytime we're not in public) then the answer is well whatever.

Similar in high school for me as well. High honours, but the marks that were less than A or A+ were commented as to "Why didn't you do better in those courses?" A- classes weren't good enough. Sigh.

I don't think they'll ever learn. Sadly I think a good chunk of our parents' generation lives vicariously through ours in a much larger way than any previous generation. When we don't accomplish what they wanted to for their life they see themselves as a failure and dealing with us reminds them of that failure so it's easier to just treat us like crap on those occasions. BUT! When we've done something fantastic that they can spout off to the world to make themselves feel better then wahoo we're golden.

Chris L said...

The expectations of parents can never be fully met. You just have to hope that at some point they will be able to accept that you are doing your best.

From everything I've read your Mom should consider herself lucky, but you can't help people who insist that the world is B&W. A little secret ... it turns out that the world has many other wonderful shades that are closed off to a B&Wer.

mare said...

may i start by saying that she's reliving enough of the past for both of you, don't you start with that now too?

you make the best decisions you can, the decisions that are right for you. i think it's time you adopt the lizzie bennett approach to life - act in such a way so as to constitute your own happiness, without reference to her or any other person so wholly unconnected with yourself.

not that she's unconnected, i know, but she's choosing to be and i think it's time you let her... for your own sanity. she'll come back, or she won't. you can't make that decision for her, and you shouldn't feel guilty that she isn't ready, for whatever reasons, to make that choice.

mare said...

ps you rock and you know it. don't be so hard on yourself.

John said...

While I hate to see someone going down a path I know all too well, at some point you have to live for you and ignore what members of your family say or do.

Just because you love them doesn't mean you have to like them.

peto said...

You have not made a mess of your life. from reading your blog i would say you have "it" put together pretty darn good :-)
I , on the other hand, feel like I've destroyed my life. It would be easy for me to say it was this persons fault, or, my parents fault, but, No, it was all mine. So, call your mom and tell her "thanks" for everything she has taught you. :-)
*reflects on the past*

Cyn said...

Under normal circumstances, Pete, I'd agree with you that we should thank those who helped us get to where we are, but this one... well... I really think it's just one of those situations that makes ya stronger to walk away from until the other person gets some sort of a clue. Trying to continue just brings more hurt.

Power to ya, Liz, for doing what was needed for you to grow and move forward. I only pray that someday your mom will realize just how much her words and actions have cost her in this world. And also that she alone is responsible for her words and actions - not what someone has said or done to her.

liz said...

I agree with your sentiment, Peto, but you don't know my mother. If I called her, she'd screen my call, hang up on me, or just repeat back to me what she thinks of me. She needs to change before we can have any kind of relationship. She also needs to change in order to move forward with her own life.

liz said...

p.s. that comment about me having made a mess of my life, etc. was sarcastic, I guess that tone didn't come through well enough.

peto said...

i'm sorry, i didnt realize you and your mom were at odds. Maybe if i would slow down and read slower i would have seen that in your post.
I too have been at odds with my folks since i was able to say,
"daddy don't"... "mommy don't".
But after the death of my dad and now the sickness of my mom i try to be the one to offer the olive branch.

mare said...

yeah, that sarcasm didn't come through at all. had me worried for a second there, though i am relieved to see your sense of humour remains intact.

Lisa said...

It is definately her loss.

Unfortunately, she is missing out on what a wonderful person you are because she's too busy being negative. Some day, hopefully sooner than later, she realize what she's been doing and the time she's wasted. Some people either don't know how to be happy, or make others responsible for their happiness.

I have to agree with Mare on this one. And, I'm saying this as someone who has been in a similiar situation.