“Hey Jealousy” is a song by the Gin Blossoms and it’s quite good. The reality of jealousy isn’t quite as good and can leave a person confused and angry. Tonight, my mother’s jealousy and mental illness combined together to create an unpleasant situation.
My youngest just celebrated her 16th birthday, which I believe I covered briefly the other day. We were scheduled to go to dinner with my mother one night this week and I MISTAKENLY thought it was dinner, not a delay in her birthday celebration. I don’t know why and this wouldn’t have been an issue if mother weren’t so agoraphobic and made her real celebration like everyone else did. I’m sure we discussed this as her make-up birthday dinner, but for whatever reason, my short-term memory isn’t all that and a bag of chips lately. So…. the conversation went something like the following (but not exactly because remember that short term memory loss?)
Me: We’re good for dinner, but it will be the four of us. J is out of town with K, B, and B for her birthday. They went to Oklahoma City.
Mom: Well, if she’s not going, I’m not going?
Me: Why not?
Mom: Because it’s her birthday dinner.
Me: I’m sorry, I got it messed up. I forgot it was her birthday dinner.
Mom: And I think she’s spending entirely too much time over there. She’s spending two nights a week and now she’s gone for the weekend? What is she, their other daughter?
Me: No mom.with an inward groan She’s spending time over there because she wants to and there’s not much for her to do here in the summer.(Because the other 3 of us in the house are working / school) Plus, she spends a bit of time cleaning and helping around the house.
More conversation back and forth until:
Me: If you want her to spend time over there or want some help, then ask her like K & B do. If you want her to clean or whatnot just call her.
Mom: LONG PAUSE…. I don’t want to do things like K & B do.
Me: I understand that, but it’s not like J can come spend that much time over there. Referring to spending the night more than anything else. There’s no place for her to sleep or anything. She’s over there helping them clean because they need the help.
Mom: (Screaming) They don’t need help…. and then the subtle sounds of disconnect.
Yes, I did the daughterly duty and tried to call back. I let the phone ring through multiple phone calls over 50 times. I give up. I’m not calling her back and if she wants to talk to me, then she better have an apology ready.
I am so tired of her being jealous because 1) other people are doing what she wants to do, but can’t do not because of physical infirmity, but because her mind won’t let her. 2) I’m tired of her blaming everyone else for her decisions. I can honestly say I will be grateful when I don’t have to deal with this any more. I love my mother, just as I love my father (may he rest in peace.) However, when you have someone in your family who is mentally ill, the emotional cost can be too high and at this point, I’m tired and don’t want to deal with it. No wonder my children don’t want to call her – it’s too much of an effort.
And speaking of effort, I’m done with my rant. Time for snoozing.