So, at about 8:30 last night I get a call from my mother. She was returning my call from earlier so I had to take it. Normally I would let voice mail get it - a habit cultivated from years of her alcoholism, though she's "sober" now. My husband was supposed to have taken her ice chests by her house earlier and had forgotten. She's headed to the lake for the holiday weekend so she really did need them.
Anyway, my normally saccharine mother was very curt. Sometimes this is a baiting technique she uses before unloading all of her incessant, interminable, and totally self-generated woes. She cannot stop herself from maintaining contact with her ex-husband the drunk felon (now serving time for his 1000th DUI). He's so awful, and I imagine that it was a conversation with him that prompted this evening's doldrums.
Deep sigh.... This time, however, in response to my two obligatory prods, she declares that she just can't talk to me because I always criticize her. That word "criticize," for my mother, is akin to murder. God forbid!
In a moment of clarity - who knows how - I just said "fine, goodbye."
And then I begin to feel like shit. I mean, I don't want her to be miserable, angry with me or anything, but I just can't fix her and I don't want to try either.
Have you heard that joke about the dude that goes to the doctor and says "doc it hurts when i do this" to which the doc replies, "so don't do that." That pretty much sums up both of us - except she's going to just keep doing what hurts. I think she actually likes it.
But I'm done with it.