Saturday, 16 May 2009

The Fine Line Between Love and hate

For as long as I can remember, I've had this intense fear that something horrible will happen to my mom. I have memories of sitting in the back of the car when I was 3/4, making symmetrical patterns with my fingertips to calm myself down, believing that if I made perfect patterns, I'd somehow be protecting her from harm. I wasn't brought up in a religious household, but I went to sleep every night pleading with 'God' to keep my mom safe. I should point out that I've never had justification for this fear and I have no idea where it comes from.

Over the last few years, our relationship has changed. I still very much have the same fears about something happening to her, but my reaction is different- I distance myself, pick fights over stupid things, keep myself away from her. I guess on some level I think that the more time we spend apart, the easier it will be to bear the brunt if something DOES happen to her.

Saturday's are now the day we seem to get together- we meet for coffee early in the morning before she goes to shul. This morning I set off to meet her- as much as I love my mom, it's REALLY hard for me to be around her. Something just switches in my head and I become irritable, whiny, needy. She called me half an hour before we were to meet to ask me what the weather was like. Coming from anyone else, this would not have been a big deal. Her phone call, as do most of hers, made me feel like ripping my skin off. I was suddenly agitated, angry and just wanted to turn around and go home. I slammed my cellphone shut and kept walking and met my mom as planned. It was 'okay'. I put on my fake smile, pretended to have a good time and silently counted down the minutes until she would have to leave to go to shul.

I feel horrible for this. I LOVE my mom. I have a lot of respect for her as a person and am so grateful for everything that she has done for me over the years and everything that she has put up with. I can't even imagine the pain she has gone through watching me do the things I have done over the years...but on some level, I hate her. I can't explain why because I don't KNOW. Something about being around her triggers all kinds of wild and crazy emotions. Anxiety, anger, rage, fear. I don't know where it comes from or why it is so hard to be with her and at the same time, be away from her. I manage my eating disorder far better when we have distance- physical distance. But she is the first person I reach out to when things are hard because she 'gets' it. We think the same way and react the same way to a lot of situations- I'm wondering if part of the intensity of my feelings when I am with her is to do with the fact that I see so much of myself reflected in her. I can't help but feel jealous of people who do fun things with their families, because mine evoke such strong emotions in me and our time spent together is fraught with tension. Oh, to live with The Brady Bunch :P


Breakfast this morning, at the lovely hour of 5am. Yay insomnia!

Oats mixed with vanilla extract and fromage frais, with blueberries and almonds. Need to sort out my sleep pattern ASAP! I don't know why I am suddenly having so much trouble falling/staying sleep these days.


Quorn "ham", laughing cow cheese, spinach and tomato chutney on seeded wholewheat bread.

New snack!

First time trying this flavour, and I LOVED it! This and the Peanut Butter Cookie larabar are my top 2. I've only ever had cashew nuts in stir-fries before and forgot how much I loved them.

Question of the day: How often do you talk to/see your parents? I talk to my mom several times a day (!) and my dad maybe once every couple of months. He lives abroad so most of our communication is via email.


Anonymous said...

I had a psychology lecture who was very fond of the idea that people react strongest to the people who remind them of the things they hate or fear about themselves. I have the same problem with my dad - he is too loud, has no sense of personal space, he's just a *big* person. I am terrified of being like him, so can barely contain my irritation with him a lot of the time. I get really annoyed with myself and force myself to behave because I know it's not his fault, it's my problem. I think you might be on to something by wondering if you have this reaction because of your similarities.
I have a total cashew nut addiction going on at the moment :P yum!
I hope the rest of your weekend is nice and relaxing :) it's finally stopped raining down here in the south, I hope you get some good weather too!

Stef said...

Ok it's really weird for me to read this post..I was EXACTLY the same way about my mom when I was younger. SSOOOOOO terrified that something bad would happen to her. I guess in some ways I'm still like that, although our relationship has evolved into something more hostile/negative lately as you described. Interesting, but I'm glad you're recognizing this tendency!

I LOVE CASHEW COOKIE LARAS! Those are my fave flav haha. Try them in the microwave for about 20 seconds, soooo tasty, just like cookie batter! :)

Anonymous said...

I can REALLY relate to your relationship with your mom...I don't know why, exactly, but I almost felt like I was reading about me and my mom!

Anonymous said...

I live with my parents, so I talk to them everyday. these days we take daily afternoon walks together and our relationship is great.
but I understand what you mean about this love-hate relationship you have with your mother...I used to be that way with my parents, too! I loved them to death, but together with them I was a tense state of nerves, and every little bit that they say made me so irritated and annoyed! but thankfully, our relationship has improved.
I hope yours improves too with your mom!

kali said...

a question pops into my head reading your blog. `is it BECAUSE she gets it?'
actually bullshit a whole load do. is it because she does and you don't want her to? and is it because she won't just piss off and leave you?

sorry ellie, you know what im like, say what i think!

i had the exact same thing with my family for a long time, i used to have to say a `prayer' every night and list everything possible i could think of that could hurt my family before i went to sleep, it was a ritual that as i grew older used to up to an hour. that panic as a child never leaves me.

as a mum to J id take any kind of crap from him and still be there. your mum loves you and is STILL THERE, and she will be no matter what you do. a mummy's love is so unconditional its infurating.

ok, kali is gonna shut up, im rambling now to no major conclusion other than empathy and thoughts xx

Becca Stephens said...

oh wow weird... reading this I felt like it was something I wrote myself, about my own mom. I get super-irritable whenever she's around. Intese anger for reasons I can't explain. I love her dearly but for whatever reason she brings up these really strong negative emotions. And I live with her, so this is a constant problem. I can be having a fine day and then I come home to see she's home and my mood immediately plummets. Why? I'm not quite sure. :/

Cacti Don't Cry said...

Considering that I live with my parents, I see them quite a bit. :p But I'm the same way as you in terms of getting along with them better when I'm a few thousand miles away! I think, like you said, we're just too similar in some ways for us to be able to spend so much time in such close proximity. That, and it's also a lot easier to get really annoyed and frustrated with people we know will "take" it.

Anonymous said...

hi hun
im sorry about how you feel around your mum..could it be associated to how you used to feel around her when you were in the depths of the ed or anything? sometimes its really hard to disassociate people we were around when doing ed behaviors etc with the ed itself.

glad you liked the cashew bar :) i havent tried that one...we only have the gingersnap and bananacookie one over here

have a nice weekend hun :)

Thinspired said...

Wow. This really hits home for me. I've always feared something happening to my mother, too, but as I age our relationship seems to have more and more tension. It's really scary and upsetting. I'm sorry that you're going through a rough time with her.
I talk to my mom probably once a week or so, since it's long-distance and different time zones. My dad and I communicate a lot over email but I try to check in with him on the weekends. Parental relationships remain hard for me even after the teenge years.

Syd said...

I have felt what you write about too. And eventually something did happen to her. I miss her every day. Treasure her for who she is.