Friday, August 05, 2011

Temporary Detente is Reached..for Now, Anyways

The Fine Artwork of Carolyn McFann

What an eventful morning. It went pretty well, despite some awkward moments. First of all, my new bookshelves were delivered today, and look wonderful up in my bedroom. Also delivered was a small telephone table which I got for a great price but needs to be refinished. I ran to the store and got refinishing solvents, and that project will start immediately.

After the delivery I went to the store I usually go to once a week, to see if any new antiques came in. My parents go there often as well, and to my surprise as I was shopping, mom walked up to me. We haven't spoken since our very unpleasant blow-out fight nearly two weeks ago and I wasn't glad to see her, rather, a bit confused on how to deal with this. Be nice and she will walk all over me again. Being rude isn't an option, I just was kind of stoic, unsure how to respond. She looked at me with sad, droopy eyes, just standing there, waiting for me to tell her everything is going to be ok. I cannot do that, but did tell her, "I don't want to fight". She told me that I "must do as I am told in this family" (fighting words but subdued because she knows I am not putting up with it, and especially not in public). I told her,calmly, "I am not your servant. You cannot control me or order me around like a drill sargeant. There needs to be mutual respect if there is to be a relationship. If you try to control me then I will fight it. You do not own me." Other shoppers walked by so we both stopped and changed the subject. We looked at furniture, superficial chit-chat ensued. That was ok, dealing with her superficially is what therapists always told me to do. "Don't get too deep with her, she can't handle it", they had said long ago. True, very true.

Dad greeted me with open arms. I was so glad to see him and hugged him back, I have no animosity towards him except that he should've stood up for me..but never did. It's who he is. He and I chit-chatted some, it felt good because I truly do love my dad..he is not malicious by nature, just extremely influenced by her bad behavior all the time, which is hard to observe. Therapists always told me that it is his choice to do so, and nothing can be done, it's his life. True. He is happy in his own way, and so that is what matters to me.

They returned to their shopping, I returned to mine, and that was it. No plans to see eachother or anything. But it was a good, civil and polite enough interaction. Maybe I should restrict my seeing them to being in public, because mom won't dare throw tantrums when others are around. I don't know. I'm not ready to go back to spending time hanging out with them, not right now. It will take serious boundaries and I don't think mom is even capable of listening let alone respecting them. But seeing them at the store is better than nothing. They're my parents, and I wish them no harm. Just that they show respect and kindness towards me. I'm not their scapegoat anymore and will not tolerate her trying to get her hooks into me for her purposes. She still wants to, I can tell. It's not easy. I will just take it all one step at a time. Living in this family is like living in a chess game, always waiting for the other person to make their move in order to plan what to do next.

So now I'm home again, feeling pretty good. The crystal glasses I bought are unpacked and put away, and the cats have taken over the cardboard box they came in with great interest. Outside cicadas are singing in the trees. It's peaceful and all is right with the world, at least for now. I stopped and bought a latte on the way home, and am finishing the last of it now, too tired to make lunch.

After getting the mail over at the post office and weeding out the mountain of junk mail, I have a huge stack of cool catalogs in front of me. I'm going to check out what's in them then resume putting books in the new bookshelves. Maybe even start refinishing that little table. A blissfully boring afternoon ahead. That's just fine with me.