Sunday, February 17, 2013

When My Weakness is Protecting my Strength

As so many bloggers have posted before about how the death of a family member means the N's expect you to draw together, no matter what, I do not consider my case to be anything special. One of NM's brothers passed away this week, and I got the first call from Nmom since...hmmm. It's been awhile.

I didn't answer her call since it was in the middle of the workday and my phone was in a drawer and I didn't hear it. When work was over, I checked the phone to see a text from my sis who asked if NM had called me. Frankly, until I double-checked all my little phone icons, I didn't know she had. So I sucked it up and listened to her message, the first time in about 9 months I have. She told me her brother had passed away and rambled a little about other things that were unclear, then she threw in that she was letting me know in case I was "interested." Also, she left some sort of snark about gee whiz, sorry I didn't get you guys valentines, I haven't been out of the house in a while. The message was left the day before valentine's day, and frankly, I'm a little beyond waiting for valentines in the mail.

Her brother is someone I've seen fewer than 10 times in my life. I didn't hate him, but I didn't love him, because I didn't know him. He and his wife got the hell out of Dodge to get away from his evil mother. This is the only thing I know about him, and I do like that he did that.

After I listened to NM's message, I immediately dialed her number, but she didn't answer. She was probably with other family members, and I left a very brief message that I was truly sorry about her brother and I hoped she was doing okay. I said I'd call her back, but I didn't. I popped a note in the mail instead.

The note didn't hit any of the heavy shit that's been sitting on my chest. I know she's suffering, and grinding my heel in her wounds isn't something I wanted to do. The letter was brief and honest and expressed how sorry I was for her loss and for my uncle's wife's loss. I also wrote that I was writing because it was the healthiest way for me to communicate right now, but I left it at that.

So she tries to call me today. Even though I told her I only felt comfortable communicating in writing right now. I knew her ring the minute the home phone started bleating. It's no surprise that she only wants what she wants and that she blasted past a boundary I tried to be honest about. Kinda drove it home, though, that everything I've known to be true is right.

I know from messages from my sister the family is not doing a memorial service right now. I know NM wanted me to drive several hours and bring my kids so she could show them off like zoo animals in front of her siblings, none of whom I know very well. I don't think any of them could give a fig less if I showed up or not. But I know if I'd talked to her, she would've whined and needled and made it apparent that I was taking a chunk out of her soul by not doing what she wants me to do. I know by not coming up today, there will probably be a big show sometime this afternoon wherein she breaks into tears and makes it all about her that I am not there to support her in her time of need.

I really hate her right now. I feel downright nauseous and dirty, and I didn't even talk to her. Mindfuck, indeed.

It's been a long couple of months since I posted last. I'm a real delayed reaction sort of person, and I'm trying to adjust to my big kid's new living situation and stupid hormonal shit that makes me want to rip my ovaries out and stomp on them. Hot flashes, night sweats, pms that lasts two weeks, nightmares that peel wallpaper off the walls, the whole nine yards. Perimenopause can kiss my ever-broadening ass. I must have been a man in most of my past lives, because my tolerance for this nonsense is veddy, veddy low.