It doesn’t take much / April 11, 2006

…to set me off. On her way to bed last night my mother looked out a window and said, What a dump. Then she looked around inside and said, Inside and out.

I take comments like this personally. I think she’s criticizing me for not doing it all. I’ve thought about this since then, and I can imagine that she may be commenting more on her own inabilities, but last night I raged. All I said aloud to her was Well, if you want to look at it THAT way.. but what I said silently was caustic. Well why don’t you move into a nursing home then? You’re sucking the life out of me, why can’t you set me free if you’re so miserable. It’s your dump, not mine. And so on. I’m ashamed to repeat it all here but I was so angry last night that it reminded me of how fragile my control is. Not that I’m in danger of cracking–but the self-image I have of being able to control everything, to manage it all, needs to be revisited.

The whole experience is ragged and guilt-soaked. I can’t be selfless. But I can allow myself a bit more room to rage within the silence of my self. I don’t have to inflict my rage on anyone else, but, let’s face it, the situation is tough. It’s tough for my mother and it’s tough for me. And there’s no harmonious resolution–more often than not what makes her happy will disrupt my life, and vice versa.

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