I'm not sure how to respond. I guess my expectations are somewhat different. On some level I can accept my mother's mental and emotional limitations, but I don't like it that she has them. My parents live far away, so having them in close proximity wouldn't be an issue, however, they are not abusive in the clinical sense, they are just limited in what they can offer emotionally.
My parents have made little effort to create or maintain a relationship with my children. When my youngest two are with them, they are polite but uncomfortable. They don't speak of my parents or feel an attachment to them because they don't know them.
We visited them last year for a few days. I found myself frustrated internally because I was having to deal with the quirks of living with my mother. Little things annoyed me: like the kids and I slipping down the stairs because she polished the staircase with lemon pledge, the superficial, non-stop chatter, the dog who couldn't stop barking, the salad dressing that expired in March of 2007 in the fridge...I can express myself, but I just end up looking like the difficult child I have always been...
My aunt, who is somewhat like a mother figure to me is the type of person who enjoys commenting and controlling. I love her even though I silently wish I could get away from her when she is talking to me. I am respectful to her, but I am also direct with her because she is not always right about me. I make the decisions about my life whether she likes them or not, whether she believes in them or not.
I don't think she respects my decisions, but I do think she loves me in her own way. Lately I haven't called her as frequently because I don't want to be manipulated. I call to ask her about her health because I care, but I don't feel opening up.
I have boundary issues. I realize this since starting your book. I'm embarrassed by this because many of my reactions are child like, yet, I am not necessarily an immature person. I've allowed a number of unhealthy people into my life over the years out of love or kindness, out of confusion or my inability to stand up for what I really want or need.
Recently I decided to leave my primary care doctor of seventeen years. I kept justifying his behavior and saying that I could live with his quirks because he was so intelligent and he took good care of me. However, I couldn't communicate with him and some of his behaviors were just plain odd. It took a visit where he kept taking my blood pressure over and over again and then going out to get the doplar because in that instance, he had to be right about the blood pressure monitor. I was so frustrated with him because I felt awful. I was in the hospital the day before, my bp meds weren't working and he needed to be right about the blood pressure cuff being off calibration by two points? I was so mad at him, but I didn't react. I didn't say a word to him. I haven't gone back. I won't go back.
I couldn't leave him prior to that because I was more worried about his feelings than my personal health.
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