. . . And One More Thing I Did Not Have Planned for the Weekend

I thought I was doing a good turn by giving everyone a ride to the bridal shower, but after a tension-creating departure in the middle of a heavy downpour, it turns out I suck, Younger Sister is annoyed with me, and Mom is. . . something.  Something that makes me simultaneously sad, weary, and angry.  

I don't know what it is that driving with family makes me doubt my ability to drive (although three separate sets of driving lessons and two attempts at my license which I finally obtained at 19, followed by years of criticism, might say something about the whole experience in the first place), but add to that Younger Sister's interference (to which I say how dare she because she removed herself from experiencing the family on a regular basis long ago) and Mom's willingness to help to a fault, and it's just a big ol' mess.

Hell, you might even agree I'm the bad guy because you operate on the belief that says you never, ever say anything sharp to a parent.  And that's fine, you can think I failed at being a good daughter, because I'd probably agree that I failed, to some degree.

I failed at being the daughter who still needed a parent to tell her what to do in the car.  My own car that I've been driving for nine years without an accident (caused by me).  So yeah, I got mad, and maybe that's my injured pride talking, but you know what?  I'm the only one who gets that from her.  From anyone.  I don't know what I have to do to get anybody in my family to have any faith in me and let me be a grown-up--I fear nothing will be enough to free me of this pitied, helpless reputation.  (Well, maybe getting married, but it shouldn't have to be that way.)

But let me pose this: she failed at being the mother who lets her adult daughter take care of her.  She's still in supermom mode, because she's been dealing with Niece and Middle Nephew all week (day and night) and is just tired.  Today was just pushing things right over the edge on which they've sat for a while, so I got the full force of whatever bad stuff she was feeling.  And she's not good at negative feelings--she was the one who always told me how easy it was to turn off or change my feelings, because (a) she didn't want me to feel bad, ever--and oh, it's always kind parenting to invalidate your child's feelings, but that's another topic for another day; and (b) she probably had to do the same thing to cope with a big chaotic family that moved around a lot.

On top of that, I'm sure she has no awareness that every time I drive her somewhere, her foot is constantly doing the "invisible passenger brake pedal" thing.

So in summary: I feel bad I offended Mom and apparently broke whatever dam that was.  I also feel bad that I can't get her to understand that she can take a break from trying to take care of everybody in sight.  I despise whatever it is in me that shakes my confidence when I'm driving with other people in the car.  But I maintain that I did the best I could in the midst of a tense situation, and while I can't force Younger Sister or Mom to put themselves in my shoes for a moment, I sure wish they would and stop being so frigging hard on me.

I do a bang-up job of that on my own.

Now if you don't mind, I'm going to go cry myself to sleep while wondering if Mom's ever going to speak to me again.



Rob said…
Only family can make you feel guilty when you're right. :)

There are days when I wish I lived further away from mine. To say no, I have to slam the door on the subject so forcefully that it hurts their feelings. If I don't, they think I mean yes. That's just the tip of the iceberg, Kate. I love them all and they no doubt have issues with me but there are days ...
Kate P said…
Well, I may have been right but I was wrong about how I expressed myself. What's that saying? "You always hurt the one you love."

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