From 1994: Mom playing “Good Mother”

November 1994

I made an appointment with a psychic and told her a little about what I was wanting, especially that I wanted to cut any strings remaining with mother.  Within the hour, the phone rang again and a familiar harsh voice said “Daiva?”  It was Mom, intending to call Jack.  It was a very odd conversation.  I said almost nothing.  She talked on and on, how good it was to talk to me, how sorry she was that she hadn’t called any of us, “I know I should have had a plan, but I didn’t expect to fall, and really, I just couldn’t think,” she said Jesse said we were all upset, “You will forgive me won’t you,” she said she was bruised all down one side (never mentioned the ribs) and her heartbeat was irregular (“I’ve never had any trouble with my heart”) so they kept her in much longer than she thought was necessary.  She kept repeating how good it was to talk to me, that she wished we could have a long visit, “but I know it’s hard for you to travel,” that she wished we could find a time to talk regularly on the phone.  (I made no suggestions.)  I felt bad to be unable to say anything, felt like I was being cold and rejecting, just kept saying “uh-huh,” I couldn’t think of anything to say that would be both honest and warm.  I kept thinking she would perceive my distance and be hurt, but no, she kept on talking, giving an excellent performance of a mother who’s been a little out of touch.  I realize that she paid no attention to me, to what I said, asked no real questions, was content with superficial answers.  It just amazes me that she can say how wonderful it is to talk to me when I haven’t said a word — but of course what’s wonderful for her is her own talking.  Well, I wish I could “behave better,” though I don’t know what that would be like, more graciously is perhaps what I mean, but then, she doesn’t really notice.  It’s just a duty call and she carried it off equitably.  What a shock when it was me instead of Jack!  Poor old Mom.  If she knew how much I pity her she’d be furious.

The next day: Thinking about it some more — I have to think about it a lot — Mom really puzzles me, she sounds so sincere, and then I feel guilty for not responding to what might be a real opening.  But this morning I saw that of course she enjoys talking to me, she is enjoying her own performance of what she thinks is a good mother.  She doesn’t really want to have a “nice long visit” or talk more often on the phone, she even makes my excuses for me.  She felt guilty because she only called me by accident and she can’t stand the image of a mother who only calls her oldest daughter by accident, so she has to do this fancy dance to recover her image.  The performance wasn’t even for me, because she didn’t pay any attention to my response, the performance was for herself.

What a brilliant example of not being met by Mom. No wonder I have attachment trauma. Very interesting that she called me right after I made an appointment to have the strings cut between me & her.

I notice that I give her as little information about myself as possible.  Back in the past, I remember deciding to “never give her a target again.” This is why I said as little as possible.

When a post is material from the past, I think it’s a good idea to put that in the title. sometimes people have been confused and thought it was the present.

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