Not a cheery post so this is for me.
My daughter Dorothy and I went to a cabaret event on Saturday night. It was a disaster. It started off with a quietness because I don't want to ask too many questions. I can't even remember what the discussion was but she decided to say, "Are you going to cry?" to which I replied, "No, I have no intention of crying, but if I did, what of it?" I can't even remember if I was asking her about the Italy internship or her long hours at both jobs and asking if she was getting enough sleep. Doesn't matter. She thinks it's okay to interrupt with that at any time.
We went to dinner, quiet, and were at the theater early for a good seat where she talked to strangers. While waiting for the show to start, she talked to someone from her college days and completely ignored me. Dorothy actually chose me over her boyfriend (who I have nicknamed The Lump) since he didn't want to go. (Of course, she had asked him first. If I hadn't called, she had no intention of having me come along. (He hates theater and musicals and singing unless it's head banging music.)
Next we decided we would go for frozen custard. Twice in the last 2 weeks I have texted her, asking her if she wanted to get some frozen yogurt, but she never replies to my texts or calls me back if I leave a message. She wanted to go shopping with her Kohl's discount after ice cream. Again, I truly don't know what the conversation was about since I honestly try not to nag but instead ask her how her life is going, is she working too hard, what is she up to. As we turned into the place, she laid into me like I have never before witnessed. Screaming in the car that she hates spending time with me and that it's painful spending time with me and on and on and on until she finally says, "And I don't need to hear that you are e-mailing my professor and telling him what a disappointment I am and how I've wasted my degree." She said a few more quaint things and after a pause ended with, "Wow, I feel so much better."
I, on the other hand, was decimated. I had to bite my lips so I would not cry as the tears welled up. But remember, my daughter doesn't want any tears and shames me any time my voice quivers. We ordered a concrete to share while she just jabbered away about something. I couldn't hear anything any more. I was supposed to recover from this? And then I had to go shopping with her at Kohl's because, clearly, she felt so much better having pummeled me. I wandered around Kohl's finding some bargains here or there so she could use her discount on me.
On the way home, she said, "So how's your job going?" I said, "There it is." Silence. I added, "Did you know that if you would call every once in a while and ask me how MY life is going, we wouldn't even touch on the subject of your life?" So being the mature adult, I chatted about my job and the ups and downs of learning new things all over again at my age. I gave her the chocolate bunnies I had gotten her and The Lump for Easter and dropped her off at her apartment, the lovely little hovel she shares with him.
So no more ranting. No more e-mails. No more ideas to motivate her. It's over. I don't want to sound like the typical Jewish Mother, but when I think of everything I have done for that girl. All the tech weeks in high school I fed kids. Attending every concert she played in and almost every play or musical she has worked backstage. Running to her rescue when she was getting death threats in her senior year and rescuing her when she was suspended from school for bringing a Leatherman tool to school because it had a knife. I have bailed her out twice when she spent all her spending money in college. I have hidden things from her aunt (who paid for her college) so her head wouldn't explode. I never said a word when she announced she flunked her courses in England because she never went to class. I let her live with me for 14 months free so she could save her money. I have turned the other way when she dated boys that I deemed not good enough for her. I have obviously done it all wrong because all I get is an earful that she can no longer be around me. Maybe I could learn to live like her father. Oblivious. Ignoring his daughters until they call because they're coming to town whereupon they go out to lunch, a treat I never get. Guess when you live in the same town as your kids, that is a luxury.
From what she said, she missed the deadline to apply for the Italy internship (something I promised her I would make sure she got to if she was offered the opportunity). Apparently, she wants no suggestions or support for me so I am through. It's a clear memory that this very thing is how I lost her father many years ago when I would help him look for jobs after job lost after job loss. I knew the marriage was over the day he said, "If you haven't figured it out, I stopped listening to you a long time ago." I will never forget that knife in my heart, and I will never forget what my daughter said to me last Saturday.
Couldn't sleep so ended up awake till 3 the night before Easter. I had every intention of attending Easter service at the local Episcopal Church. 7:30, 9, 11. I figured I would wake up for one of them, but I did not wake up till noon, and I did not set an alarm. I used to love Easter. I mean, it is the biggie for us Christian. I was often singing in the choir on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. The day before Easter consisted of dying Easter eggs and finishing the girls' outfits. When I was so active in church back home, I would be at church by 7am for the 8 o'clock service, ate breakfast in between services, waited for the girls to arrive at church only to finish up the hair and outfits that their father barely got on them, only to sing in my 2nd service of the morning, supervise egg hunts, go home for another egg hunt, and collapse. But ever since I moved here, church is painful because I am so lonely. Easter is excruciating. All the families. All the Easter dresses and baskets and joy. By the time we get to the passing of the peace, and everyone has someone to turn to and I have no one, I am practically in tears. (I did go to Ash Wed service because it is a depressing, lonely service. Perfect for me at this stage of my life.) So I could not convince my body to get out of bed for Easter.
I sat in my dark bedroom most of the day. I moved to this town 5 yrs ago because I wanted to be with my kids more than I wanted to be with their father. I spent the 1st 16 months so extactically happy from being in love, but after that, everything has gone downhill. I have gone through 4 jobs: one I quit before it ended, one I was laid off from, one I was fired from, and this one that has no benefits. (And don't even get me started on that subject.) I never dreamed that I would move to a town to be near my daughters only to have my daughters want little to nothing to do with me. It reinforces what a horrible daughter I was to my mother till the day she died. Last summer when I wanted to die, it was thinking of my kids that got me through those horrible days and night. Now I don't even have that to live for. The loneliness and pain is palpable.