It's a control thing.
'I don't care' is the attitude that wins. If there is a winner.
What matters to you? Do you care? Do you really care about others? Or do you only care about the bubble of space that surrounds you? Do you expect others to tell you how wonderful you are? When was the last time that you really listened to someone else and told them you were happy for them and really meant it? What are you proud of? What defines you as a person? What do you touch with your life?
"God only gives them to you for a little while." I heard this saying out of frustration many times about my own children. It was my mom's way of telling me not to get too attached.
My mom was a manipulator. She made me feel like I was a worthless individual. Don't get me wrong, I do think she loved me and I know in the end that she did...if I really believe she knew I was with her at the end of her life here on Earth. But she took every opportunity to "put me in my place". My dad died in the summer of 1985. I spent my days watching my sister, who was five and my nights working at a drive-in restaurant. My mom worked days, as did my brother, and then they were home at night to watch the baby. What did I do during the days? Well, I was a 21 year old free baby sitter. We played, went to the pool, hung out, napped, sun bathed, kept the house, got dinner ready...
My mother's depression and jealousy got the best of her before I went back to school that fall. By the end of the summer I was told I was hated because I was (1) thin, (2) tan, and (3) looked like my father. Those comments went straight to my heart...I was grieving too. My catholic guilt and my mothers comments and thoughts went so deep into my soul that I still can't release them. My mom reinforced her thoughts with her actions and comments consistently over the years.
She made me feel guilty for going off to college - something she never had the opportunity to do. I felt so guilty in fact, that I didn't want to make her feel bad about her not going to college and I skipped my graduation ceremonies. My MIL insisted on having a little party for me...which my mom attended.
Growing up I attended so many family weddings that it was common knowledge that as a girl, your wedding party MUST include all of your family. When my sister got married, both my brother and I were not included. My daughter was, but that was it. A hair appointment was even scheduled for her and I was expected to bring her to it...but no appointment for me. My mom had only one child. I was a second class citizen, scum of the earth, how dare I not bow at her feet? Which brings me to the game.
The game is this: Who can go the longest without calling?
As the "matriarch" my brother and I were expected to always make the call. It was to go on our phone bill - no free minutes at that time. We were expected to call and listen to what was going on in the lives of those we moved away from. Barely were we asked what was going on with us. And rarely were we remembered outside of our birthdays...there was an unwritten rule that we would be called on that day out of obligation.
Sometimes as much as six weeks could go by without my mom calling either of us. My brother and I kept in touch. We knew how long it was between each others calls. Usually I would give in and make the call. I wasn't as strong as my brother in that regard. Almost always it was the same response too, "Oh, I was just getting ready to call you." Yeah, right.
And when the rare times came that our mother would call us...she always sounded the same there too...depressed and or sick. Whoa-is-me sounding. Disappointed sounding that we were enjoying life and being successful. Gosh, God didn't give us to her forever. We grew to be incredible adults and she was a part of it...the early years...but she couldn't celebrate us, the fine adults we became. We were not her carbon copies. She failed in that regard with her first two, but found success in her third.
Don't be fooled, #3...you are so much like her. It's not really your fault though. You just weren't given the opportunity to spread your wings and fly solo until just recently. You were never pushed out of the nest. Maybe you'll become your own person...free of her negativeness...time will tell. You have some work to do though because some of the things you've done in the past few years are hard to get over. #1 and #2 will try to remember that you are a product of your environment. Unfortunately you'll get little sympathy from us...products of OUR environment.
I do have wonderful memories of my mom. There were incredible, giving things she did. She was so beautiful and capable, inside and out. But I have hurtful memories too. If I only had those good memories I don't think I would be the person that I am today. I am sorry for my mom that she never had the opportunity to rejoice in the good of the first two people she raised. No one is perfect...but we are really good!
My goal as a parent is to NOT play the phone, or any soul hurting game with my children. In life though, I think we all are players in one way or another.