Two years ago, after not enough discussion, we moved cross country to live with my mother and father. The intent was that we would have our own house, but it hasn't worked out that way. For nearly two years, we have been living in my parents' condo. To make matters worse, it has been difficult to find work; in fact, so difficult, my husband has moved to find work in another part of the country.
And so there is my mom. She recently turned seventy, not that that really matters, because she hasn't changed from when she was sixty-nine. She hates everything we do. Sometimes I can feel hostility when I breathe, I swear. Today she has been ill, and I talked her into staying in bed. Apparently that meant I was supposed to prepare her meals, despite supervising my father and two children, and having tremendous back pain myself. Because I didn't make her toast, she is bawling around the house carrying on about how she has to do everything herself. My father had lost part of the grocery list and forgot to get the stuff my mother needed. Again, she must do everything for herself. Keep in mind the old man is brain damaged. I took her to a convenience store and bought her noodles, which is what she wanted. She wouldn't let me cook it for her, because she has to "do it all myself". Well, okay. Then she burned herself with them. That was the last straw.
For the first time in my entire life, my mother is sleeping at a friend's house. I feel like a kid watching her walk out, and the pain is real and palpable. My kids have asked, "is Mimi really leaving? Why?" I wish I knew, other than she's overwhelmed with life. With us.
Like any kid, I blame myself. If only I had made toast. If only I had checked the groceries before we left. If only I had done the shopping instead of my dad (he offered and wanted to). Right now I'm furious and sad and feel helpless. I'm furiously angry and full of regret. Do you ever get over your mom walking out?
I don't know. Ask me tomorrow. As for tonight, I'm done with the blame. Everyone in the house gets blamed except for Mom. It's no longer a place I want to be. It's a place I want to flee.