I need a moment to unwind from a trip to visit my mother in Missouri for a week. Prior to us going there, she had been here in Maryland for almost 6 weeks keeping an eye on the boy child. We got along great while she was here but something changed when we got to Missouri.
The plan was to surprise her with my brother coming to visit with me and then end the trip with a surprise 60th birthday party for her. I thought she would be so happy that my brother is doing so well and really has grown and matured since she saw him 3 years ago. What I witnessed amazed me.
We hadn't been there an hour before she pulled out her mental honey-do list and started ticking off things she would love for my brother to accomplish while he was there. His work schedule had changed since we made our original plans so he wasn't going to be able to stay the whole week with us so he had to act quick! She had a LOT of projects for him.
The projects. Oh, they weren't minor. They were sealing her roof to prevent a leak from continuing, tearing out (and rebuilding) a wall on the outside of her house, and various other projects. She is so passive aggressive that the requests come out something like this, "Gosh, I don't know what is going on with that roof in my pantry. It just started leaking out of nowhere!" when the conversation was about cake or something. She won't come out and ask anything directly but hums and haws until you get tired of tap dancing around the subject and just do it to shut her up.
The thing that really bothered and affected me the hardest was her total inability to relate to him. She was aloof unless it was related to her getting projects finished. He bought the materials for her and she acted like she did us a favor by letting us do things for her. I noticed the first time she told him she loved him was when he was getting frustrated with the project and it seemed forced in order to diffuse a difficult situation.
He has had a problem with drinking since we were teenagers but told us he had quit. He told us about an intense treatment program he completed upon his release from prison. We suspected he drank once when we were there. I didn't ask though our mother brought it up to me. She was all too happy to report to me that when she was cleaning up after we left that she found vodka in one of the water bottles. I wanted to shout that if I had been sober before showing up that I would have falled off the wagon almost immediately.
I guess I came back from the trip more disillusioned about my mother than I was before I left. It hurts to think that a mother could have so little regard for their own child that they only want from them. To use their love and concern to their advantage.