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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Last weekend, my parents came for a visit. I've been trying to recover from process it since then.

First, The Good:

It was nice that they made it a point to visit. This is Dad's busy time of year for his business so for him to let someone else run the shop over the weekend because it was a priority to visit was a nice thing. I think it was "one last visit" before we potentially move, not that there's any progress to report on the job situation.

The Bad:

Dad started feeling sick not long after they started to long drive to our place. His throat was bothering him so he could barely talk, which makes it hard to visit. Also, I could tell he just wasn't feeling well.

And, finally, The Ugly:

The close-mindedness and paranoia exhibited by my family makes me sad. No, sick to my stomach. No, it makes me angry.

My mother asked if my FIL is stuck doing a lot of yardwork at the house he rents. I explained that his neighbors help him a lot and that he had me take them a gift basket he had won to say thank you. I said I felt kinda weird taking it to them when it had been obviously opened, but he had wanted to take out the wine because "they're good Christian people."

me: I just thought that was odd. Not all Christians have an issue with alcohol. Plus, FIL is a Catholic and Catholics definitely aren't -"
my mother: Christians.
me: I was going to go with "aren't strictly anti-alcohol."
my mother: Oh. That too.

Because, as my mother has told me for years, she believes that Catholics aren't really Christians. In her opinion esteemed fact-based all-knowingness, ALL Catholics are only about tradition and going through the motions. And yes, she believes that all Catholics are going to hell because they're doing it wrong.


The Uglier:

my mother: I'd like to get the spare room cleaned up and a bed in there so you can stay with us when your grandmother dies.

Reasons this is ugly? Let me count the ways.
  1. It's my father's mother, and she said this in front of him.
  2. My mother hates my father's mother and has forbidden him from having any contact with her.
  3. My grandmother is 81 but she is not sick in some way that indicates her death will be any time soon.

The Ugliest:

my mother: Homosexuals and pedophiles are the same thing. They both choose amoral alternative lifestyles.
me: You don't see a difference between two consenting adults and an adult preying on a minor?
my mother: Same thing. Both going to hell.
me: I see a huge difference.

Jaw dropped. No words. Part of me feels like it's good to remember that this kind of attitude exists in the world and that we need to keep fighting against it. Part of me wants to cry to see it displayed by my own parents. I've tried so hard to overcome the ignorance I grew up with but it's so jarring to be reminded that it's still happening.

And so, with all of that, I now report that (long story omitted and this is already too long) we will likely be leaving next Friday, the 28th, for a visit home. Mostly so Joe can see help his Dad prepare for winter. I'm not even recovered from their visit here and now we're going to go visit there.

I plan to focus on my sister, niece, and nephew. I plan to focus on staying with a couple of dear friends.

I plan to refill my xanax prescription.


C. Beth said...

Cate, I think your "coping plan" sounds like a good one. Staying with friends is probably less stressful all around. And maybe being able to spend time with your sis & your sweet niece & nevvy will make it a positive experience overall?

kristi said...

Oh wow. No words.

Melinda (Sew-Lin) said...

If she keeps it up, your mother might doom everyone but herself to might be kind of lonely for her up there by herself.

I agree with Beth, it sounds like you have the best possible plan in this case for dealing with your second dose of your mother this month. Staying away from the "danger zone" by staying with friends sounds like a great way to beat some of the stress. I wish you luck that all goes well for the trip.

That corgi :) said...

Definitely refill the Xanax. Geesh. I'm so sorry Cate. If it is any comfort, hubby's parents are so similar with what has come out of their mouths in the past (not so much these days with his mom because of her dementia) but you just look at them and wonder "do they really believe that", but sadly they do.

I have no words of wisdom, just I understand and sadly because I understand I've distanced myself from them, which is sad in itself.

Good luck with your visit; Joe is a good son to go and help his father winterize.

It is also sad that your mother forbids your dad to have contact with his mother (does he honor her in that)? I may not like my MIL, but I would never forbid him such a thing, ergo the reason I'm down here in a place I absolutely hate.

wise plan you have on how to get through the weekend! Don't forget the Xanax!


Toriz said...

Oh, I see... Your Mother is one of those, "if it's not my way, it's wrong," people; I hate those kinds of people.

Lucky I wasn't there; I'd have ended up in an argument with her at least once!

No wonder you don't enjoy your parents visiting; your Mother sounds like a real piece of work!

JosephAlsarraf said...

This post has made me like my parents! Thank you! : )

Tami said...

Oh, families can be such a joy! But bless you for continuing to honor them.

And the Xanex sound like a good plan, too.

Eternal Lizdom said...

Oh man... my parents hold very conservative viewpoints (my dad is Catholic, btw- the heathen) and I hate when I get those reminders of how closed their opinions still are.

If it helps, this alcohol consuming Christian who loves gay people and hates pedophiles will pray for you.

And even for them.

Jim said...

Oh Cate. Aren't you glad you have your own life? I hope you can enjoy your little stay the way you planned.
And good for you and your grandmother.

Sassy Britches said...

I'll be out there kickin' it with Eternal Lizdom praying for your dad. Ugh.