Tuesday, 4 November 2008
I felt very confused on Sunday evening. Confused by my conflicting emotions and how I was going to cope through the rest of the night.
I tend to get more morose and low, late evening, as the nights draw in earlier. I am not one who is scared of the dark, but that blackness appears to enhance my moods at times and so if any arguments are going to occur within the family, it is generally at this time of the day.
I have been making a concerted effort to eat at least one healthy meal each day and keep it in/down. And I am not referring to one dry crispbread as a meal here! I am attempting to eat a small piece of baked fish with steamed vegetables every day, or a home-made vegetable soup, or a seafood salad (I no longer eat meat other than fish as it screws my digestion up terribly - I am not a tree-hugging, animal liberator...but my colon is!). I am actually, quietly, very proud of myself. For the last 7-10 days, I have managed it. With success. OK...possibly during the day I may have binged or simply starved, but there has been some nutrition going into me. Although I still lose weight daily.
Ian and I hadn't been out together of an evening for a long time and we decided to visit a restaurant which is close to our hearts as it is where we announced our engagement and forthcoming wedding to the girls. It is a small family-run Italian restaurant in a neighbouring village and the staff know us very well as we celebrate every special occasion there. As the weekends around Bonfire Night (November 5th) have people out at firework displays, the restaurant was suprisingly empty - only one other couple occupied a table. And I was able to order off the menu and asked for a seafood salad. It was out of this world. No heavy, 'threatening' dressings - just citrus juice - no carbs, just succulent, beautiful squid, prawns, octopus and mussels with fantastically colourful leaves. Delicious!
I left this house somewhat perturbed. Shortly before we left, I had called the girls at their father's house where they were staying for the weekend, to see how things were for them. Beth advised me that my mother had written them a letter.
The letter stated that they missed them immensely, the girls were always in their thoughts and just because she and I weren't talking any more, it didn't mean that they couldn't still speak.
I listened very hard to Beth and then asked her if she intended to respond, and how she felt. She was very dismissive - blasé, almost. Nope, not replying, she told me. If she can't make friends with you, why should I?
Rosemary's tone this evening was exactly the same.
Rosemary asked me in a tentative way, if it was wrong of her to feel that her Nanna was playing games with her feelings and emotionally blackmailing her. That was a very difficult question to answer. Thing is, without even seeing that letter, I can almost hear the tone of voice in it. The smell of burning martyr is strong once that envelope is opened. I explained that I couldn't fairly comment as I hadn't read the letter for myself but that her feelings were as valid as anyone's. And that was it, basically.
I was torn between two trains of thought: how awful; how sad, that a grandmother does not feel able to speak to her grand-daughters and imposes that restriction upon them by snail mail. How would I feel? I'd feel empty, saddened, depleted and desperate to sort things out.
The flip-side was, You stupid, ignorant woman. You have been told by four people to sort this out as it is ridiculous and you are cutting off your own nose to spite your face, but still you will not get down from your high pedestal of omniscience and self-righteousness.
I don't want to get involved with her ever again - and Ian supports me 100% on this, having been on the receiving end of her poison himself. But, I don't particularly want to sully a grandparent relationship when it is not necessary. Ian had a totally different take on it all. He explained how he was in the first-hand position of seeing how her control had affected me and the last thing he wanted was for the girls to succumb to it, too. I had to agree. His stance was that if the girls wanted to respond to her letter, they would; if not, he wouldn't push it.
So I have agreed as that is sensible.
If she weren't my mother, I would still feel that pang of pity for her. It's a person destroying themselves for their own arrogant pride and ignorance. What a life?