Tuesday, May 12, 2015
"When will I have grandchildren?" my mother asked...
During lunch the TV was on. When I served the soup, on TV news they were speaking about subsidies for in vitro fertilization.
“When will I have grandchildren?” my mother asked. She knew the month, when I had the last pill.
We didn’t have a good relationship with her, even at that time, but I told her about the bigger changes in my life. I told her for example, that I had stopped taking the pill, but the doctor told us we should use some other method for 3 months.
“And what if you get pregnant anyway?”, my mother had asked me then.
During my whole life, I always used to hear only bad things from her. About the past, about present and future, about me and about other people.... I was acclimatized, and I knew, that she was an alarmist. But this question was now, “When would I have grandchildren?” this closed a long chapter in my life. Till this point, I tolerated every malicious comment from her. They soured my life. This last question went overboard, and this time, I couldn’t let her off.
If there is a situation when a woman only should see the beautiful and good things of the world around her, then it’s the time when she is expecting a baby. It’s a taboo, to talk about bad things, scaring a pregnant woman. Now, I realized that I would have to defend myself and my baby from my mother, if I should get pregnant.
When she heard the news on the TV, she asked: “When will I have grandchildren? The most frightening thing was, that I should perceived that her intention was to touch a sore spot. She wanted to touch a sore spot in another person, because she didn’t want to feel her own pain. The fact that this other person, who wanted to have a baby now for 14 months in vain, was her own daughter, was circumstantial. Practically not her fault, out of sheer habit, she just jumped at the chance to touch a wound.
I wished for myself a time as a pregnant woman, just like any other young woman, to be a smooth-tempered, happy, expectant mother. I realized, that it was not easy, to secure the circumstances for this. But I didn’t know, how long and how hard it would be. On my birthday, I secretly placed the letters that I had written one year earlier while planning for our wedding, into my mothers handbag. They were not hateful but not kind either. I was following the advice of a book entitled Toxic Parents. I calmly listed the things, that my parents hurt me with in the past and the things that still hurt me in the present. I asked them to not to interfere with my happy life with Ádám.
This letters were in a drawer for a year. I did not give them their letters earlier. I didn’t want to hurt them.
But on this day, after this question, and after more than a one year of trying to get pregnant without success, I placed the envelopes in her bag.
And then – I waited. From the moment, that they left our house, I stared at my phone, expecting the call from my mother, shouting at me “How could you write things like this? It was not like that…”
But she didn’t call me. Neither on that day, nor the next, nor the third…
I didn’t dare to phone her, so I had no choice: I had to wait.
On Wednesday evening, finally the phone rang : It was my brother. He said, our mother found the letters, and after that, she cried all day long, asking, “Why does she keep talking about the old things?”
So, finally, my mother answered my letter, that I wrote according to the instructions of the psychologist. She answered with silence. She didn’t call. She didn’t write . She never ever spoke about that letter to me. She sent her message through my brother: She was crying, because of me. Because I had caused sadness to her with my admonitions.
Also my dad answered in his way. He showed no kind of reaction, and handled me after that the same, as before. As he would never read a letter, that would tell him that he always escaped from problems, and let my mother find the solutions. He left emotionally a long time ago, to save a sheltered life for himself.
I was not happy about it, but now, I had proof – my parents gave me the proof – that I was right. I wished, I wouldn’t be right. I would be happy, if it would turn out, that I was not right. I wished, that my parents would repel my charges, or they would allow the problems and would offer an apology, finally saying: “But we always loved you, my daughter!”
I decided, to keep myself at arm’s length from their negative influence. Three months rolled by, before I visited them the next time. At that point, I learned, that I am the one who was hurt most. When we didn’t keep in touch with each other, I thought I was a heartless child. So there was only one choice left to me: to have a superficial contact to them. To limit the possibility of emotional injury.
On Mothers Day, Ádám and I went to my parents with a box of bonbons. I didn’t want to give my mother flowers, so I gave her bonbons. She had now no possibility, to tell me, that the flowers are not pretty, or that they didn't have fresh buds– she couldn’t say anything bad about cherry liqueur bonbons.