I figure we're all kids to someone and some of us are mothers, so what better place to go to for advice?

So...my mom's a BAMF. Always has been. As a six year old, her mom was hospitalized for her first of many strokes and mom made a promise to herself that she would not end up on a farm, married to an alcoholic, having a fuckton of kids and not actually living. And for the most part, she succeeded. She got far away from that farm.

She's really fucking intense. She doesn't sugar coat things, assumes the worst, yells, is suspicious of everything and everyone, believes the worst about people (except for my bro, massive blind spot there), and isn't very warm.

She also had the misfortune of marrying my dad. Dad's great (to me) but is a horrid husband. It's not so much if he's cheating, but when he'll get caught.

But he's my dad and I love him, so my mom and I have always had a...interesting relationship. She's never made it secret that she prefers my brother, so I've always been closer to my dad. This upsets her, she attacks me, I scream back, and get closer to my dad. Cycle repeats.

We've never been able to talk. Whatever I do, I open myself up to attacks, so really, she knows nothing of my life. We've gotten better over the past few years because of GuyJinx—she actually likes him and when he's around, there's no yelling, no criticism, just the nice mom I feel like she wants to be. But we're not close by any means.

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I stopped by on Friday to say hi and check on my dad. He has a heart defect and needs surgery to fix it, but the worry is that the surgery will kill him, so they've put it off until it the benefits outweighed the dangers.

She decides to unload upon me about shady shit he's doing sending LoJack (wtf?!) to a foreign country...it's probably his mistress. But, really, what does she expect me to say or do? She did this even when I was a kid, screaming to me about my dad being a shit.

Am I supposed to hate him? I can't. No one's been more supportive of me.

Am I supposed to talk to him? I can't. What would I say?

Am I supposed to just stand there, listen, then make excuses to leave and next time I see my dad be all awkward and hurt his feelings? Because that's what happens!

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GuyJinx and I went over for lunch (she and I got into a fight about my wet hair) then went to buy a wedding suit; they tagged along and paid. My parents are very generous to us and I'm very thankful.

On the back from the store to our cars, we were discussing wedding rings to ourselves in the back.

I didn't know she was listening, but when we got home, there was a text for her. She has this gorgeous ring that I love. Me, who doesn't like jewelry, really hates the fancy shit, has only liked 2 pieces in my entire life: a black pearl drop necklace she gave me and this engagement/wedding set.

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My folks were super poor when they got married—had to be at a courthouse because of their former jobs—and so she got married with a garnet. Fast forward 30 years, and mama dropped a big cash on a ring.

And now she wants to give it me! And I'd love it, but feel awkward taking it. If she were a cuddly mom, I'd understand it as it's meant—a token of love. But with her...I always feel awkward and, ungenerously, feel like she's trying to control me.

Ugh. So, how do we break out of this vicious cycle and actually like each other. I'm worried about my dad dying and it just being us. I don't know how to relate to her. I want to be close to her, but I don't know if I can.