Three parental vents:

Vent 1: I have this overwhelming feeling when I am with my mom (my dad is deceased) that she just does not see me. Every xmas, she gives me costume jewelry (I never wear jewelry), and then is offended when I don’t wear it (I do try on xmas day for dinner to wear things, I try to be really polite). She also makes me a scarf - but seems to never figure out my needs (I live in chicago, thin scarves do nothing) or taste (the scarves are almost 100% of the time earth tones - this year it’s oatmeal - yet I 100% of the time never wear earth tones - I wear color. note: she loves earth tones). Every year she buys me textured tights in random colors. I only ever wear black tights, plain, opaque black tights. Getting gifts I don’t need or want is fine* - but it gives me this very overwhelming feeling of just not being seen at all.

Vent 2: Today she told me that she is planning on giving me a trip to “an exotic location” (of my choosing - in europe) as a gift for getting my PhD. The thing is, the trip is with her. Is that weird? I’d kind of rather she gave me either a trip for me, the money for the trip, or a trip for 2. I really appreciate the thought and would love to travel - but I feel like that is kind of weird, and (right this moment), don’t really want to spend that much time with her again for a long while. Which leads me to vent #3.

Vent 3. I live alone and am an introvert. I like quiet, I like meaningful conversation. My mom has been talking non-stop this whole trip. I’ve spent a couple hours (total) working on school stuff, and she interrupts constantly. I was reading an article in the NYT today that was intense and depressing, and she kept interrupting and at one point asked me if others had given me feedback that it’s really annoying when I just don’t respond. Of the 300,000 things she has said to me over the past few days, I have responded to 99% of them. I’m worn out though!

She spent much of my trip reading me things from facebook. every comment on her posts, every comment on my posts, how many people like the things that are posted, every single post by her friends and our family. She tells me every single nice thing she has done for others in her life and how grateful those people are to her. She reads me all her texts and all her emails. I’m just worn out from having to act like I’m interested. And sometimes, I get really deep into thought or reading that I don’t notice things. I’m a PhD student for chrisssakes - I’m a thinker and a reader and I focus deeply!

I leave tomorrow (hallelujah). I’m tired of being criticized, of not being seen, of feeling pressed to validate and mirror her.

Advertisement

Anyone else have parental vents?

*I do really wish airports put out canisters for people to donate unwanted gifts after the holidays though so you didn’t have to bring things home!