Hanging Up

When I got the call yesterday, I thought to myself, “Ok, now what fucked up thing is going to get thrown at me?”

The week had been generally shitty.  The elderly dog on Friday was just starting to feel better – eating, drinking, and moving around without the yowls of pain that will be forever in my mind given how horrid they were.  I was starting to exhale.

“Hello. I’m so-and-so, and I was asked to audit the severance pay for all of those laid off the last few months.  I was calling because we found a discrepancy.”

Oh fuck, I thought, are they going to try to say they overpaid me ….again??  Yes, again.  And last time, they were wrong – but nothing like having someone say “so we’re going to try to take back $4000.”  In the end, we resolved it.  But hearing there was a discrepancy again was not something I liked.

“We underpaid you by several thousand dollars.”

My jaw hit the ground.

She went on to explain what they found and told me to expect a check via FedEx tomorrow.   Talk about timing – I was just about to file for unemployment until I found something.  The small income would have been welcomed and preserved our savings.  Now? I have time – even more time than I expected.


The rest of the day and night, I truly felt like I was exhaling – a lot.  The dog was in a good place.  The finances were in a good place.  I could just be happy now – and focus on other things.

Or so I thought.

This morning I decided to call my dad.  He’s a photographer as well.  And with the full harvest moon last night, I knew he had a perfect place to take photos — off of his back deck.  I was calling to see if he got anything good.

My mom answered the phone.  She asked what I was doing, so I told her about the check and all.  She was happy for me, but launched into how fucked up her company is.  I would love to say what she complained about was new to me – but it isn’t.  Most of it is truly how corporate america works.  In addition, the industry in which she works also operates in certain ways around here – so I hate she is going through it but it is par for the course.  After 30 minutes, I finally pointed out that it was the weekend and she should just leave work at work, it’s a paycheck not a career, and she should enjoy her grand daughter’s birthday today.

“I am not worrying about this one the weekend.”

Uhm, Mom – I love you – but you just spent 30 minutes telling me all about the work bullshit that IS bullshit but it is nothing you can do anything about.

Then she launched into her latest news – the fact she cannot have surgery to correct something that happened 3 years ago today-ish.  Since the medical emergency three years ago, she has been totally fixated on getting the follow-up surgery.  Everything has been about “when she can have the surgery”.  Everyone is hearing about it – me, my dad, her doctor – everyone.

A few weeks ago, tests came back indicating she is ready for surgery.  Her doctor sent over the referral to the surgeon, and the appointment was made.  The surgeon met with her, but said he wanted to do a procedure that would assess her chances of the surgery working for her.  The procedure was scheduled, and she had it done a few days ago.

The results of the procedure said she was a poor candidate for surgery.  If they did do it, it would create new issues – different from today – but life altering, none-the-less.  She weighed her options and decided the surgery was not worth it.

“Well, I only went down this path because you all wanted me to do it. I have never had an issue with the current state of things – but you all have.  I am happy this is put to bed so that you all will stop pushing this issue.”

Excuse me?!?

She was going to continue with this thinking – but I cut her off.  I was pissed. I am not a child anymore.  She is not a child.  She can own her shit.  So I let her have it.

I quoted for her all of the things she has been bitching about over the past 3 years.  I pointed out that her doctor has also heard the same things, and THAT is why he referred her to the surgeon.  I explained to her that we were supporting what she wanted – not forcing her to do anything.

When I was done, she had nothing to say.  I had clearly shocked her.  And I was okay with that.

“Well, just because that is what you heard does not mean that is what I was saying,” she finally said.

Are you fucking kidding me?!?

Then she launched into a whole thing about how just because we couldn’t distinguish venting from what she really wanted – that was our fault – not her fault.  She has told my father that….

I hung up.

The more she tried to make everything my dad’s fault and my fault – the more I was seeing red.

I was flashing on going into the office when she first went into the hospital 5 years ago to tell my boss I had to leave.  I was putting my job on the line.  I was a contractor who had just started.  And they could have said “nope – if you don’t stay, you are fired.”  Thankfully one of my bosses had just went through this with her own parent.  But I walked in knowing what I was risking — my job – the primary income needed for my family.  Yet I did it.

I flashed on the times I went down there to cook for her when nothing sounded good.  I cleaned for her.  I took care of her.

I flashed on leaving my vacation three years ago and getting a phone call that she was in the ICU.  So I called my boss, picked up the puppy and my laptop, so I could go straight down to be with her and my dad.  I spent a week there.

I flashed on all of the things I did for her – supporting her as she has gone through this disease – only to be told now that I was forcing her to do all of that shit.

Hanging up was better than the FUCK YOU, MOM that I really wanted to say.

When I came into the house, G knew something was wrong.  I started telling him about the conversation, but he kept interrupting with “since when didn’t she want this surgery” and “are you kidding me?” comments.

“She has NEVER indicated she has wanted anything but this surgery. What the fuck?!?”

That pretty much summarizes it.

I talked to my brother who was like “Oh, she is just trying to rationalize all that is happening. We all know the truth.”

“Great, I told him.  She should rationalize and alienate herself from the entire family at the same time – that’ll be great for her,” I pointed out.

“Yeah, but you know that regardless of what happens, you would do it all over again.”

He speaks the truth – but fuck – I’m really sick of shit like this.  And right now – with the week I have had, I am an empty vessel trying to refill itself.  I have nothing to give.  Getting this shit from her – well, that just tells me she doesn’t care – it’s all about her.  I’m not expecting a “thank you” just not to be her scape goat as she processes shit.

….but for now, I just needed to hang up.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. hubman38 says:

    I feel your pain. My mom isn’t as bad as your describe yours, but she has more than her fair share of health issues, including/compounded by early stage non-Alzheimers cognitive decline. I often have conversations with her in which I think “haven’t we talked about this before?”

    1. emmyrtws says:

      Sadly, I’m starting to wonder if something else is going on besides her one disease. Her remembering of things has gotten very skewed. Also, she went from a pretty happy-go-lucky person to one that is so freaking negative that you almost can’t handle being around her. G and my brother are both threatening to give her special brownies in hopes that the pot in them will help. Yay for it being legal here! 🙂

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