If you do what you have always done–you will get the results you have always had. And yet, I just don’t know where to change things. This is an ugly cycle.
Things (my relationship with my parents) will be going along, then bam! This horribleness comes into my life, bringing toxicity and demanding attention. Which I have no time to indulge. I cannot have THIS nagging at the back of my mind. Not when my grades are SO important. I have rearranged my whole life, to the detriment of my finances, to get a 4.0 and elevate my station in life. And then these things just make everything harder. It’s like my parents give me a hard time about where I am in life, and pressure me to improve my situation FAST, but then do things that undermine my progress.
Here’s the program:
I hate the phone. I own one at all for emergencies. I do not answer or make any calls. Not at all. Except to my parents. BUT I am bad at keeping in touch with my them–who want to talk weekly and forever. I’m always doing other things–see my schedule post. So they have this underlying anger toward me.
Then, what really kicks things off is any time my mom gets stressed. Whether it’s about school, vacation, family drama, whatever–it comes back to ME. In the form of a get your pain in the ass, messy, peeing cat out of here. Yesterday. Frantic Facebook message +/- e-mail, +/- MORE messages from mom and “dad.” Where is Merry-Go-Lightly-Sunshine-Smiley, then? Why when I’m super-stressed or complaining is it–“What will be, will be” platitudes from the parentals, but it’s drop everything and react when Mom is stressed?! Here is a direct quoted sample of such a message:
Every time my mom gets stressed, her cleaning OCD ramps up, the cat gets stressed/naughty, and I get a message like this: [note I live a 16 hour drive/$400 flight away and of course work and have class]
Goose marked the side of my BRAND NEW rocker. I am ready to send him to the vet and have him put down!!!! I am NOT happy with his marking. He has on a pheromone collar, there is pheromone scent in the plug in and he still marks. He NEEDS to be at your house VERY SOON! He has outstayed his welcome!!! I AM NOT HAPPY!!!
Messages like this make me absolutely crazy with worry. I never know when it’s an empty threat and when my mom might actually harm my healthy kitty. And worse, I’m too far away, have work/school responsibilities, and limited funds–so I can DO nothing. Nothing except wait and worry and hope it blows over.
–> And here is where I always go wrong. I write back. No matter what I say, there is no damage control once the “take your cat” message arrives. I can say I’m sorry and offer helpful suggestions. It’s no good. I can try reason and tell them it’s not practical to get him NOW. I can choose anger and tell them how inappropriate they are being. None of it makes the animosity go away. Some options make things worse then others.
And whatever I say, my mom will say something ugly back to me (she always has to have the last word). My parents think I’m spoiled, entitled, lazy, irresponsible, a bad pet owner, and bad daughter during these subsequent messages. All blame for any and all problems is put upon me.
Then, I respond and so on and so on, until I usually feel backed into a corner and just try to cut off communication all together. Cut out the toxic, you know? But that doesn’t work either. Because these are my parents. And because they “forget” and try to make it a public issue where family, Dayton, anyone and everyone who knows us is also drawn into the drama and made aware how horrible I am being.
This isn’t the first, second, or even THIRD time this has happened. It’s a repeated behavior, and it’s inappropriate. Of course, I want to go get my cat, but there are practical concerns to worry about. Firstly, my current lease specifies a pet limit of 2. Which I would exceed by adding another cat. And I could be evicted with 10 days notice. And moving is time consuming. And expensive. And the pet situation is much the same at every apartment that I could ever afford. Then, there’s the actual getting Goose here. It requires a road trip, or expensive flight, or shipping. And that requires time off from work and school and $$$$$. These things take some planning. So a message saying–take your cat NOW. Not helpful. Not realistic.
Obviously, I need to take my cat out of that situation. But if my parents do anything unethical towards him before I can–I’ll just cut them out of my life for good. It’s all over if they kill my (healthy) kitty. I could never forgive them.