Sunday, January 10, 2010

Mother and the Bone Doctor

My normal emotions when dealing with Mother are amusement, because she is quite funny and entertaining at times, and the other emotion is exasperation.

It has been a long time since I felt anger towards my mother, but that is my most recent feeling.

Before christmas I took Mother to a medical appointment. I remember now, that I was up a Dawn's crack because R was locked in his bathroom, so I probably was not my usual self. But it is not really related.

I dropped Mother back to her home and she gave me a christmas card for Little Jo. My idea. I said, save the postage. I was going straight to Sister's from Mother's and meeting R there. I took the card and when I arrived at Sister's, she was out and R was playing with Little Jo.

I gave Little Jo her card from Nana and she was quite excited and happy.

I absentmindedly looked at the envelope and it was addressed using Little Jo's first name, followed by Sister's last name but no last name of the Bone Doctor. Little Jo's last name is a combo of Sister's last name and Bone Doctor's last name, with a gap but no hyphen.

What was Mother thinking!!! I stuffed the envelope into my pocket so neither Sister nor Bone Doctor would see it.

It has taken me a while to get around to correcting Mother on this point. Omitting Bone Doctor's name shows disrespect to Little Jo, to Sister and the Bone Doctor and I feel to us too. Never mind that Bone Doctor put $10,000 in Mother's bank account to keep in a style to which she is accustomed. Bone Doctor will be repaid at the end of the day.

On the phone to Mother this week.
Me: Oh, Ma, meant to mention, but I keep forgetting. You forgot to put Bone Doctor's name on Little Jo's christmas card envelope.
Mother: Oh, is that her name. I did not know.

Thought: Oh yes you did Mother, because I remember telling you and you asked which name was first and I told you Sister's and you said, well, so it should be. I prefer lying and cheating over being disingenuous.

Me: Lucky I noticed and kept the envelope.
Mother: Doesn't matter.
Me: Yes it does, they both would have been very hurt.

I left it at that. It is enough. She won't try that stunt again.

Mother embraced R as part of the family thirty years ago and thinks the world of him. Son 1 can always find an excuse to cut a phone call to or from Mother, but R is so nice, he speaks to her for an hour if she wants. But of course then moans to me about the long telephone call.

I recall the first time Mother met the Bone Doctor. It was at some awful smorgasboard eating place in Warrigal Road, probably Burwood. It has flaming tikki torches outside. Carnevue just slipped into my mind. I think that was its original name.

A few days later I wrote to Mother expressing the hope that the Bone Doctor would be accepted into the family as R had been so many years ago. She never responded. The rest of the family has accepted Bone Doctor as they did R.

Today I said to Sister, does Mother know it is your and Bone Doctor's tenth anniversary? Sister just pulled a face that said don't talk nonsense brother, and said no. Bone Doctor has bought Sister a most gorgeous ring for the occasion. They are going to Docklands, on some freebie for dinner to celebrate, and the gay uncles are going to host Little Jo's first night away from them next weekend. I'll shut my bedroom door to ensure Little Jo ends up in R's bed and not mine when she wakes in the middle of the night.

Back to Mother. She normally has a bit more style than to be caught out in such an obvious way. Why does she not like the Bone Doctor? Firstly, Bone Doctor's brother is autistic and I think Bone Doctor might be slightly. She perhaps lacks a little empathy at times. She is perhaps a little too dismissive of Mother's medical problems, both the real and the imagined. Bone Doctor does not understand what it is like to be in constant pain. Neither do I, but I can be sympathetic.

Mother says, poor Little Jo. She is sick. Take her to the doctor. Bone Doctor says, it is (clinical diagnosis), her immune system will deal with it. Of course Bone Doctor monitors Little Jo's temp etc.

It is perhaps unfair that half of Mother's children turned out to be same sex attracted hungry and one of the remaining has never married.

Sister and Mother have a very close relationship and certainly in the past, an honest one.

A theory I have is that Mother could understand how a bloke could take her daughter away from her, but she can't handle having her daughter taken away by a woman.

Mother would never be directly nasty or even say anything to me, but she really does seem to have a big problem with Sister's choice of a partner, the Bone Doctor.

Your thoughts are most welcome. I am only flying kites. I don't really understand.


  1. Mister X9:54 am

    How ingenuous are you?

    She wanted normal kids, grandkids.

  2. God don't ask me with my family issues...I exhausted myself trying to sort things out amongst two of my sisters who had been quite cruel to Don and I and after his death the same. I did everything I could do to enable things to heal - each time it got worse...

    Sorry about your mum, but sadly a little child does not deserve hurt for something she has no part in -

    Its good you care enough to try and heal things, and raise uncomfortable issues...

    it sounds like your mum does not accept the relationship - which sadly is her right as well as it is your sister's right to have that relationship - sad about Little Jo.

  3. Well Mister X, what is normal? She has four grandkids, three grown up and now Little Jo. She is fortunate indeed.

    Yes MC, I don't think there is a point for you to continue with your two sisters. Just give them up as a bad loss. Our family will all sort itself out in time. Little Jo is much loved.

  4. Mister X1:52 pm

    The usual is normal, the unusual is not.

    I believe you're about 1% of the population.
    And 90% of its lobbyists.

  5. I agree with you about two of my sisters its hopeless...but my eldest sister who is wonderful, finds it all so upsetting - I feel m ore for her because she does. than I do for me...I don't actually feel that much any more which is a blessing.

  6. Nobody has one of those picture-perfect families.
    I have 2 friends, each with 3 grown-up married wealthy children and they both agonise to me that they don't have 'normal' Sunday lunch situations "like my friend X does".
    They agonise - and their reasons are valid and varied.
    We're talking uni degree professionals, money, private schools - the whole desirable schmear here, but every one is a screw-up as far as Ma can see.

    Little Old Ladies will beat you every time though, and don't they love those sterile food barns -packed on Mothers Day the lot of them.
    Little Jo is lucky with her uncles though, bless her.

  7. Until your mother puts on her big girl panties and get's the flock over the fact that the Bone Doctor is in her daughter's life to stay there isn't a damn thing you or R can do , only your mother can change her behaviour.

  8. Doctors have to learn to distance themselves from the pain of their patients or they wouldn't be any good at their job.
    It's a good bet your mother would have been the same had your sister married a bloke.
    I'd trade the bone doctor for the bitch ex-daughter in law I got landed with.
    Congrats to them both on a tenth anniversary and a very loud raspberry to Mr X.

  9. Tosh Robert.

    I am prying MC, but I never picked up if your older sister was also not on good terms with the other two.

    They certainly are disappearing Ann, the exception rather than the norm now. I think the occasion may well have been Mother's Day.

    Yes Jayne, she does know that. She feels some hostility towards BD and I am not sure why.

    Indeed they do Jahteh, distance themselves that is. Maybe you are right about it not mattering if it was a bloke either.

  10. Who wants normal anyway.

  11. Prying is fine - my eldest sister is in frosty relations with my second eldest - they talk but only Christmas etc - she is on better terms with our youngest sister because she still thinks there is some home there - The nastiness all came out over Don's Quadriplegia, especially hen he was sick and how we had to live - it got worse after his death...ain't human nature grand?

  12. My mother must be terribly upset with me as I am abnormal; ie, I am not usual in Mister X's world.

    You see I am left handed in a world where it is usual to be right handed.

    As an only child - another aspect of my abnormality? - I'm not an expert on parental/sibling relationships but it seems to me generally that mothers are closer to their sons and fathers closer to their daughters.

  13. Dear Fen, I agree. A mother's son can do no wrong.
    I will see you the lefty only-child, and raise you my first year of school was spent being reprogrammed to right-hand writing.
    god I hate the world.

  14. Fen, I am ever so pleased to not be normal. I would guess you are too.

    Oh well MC, there is still some linkage at least.

    Victor, if you were a little older, you may have been forced to be a right hander. You had courage of certainty. Generally you are right about family closeness. I have never thought about it much in terms of our family.

    Ann, so you were re-programmed. I hope you are now ambidextrous, as is R. Very useful.

  15. Mister X1:35 pm

    Women are wary of one another, protecting their sons from other women. Sometimes they overdo it. Meanwhile what outrages either sex is having their offspring seduced by their own gender. Fathers are more understanding when it happens with their daughters, mothers likewise with their sons. Think about that.
    No parent ever considers their child might turn out homosexual. It's heartbreaking, but the love can continue.
    In your mother's case it's happened twice. So be grateful - for her loyalty, compassion, hardship.

    Instead of behaving like the haughty child I suspect you always were.

  16. wow Mister X, off your soapbox love and enough with the generalisations. I have friends with kids who have considered they might turn out gay and they don't care either way.

  17. Mister X3:13 pm

    Why would your friends consider their kids might turn out gay, except to patronise you ("some of my best friends are....").

    Don't call me love, nothing will come of it.

  18. I am 61 and would not be heartbroken or anything else if all 3 of my adult children took same-sex partners.

    Strength of character has value above rubies.

    and at 6pm the weather has just changed - big rain and the temp has dropped to 40 degrees.
    the wild birds were very distressed so the change came just in time.

  19. Dropped to 40 degrees Ann. Ouch. At 7.50pm it is still 40 here, 23 inside.