Sunday, July 27, 2008

Post-mom visit

I haven't talked much about my mom here. It's mostly been my father since he has had more of a direct influence on the ED, despite not living with him while growing up. My mother is a rehabilitation counselor. She has been for many years. In the late 70s, she worked with spinal cord injury victims, then later with the visually impaired. After that, she worked with the long term mentally ill, and now she has a general case load which includes a whole range of disorders and disabilities. I'd definitely categorize her as a caretaker. I know this type of job, although as stressful as it is, does satisfy her. She has told me that it's the whole aspect of taking something that is broken and making it better.

My mom came to visit me this week, surprisingly. It was out of the blue, but since she lives a distance a way, it's not like a hop, skip, and jump, more like a 7 hour drive. In the past when my parents or other people come, I always feel this need to have everything "perfect" and cleaned. This time since I knew what my mother's "mission" was upon coming (though not everything she was bringing with her), I didn't worry about cleaning.

When we got to my place, I was a little worried what was underneath the tarp in her truck. Apparently, she decided to bring me a lot of furniture. It's not that I am furniture-less, but most of my stuff is REALLY old, the old in a bad way, not antique stuff, though I do have some of that too. I spotted one item that was a turquoise color which I thought looked garish at first. It seems my mom thought I needed some color. In the end, it did look okay.

In the four days she was here, we got rid of a lot of old furniture (some with memories but really did need to go)and crap stored in my shed (like my old roommate's backseat of her van which she never came to get/got rid of),
bought some new furniture (a new table, small entertainment center for my tv, a bookshelf which I really needed), repainted in my kitchen, organized a lot of loose items I had everywhere (I've learned baskets can go a long way), put up new paintings and blinds, took all my recyclables to the recycling center (I'm really lazy about this one and do it every six months or so), went through old clothes to be donated, and just general cleaning. I think the only thing we didn't do was pull up the carpet which I'd love see to go but since I'm renting, I do not want the burden to pay for it. The only thing my mother did that I was completely opposed to was when she repainted my door a bright TURQUOISE color which matched a piece of furniture she brought. When I saw it for the first time coming in from work, I had a moment of "what was she thinking?" Luckily, she understood and repainted it another color--more a dark periwinkle that is much less obtrusive.

The first picture is the turquoise dresser. Yes, this was the color of the door! You see now why it was just a little too much. The second picture is the new table. I think it is really pretty and a much better upgrade from my other one.

Here is Daphne on her new dog bed. We bought two more like them, so all three dogs can have their own.

So some of you may ask WHY my mom did all this? This is where my emotions go in all sorts of directions. A part of me is incredibly happy she came. I don't know if I would have done all this on my own, and it's obvious she has great ideas. We've actually decided her job after she retires is going to be as a "house stager," the people who come in to decorate and spiffy things up for presenting houses to buy. Of course, hopefully, that'll be after the housing crisis has ended and the market much better.

But still I was kind of confused why she REALLY came and asked her directly why she did all this for me (yes, I have "deserving" issues). She said she wanted to, that she wanted me to have a nice place to live, and that she knew I worked a lot and didn't have a lot of time to do these types of things. She said it was not because DA was coming next weekend (I'll get to a post on that later), but for me. I had mentioned to her a few weeks ago that I really wasn't that worried about DA not liking me (well I still am), but more that he wouldn't like my place. My dad has always said I live in a "dump" which usually makes me very upset, so I think that's somehow been ingrained in me. Of course, this is my dad saying this who lives on 5 acres with a beautiful house worth half a million, so the comparisons are drastic. For him, it's more that he just thinks I "deserve" better--better living quarters, better job, that type of thing.

All in all, I think my mom's help was really touching, and I am grateful to have someone like that in my life. She's always been the type to "buy" or send me things, even when I felt like I never deserved them. Even with this visit, I was worried about how much money she was spending, granted we got great prices on a number of items that would have been twice the cost. But still, I always worry about that Sometimes she buys me too much, and I have to kind of reel her in. The one thing is that she always means well.

Overall, the visit went nicely. We even had some funny, laughing moments, the kind that your belly hurts, and you get teary-eyed. I don't get as stressed out when my mother comes compared to my father, but we've still had our moments, like a few years ago when she just "lost" it with me and began to cry hysterically by the fact I couldn't figure out my life. She's let go of that for now, having faith that I will eventually find out what is best for me and what I want to do (that's a saga in and of itself). Nowadays, she's realized she'd rather just enjoy the time she spends with me, that life is just too short to be arguing.

When my mom and I have visits like this, I really enjoy them and kind of miss her when she is gone. It always takes me a few days to readjust and wind down when company comes no matter who it is. Then I go back to my day in/day out life and convince myself that I really am not lonely.

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