Love my parents. Hate talking to them.

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    Nov 12, 2010 4:15 AM GMT
    My parents and I have had a somewhat rocky relationship. It got much better when I moved far, far away. Now I live closer (only a few US states away), but we still don't get to see each other often, so I try to call them from time to time.

    Whenever I call and talk to my dad, we don't really say much. We're both the type of people that hate talking on the phone, usually just say the necessary information that needs to be communicated, then we're done.

    Whenever I have good news to tell or excitement to share, I'll usually tell my mom. She's the type that loves to talk and can yap your ear off for hours on end. However, she has a way of defeating any type of joy that may be hidden anywhere in your soul by always being the bearer of bad news, whether it's factual or hypothetical. If you call and say you were just surprised with a new dog, she'll say "You know whose dog just died? So-and-so's. And speaking of dying, so-and-so died, and so-and-so is dying of cancer. Your family now has AIDS, and you've probably got it too." (Maybe not that bad, but you get the point.)

    Today I was very excited by several things, including an interview that went really well, being able to restore some artwork that was previously damaged, and being one step closer to getting health insurance for the first time in a few years. I was wicked psyched, and instinctively called my parents to share a bit of joy. I talked to my mom, who was very excited for me. The phone call went like this:

    Me: (Told all of these (subjectively) exciting things.)
    Mom: "Really? That's great! I knew god would do this for you, because I prayed for you today." (She knows I'm an atheist.)
    Me: "Cool, thanks. I'm really hoping it works out, I've tried really hard for this job."
    Mom: "Your grandmother refuses to have surgery, so she'll probably be blind by next week. Her health is going downhill so fast, I don't know how long she's going to make it." (My grandma is healthy. I've been hearing the above statement for years now.)
    Me: *blindsided* "Oh."
    Mom: "And I've been sick. I think I've got strep throat. The doc is changing my meds again, and they're making me nauseous. It hurts to breathe sometimes."
    Me: *all joy is gone* "Oh. That's no good." (Nurturing words of encouragement to stay healthy)
    Mom: (Other woes with family)
    Me: (Dies inside)

    Anyway, it makes it really tough to call them. I like to keep in touch with them as much as I can, because I do miss them and do enjoy spending time with them when I can. I've even mentioned before when I was down, called them, and they put me in a worse mood, that I felt even worse for calling them in the first place. They didn't really take the suggestion to heart to sometimes look at the bright side, and still continue telling tales of woe and trouble. Both of my parents are generally happy, have great jobs, raised 2 kids that have never gone to prison, and love each other very much. I never see the need for all the negativity.

    I really only see myself having 2 options:
    A) I stop calling them. (not a good solution)
    B) I talk to them again (3rd or 4th time now) about how I feel bummed when I call due to all the "everyone around you is dying and your pet hates you" talk.

    What would you do?
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    Nov 12, 2010 5:17 AM GMT
    welcome to having parents in the 'doldrum age'....You are not alone by any means. Parents and adults in general go through a very fucking annoying period when everything turns to the macabre - death, sickness, bad teeth, meds, med bills, hemmoroids, cancer, cancer, cancer.....you get the pic. You are a loving son, you do this out of love, not duty. You do have a 'duty' to bite the bullet and let them rant....they still love you in spite of the doomsday talk...it will pass, it's just your turn to listen....remember when they couldn't get a word in edge wise? ....................Keithicon_cool.gif
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    Nov 12, 2010 5:27 AM GMT
    vetteset saidYou do have a 'duty' to bite the bullet and let them rant....they still love you in spite of the doomsday talk...it will pass, it's just your turn to listen....remember when they couldn't get a word in edge wise?


    Oh no, you mean there are going to be consequences for my actions?! But that's in the past! icon_wink.gif
  • maximumrisk

    Posts: 799

    Nov 12, 2010 5:28 AM GMT
    Pyrotech saidMy parents and I have had a somewhat rocky relationship. It got much better when I moved far, far away. Now I live closer (only a few US states away), but we still don't get to see each other often, so I try to call them from time to time.

    Whenever I call and talk to my dad, we don't really say much. We're both the type of people that hate talking on the phone, usually just say the necessary information that needs to be communicated, then we're done.

    Whenever I have good news to tell or excitement to share, I'll usually tell my mom. She's the type that loves to talk and can yap your ear off for hours on end. However, she has a way of defeating any type of joy that may be hidden anywhere in your soul by always being the bearer of bad news, whether it's factual or hypothetical. If you call and say you were just surprised with a new dog, she'll say "You know whose dog just died? So-and-so's. And speaking of dying, so-and-so died, and so-and-so is dying of cancer. Your family now has AIDS, and you've probably got it too." (Maybe not that bad, but you get the point.)

    Today I was very excited by several things, including an interview that went really well, being able to restore some artwork that was previously damaged, and being one step closer to getting health insurance for the first time in a few years. I was wicked psyched, and instinctively called my parents to share a bit of joy. I talked to my mom, who was very excited for me. The phone call went like this:

    Me: (Told all of these (subjectively) exciting things.)
    Mom: "Really? That's great! I knew god would do this for you, because I prayed for you today." (She knows I'm an atheist.)
    Me: "Cool, thanks. I'm really hoping it works out, I've tried really hard for this job."
    Mom: "Your grandmother refuses to have surgery, so she'll probably be blind by next week. Her health is going downhill so fast, I don't know how long she's going to make it." (My grandma is healthy. I've been hearing the above statement for years now.)
    Me: *blindsided* "Oh."
    Mom: "And I've been sick. I think I've got strep throat. The doc is changing my meds again, and they're making me nauseous. It hurts to breathe sometimes."
    Me: *all joy is gone* "Oh. That's no good." (Nurturing words of encouragement to stay healthy)
    Mom: (Other woes with family)
    Me: (Dies inside)

    Anyway, it makes it really tough to call them. I like to keep in touch with them as much as I can, because I do miss them and do enjoy spending time with them when I can. I've even mentioned before when I was down, called them, and they put me in a worse mood, that I felt even worse for calling them in the first place. They didn't really take the suggestion to heart to sometimes look at the bright side, and still continue telling tales of woe and trouble. Both of my parents are generally happy, have great jobs, raised 2 kids that have never gone to prison, and love each other very much. I never see the need for all the negativity.

    I really only see myself having 2 options:
    A) I stop calling them. (not a good solution)
    B) I talk to them again (3rd or 4th time now) about how I feel bummed when I call due to all the "everyone around you is dying and your pet hates you" talk.

    What would you do?


    I think all Parents are like that. Mine always complain about one another, I like to call them Tom and Jerry.

    Keith is right, the best you can do is simply lend them your ear even if they make it difficult.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 12, 2010 5:39 AM GMT
    I'd call your mom and when she starts talking, just interrupt her, and spew out all the negativity you have, everything that's around you - dead parents, dead boyfriends, dead girlfriends, dead pets, cancer, traffic accidents, broken limbs, flu, lost car keys, out of toilet paper... the whole thing.

    She'll most likely tell you, "why all this negative talk, it's not fun talking to you when you're only telling me bad things".

    About that time a little light bulb should start glowing icon_idea.gif
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    Nov 12, 2010 5:42 AM GMT
    I feel you man.
    Any simple conversation I have with my parents becomes a big yelling, screaming argument...and all about napkins!
    But, not to go my route (yelling, screaming), but TRY to let them know why there is this issue, and what you all can do to improve communication.
    And I mean TRY...
    Good luck.