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putting on a face...


Symora
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What a week! Just came back from visiting one daughter in London UK, with my other daughter. 11 hour plane ride yesterday to get home in order to avoid the volcano dusk cloud....

I've felt gutted all week, on the verge of tears most days, actually cried once when my daughter and her husband had a mean argument... they avoided arguing in front of me after that:rolleyes:

Travelled with my other daughter, which I never want to do again. I don't know what it is, but even before we left home she started becoming impatient with me and it pretty well lasted all week. She's done that to me before while travelling, but I could'nt take it this time, I told her travelling with her was hell, which was not the best choice of words I must admit, but I never have been good with setting boundaries and it just came out like that while we were pulling clothes out of her overweight suitcase at the airport and her being almost frantic with me.... She was a bit more careful after that but I could tell she was holding herself back from bitting my head off all week. Then last night after the flight I was in severe leg pain from the trip (I have back and leg issues...) and ended up being the last one out through customs because I just could not see myself stand in that eternal line... By the time I came out she was livid, and when I told her how much pain I was in she scoffed me off and said it would not kill me. I was so hurt and tired I called her a bitch ... not something I've ever done and obviously not good:( Just reinforced in her mind the fact that I am a pain the ass. But I'm careful not to be a burden, I'm very self sufficient, I don't ask unless I have too. I don't know what ticks her off so much about me... all I know it that it sends me into a spin of low self-esteem ...

Those altercations pretty well set the tone for my week. Luckily she went to see friends for a few days so I was alone with my other daughter and her husband for a good part of it, but I was quiet and depressed most of the time. I felt incredibly alone and out of place most everywhere we went, and because we did so much walking I was in pain most of the week (I limp in one leg and I'm not used to walking that much).

It was nice seeing my oldest daughter and I think she really appreciated having us visit her since she does not have family in England except her inlaws... but even with her I had little to say and what I really wanted was to jump in front of a tube. It was tough going trying to put on a face ... I spent much of the week looking at 20 year girls and feeling old and ugly, wondering how my X was doing with his 20 year old. One of the things he said to me, with pride, was that <she is tall and very beautiful>. He also called me his <vieille femme> (old wife, since Africans have old wives and young wives) which may not be terrible in his context, but to me it was devastating, a slap in the face with regards to my getting older as a woman. Those words echoed through my head all week, I just could not get them out, although I knew that they were reaking havoc on my mood, it was like an obsessive repetitive thing. There are so many young, beautiful girls in London, I felt ugly and ancient and could not figure out why I was alive....

It is good to be home, alone, quiet. I can cry in peace and not have to put on a face today. Tomorrow I'm back at work and will have to pull it on again, but today I can rest....

Edited by Symora
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Symora, I'm sorry to hear things were so rough. :D And I SO know what you mean about coming home, being alone, free to cry and not to have to put on a face. It's wonderful.

I spent a month in December last year in Denmark with my mom and took my youngest daughter with me. It was also awful and I ended up in a horrible depression that took several months to sort out. (My mom and I love each other dearly, but we love each other best at a distance and with short visits.)

People asked me afterwards, "Ohh, tell me about your holiday, it must have been lovely...!"

Yeah, right...

If I can give you some advice for tomorrow, compose a short sweet answer to that question and if you're asked for details, talk about some part that was great. I'd just say, "It was great, thanks" avec smile. If I was pushed for details I talked about the exquisite snow.

Hope your pain gets better soon...

Edited by Luna-
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Thanks Luna... it does help to know others live such things... I guess I was expecting it to be very different, more uplifting than disheartening. What I think is making it so challenging is that they are all I have left... There is no one else I can really talk to, or who understand and care about where I'm at... Yet I can't really be open with them because I'm Mom, with everything that goes with that, and the huge generational gap makes a difference too. Oh, I don't know... I think I miss my husband to talk with...

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Symora,

Am so happy for you being a moderator. Your honesty is appreciated.

Much to relate to. Family, putting on a face. Ex husband. All that goes with it. Guess sometimes I imagine it's different for others, when it really isn't.

Hopes to cheer you.

This forum, all of you here, are becoming family for me. I love my relatives, but

like being here.

loves and hugs

katleen

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Thanks ladies, I know every mum understands it...

I talked to my daughter in England today and she calmed me down some.... She advised me to <let it go>, that I need to take things less personally. She's right, but I don't find it easy ... Relationships sure aren't easy, no matter how much love there is...

Edited by Symora
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Hi Symora,

I'm sorry too to hear that the trip wasn't as good as you'd hoped. London can be such a manic overcrowded place I find it overwhelms my senses when I am feeling low. So I also understand the feeling of getting home and shutting out the bustle of other people's lives.

Hope you are ok and finding some peace and comfort now you're home.

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You're right....This is the first time I find London absolutely overwhelming. People, people, people, no matter where you are in the city.... I live a relatively quiet town of 1M where people move at a relatively smooth pace. Lots of nature around, fresh air... London is exciting, a million places to go, things to do, restaurants to eat, but it's cramped, the streets are narrow, there is no such thing as a lawn, there is traffic everywhere and people, going up, down, across, over. It is manic indeed.... I guess I have never been in a mood such as this one when I've visited before. This time it felt overwhelming, overbearing, it made me feel very insignificant and detached....

Not a good city when you are emotionally charged, it's like being a little cell caught in a fast moving pumping heart....

Edited by Symora
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It is a concrete jungle. I have to go a few times a month and I've sought out every park nearby for when I really need some quiet time. Even those are filled with people but you get a little bit of peace in nature. Not easy if you're busy visiting people and places though.

It does always amaze me how people run around, bumping into each other, shouting on phones and never seemingly aware that anyone else is around! And they walk so fast!! Sometimes when I'm in the train station late, and it's full of drunk shouting people, I just have to stand in the quietest spot and stand completely still and try and block them out.

I've been ready the theory of "Highly Sensitive People" I don't know if anyone else has heard of this. But it kind of makes sense to me.

The one good thing about London is that most people actually seem more accepting of others, compared to where I live anyway. And all the differences that people have.

But like all good Mums you put yourself through it to see your daughter.

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You're right, I found that aspect fascinating in fact. There are a gazillion people, but everyone is an individual in the way they dress, hair, shoes, jewellry, belts.... I frankly found the female sexuality overwhelming.... The <in> thing is tights and leggings, worn with everything and anything. Some wear tights with a sweater that doesn't cover the butt, or skirts so short they are more of a belt, but no bother ... And huge, lady of the evening type stilettos everywhere... in my mindset it was like being in the red light district in Amsterdam, but no, apparently that's the in thing.... as an old time feminist, I wondered if we were indeed making progress....

London made me fell like a hick ... a slow moving, not very stylin older lady....I guess I wasn't in the right frame of mind :cool:

Edited by Symora
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Hi Symora!

Yikes, traveling is really really hard! I think it's tough to find a good travel partner... even someone you get along with normally; it all changes when you're traveling. I've had this experience several times, so I can relate.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who looks at the women's clothing of today and am appalled how everyone goes around looking like a prossie. It disgusts me; where is modesty? Does everyone have to advertise that they're a piece of meat? I'm slim but at my age (43) I'm not about to do this kind of advertising. It looks especially awful on the older women. And yep, I consider myself an oldschool feminist. Sometimes I feel like the burqua and the bikini bistros are two sides of the same coin.

Your ex is an insensitive idiot, but that may be culturally insensitive of me to say, since I know he's from another world, 'n all... but still. Argh! >_<

Also, congratulations on being a mod now!! You're awesome! :-D

Jane

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Symora,

Glad you are back from your trip, and sorry I'm late in.

But I was just reading some of this and thought:

when you mentioned crying because of an argument that didn't include you, and traveling itself -- it is stress; frustrations;

I'm like you to in ways. When I get tired from bringing in a shopping cart full, after I do too much... I lay down to rest and start crying. It is the stress and frustrations. I was not down, down today. And I had to tell myself that. I guess I was releasing the tension and stress surrounded in my day. I'm not delicate or anything like that. I do have health problems along with my not walking so good. so I'm alone and have to take care of myself, and it's hard alot.

oh, and like JaneE, I'm an older, older than her, older woman:D

congratulations, again.

and I'm glad everything went as well as it did.

thanks

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hi symora,

glad to have you back!

some late night thoughts....

it is a funny kind of thing when a group of family members meet on foreign land. it's like everyone is bringing the place they came from with them, and because you are family, there is a belief that there must be more commonality, more compassion, more compatibility, more incentive to play nice, but it can come together like a clash of worlds. Is it that in your everyday world, your environment, peace is the aim? When I read your posts I kept thinking that your trip was almost like walking from the soothing smells and sounds of a spa to being in a major traffic jam in a city of millions at rush hour. going from a controlling, nourishing environment to a chaotic, demanding and insensitive one...

and therefore...the energy drops, sensitivity increases and so the mind jumps to the 20 year olds. natural progression if you ask me.

and then...the realization that life is happening everywhere in ways in which you feel apart from currently, perhaps? Like at the moment participating in a reality of leggings and tights maybe too overwhelming... in other words, their desensitized ways, not giving a moments thought to length of a skirt--so much confidence, such a lack of concern or modesty---of freedom, not having to care, a weightlessness, one could argue an irresponsibility????

i am thinking is that your world right now is with you and for you and you need a more controlled environment to be nurtured right now so that your fears do not get excited by the unreality of it all. The rest is not real--skirts, fights, etc.; these things seem to be more reflections or mirrors on the issues going on inside of you. In other words, "Things I find Hard Right Now." Simulations or exaggerations or reflections of emotions that you are courageously working with right now.

But you are very real.

Definitely hang in there. Je prefere la "vielle femme." Elle est tres magnifique!":cool::D

Again Late night thoughts...:)

livewell

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You're right, and I recognized it as I was living it. Everything was filtered through my present sensitivities, and I have many right now. This situation has shaken me deeply on so many different levels, and I feel myself hypersitive to many things -things that were never a concern before. So hypersensitive in fact that I have isolated myself a lot, just to try to find some balance. London put many things right there, in front of my face, all at the same time, issues that I am struggling with, and I did find it overwhelming. I would have preferred to keep myself in denial, cocooned, but life has a strange way of forcing you ahead...

But you know what, now that I'm in my calmer place, it did me good to see it, be in it, face it. It made it concrete and I am more confident in the decisions I've made for myself. There are some things that I can't do or be part of, and I'm OK with that....

I think the tights and leggings thing is definitively a generational thing. I remember my grandma saying that if her mother was alive today her hair would stand up on end at what she would see, especially the indecencies and flagrant sexually. Sometimes I feel a little dephased in that same way. I know sexuality is a big thing and all, but I agree with JaneE that there is a <meat> aspect to this letting it all hang out that makes me feel very uncomfortable. I think I may in fact be getting old :-(, ok, well older :-)

Edited by Symora
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