Complaints and frustration

I had a relatively good day. Granted, I didn’t fall asleep until 8 in the morning, but I was able to catch up on some sleep until my mother went to work at 2.30pm.

Now, when my mother leaves for work, I’m in charge. I look after my brother, clean (if I need to), help with homework, cook. It’s really not a big deal. It’s a good arrangement and it really doesn’t bother me.

But you know what does bother me? That my mother can’t seem to stop complaining about the damn kitchen. Because apparently she’d “never leave it like this“.

What you have to understand, though, is this: I never just leave stuff lying around for no reason. I always clean the kitchen after I cook or bake, because it’s simply not mine, I just use it for a few minutes or hours. Now if I do happen to leave something lying around where it doesn’t belong, it’s for a reason. For example: the toaster is still on the counter. Why? Because I _just_ made toast and it’s still hot. Or: there’s a dirty knife and some crumbs. Why haven’t I cleaned that up? Because I want another slice of bread in two minutes.

I literally never just leave something somewhere and then don’t clean up after myself. And if it does happen and someone reminds me, guess what I’ll do? I’ll say sorry and do it right away.

So after my relatively good day of looking of my brother, looking after the cat and looking after my sister (she needed my laptop and then there were some issues with the printer) and cooking for almost 2 1/2 hours, I was still feeling pretty fine.

And then my mother came home. And began complaining. She complained about my brother not having had a shower; which I didn’t know he was supposed to do. She complained about the cat not leaving her alone; so I took her over to the couch so my mother could eat without being disturbed. She complained about the crinkly table runner; it was only crinkly because she’d put something on top that had made it crinkly. She complained about the fact that apparently she’d “worked all day and we were just sitting around”; even though I’ve told her multiple times I’ll do laundry and vacuum if she has to work afternoons, so she doesn’t have to run herself ragged in the morning. And then, her pièce de résistance: “what happened in the kitchen? Why do you never clean the kitchen? I’d never leave it like that! Why’d you leave it dirty like this?”

So I’m thinking “well, shit, what did I overlook?”. Nothing. The kitchen was clean. Except for the four plates we’d just used, and they were only still there because she always accuses us of ‘clearing things away before she’s finished’ and ‘making unnecessary noise in the kitchen’. So I’d just left them there until she was finished eating and playing with the cat so she wouldn’t have to worry about the cat annoying her during dinner.

And _somehow_ I’m the inconsiderate person. I just…I don’t know what to do. I almost cried in the kitchen just then because I am so freaking frustrated. And the thing is: I’m not allowed to complain. I’m not allowed to complain about her complaints because apparently me trying to make things easier and more comfortable, is an utter nuisance.

And you know what the absolute kicker is? I had to clear away stuff that she used earlier today. But I’m not allowed to complain about that either, am I? Because apparently she’s allowed to do that, but I’m not.

I’m so frustrated. It’s impossible to please her. Because no matter how much effort I put into getting it right, it’s never enough. And when I snap at her, out of pure frustration and anger, I’m suddenly the one who’s out to get her. And of course I always feel guilty after it. After being needled about something I did exactly the way she wants it, I’m actually the one who feels guilty and wants to apologize, even though I did nothing wrong.

She’d always tell me I was incredibly hard to please. And I’d always try and better myself. Make it easier on her. “Ugh, food. You’re impossible to please. What am I supposed to do? Cook five different meals?” “It’s okay, mum, I’ll buy the things I need for myself and then I’ll cook it myself as well. You don’t need to worry.” || “Ugh, sleeping schedules. When do you want me to wake you?” “I don’t know, mum. I can’t pinpoint it.” “You’re impossible. What am I supposed to do?” “Don’t worry, mum. I’ll set an alarm on my phone. Don’t worry about it.”

I don’t know what to do. Especially since I am now actually crying.

I hate this bloody double standard. I can’t. It’s too much.

And the worst part of it is: after I publish this, I’m actually going to be worried if I’m being unreasonable about this and try and figure out if I should put in another paragraph saying that she’s actually really nice and a good mother.

 

Anyways…thanks for listening.

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2 thoughts on “Complaints and frustration

  1. You’re not unreasonable. She is truly unpleasant. Does she not hear herself?
    Question is, is there a reason she’s like this? Did she have a horrible day at work, maybe people blaming her for things out of her control? Does she talk to her co-workers like this?
    Does she complain and nitpick because she’s suffering from chronic pain? Does she deserve a pass?
    If this is just the way she is, it’s not your fault. The trick is not to let her negativity spoil your day. Everybody has to deal with difficult people sometimes. It’s rough when it’s your own mother, though. Love you, Nike.

    1. Thank you. I appreciate that so much. Especially since I was actually contemplating the idea that maybe I was just imagining things after posting.
      I don’t really now what’s going on with her, unfortunately, since she’s actually quite a nice person. I’m pretty sure if I ever told someone who knows her from work or as a colleague about this, they’d never believe me. And the thing is: I don’t even care if she has a bad day at work or she’s stressed or in pain, that’d be fine. I can deal with that. I’ll try to help her out and make things easier. But it’s the double standards that really bother me. Because she’d often tell us: ‘If you’re in a bad mood, don’t take it out on me. It’s not my fault.’ Which is obviously true, but why is she allowed to take it out on me (or us), but not the other way around? That’s just really frustrating. Especially since I do see and recognize all the things she’s doing for us and has done in the past, so I don’t want to complain, but on the other hand, if I do complain or snap at her because I simply can’t take it, I’ll still feel bad about it, even though I’m only defending myself.
      It’s bad for my health, to be honest, so I’ve begun to distance myself from family time. I don’t know, I guess I’ve just grown tired. I’ve often been told (especially by my psychiatrist and therapist) that I’m an empath, which makes everything so much more difficult anyway, so I sometimes feel like I’m being torn apart by conflicting emotions, because there are so many people here. And my mental health struggles amplify everything, to top it off.
      Again, thank you for listening. I hope you’re doing well. Sending love! ❤

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