Perhaps I’m making a huge deal out of this, but I can’t help but feel that I have a right to my feelings and no one should have to justify them or say they’re wrong when it’s me who’s experiencing them…if that makes sense. Maybe you guys can help me out or give me some advice or just tell me that I’m absolutely crazy. So here’s what’s happened.
I’ve been volunteering at this film festival because I’m a film major and I want to start somewhere and get some sort of insight/experience. On Friday evening, I left my water bottle at the venue and I didn’t realize it until I got home…let’s just say I don’t live down the block. I don’t know if anyone else is like this, but it drives me crazy when I lose something…even something as silly as a water bottle that could totally be replaced. I get this weird paranoia, and I don’t really know how to explain it other than that. Anyways, it was bothering me so much that the next morning I decided I was going to go back and see if it was still there. I told my mom and she said it was okay.
As soon as I got there, I went to the place where I was working and sure enough, there it was. Just as I was on my way out, my supervisor saw me and asked me if I could help up front. I wasn’t scheduled to work on Saturday but because they were short-staffed, I felt obligated to help. The volunteers have been really flaky this year (I don’t know how this compares to other years because this is my first year volunteering for the festival, but it’s been like this the whole week). So I call my parents and let them know that I have to work, but that I could try and leave by two. Our shifts are split into two, there’s a morning shift from 8AM-2PM and an evening shift from 2PM-7PM.
The night before, my parents told me we were having dinner Saturday night with my grandparents because they felt bad they never did anything for my mom’s birthday. I bet you all know where this is going, right? The volunteers who were supposed to show up for the 2PM-7PM shift never showed up so I had to work that shift as well. I called my mom and she was upset with me. When I got home, she acted as though nothing had happened, which made me mad because hours earlier she was mad at me. She then asked me why I looked like I was about to cry and before I could say anything, I ran to my room and lost it.
In that moment, so many emotions were running through my head. Here I was, trying to teach myself some responsibility by working at this festival…it’s almost like having a real job, except I don’t get paid. Now I was in trouble. I’ve gotten mad before, but not so mad that I wanted to punch a wall. That’s how I felt. My mom came in my room and told me to knock it off and now she was mad at me again. Every time I get upset, I can’t be in the same room as her because she gets mad at me for getting upset. That’s why I left before I could break down. I didn’t want to do it in front of her.
Later when things cooled down, she tried to talk to me but I was so pissed I told her I didn’t want to talk about it. I was upset, I was crying, I was a mess. I wanted to talk to her, but not like this…not when my emotions were everywhere. When I finally DID try to explain to her, she told me I was full of shit. Those were her words.
Okay, I’m not trying to make my mom the bad person here. I understand why she was upset. We had made obligations to go to dinner and I disappointed her (a phrase she told me over and over…I got it the first time). I apologized repeatedly and told her it would never happen again. She said the reasons why she was upset with me was A) It was irresponsible of me to flake out on this family dinner when she had told me the night before that we were going, so I really had no excuse and B) I “lied” to her by not telling her I was working on Saturday. Honestly, I didn’t know that I was going to work, I wasn’t even dressed in business casual attire, but I guess I should have told her that I might be working before I left because I knew they were short-staffed and I knew there was a chance I could be snagged. She just wanted me to communicate better with her on my behalf and that’s understandable and I could see where she’s coming from and why she was upset with me.
But here’s my defense. My mom knew weeks in advance that these next couple of weeks were going to be extremely busy for me. She knew I was working weekends at this festival. I don’t understand why she would plan this dinner on a weekend I happened to be working. When she told me the night before that we were going to dinner, she said she didn’t even know which day I had off, so why go ahead and plan it anyway? In addition, what if, hypothetically, they called me Friday night and told me I had to work Saturday morning? Am I supposed to say no?
The point is, I get why my mom is upset, but I hate when she talks down to me and tries to tell me that my feelings are “wrong.” She’s NOT me. She doesn’t know what I’m thinking or how I feel. This “tension” has been going on since I started college. I’m living at home with my parents, which makes it hard for me to be able to make decisions for myself sometimes. When I feel like my life is going somewhere or that I am making good decisions, here comes my mom to make me feel otherwise. It’s frustrating at times and I definitely had a breaking point on Saturday night. I hate going to bed upset and waking up the next morning upset. It’s not a great way to start the day.
Another thing that made me mad was that when she was trying to talk to me, she asked me, “Do you wish you didn’t live at home like “Melody” (my sister) so that you could make these decisions for yourself? I was livid, but I didn’t say anything. There are definitely times I wish I didn’t live at home…I think that’s a huge part of the reason why I feel like I can’t make these decisions and I’m technically an adult now. It’s frustrating. How many times have I said that?
I try my best to please my parents and make them happy so that they don’t have to worry about me, but it’s difficult, especially when it comes to my mom because she IS a very opinionated person with a strong personality. With someone like me who’s on the other end of the spectrum, sometimes it’s hard to talk to her. She’s definitely been giving me mixed signals.
I don’t know, after that night I’m beginning to question how damaged my self-esteem and confidence really is. I mean, I was really upset…but it’s hard to tell how much of that emotion was from the frustration because A) I had worked from 10AM-7PM that day and B) I didn’t eat all day. So I definitely think some of that stemmed from those other two factors as well. I could try to explain this to her, but I feel like no matter what, it’ll always seem like I’m making excuses for myself. But maybe that’s just me.