Red eye back from Bristol again today. Am smarter this week and only take hand luggage so can check in at the sales desk and miss the monster queue that forms at desks 1-10 from 5am.
My dad picks me up again, am much happier this week, so is he. Much aided by the businessman waiting at the airport who thinks my dad's car is a taxi, walks over and opens the boot to put his case in it. How we all laughed.
My mum comes home early from the shop and we have lunch together, the three of us.
I see the dynamic that's caused so much tension when I was growing up. It's called triangulating. And it'll ruin a relationship quicker than you can say black's white.
Party of the first part (let's call her Mum for the sake of argument), has been nagging party of the second part (Dad for instance) until his ulcer is bleeding and his jaw is so clenched his false teeth are in danger of melting into each other. Party of the first part (mum) then triangles in (completely innocent) party of the third part (let's call her poor confused daughter) as a backup to the I'm right he's wrong let's nag for three more hours dance. Party of the third part is so lonely and full of longing to be loved she joins in and agrees. (Then spends most of the rest of her adult life in a rage at her own compliance).
Not this day. This day, I say
"Well nagging isn't going to help.
She's struck dumb. Game over. Rules have changed.
So I say, "That was too strong a word, but it's his decision, leave it with him.
The conversation stopped.
She's in a huff.
Like a child.
There's the other side to the triangle, when dad and daughter 'gang up'.
I used to comply in that too. For similar reasons, plus revenge obviously.
Today, I'm not ganging up, I just want some peace and quiet.
In huff, no questions.
Works for me.
When I was young, my mother hated me. As a child she was a complete bitch to me. There is no getting round it. I felt and was hated. Growing up, she was jealous of me. This was consummated in proof positive on the day that I, 8 months pregnant, got the bus from my bedsit to our big house in Paisley and said
"I could come home, we could do this, we could live here?
I was excited, already a 'we'. I felt that freedom of a solution of asking of saying out loud what you really wish for. Just her and I, women together now.
She didn't move from her chair.
She didn't get up.
I can still see the dust floating like so many souls in the huge sunbeam that was pouring in the window.
It may as well have been the Berlin wall.
"I'm not looking after it while you find a job.
She called my baby 'it'.
I'm used to me being a non person to her, but not that. Not that.
The hate and contempt in her voice. He head shaking she was holding it so still. Eyes narrowed. Her rage fuming. Not moving a muscle. Not getting up.
All I could think was, ' I always thought you hated me, but I didn't know how much.'
'It' was the moment my heart closed completely.
Until my daughter got in touch with me three years ago in fact and I started this journey.
No wonder I fall in love all the bloody time.
I'm not quite at forgiveness for that one. Not quite. I don't rage and burn with resentment anymore, and I know she has enormous guilt about it and about my childhood.
"I want to be there for you. Probably the truest thing she's ever said. But I can't have it. I can't be ill and recovering just with her asking me a million questions trying to fake communication. Filling the air with so many questions the truth can't get a chance to come out. Refusing ever, to say what counts. Ignoring the elephant she sweeps under the rug.
It's not that I don't love her.
It's not that I don't forgive her.
It's that for once in my life, my needs are coming first, and I will not, I will not, feel responsible for my mother's emotions or fake hurt so that she can get what she wants to make her feel better.
I will not.
I don't want her looking after me when I come out of hospital.
Now is not the time.
And I know it's as much about how embarrassing it will be for her to admit to her sister that I'd rather stay with friends than with her. Coz how will the happy family veneer be kept snow white then?
Am a cynical bitch. But I know what I know.
Today, sitting at lunch wanting to tell her to just stop, just leave him be, I see it all. When I was young and ignored I would join in and agree, it's how you think you'll get her love. If triangulating goes on for long enough you can not only ever have an adult relationship, but you'd even, oh say, give up your daughter to try to make your mother love you.
It's not the only reason I made my decision.
And it was my decision.
But it's in there.
Do you love me now?
For years I've done what my mother wanted and wheedled, never asked outright for. I'm an expert at sussing out, double guessing, yet still feeling I can do nothing right. Why would I ever expect that a man would love me back? My mother didn't. Poor gardener. He has the opposite dance. I'm guessing, smothered. Favourite boy, also responsible for his mother's emotions.
"They fuck you up your mum and dad. Larkin.
Nothing can make a person love you when they can't love. And when it's a parent, we dance that dance with people who remind us of them.
He has my mother's chin, her huffiness, same brown eyes.
If I could win you I could be whole.
It's THAT fucked up.
It's THAT simple.
Big piece of the puzzle of becoming a human being.
Some people won't love you.
Some of them may be your mother.
C'est la vie baby.
After lunch, I say that I'm leaving and my mum gives me a hug talking all the time, always moving. I need to send her to Findhorn so she can learn how to hug properly, silently, just being there, like I learned.
My dad doesn't stand up, he's looking out the periphery of his eye, not sure was the epic hug a one off, are we back to square one? I open my arms and give him a look that says 'get up then' and he does and we epic hug.
It's how we hug now.
He springs into life, "Do you want some carrots and leeks, I've got syboes too?
"Yes please, that's great, I'll make soup tonight.
Doesn't take much to show acceptance and forgiveness in a family that never speaks.
One down, one to go.