So I went to Calluna's cousin V's wedding on Sunday. (My mom, upon hearing about this a week or so ago, thought a minute and said, "Oh, they're Jewish, right." It had somehow escaped me that most Christianish weddings are on Saturday.)
She married a nice Jewish guy. (Don't know if he can keep up with her. Hope so.) Very nice wedding, very Newage Jew, honoring and reinterpreting traditions to fit the new social mores. I bet they're Reconstructionist. I should look the rabbi up later.
So we're at the reception, /at which/, may I just note (since the rest of this is bitching), V made care to seat Calluna's mom and Calluna Quite Far Apart. (Calluna doesn't talk to her mom for good and sufficient reasons of abuse and insanity.) Finally, someone learns!
I think the main table had assigned seating, but the subsidiary tables had catch as catch can, so I sat next to Calluna, and also next to Calluna's aunt J's sister T. (Who is I guess officially no relation of Calluna's now that Calluna's uncle and aunt J are both dead, but anyway.) Calluna was sitting next to the niecelets (her brother's daughters), so she got to play with them. I sort of interviewed T. (Which is how I think of the "ask questions and follow the answers" version of company politeness.)
T made a thing about how she is socially inept and not very good with crowds, which I am now wondering was an excuse to get me alone, since she was mostly OK otherwise, but actually, no, she was pretty anxious at various points, so nevermind. Also I hate doubting motives. She's not someone I'd have dinner with voluntarily, but she was nice enough. (Though she did go, "Oh, Calluna's mother isn't sitting with us?" with baffled regret, at the beginning of dinner, which, given later events, /was/ complete fishing bullshit, but I forgive her that.)
Anyway: Calluna went to get food, and T immediately buttonholed me and asked, "Why does Calluna not talk to her mother?"
...I suppose it's good they're only talking to me about it now? (As opposed to
some other times
I can mention.)
Calluna successfully did not talk to her mom at all this time, and while there may have been some times where it was potentially possible, the power of ignoring and /not making eye contact/ is a strong one.
Anyway, I'm determined to give no one anything that they want in this kind of conversation, though I'd love to get some things that /I/ want out on the table, so I did the "It's complicated, and it's hard," non-answer dance, and T continued the greatest hits routine by saying that C's mom doesn't know why C doesn't talk to her. To which I said, "This is not the right time or place to talk about it," because it really isn't. "But I think that if she really thinks about it, she can figure it out." Because, also, yes.
This sentence got repeated a few times with a few minor variations, since T had a dance routine set up, too.
(Side note: Given that I believe Calluna's version of events, there are several different interpretations of why Calluna's mom doesn't get why Calluna cut off contact, ranging from deliberate lying on Calluna's mom's part, to reconstructing reality to suit her needs; I really do think it's that Calluna's mom is just really good at lying to herself and constructing her own reality. Non-insane people do this /all the time/, through the best motives, and if you're insane, as Calluna's mom is, you're even better at it. So it's not that Calluna's mom is trying to pull the wool over people's eyes, it's that she really does believe that she's Very Wronged, by now.)
I also said that this was not the right time to try and force rapprochement, and that this sort of thing had happened at weddings, funerals, and at Calluna's uncle's /death bed/, and T didn't quite hear me (I later learned she's mildly deaf, but at the time I just thought she was being mildly dense on purpose, and I was GOING to make the damn point), and said, "Oh, no, when have people tried to push it?" and I said, "Her niece's funeral. Her uncle's funeral. Her uncle's /death bed/, which was really extremely hard to deal with." And paused, and added, "...And also right now," and she said, "Oh, no, I'm not trying to do that!"
I just kind of looked at her.
At some point during this conversation, she explained that it was hard for her because, (BINGO!!!), she and her daughter are not in contact, either. I asked why, and she said something like, "She says something happened that I know couldn't have, I was there and I saw it," or something very close to that. Otherwise known as, 'She contends she was molested and she can't have been,' if I am any judge of situations, and I /really really am/.
I got a little off-message by the end, and tried to concoct a 'It's hard for me to imagine the lengths I would have to be driven to to cut off contact with my mother,' thing (with the added unspoken blinkenleitzen of, "SO WHY, do you think, would C have had to do it with HER mother?"), but it kind of ran aground on her being deafish and my not quite having organized the thought beforehand. It basically turned into, "I love my mother, and we're in contact, don't worry," thing, instead, which is also a useful message (neither of us are monsters who are just abandoning parents left and right, /say/), but not quite what I had intended out of it.
I'm just... I mean. I get it. But I'm also tired of it. Because C's mom is retired, and doesn't have close family other than C's brother (who is in Thailand most of the time), so she has the time and energy to propagandize her version of things down this branch of the family's throat (or, to quote a friend, "It's the best mantle of victimhood she can don and she WORKS IT like she's on Ru Paul's Drag Race."). But given that, there's no damn chance to even get on the friggin' agenda. So the family narrative is that C is not talking to her mother for no good reason, and if they Care Enough at her, things Will Change. Fft.
OTOH, V clearly does get it. (Or possibly, V just doesn't want drama at her wedding. WHICH, I would add, /has never/ come from our end of things.) Either way, that's at least something.
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