I phoned my mom & brother on Thanksgiving. My mom & I are still exchanging letters, and my brother & I exchange e-mails. I send my mom flowers on every holiday, and I send gifts to my mom & my brother. Our relationship is feeling more comfortable, less strained. Lately, my mom has started sharing on more personal topics.
I’m happy with the progress I’m making on this goal. After the first of the year, I am going to start phoning my mom each month, and maybe my brother, too.
Yesterday was my mom’s birthday. I sent her a handmade gift, some chocolates, and some flowers, and then I gave her a phone call. It’s probably been 20 years since we’ve spoken.
The call went well. She sounds older than I remember, but very enthusiastic and not at all frail. She called me honey and sweetheart a lot. I love being called these kind of pet names by older women, and my mom never before used such endearments with me. We talked for about 30 minutes, about her day, my job, our dogs, etc. I gave her my phone numbers so that she can call me.
It was good to overcome this fear. It is interesting to see how my mom is now that my dad is out of the picture. It’s also a little unnerving to observe the extent of her denial about my dad.
I sometimes paint tiny and intricate scenes on useful items, such as bottles or cups, and give them to people as gifts. When I do this, I paint things that are meaningful to the recipient. I’ve been working on painting a lidded canister for my mom. The scene that I’m painting includes a tiny woman, meant to be my mom, walking a tiny beagle with Camelback Mountain, Praying Monk included, in the background. It also features lots of saguaros, barrel cacti, prickly pears, palos verdes trees, and rocks. I’m enjoying making this gift. It calls me back to my love for the Sonora Desert. I think my mom will like it, too. I need to finish this up over the weekend so I can get it in the mail.
I also will send her some more gourmet dark chocolate squares. She liked the last ones that I sent, and it supports her health goal of eating a little chocolate every day. If I don’t send her dark chocolate, she just eats the milk chocolate that is easily available, and as far as I know, that doesn’t really have any health value. And I’ll send flowers, because I send her flowers on every occasion.
I’m trying to work up the nerve to give her a phone call. She actually hasn’t extended her phone number to me or invited me to call, which makes it more difficult. When I got in touch with my brother, he immediately gave me all of his phone numbers and made a point of letting me know that he would love to hear from me without making me feel pressured. So, I’m not sure if I’ll follow through with a phone call, but it seems like the next logical step.
My brother called me tonight to wish me a happy birthday, and we had a very nice conversation. I definitely felt more comfortable and more natural. I also got a nice birthday card from my mom today, and I wrote her an overdue letter. It’s been a year since I reached out to my mom, and things continue to go well.
My brother returned my call last night. I was asleep when he called, so it took a few minutes for me to get my wits about me.
Talking on the phone was more awkward than writing a letter, but it was good. My brother is a talker, but he also included me in the conversation. He’s just back from a week’s vacation, where he fell & hurt himself rather badly. He’s going to see an orthopedic surgeon today, so I am going to e-mail him tomorrow & see how things went.
Well, I overcame my phone fear and gave my brother a phone call last night. I just got the answering machine though. Well, at least I tried!
I have set myself the goal of phoning my brother this week.
This may not be a big deal to some, but I have a fairly strong phone phobia. Also, my brother was physically abusive to me growing up, and I’m not talking about common sibling squabbles. Even though I know he’s changed, there’s still a lingering element of fear.
He has really changed, it seems, and he’s said all the right things, telling me that he understands my phone phobia & won’t intrude, that we don’t have to talk long, and that he’d just love to hear my voice. I’ve discussed this with my therapist and with Mr. Wren. I’m going to make a list of things to talk about in case I freeze, and maybe I’ll write out some opening lines, too.
I want to make sure that I don’t fall into a familiar pattern, where I am the listener and don’t share much about myself. The reason for this is that I think no one would be interested in my life; my therapist has pointed out that this is a mean way of thinking about myself. Anyway, I want to push myself so that this doesn’t happen again. It might not happen anyway, because my brother seems as if he’s not self-absorbed and therefore may have the sensitivity to draw me into the conversation. We’ll have to see about that. Anyway, Mr. Wren told me that for the first phone call, I should cut myself some slack and handle it in whatever way is easiest.
Yesterday I signed up to be a FTD Gold Member. For a flat yearly fee that is equal to about two delivery charges, you get unlimited free deliveries for a year. I probably would’ve kept up with sending my mom flowers for all occasions anyway, but it’s nice to save a little money while I’m at it. She really seems to enjoy the flowers.
This weekend I will write a letter to my brother. I’m still working up to giving him a phone call. Phone calling is not my favorite thing, but my brother has a demanding job, and phone calls might be an easier way for him to stay in touch than letters.
It’s been six months since I sent that first letter to my mom, and things are progressing very nicely. I got nice letters from my mom and my brother this week. I no longer feel fearful when I see one of their letters in the mailbox.
I need to write back to my mom this weekend, and next weekend I will write back to my brother. I’ve already placed an order for some flowers to be delivered to my mom on Easter. She really enjoys getting flowers.
I want to take the next step of giving my brother a phone call. I’m not a big fan of talking on the phone, but I think it would be nice. He has a demanding job, and I think phone calls would be an easier way of staying in touch.
Mr. Wren is also promoting a move to Flagstaff. He thinks this renewed relationship with my mom and brother is important enough that it would be good for us to be closer. We are looking for suitable work that would support such a move. I imagine it will take a while to find it, but were taking the steps.
My brother and I exchanged some more e-mails today. He is a great writer of letters, very descriptive, funny and entertaining. He mentioned that they are going to the Canadian Rockies next year & he might be able to get a stop over in my neck of the woods. I am so incredibly happy to have a brother who I like to exchange e-mails with. It brightens my work day no end.
As a bonus, my high school best friend wrote back to me in a timely manner. Just a nice chatty e-mail. She is moving in the next few months and mentioned that we will be closer to each other, so maybe we can get together.
More joy! :)