Amanda in Anderson writes:
My divorce will be final in a couple weeks. It was my choice as I have not been in love for years and years. My husband is moving to the Virgin Islands with his girlfriend, leaving me to sell the house, raise our boys and take care of numerous animals. Do you see my house selling anytime soon? That would be a tremendous load off my shoulders if I knew when to expect it to sell, and not get disappointed every time somebody looks, but isn’t interested. I want to buy another house, but with my work, I’m not sure if it’s possible.
I’m finishing up with Nail Technician school next week. Do you see me making a decent living with this career choice, or should I consider this to be more of an extra part time job. My parents are really upsetting me as well. I went to see them a couple weeks ago. They live in Michigan and I live in South Carolina. My mom and I got in a tiff the night before I left. She’s very critical of everybody, and it’s her way or it’s the wrong way. She sent me an email a couple days after I got home. Not a very nice one. I didn’t write anything back, though I wanted to give her a piece of my mind. I was told to ignore the letter she sent, so I did. I called her a couple days later (when my anger had subsided). Nobody was home, so I left a message.
Tonight I got home from school and low and behold another letter from my mom. She tells me everything I’ve done in the past and what I am currently doing wrong. I’m tired of her pointing out every parental error I’ve made with my boys, personal jabs and everything else I seem to be doing wrong. She thinks Nail Tech school was a mistake, and that I should have gone into nursing. Though she can’t understand that I don’t have four years to spare. I need to make money! All of her negativity is just getting me down. When is it going to end? It hurts, as out of five kids, I’m the only one who calls on a regular basis. We’ve been very close in the past, but lately her pettiness is really getting to me. Could you shed some light on my life, or at least let me know what I’m in store for?
Good news! By the time you read this, I believe you will have made contact with your buyer. It looks as if you are free of your house and that particular responsibility in a matter of weeks, but I’m going to cover my butt and say by the end of August, at the latest.
As with any new endeavor, it will take time for you to build your clientele as a nail tech, but you will find your niche and develop a following. I see you working in a place that is nails-only, rather than a spa or salon, and eventually having private clientele on the side.
When it comes to your life, you seem to be doing just fine, and the future will be even better. Your mom may be opinionated, critical, and quite overbearing at times – but that shouldn’t diminish any of your personal triumphs or accomplishments. Just because she may not agree with your decisions and choices doesn’t make them wrong, and you need to learn how to be okay with that philosophy.
Your mom does love you, and she wants the best for you, but she really isn’t a happy woman. She’s a glass half-empty kind of energy, and sadly, doesn’t realize it. Sometimes the only way you can gain the respect and much desired approval of people with this particular outlook is to simply quit actively seeking their respect and approval.
Your mother’s heart really is in the right place, but her head doesn’t understand the realities of your life, or the challenges you face at this time. Tact and diplomacy are certainly not my strongest points – but you have the capability of nicely pointing out to mom that she gave you this life, she didn’t lend it to you. While it would be nice to have her praise and support, you will continue to do just fine without it. Even though you love and respect her, the day will come when you will put her in her place, and bring an end to some of her more harsh opinions. She doesn’t know how badly she is hurting you, because she isn’t listening to what you have to say.
It’s going to take time, and there are more bumps in the road for the two of you, but your relationship will improve and so will the communications you share. Underneath all the criticism, she really is proud of you, and a bit envious of you for having the guts to pave your own way in this world. Hold your ground and your head up high, and your mother will start talking to you rather than picking at you once again. Remind her that was she who raised you to do right and to take care of yourself, which is exactly what you are doing.