On the rare occasion that I wish to tweet something anonymously, I do so from my dancingthruDC handle. It's not a venue where I expect much dialogue (I have only a few hundred followers), but sometimes it feels good just to put the words out into the world--and quickly.
I tweeted, "Martyrdom is just another form of narcissism."
I was hoarse from yelling. I'd just gotten off the phone with my mother who was angry with me that I'd sent her a check for several hundred dollars, money I owed her for various things but that she hadn't asked for. Just last week my mom's boss told her that he couldn't afford to keep her there full-time and that she would need to find a new job.
This was an incredibly unexpected blow to her, not just financially but to her self-esteem. My mom began working with her boss right when he opened his company and in many ways was his partner in building it. A few years ago, she felt that he didn't appreciate her, and she actually left to take another job. But only a few months later, he begged her to come back because his business was suffering. She was the glue that held it together, mostly because she keeps his clients happy and calm. (They do tax work, so this is particularly important.)
Now here she is, nearly sixty years old and without many prospects for what to do next. I know she's scared as hell, and embarrassed to be facing this situation. But she's rejecting any sort of help that our family is offering her.
My brothers and I actually got on a conference call to discuss that we 1) want her to be happy and 2) want her to be taken care of financially, no matter what happens with her ability to find a new job. Thankfully all of us are in good financial shape, and are in a position to step up and help her out for as long as she needs it. But, she's pushing away all our attempts to be helpful and supportive. When I call her, she says, "I'm ok, don't worry, I'll be fine."
This kind of martyr talk really irritates the shit out of me. No, she is not ok. No she is not fine. And yes, I will worry about her.
I'm not sure what to do next. Part of me wants to throw my hands up and say, "not my problem." Her continual rejections of our help are hurtful, and frankly I'm tired of her pretending to be fine. I guess we just have to keep pushing her to accept that her pride is getting in the way of her own happiness. But I can't force her to learn that.