Hello Captain Awkward team!
Since I started college, my mother has been driving me crazy regarding calls home. Specifically, the frequency of my calls home. I am introverted and don’t express attachment and affection openly. In the beginning of college, if I didn’t call every single day to reassure her I was not dead in a ditch somewhere, she’d go crazy. If I don’t pick up the phone when she calls within the 3rd ring, she thinks I’m ignoring her. She once even called campus police to report me as missing, all because I took a prolonged sleep to recover from an allnighter and didn’t think it was that big of a deal to call her! She’s gotten a lot better now but calls every 2 to 3 days is still very demanding for me, especially during midterms when I barely even have time to eat.
If I don’t call her for a week, she’ll get angry and then refuse to pick up her phone when I do call. So then, I don’t bother to call her (it’s immature behavior in my opinion) until she caves in and calls me, all upset because “You don’t love me anymore and don’t call me!” Gee I wonder why. I told her to get texting (she doesn’t have it) or check her email since I like reading over talking but she says those mediums aren’t good because “They aren’t as human as talking on the phone. Also, if you were kidnapped, texts and emailed could be falsified by your kidnappers so I won’t call the police in time to save you!”
I’d rather be able to call her once a week, which is more reasonable for my schedule. She, however, sees this as me not appreciating and loving her anymore. She has a great fear of being a failure as a mother (I’m the eldest child) since she had a horrible relationship with her own mother. I’ve tried to reason with her but she just complains and whines about how I don’t love her enough to take the effort to call her. Her solutions are also ridiculous; she suggested I call her every time I use the bathroom, which is gross to me and a bad idea for a klutz who has dropped phones into the toilet multiple times.
It doesn’t help very much that I hardly see her since my school is far away. She also doesn’t understand I don’t run in crowds that would likely get me kidnapped. Since I am currently going through a bout of being ignored, do you have any suggestions for improving the situation once she gives in and calls me?
Hello, Tired Introvert:
First, being introverted and “preferring not to express attachment and affection openly” are two different things.