Bank Statement Hissy Fit
Last week, mom, in her best penned huffy tones, asked for statements from her mainland bank. She exclaimed she didn’t remember the last time she’d seen a statement for the account (I handed her Spring statements in June), then moved on to not knowing what the utility expenses were for the mainland house (I tell her every time she asks), and that she needs to use her retirement funds (I’ve spelled out for her in simple and exacting detail how she has been using her retirement funds in 2016). I ended my measured reply saying I’d send the last couple of statements as soon as the mid-July statement arrived.
Last night at 10:05PM I received a hostile email from mom stating that ‘if it was too troublesome, or I didn’t want her to see the mainland bank statements, she would call the bank and have the statements re-routed to her Island home.’ This was the topper to an evening of entertaining a lovely batch of family, during which I took a call from my former mother-in-law, which clearly told me she was having her own memory issues on several levels, including that she hadn’t heard from anyone in such a long time. We’d spoken just last week. I, for reasons that do not need dissecting on this Blog, deal with social anxiety when certain people are on our guest list. Usually, as it was last night, my worry is not borne out, but the anxiety is a real thing, and by 6PM yesterday I was tightly wound. While the evening went well, mom’s 10:05PM email was an ascorbic frosting on a mis-spiced piece of cake.
I called mom 15 minutes after she wrote her note. She said it seemed like I didn’t want to send her the bank statements. This was very surprising given what I’d written to her. I asked her if she’d received my email. She said her computer was turned off, but would check it in the morning. I asked her if someone was asking her questions about her financial life, and she said no, and asked, “Why?” I said, “Mom, you are financially vulnerable…” (reminded her about being take for $2250.00 by the crook who said they’d fix the damage on her car),” and said I was worried that she was suddenly concerned about paper statements for an account that she’s always a) been OK to simply ask me about in the past, and b) and that she was suddenly so hostile/angry about what seemed like communication mis-understanding regarding the whole subject.
I ended my evening by forwarding the email in question to mom again, with a preamble stating/explaining that I try to address every point she brings up (then went through the email itself), and asked her to let me know if there were any shortcomings in my writing, anything that she didn’t understand… Help me communicate better, Editor!!
This evening I called her to chat about the ’email.’ She said she hadn’t checked email today (a first!), and that she was about to have dinner. Could she call me back? Of course! I called her 45 minutes later.
The postmortem on this is that she:
1) Was using compensatory skills when I called her the first time this evening, because she forgot the content of my email from last night, and was buying time to recheck her mail and thereby refresh her memory. She ALWAYS checks email, multiple times a day.
2) Forgot to call me back.
3) Most importantly… Isn’t reading, or remembering, the entire contents of my communications to her. If she was, she wouldn’t have sent the hostile email last night.