I am sure that many of you are reading the title of my blog post and disagreeing with me. Please trust me when I say that I have been dealt a really bad hand in parents; I have managed to get four of them in my lifetime, and they're all back stabbers. If you yourself have M.E., you've probably dealt with family members who don't believe you are ill. That's all four of my parents. This however, is not what my gripe is about today. Today's complaint is not relevant to M.E. at all in fact. I do apologise.
I am a web designer. I use the term loosely though, as I am certainly not up to date, and have no qualifications. I love to dabble, and I love to create sites for people.
My mother is an artist. About eight years ago I created for her, a website. I have kept it updated ever since. A few years ago she asked me if I could do a website for her art group too. They have an open day each year, where they open their homes .. or 'studios' .. and the public can go and look at their art work (or case the house to come back and rob it later). From doing the art group website, I picked up two further clients, and made each of them a simple web page.
My mother paid a little towards her hosting the first two years. I didn't mind that she wasn't paying. I enjoy doing it, and feel awkward charging for my work. The two artists from the group pay me £10 an hour, when I remember to charge them. The art group the first year, paid me £5 per artist. My mother kindly increased this to £10 per artist the following years.
Last year though, something strange happened. First of all, the payment went back down to £5 per artist, so the money I received did not cover the cost of the hosting. Normally I would not have minded .. however ... Secondly, they changed the website from being a simple map and list of venues, to becoming a directory of the artists with full contact details, etc. My mother claims it has always been that way. It has not; I would not have to have done all the extra work of adding the information in if it had been! In order to 'prove me wrong' she and my father dug out emails from the first year I did the art group website for them, to find the one in which I suggested payment of £5 per artist. That was the end of the discussion according to them. It was of no concern to them that they left me out of pocket and my nose out of joint. I felt completely used, but saw no point in arguing. I know what they're like after all.
So, a few of months down the line I have moved house. In my new place I cannot get the internet connected. It's complicated, so I'll not go into it. One of the artists asked me to update his website during this period, so I had the sad experience of telling him I was unable to, and him deciding to learn to do it himself. (Every web designers worry; clients finding out how easy web design is).
I'm checking my email, and using the Internet periodically at my boyfriends house. I had a strange email from my Dad saying that they're being harassed about websites. Then I had a text message from him saying the same thing. He wouldn't, and won't elaborate though. The art group website should not need updating for six months. My mother hasn't asked me to update her website for months, if a year. The one artist I've already dealt with, as explained above. So I emailed the other artist, and she's fine; she wants me to maintain her website, and had no idea there were any problems. So, when my Dad emailed again telling me he was taking all four websites off my hands I was somewhat perplexed.
It is strange that he is dealing with this. He has never been involved with the web side of things before at all. This sent my spidey senses tingling, and took my mind back to an incident that happened in November when I visited them with a friend. I had an absolutely fantastic week with her, but never blogged it because of how much my parents upset me. We went to see them for lunch one day, and they laid in to me within minutes of walking in the door, and then my mother did so again later on. She tried to humiliate me in front of one of my best friends, something she has done my entire life, and I stood up to her for the first time ever. I have subsequently been ignored at Christmas and New Year, so my suspicion has been that she has decided to ostracise me from the family, and taking the websites away from me is the last way of "sticking it to me".
At least, that is what I thought until I spoke to my sister this morning. I asked her if I'd spoken to her about the problems with our parents. Apparently I hadn't, which surprised me somewhat. So I then asked her if they had spoken to her about it. I'm glad I asked that rather than launching into a bitching session. It seems they have indeed spoken to her, that I didn't update my mothers website for an exhibition that she was doing.
So, I checked my emails. I've been through my inbox with a fine tooth comb, and through my web folders with equal attention. She has not emailed me about updating the website for the exhibition at all. Suddenly it becomes clear. My mother thought she had asked me to make changes, but had not sent me instructions, or pictures, to do so. She probably got her knickers in a knot about it, bad-mouthing me to my Dad as she so often does, only for him to check the emails and find that she hadn't actually asked me to do anything. This would explain why his email cryptically said that he would not discuss who said what to whom. They already both had their panties in a twist over what happened in November (which is obviously my fault by default), so decided to use it as an excuse to take away my toys.
I am disappointed in my parents behaviour. I don't understand why they couldn't just be straight with me. If it is to do with the exhibition then I really am going to be upset, as I was very excited to see the work my mother was preparing for it, and would have updated the website happily for her. I could have done that before I moved house without a problem! If this has all stemmed from what happened in November, then ... well, I've had enough, to be honest ... a life time of pathetic childish behaviour from the people who are supposed to love and support you is not what anyone needs. Of course, unless I confront them, I am not going to know what the real problem is. And I really do not like confronting people.