I thought it might be nice to have some low key time with them. Also, I thought I could help out with the care of my great-aunt, who's having surgery, so I coordinated my visit to coincide with that little trip to the hospital. Though these reasons still stand (I adore my great-aunt and one never knows how much time one has left with one's parents), I've grown increasingly alarmed by the recent tenor of my mother's phone conversations. Given the narcissists with whom she was raised, she turned out freaking awesome. But she's still emotionally stunted in so many ways and often turns to me to parent her. For instance, she'll call me to tell me how stressed she is about work and life and such without so much as inquiring about my life. And that would be cool, on occasion, except that we don't have that kind of rapport; I never call her for anything - just the obligatory "check-in." Our interactions are never mutual, and I just end up feeling really, really used. And if I make the mistake of mentioning something of authentic interest to me, she doesn't respond - like really. She either changes the subject or I listen to an uncomfortable silence on the phone, a silence that turns my stomach because it's synonymous with her disdain and disapproval. Precisely because she doesn't value it and couldn't imagine anyone else finding value in it either.