Thursday, Friday and Saturday were awful. I spent a total of about 6 hours on the phone with my mother, and it was just awful. I have never felt so angry, frustrated, hurt and betrayed as I did during those calls. I won't go into details, as they remain the same as earlier, although there was an element especially on Saturday night that included an indictment of my relationship with Significant Other in its entireity and of his religious practice as well.
However, after many more than six hours of deliberation and quiet conversation with Significant Other, there is the resemblence of a plan forming. Last night, I spoke in a civil and collected manner to my father about the issues involved, the first time I'd spoken to him since Wednesday. He gave little clue of what he thought (although I did know some things from my mother, when we weren't yelling) but I really felt that those 45 minutes were entirely more valuable than a lot of the 6 hours had been.
This is partially because my father and I speak a language more closely related. We all speak English, but our ways of expressing ourselves work together much more smoothly. His life experience has also been very different from my mothers, which I think makes a difference. I think the best part of the conversation with him was that it allowed me to actually think about the discussion rather than just react to an accusation (or many accusations). I think things will be at least more civil now, even if we don't reach an agreement.
I just got off the phone with my mother. It was cordial, and only about ten minutes long. She decided to call the Hillel Director, and the Federation Director (who happens to be my Significant Other's mother) to ask about the program (good first steps) and had called to ask several things. First, the number of the lady I spoke to at Pardes, since she had some very specific questions that she needed to ask, and secondly to get my permission to talk to some other (Reform) Rabbis that she knows. She's making an effort to make sure that she knows exactly what's going on, which really helps me feel as though she's at least taking my request seriously.
The plan for right now looks something like this: Significant Other and I go to my home tomorrow to talk in person with my parents (about an hour each way), to try to clear up some of the issues. Then, we continue to try to mend fences, while also trying to convince them that this is a good, sound opportunity for me.
At the very least, I don't think it'll be the total catastrophe that I predicted before. I think there may be room here to work things out so that I can go if not with their blessing, at least with their understanding. Nothing is certain here, and there are some surprises that could be looming, but we'll see...