First, I want to send out a HUGE message of gratitude to all of you who commented on the passing of "the mother" in my last post. It meant and still means the world to me. I truly value each of you for your insight, compassion, understanding and encouragement.
How did I get so blessed? Sometimes I'm still baffled as to why anyone would care. But you do and I'm very grateful.
If you're an introspective type like I am, the passing of a family member or loved one (or both) can leave you with a lot of sorting to do. In an effort to squash any self-delusion, one must take an honest look at themselves and take responsibility for the actions (or inactions) that may have contributed to the toxicity of the relationship.
I'll always wonder if I should have done more to foster a relationship with the woman that birthed me. I'm certain that I could have, had I ignored my feelings of rejection and accepted unconditionally the aloof role that the mother desired to play in my life.
This is what my sister did. She loved the mother in spite of the chasm that existed between them. She cared. She displayed unconditional love towards the frail woman lying on her deathbed. She was willing to put aside her own desires and decades of pain for the sake of being there for her mother. Pretty dang heroic if you ask me. And what did she get for it? Not a whole lot.
I'm not that kind of person. I'm selfish. I need authenticity. I needed the mother to take initiative and clear the air. I needed understanding as much as I needed to understand. I needed to know why. I needed to open the wounds and clean them out rather than massage the scar tissue.
Is either method right or wrong? I don't know. I'm just hobbling along, doing what seems right to me. But maybe I'm blinded by self-delusion.
Well my friend I have found woulda, shoulda and coulda never helped me with the passing of a family member. I feel that we all do what we can as we are only so far on our paths...the mother had her path as well and her lessons so she is responsible for that her relationships with you and your sister...and your sister has her path...I think you did what you needed after all you have 'rights' in the relationship...I hope you continue to find solace in this difficult time. The passing of a parent regardless of the relationship we had with them is difficult enough. I am still processing my father's passing after 15 years. Not sure it has gotten any easier frankly as the pain still smacks me hard some days. Maybe it the number of days that have lessened. You know I am here if you need anything.ReplyDelete
Dear Grace...I was away from the blog world and missed your post about your mom...very sad indeed. I don't think I can say anything useful. Everyone tries to do the best they can I suppose..be happy that you were not her because no one knows another's circumstances. Be happy that you are you and that you made a different life for you in spite of the conditions you had to endure. I think it is natural to be sad...for the relationships that did not forge, for the hurt, for potentials unfulfilled but I don't think you should feel guilty...my heartfelt condolences.ReplyDelete
sending you lovexx
Grace, I'm a firm believer in our reactions being the direct result of the other half of a "relationship." In other words, if we call ourselves friends, but I never extend myself to call, email or suggest getting together, what will your reaction be? Likely, not warm and fuzzy. And the road runs both ways, as I have to constantly remind my brothers. You see they expect me to keep our relationships going. Their words, not mine: "You are the one who moved away; it's your responsibility."ReplyDelete
Like you I expect more. I need authenticity too, and I need to be made to feel I'm wanted in someone else's life. I need to know why when I was in TN a month ago, they had little or no interest in seeing me. So, we didn't see each other. Enough said.
I hope this helps -- the knowing you're not alone in your feelings -- in having another look at a relationship similar to your own, or lack thereof.
I read all the beautiful comments above, and there is really nothing more of substance that I can add.ReplyDelete
You are in my thoughts - and I applaud your courage and honesty in expressing your feelings. For I believe there is no right or wrong in these situations - only choices.
Take care my friend,
I don't think there's a wrong way or right way. It's the way that works for you. There's no law--including moral laws--that says you have to have a certain kind of relationship with family members.ReplyDelete
I have a brother and sister-in-law who have pushed me aside over and over through the years, and for many years, I came back for more. No more. I finally realized that I didn't have to open up myself to hurt anymore in the name of "family."
I've distanced myself from my mother on purpose. Being around her, even talking on the phone with her, brings up so much hurt and anger, and I don't need that. I don't need to hurt myself any longer to fit some kind of societal expectation. And I think that's what gives some of us so much angst over family relationships--we want to be the so-called "normal" family, we don't want others to think we're bad children, etc.
Interesting Grace...I think we have to consider first and foremost what works for us in family relationships.ReplyDelete
Of course they are going to be based on the past, but there comes a time in ones life, they know doing whats right for themselves is way more important than doing what society or another relative might expect you to do based on their beliefs.
There is no right or wrong. No self-delusion. There is only what you feel and why. It may be different one day, but right now it is what it is.ReplyDelete
Take good care.