April 14, 2011

The Nature of a True Inventory is the Whole Truth

Something I shared last year caught my attention. It is still relevant today. For just last night I took a phone call from my mom, in which I was called name other than my given name, the name that rhymes with "witch."  I think she flung the name my way, just before my she hung up, because I would not answer a question, without knowing the reason for it.  I was called a name because I insisted on full autonomy. The right to share as I see fit. 

But I've been called other names, that were far more specific and painful. Experience showed me the mistruth of those sing-song word, "Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me."  

For most of my adult years, I felt sensitivity about an identity I was given in childhood, when my mother repeatedly called me a leech.   I shared this finally  with a trusted friend (who had just finished raising two teenagers herself). I heard the pain in her voice, when I shared my story.  She had a different perspective and called it "puberty."  She  saw her girls as having gone through a phase, as caterpillars.   A caterpillar eats all the green shoots, and leaves to become a butterfly,   I too left when I was ready for metamorphosis,  the year I turned eighteen. 

But my mom sees that as abandonment, and can only hurt me with her words.
She still clings to odd notions about my nature and her prize description, "leech," still comes up from time to time. 

Not long ago, I took time to clean my office and found an old draft of a letter that I sent my mom. It stunned me to realize my mom still has this idea of me, even as recent as last year, as evidenced by the focus of my letter. Through my own letter, I was trying to put that "leech" concept aside once and for all, and help us both be more honest.

In it I tell my mom this, "As you can imagine, I don't like being called a leech. It is incorrect speech. I was a person being raised by you who had needs and wanted help in getting those needs met."  As I am already hard on myself, I am very grateful to see my own words in writing today and they are good enough for me (even if I never did send the letter).

Today I realize that I can only be honest with myself, and expect NO change in attitude from my mom, even when I speak my truth with love.

I realize I have struggled with words used against me, taking them very seriously, for too long a time. I am grateful to be able to identify the distortion in the inventory my mom has done. Today  I find it easier not to fight with her about what should be MY inventory.      

May we all heal.

“All right, every day ain't going to be the best day of your life, don't worry about that. If you stick to it you hold the possibility open that you will have better days.” Wendall Berry

No comments:

Post a Comment

I welcome your thoughts. Keep me honest~