April 5, 2015

Step One with My Mom

What brings me here, to write today, is that I am finally realizing how powerless I am to change the relationship with my mom.  I am also powerless over my feelings of anxiety and insecurity about this.  I thought I was making important changes, by my willingness to "keep coming back" and not giving up on our relationship. 

But these past months,  I have been hearing some old refrains from mom, that I know I put to rest over a decade ago.  First I was told that making contact with my mom's family, in order to have a more complete life, makes me a bad person in her eyes. But wait,  that contact was forged, through my initiative, almost 40 years ago! Later,  I lived, by God's providence, in the same state as my mom's relatives, for nearly a decade.  That made me a real family member. And as God is my witness, I rarely spoke of my mom, or her and my challenges with one another, without seeking to have compassion for her. I always looked for the good. 

By getting to know aunts and uncles, I gained so much hope, actually, and that staying in touch with my mom would help us all heal.  I got to realizing how much my mom and her mom had in common, and that each of them did their best in rearing their children.  Call me Pollyanna. 

Through all of this, my parents (and I) continued to get older.  This this past year, I took the next step of understanding the other side of who I am(my dad's genes and family history), before it was too late.  I, by God's grace, was able to find dad's last surviving siblings. You would think, from the way my mom is handling this, that by doing this, I was seeking to betray her!

I know my intentions were and are good, but in her mind... I am actually trying to "sell" her story. Were she to even see these words, she would probably think they too were something I was promoting to others, rather than something I do, just for me.  (At this point, if I were to handwrite this, I probably would tear it up and throw it away. Mostly because I am concerned that it won't have any redemptive power for myself or anyone else. I am terrifically worried it won't have a happy ending no matter how hard I work at my part.)

Just me, working the part one of my favorite slogan,  "Know yourself, be honest."  The only person I can know truly is me, of course. It is also true that, when I see some of my family patterns, I can better see where I may need to do some retooling or relearning...

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