Resolution.November 9, 2012 at 10:38 am | Posted in NaBloPoMo, Parenting, Stuck with You (aka: Family) | 9 Comments
The whole issue with my mother boiled down to two points for me.
First, I lived through a time when my aunt Judy and my mother did not talk. They had a huge falling out when my grandmother died in fifth grade. When I was in middle school, or maybe early in high school, they mended their relationship after my grandfather arrested – twice – on the table during a routine angioplasty (he had a heart attack and a triple bypass when he was 45, long before I was born). They brought him back, but it was a scary day for everyone. When my grandfather woke up, he told my mom and aunt that he didn’t want to die before he saw them make up.
The only time my aunt spoke harshly to me, in my whole life, was the day after she and my mom fought. I rode my bike to her house, hoping somehow that *I* could fix something by telling her how much I loved her. She told me that the fight was between she and my mother, and that she loved me, but that I needed to go home.
It was awful for us kids in those years, listening to my mother’s anger at her sister, the uncomfortable silence whenever she ran into her in town (because, yes, we all lived in the same town. Whee!).
I don’t want to do that to my father, my siblings, my niece or nephew, or my aunts and uncles. There is nothing to be gained by it, in my opinion. And not fair to any of them.
Over a phone call. Seriously. Not worth it.
Secondly, Lucky talks about his grandparents with such innocence. And love. He doesn’t KNOW that his Gram was a bad mom to me. And restricting his access to his grandparents because I have a beef with the way I was raised doesn’t seem like the right choice to me. He should have the freedom to develop a relationship with his grandparents as organically as he can (not completely, of course, given our proximity issues).
One of my biggest driving influences in my parenting is fostering openmindedness. I want Lucky to grow up understanding that not everyone is like him, and that’s okay.
Which means I have to LIVE it, too.
The fact is this. My mother hurt me – often and deeply – when I was a child. That hurt is still with me today. I have work to do to come to terms with the hurt my mother – and father – inflicted on me, yes. But I have a good therapist, and I think over time I’ll be able to work through it. And so all I can do is accept that she is who she is, and work through my shit on my own.
And yes, my mother DID call me yesterday. And she opened up the conversation with, I am sorry you’ve had to deal with as much as me in the past couple of weeks.
But I expected it, and I asked her questions about her surgery and healing. And I made her feel important, which made her open up more.
And when she mentioned my D&E again, how sorry she was about it, later on in the conversation, I found I really didn’t want to talk to her about it. I gave her the facts, asked her about her reactions to medications (and yes, I think I’ve figured out that my sickness is related to the narcotics – pain meds – not anesthesia. Seems we share that trait.), but didn’t go into detail, only that we aren’t sure what’s next and we might be done with family building.
It felt awkward, for ME, to talk about our issues. I didn’t want to.
When I got off the phone, I realized I can have a relationship with her. Because I don’t really want her to focus on me, or ask about personal things. It’s probably because she hurt me so badly years ago that I don’t want to be vulnerable around her – fearing she’ll hurt me again.
I can have a relationship with her that’s centered around her grandson and her medical issues, I think. And Charlie and I want to travel more with Lucky anyway, so visiting them in Texas shouldn’t be a huge deal, really.
When I got off the phone, I felt relieved.
Finally, maybe I can put the suck of the last few weeks behind me.