I love my mother, but she’s difficult to be around and talk to sometimes. Even when she smiles, she’s not actually smiling. She wears the pain and regret on the outside now, it is evident, especially to me. My heart wants to hug her, tell her to let it go, but my brain wants to tell her how much she’s hurt me and hold onto it with both hands. I’ll likely do neither, not with any true intention. I do fall somewhere in between, accepting that she’ll probably never change and not allowing any bitter feelings I have to govern my life. I’ve let that go. It is what it is, a form of forgiveness, acceptance.
Since this all began for us, I’ve pulled away from my family quite a bit. My mom and my sisters always have some sort of drama going on between them. I needed to separate myself from the craziness for a while, devote my attention to my own family. I’d been pulling away a bit since summer, not getting involved in their drama or giving advice, encouraging them to fix things on their own. I’d realized just how negative getting involved was for me. I was taking on their problems and that was no good, especially when I was well on my way to making some lasting, positive changes in my life.
Interestingly enough, I was working on a post about my family when I decided to call my mom yesterday. We hadn’t spoken in a bit. Often times, I get frustrated on the phone with her because she talks over me, tries to finish my sentences and misunderstands much of what I say because she hasn’t heard me. Yesterday, she was pretty mellow. We talked about my girls for a bit, which led to how I worry about my eldest daughter being so anxious, a perfectionist. This led to me telling her how I feel I contributed to this with my own perfectionist behavior. She was so receptive, listened, and seemed interested, so I just kept going. I told her everything about me, about how I felt like I was a perfectionist, I internalized everything, put on a facade of control, shut people out (especially my husband), and was unable to lean on others or ask for help. I told her about my process of soul-searching, how I decided to change, put it into practice and what that looks like with my husband. Without terms or labels, I basically told her everything about our new lifestyle (I did not mention anything about what we do in the bedroom). I even told her she’d notice I wasn’t the one in control around here anymore and I don’t even want it. She floored me. She was so appreciative of my sharing and so happy that I’d discovered how to be happy and was trying to live it. She didn’t have anything negative to say. It was the first time in a very long time I felt like she actually heard me. It felt pretty good.
I don’t know if anything I said will help in her own life, but I know it made her happy to know I’m happy. I guess that’s all any mother wants.