In the program we make amends when we harm others, but what if the harm you do to someone else is a perception of theirs that does not match your own experience. Do you abandon yourself (again) and try to make right the situation even if you are being dishonest or unloving toward yourself by invalidating your voice or your perspective? It is not a black and white matter.
On my run this morning I was thinking about my mother again. I was thinking about the text we had when she talked about how angry I was as a child and how I never told her what was going on with me to which I replied, “you hated me, it was not a safe place to tell you anything.” She then said, “I didn’t hate you, I hardly knew you.” And I about blew up and smashed my phone. She was the parent, and I was the child (technically still true). Instead, I called my sponsor because I could see I was chasing my tail again with this conversation with her. She made a blanket apology for all her mistakes in my childhood, but nothing heartfelt. I have never been the daughter my mother wanted. I have never been “easy.” I have always been sensitive and needed a lot of affection and she was uncomfortable with my feelings and independence; affection was scarce. I ended up crying on the phone to my sponsor. I felt the deep hurt in my heart well up and spill out of my eyes. I wanted to understand how instead of a revelation and mature conversation, I ended up right back where I was when I was trapped in a house with her spite all over again?
Forgiveness. At what point do you stop asking for it in order to placate or keep someone around? At what point do you just move on? When do I give up on the relationship I wanted (needed)?
For today, I do not have to have the answers. I can just take care of my girls, go for a run, hang out with my husband, and live my life the way I want to. Just for today, I can be the mother I always needed and give extra hugs, kisses and I love yous. Just for today I can wait to decide until it feels 100% right. I have learned that sometimes the right answers take longer than I am comfortable with. I have to develop my relationship with my Higher Power and the others closest to me. I will keep talking to the wind and the trees on my runs and asking the Universe for any kindness along the way.
I know some people will think I should be more evolved by 38. That I should have forgiven her and just moved on the day I moved out. That I am responsible now for how I feel about the relationship and forgiveness. And that all sounds nice. But reality is not so neat. Reality is that childhood trauma comes up again at different phases of our life. Does a child’s desire to have their parent love and accept them ever go away? In this case, I sure hope so. I hope the tears stop flowing for the grief I feel. I hope the tears stop coming when I feel scared and alone and cannot rely on my parent for comfort. There is still a wound that has not fully healed or hardened. There are still lessons to be learned.
The thought came to focus on my Higher Power and the love I have been shown by the Universe and others since I got sober. I reached out to a desert bush and thanked it for being there for me and the tears came. I looked at the mountains and loved their beauty and thanked mother earth for always embracing me. I thought about my sponsor and my friends and I cried even harder. I have never had to beg for love or apologize for who I am to be shown acceptance and love and at the least, respect. I have been held and lifted up. I am validated and supported by those around me and I do the same for them. There are more twists and turns up ahead, but I feel okay today.
For the motherless and fatherless souls out there. You are not alone. You are just as God made you. You are perfectly-imperfect and I want unimaginable love and acceptance for you. I hope we get to come together and be there for each other. I know you are trying. I know you are growing. Today can be a good day even if you can feel the hole in your heart throbbing. We will fill it with all the flowers and sunsets and laughter we can muster. We will keep fighting for love, because I truly believe it wins in the end. See you around the bend. Amen