November 18, 2011

a lightbulb moment

My brother came for a visit 2 1/2 years ago. We spent some time catching up on what was going on in our lives and a lot of time reminiscing over the past.

One thing I noticed about my brother was the fact that he spoke quite fondly of our mother. He had loved her dearly and misses her deeply. I don't feel that way. I miss the idea of a mother, but I don't miss my mother.

As a matter of fact, after spending 2 days with me my brother told me he thought maybe I have some unresolved issues with my mom and I should spend some time working through them.

Well guess what? After approximately 910 days I have finally figured it out. (I'm fast like that.)
I have finally figured out why my heart still longs for even a peak at my dad's face, but I still feel relief when I think about the fact that my relationship with my mom is over.

I know both of my parents loved me and something tells me it should be mom that I miss. She was the one who raised me; she provided a home, and food, laughter and practical advice.

On the other hand, my dad was pretty much out of the picture when they decided to divorce. He re-married, had 3 more sons, and lived a busy life with his new family.

So, why don't I miss my mom and why do I still struggle with feelings of bitterness toward her? Why were there times I didn't even like her? She was funny and generous, creative and practical. Why do I simply feel relief when I think of her? I have pondered that question for more than 910 actually. I've been thinking about this for over ten years.

Then finally, finally it hit me yesterday. I finally figured it out. My mom provided for my physical needs, and yes, even some of my emotional needs, but she also attacked my essence. I never really felt unconditionally loved or understood or accepted. There was always something about me she didn't like and thought I should change.

Dad on the other hand, just wasn't there. He was busy with his new family and his new life. But, when we did talk on the phone or we were together, I felt completely loved, accepted and missed...I knew he liked me and enjoyed my company.

I really should've been able to sort through this years ago. I've worked hard as a mother not to be like my mother. You'd think I would've been able to put two and two together; I guess denial is a powerful defense mechanism. Who wants to admit their mother didn't like them?

OK, so, now that I've figured that one out, I know what's next. I need to forgive and let go....

I'm not sure why I'm sharing this with you. I guess this blog is my cyber-journal and that's what's been going on in my head and in my heart....

I do know parenting is a tight-rope act. It's a parent's responsibility to help train a child's character; to point out his weak spots and help him see where there is room for improvement.
However, it's also a parent's job to stand behind a child; to let that child know he is loved and accepted no. matter. what.

I'm not sure what else to say. Maybe I should've called this one, "A Ramble Through My Heart". I guess I'll leave this as is and let you take from it what you will...

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