I’ve been visiting with my mother for a couple of days now and other than the rampant allergy attacks from the cigarette smoke (which she has finally admitted exist), things have been better than anticipated. Not too oddly, I find that her smoke is more toxic to me than my cousin Anna’s. Think there might be something there? Nah…
We’ve managed to be social and cordial and even almost family-like. She was thrilled to see me when I arrived. And it seems like it’s a good thing we’re getting along so well since my stay for Tuesday night seems to be dropping out on me, so I may have to stay another day.
Been watching what irks me in her. Mostly her sense of persecution from the neighbors. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure they are doing all the stuff she says, but she is buying into it and that fuels the flames more than anything energetically. I’m looking at how that mirrors my life.
If you’ve read my stuff on my surprise that people would be happy to see me, then you’ve already seen the mirror here. “Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, think I’ll eat some worms…” There’s also that need for drama. Buying into someone else’s drama always means that you’re looking for it; otherwise, it wouldn’t bother you. And since drama=distraction, it’s a matter of looking for what you’re avoiding with it. I’ve bought into a drama or two recently. Only in certain areas though, so I’m really looking at those areas for what I’m avoiding. I think I’ve already been dealing with it, and dealing well, if the response from the other parties involved is any indicator.
So, the only thing left is Mom’s addictive behavior, which doesn’t seem to really bother me these days. It used to be a real thorn in my side. Now, it’s just part of who she is, so perhaps I’ve walked past those issues somewhere along the line.
Ah, I forgot, there is one more thing. The emotional vacancy. Mom’s never been very in touch with her emotions, which of course, denied them to me, the empath. That was a tough one in childhood, but I’m doing OK with it now. I think having Daniel (Lowell) around to teach me about honest emotional connection recently has helped immensely.
I have fallen right back into the fixer role here though. I walk in and suddenly there’s lots of projects for me to do for her. But in some ways, that’s a natural role for a child to fill as a parent gets older. I just have more baggage attached to it since it was the role I played as a child as well. The wonders of growing up with an alcoholic parent. Anyway, it’s not too bad and I’m keeping my limits firmly in mind. I’m avoiding discussing things that might be controversial (gee, mom, if you’re worried about cash perhaps giving up your smoking and drinking habit would glean you a few hundred extra dollars a month) in the hopes of keeping the visit pleasant. I just have to keep reminding myself that it is her life, not mine. And no matter how many times she tried to hand over responsibility for that life to me over the last 33 years, I don’t have to take it. I don’t have to fix her, or make her better. I don’t have to point out the obvious because she is a smart lady and if she wanted to see it, she would. Let go. Know that all is as it should be. Yep, that’s the mantra for the next few days. Wish me luck.
* This is part of an ongoing series of posts detailing what happened on a spiritual pilgrimage that I took in 2002. To start from the beginning, go to July 2, 2013. To see the entire spiritual journey as it gets published, click on the category “You Want Me To Do WHAT?!!?” to see all of the posts.