Monday, July 19, 2010

The high price of denial.

I had a really strange experience in the past couple of days. I sent a video clip to someone who I thought might relate to the content in the video. This person and I had a relationship once and I have good reason to dislike this person and want nothing to do with them ever in my life. But when I saw the video it was quite emotional and it was sent with kind thoughts and good intention.
The response I got back was not what I expected in fact it was unpleasant to say the least. I was hurt obviously but then I was angry. Are there some people who simply wake up every day of their lives intending to be mean and nasty? Rejecting kindness that is shown to them in any way? This particular person is such an unpleasant person but I happen to know that history and I am forgiving of human frailties.
My session with the therapist today was about this incident and my question to the therapist was, "why do I always do this", and I explained the situation. It was as though he simply ignored my question and went on to ask me several questions about my mother. My relationship with her was complicated, but I have put that to rest a long time ago and in fact miss her a lot since she passed away many years ago. I decided to give the therapist a chance and answered all the questions. Suddenly I had a light bulb moment. I love my mother and have great compassion for her and the very difficult life she had, but the TRUTH is my mother abused me my entire life and I simply would not believe that, as a result I spent my life trying to win her love and acceptance. Until the day she died we just couldn't make the connection, but that didn't stop me trying to please her.
The therapist said, life is strange and we are programmed to fix that part of our psyche that was broken. He said..."Is it possible you have been doing the same thing in all your other relationships, trying to fix things that you perceived were wrong in others, instead of trying to accept that some things can't be fixed and some people can't be changed, and that it is not my 'fault', that things weren't working?" He is right, I am always driven to making things right bending over backwards, turning things over and over in my mind as to what I can do to improve a bad relationship.
I don't have to fix everything, some things just are what they are. It was really strange, because I have never allowed myself to feel angry, I deny all the time that I am angry, but today I sobbed with anger. Anger because no matter what I ever did, I could not make my mother happy. She was sad about life and she didn't do much to change things, she spent many years drowning her sorrows and she discovered they can swim!
This was such an incredible day for me. I have not been able to let go of my mothers ashes in 19 years! But I am ready to do that now. I know this sounds really weird, but I always thought I was hanging onto them because I needed her with me, macabre but true. But I don't think that is all together true, I think I always felt I had to look after her, even in death.... and so... I am planning a memorial service with my children to finally put my mothers ashes to rest.... and a lot of other 'stuff ' that I am ready to let go of too.
Just two months ago in May, I was going to dedicate the whole month to my mother and then I fell ill for the whole month... how strange! Perhaps God was trying to tell me.... let it be.

1 comment:

Susan said...

Caryl, Thank you for sharing your thoughts and emotions, and discoveries. I learned so much from reading your book, and as you continue to openly share your inner self with us, I continue to learn about myself and am blessed by you.

Love, Susan