Monday, October 28, 2013

Striking a Balance - Not Always a Nice Thing

Over the past six months, I've been training in basic shamanism. (Could be the opening line of a joke, but it's not.) I put out an honest wish to figure out who I am, and this opportunity came along, and it's been very enlightening and not all that easy.

Part of the shamanic tradition (specifically Q'ero) makes you look at the parts of yourself that are not so pretty. You get to know the darkness in yourself and the things about you that you'd rather disown. The tradition also teaches to walk in light and love and to heal the world around you by healing yourself. I really struggle with the light and love approach; trying to see the light in everyone isn't easy, and I spent lots of time at the beginning clutching my "resistance" stone and blowing all my resistance to learning into it. I still couldn't see how to let go of my anger. Then, last week when I sat down and wrote mother the letter, it occurred to me that if I had to look at all the things I didn't like about myself and accept them, I couldn't still carry around my mother's burden because IT WASN'T MINE. In order to get to the love and light, I have to drop that burden like the useless shit it is, because it is diseasing me.

The only way I feel I can drop that burden is to directly hand it back to her. Serve it up on a cold plate with a side of brutal. I want to make her hate me for making her see herself through my eyes. I know this isn't nice, and it may not what the shamanic tradition has in mind, but I can't heal myself without unburdening my way. There is a balance to handing responsibility back to her that is bringing me to a place I've never been before. The potential for triumph and regret is mine, all mine. Euphoric or devastating, I'm taking back my power.

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Gasket is Leaking

I took the vicious thoughts out of my head and I put them on paper. I sent them to her. Now I can't pretend it's all alright, which is a relief of sorts. She gets to read my ugly (albeit true) thoughts. No reneging for me, no undoing. I know this won't really change anything, except give her more ammo, but I did this for me to lance the poisonous boil in my chest that wells hot and horrible over any mention of her. Now she gets to see how truly ungrateful I really am for all the things she believes she did well.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Mixed Emotions (What Did I Expect?)

Received a reply in the mail today from Mother. Some of it seemed rather sincere, like "I'm not angry, I'm hurt. Sometimes the truth hurts." peppered with "How did my friends hurt you" and "Of course I've told stuff about you to family. Like it or not they're family, too." Oh, and and adamant denial about her fuck-buddy... "No Way!" I'm confused. She admits what I say is the truth and then either denies it or justifies it. This is worse for me to process than either being lit up or cut out. I'm being manipulated, and I'm still confused. She ended the letter by asking me to come to her sister's surprise party again and promising not to pick a fight with me. I suppose this would be for her to pretend that I've "forgiven" her.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Ha! Found it!

I’m not going to be able to make it on [date I'm not going to]. I’ve enclosed a couple of [youngest DS]’s school pics for you.

I have some things I need to address. When you and [sis] disagree about something, please don’t let me know about it. That’s between you and her.

Earlier this year when we spoke on the phone and I told you I’ve had some anxiety and depression issues, I thought we could open the lines of communication – like a fresh start. It took a lot for me to tell you these things, because I really don’t trust that you won’t tell other people, but I said it anyway. After I say these things, you tell me I can always tell you things. Then you follow up with, “What took you so long to answer the phone?” Really.

I think you are unaware of how much like your mother you sound when you say those things. They sound petulant and passive-aggressive. I know you opened your whole life to your mother and you perceive that she wasn’t that bad. I am not willing to go through the things you went through for your mother’s sake.

I know you want to have your kids in your life. I am unwilling to submit to guilt trips, and I am unwilling to give you sympathy over any falling-out you and any other member of the family have. I know any time we have disagreed over anything (like the time I was angry you visited Dad when I asked you not to), you have dragged other family members into the mix (like Aunt []). I feel you are actively seeking sympathy when you do those things.

I have made myself scarce since May 2012 because I have been trying to decide if I can let go of a lot of personal problems I have with our communications. Since I was a child, I’ve been in the habit of defending you and allowing you to treat me as your best friend, letting you tell me all about the problems you have with people you have surrounded yourself with. From [creepy asshole #1], to [fuck-buddy #1], [creepy asshole #2] and his wife and his brother[fuck buddy #2], the crazy lady who used to live behind you at your old place in [her town] who you thought stole your rings, the crazy lady who you befriended who told you she had thoughts of harming [cousin's] baby and who came to my doorstep looking for you when you were at my house (and that woman’s father, too), the mentally-challenged lady who lives down the street from you who you expect to be on the same page as you. I believe you probably had something to do with [fuck-buddy #1] kidnapping his children, and you are very lucky you were not charged as an accessory. You and Dad chose your friends without regard to the safety and well-being of your own children when we were young. You allowed your mother to say cruel things to and about me, and all you could say was that she didn’t mean to be that way. At what point are people responsible for themselves? You have the right to surround yourself with the people of your choice, but I am not party to that anymore.

Perhaps you will be angry at me for telling the truth as I see it. So be it.

[Luckily, fuck-buddies #3 & #4 didn't play any real part in this chapter.]

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I Knew This All Along

Today I realized something I have stuffed for a lot of years. Back in the day, when I was a teen, we had a neighbor who was going through a divorce who my mother befriended. She believed the sun rose and set on his ass. He ended up trying to illegally abscond with his children. Luckily, he was caught (dramatically, of course) at a rest stop about 2 miles away from the town we lived in. Gunpoint, all that jazz. My mother used to babysit the kids on occasion. I remember trying to tell her that I thought this guy was molesting his daughter because of some of the weird ways she would act, and she completely dismissed me. I also told her this guy gave me the creeps over him eyeballing me when mom sent me down to play with his kids at their backyard pool when I was 14 or 15. It occurred to me today that my mother most likely had something to do with the kidnapping plan, or at the very least had knowledge of it, because he was one of her fuck-buddies while my father was out of town. I was letting my latest angry pustule come to a head, and I was writing her another letter which I thought I probably wouldn't send (just like the other letters) when I let my fingers go and typed whatever. I re-read the letter and was surprised that I put that in there. And I thought about it, and I knew it was the Truth. And I finally got off my fence and put that motherfucking letter in the mailbox.

I'm not sorry.