Friday, December 10, 2010

Letting Go...

December 10: Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you've made this year, and how did it play out? (author: Susannah Conway)

I only get to see my mother once a year. Her convent is very generous and gives her two weeks of vacation, and she usually comes up the last week of July/first week of August. Up until a few years ago, she would spend one week with me, and the other week with one of my brothers. A few years ago, in 2008, we had a HUGE falling out. I mean huge. It wasn't over any one thing really, it was a gradual build up of a lot of little things that just keep building and building. Looking back, I relate myself to a pressure cooker. Over time, years actually, all of these little things just kept making me angry, and instead of dealing with them and discussing them (past experience had taught me that would go nowhere), they built up inside until the lid blew off. What an explosion it was. Things were said, feelings were hurt, and I ended up telling me she couldn't stay here next time she came to visit.

We didn't talk for months after she left. My brothers talked to her, and would tell me how she was doing if I asked. My brother S, the one she stays with, would ask if I really wasn't going to let her stay with me (I wasn't), and no one really understood my position on all of this. It seems that my mom's version of why I was upset, was created in her mind to make sense of it all, and she was sharing with anyone who would ask. This just made me more pissed off, and so we continued on like this.

We may have talked a few times, briefly, and curtly. I didn't offer up much, and she tried as much as she was willing to, as her feelings were hurt. Summer came and she went to S's house. I visited a few times, and she came here for Ms. Thang's birthday. During early 2010 our relationship continued to be strained. I was tired of being the bigger person, and didn't feel like I had to make things right, as I wasn't the one who initiated the period of no talking, or the  "cold shoulder" effect. Before her visit this year, I had a discussion with my dad about her. Now my dad and I don't have a great relationship, that's not a hidden fact. He asked how she was, and I told him I didn't really know, and having heard about the whole to-do, he said to me, "Sometimes, even if you don't want to, you have to step up and do the right thing, because otherwise it's never going to fix itself."  When she came for her visit, around the middle of June, I only got to see her once. She came for one of my brother's graduations from college, and it was at the end of our school year and things were nuts. I realized when just seeing her made me feel annoyed, that I wasn't ready to be the bigger person yet.

It happened sometime over the summer. I realized that if we were going to move on, I had to get over being mad at her. I had to put behind me, no matter how I felt about doing it, all the hurt and frustration and anger, because at the end of the day, she didn't understand why I was upset anyhow, so we didn't gain anything from the whole situation.  I wouldn't say that our relationship is healed, or that we are back to where we were once (long before any of this), but it's a start.

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