Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday

Today is Thursday, right? I've been thinking alot...about relationships.
I've been watching, kinda from a distance emotionally, as my marriage seems to be becoming something other than what it used to be. Getting notes from my husband saying he appreciates me, but then being treated pretty crappy on Mother's Day. Having a meltdown about it.  Then, acting as if none of that happened, yesterday he comes home with a movie and was going to make me dinner (but I'd already eaten). Left me a note today saying he appreciates me more and more each day. So why do I have such a hard time believing it? How long will it be before I do?
People change; I know that. I know I have. And I know there are those in my life who don't see it. But I know I have. My heart is different. I'm at peace, most of the time. I'm more compassionate than I used to be; more patient with others not changing than I used to be. I think somewhere along the line I realized whether others do what they need to do, or choose health or kindness, that doesn't change the mandate on my life. Or free me from the choice of kindness or harshness, acceptance or rejection.
And at the same time, there are people in my life who AREN'T in my life. For good reason. Toxic doesn't begin to describe it. Chris said yesterday, when he was here picking up boxes, that his friend was a really toxic relationship for him. I thought it interesting that he saw that. I think it will be interesting to see what happens with that in the long run...without a doubt, Chris is right. But will he follow through by limiting this guys presence in his life? Time will tell.
Seems like there's been alot of clarity lately in that area; toxic relationships. Sad to see in in the next generation (sounding like a geezer to myself!!) and I wish I had seen it earlier in my life, but I guess I had to get whooped by life a bit to recognize and own that I can walk away.
My two biggest walk-aways have been my mom and sister. They are eerily similar in how they relate to others and the world and it does the same damage with both generations. Why they think attacking/retreating thinking things are better because they aren't screeching/attacking/self-pity because there isn't a relationship/apology/attacking will work, is beyond me. It used to exhaust me; frustrate me; make me a little crazy trying to get them to see.
Then the watershed moments happened and I got it that things were never going to change; and as much as I chose to protect my kids from abuse by not allowing them near my abuser, I choose to protect myself now. I don't know if I'll regret it later, but I know I'm a much more peaceful person without their chaos in my life. I feel sorry for my mom; she really doesn't see what her emotional and verbal abuses do to those around her. She is truly oblivious to the damage that she has done and continues to do to those in her life...all while saying how much she misses us.
My sister, is a different story. She gets vicious. Cruel almost beyond being able to heal from it. Then tells us all how wonderful she is and how the people in her life would tell us how proud they are of her; what a good person she is. All within a verbal attack that sends me reeling. No longer directed at me because I don't give her access to my life; but it's awful to watch. And getting the veiled, smackdown comments that are clearly directed at me but said to others. It's heartbreaking...somewhere along the line I quit being furiously angry about it and now I'm just sad.
What would I do if I had the relationship with my kids they have with theirs? My siblings talk to my mom (those that do) with dread and out of obligation. That is not how God intended it. I don't think either of my nieces talk to my sister. What if my kids cut me out of their life? Would I stubbornly insist I was a good mom? Or would I live in the denial and refusal to even ask the questions necessary to get to the truth?
And on days like this, I see the scar within myself that my family of origin has left...insecurity, wondering if I'm as crazy as they are, as detached from reality as they are. Maybe I'm NOT the person I think I am. Maybe I am toxic too. Maybe. Maybe.
So that's what I've been thinking today...

1 comment:

Denise said...

Ger, it's hard when you have to distance yourself from family members. But it gets easier as time passes, and it is so much better for your self esteem, day to day life, anxiety, and well being of your own family. I'm sure your girlfriends would tell you the same.