Aug 3, 2012

Mothers and parenting

I did something yesterday that I haven't done for almost a year now.  I called my mother.  We have had a tumultous relationship for many years.  I had alot of anger and resentment towards her.  Was she a great mom?  Not great, but than neither was I.  The best thing about finding peace within is being able to forgive those that are important to you.  We had a very nice conversation and when I hung up I felt like a huge weight was lifted.  Just like my late father, I gave her the absolution that every mother needs.  I told her that my problems were never her fault.  I have come to understand that by my own adult children.  It's classic Freudian thinking to blame the mother for everything wrong in your own adult life. Sometimes not having a great parent gives you some extra stumbling blocks, but as you age you learn.  You take responsibility for the choices you have made.  I was adopted at the age of 4 months old.  I have never been able to find my biological mother or father.  I just know that I was born in Las Vegas, Nevada and my adoption was done in California.  I was always told I was special because I was hand-picked.  When I was 11 my mother was finally able to carry a baby full term and my brother Scott was born.  He constantly had to grow up in my shadow and developed his own issues.  My mom was very blatant for many years about who the favorite was.  That hurt him.  I helped raise him.  I love him.  He is now 33.  We have our own forgiving to do with each other.  When Kenny died and we came back to Baltimore I simply couldn't deal with being Mom's caretaker and psychiatrist.  I had to do me. So Scott stepped in and is now doing what Kenny and I did for her.  They are now finally close. 

I just realized that I would feel horrid if she passed away and I had never picked up the phone.  Some people are wired differently and the love you receive from them is all they are capable of giving.  Once I learned that, things started becoming ok.  People who have mental health issues have so much emotional baggage that they simply don't know how to show love and kindness in the "normal" way.  There is a chart I saw in a parenting class.  Maslow's hierarchy of needs.  The first is to eat, sleep etc.  The next is safety.  Kids need to feel safe. The next one is the need to be loved and belong.  That belonging one is tricky.  If you ask many adults addicts why they started using drugs is because they never felt like they belonged until they met other people who self-medicated.  The self-expectations become lower and the decent starts spiraling.  This is just my opinion. 

Oh well, sorry for going off on a tangent. I just know there is a 60+ woman in Md. who hopefully woke up and feels better today.  I know I do.  Peace!


the walking man said...

Matt 4:20-26 Just because I feel like using scriptures of one religion or another today.

luluberoo said...

Neither Andrew (or my daughter) have ever blamed me. Andrew has told me many times "it's me Ma, not you." I'm grateful for that, I'm grateful I have a good relationship with both of them. Sometimes I have to distance myself from Andrew, but I have never cut off contact. I think he know I'm in it for life. Repairing your relationship with your mother is huge. How wonderful, and it gives both of you a lightness of spirit. You took the initiative to start the process of healing!

Lori, you're writing has gotten better. The more anyone writes the better they get, so stick with it. I think Kenny would be smiling about your blog.

Annette said...

What a beautiful post. I can say from my own experience, it is one of the most important things I have ever done, was to take care of and be open to my own imperfect mama when she was sick and dying. It changed me forever and I think she was at peace when she left this earth. I am so glad you are reaching out to your mom. Only good can come from such an act of kindness.

Tonya Marie said...

Wow, that was a great post. Good for you, calling your mom. I have forgiven my dad, but we don't speak. I think sometimes it is better to just care for someone from a distance. I have wondered how I would feel if he passed away today, and I honestly don't know. e were never close and I was his least favorite. I am happy for you and your mom. It's good to get closure.

Whitemist said...

Forgiveness has great power, in all those who are a part of it. It is never an easy thing, but it is very, very important. It is also a choice - i am glad that you made it.

Lori said...

WM- Scripture is fine. It makes me open my bible which is never a bad thing..xoxo

luluberoo- First, thank you for the writing complement. Just like so many others, I would love to publish a book oneday. Do you think it is true that the bond a mother and son has is unique? I have heard that many times. I don't have daughters to compare. I admire all you have withstood and accomplished re Andrew. Your family has remained intact and that is the most important thing of all..Much love to you Lou!

Annette- Thank you. I think it is wonderful that you were able to be there when your mother needed you most. You sound like a very strong woman. I did feel much better after I hung up. The very next day she called me over my morning coffee and we talked for about an hour. The healing is beginning. God Bless!

Whitemist- You are so right. Forgiveness is very hard. I finally took into account that my mom has some mental health issues, as do I, so some of her odd behavior is and was part of her illness. You seem to be a lover of peace and a drama free life. That is my dream. Be well and stay healthy..xoxo