Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sometimes I just feel like writing, communicating. Thus I'm here after more than a year away. I'm not into blogging to attract viewers anymore, like a silly popularity contest (which is a hold-over from high school days, I guess).

I'm wondering lately why I don't show my true feelings. I mean even the positive ones. I'm not a positive person by nature. I tend to see what someone has done wrong, or what I've done wrong--I'm just as hard on myself as on anyone else. I am afraid of expressing emotions. Why?

I recently asked my Mom to stop speaking negatively about my Dad and grandparents. I told her I felt she had a bitterness issue. Wow, what an explosion of defensiveness and counterattack that set off. I had no idea. It took me years and years to get up the guts to say something. Why? I wish I'd set those boundaries way back when it started at age 14, and maybe my life would have turned out differently--probably so for the mere fact that I would have asserted myself.

So, why did it take me so long to say something? I would rather suffer than make someone else suffer, so I took the suffering of her negative comments on myself rather than be honest about their inappropriateness and effect on me. Someone told me it was better to live in the truth than the lie, but it doesn't feel like that right now. I was also put in a position of her protector, so I guess it would have been very unnatural to do anything to hurt what you've been charged to defend.

Her reaction has shocked me and left a lot of questions. She is currently refusing to speak to me, saying she "doesn't need the censure." It hurts deeply that she has retreated into defensiveness rather than listen to my hurting heart or taking any responsibility for her actions.

And in addition to the defensiveness, there's been the counterattacks. I did not realize our relationship was on such slippery ground. I always thought she was one of my biggest supporters. Now I'm left reeling and wondering what it's all about. The conclusion I come up with, whether correct or not I don't know, is that by my silence all of these years, she has assumed my complicity in her feelings about my Dad. I do believe that she has purposely set out to damage my relationship with him, and finding that after believing herself successful in that endeavor all of these years, she is shocked and appalled to find out that she's been making a fool of herself.

Or, she's just very deeply deceived. Most likely both. I think she's deceived and confused. I have set the "natural order of things" on its head. I've stepped outside my role. I've called her out on a behavior that she has for so long justified, that she can't handle looking at the truth.

One friend said to me, "no wonder you live in a shell; you're too afraid to come out." Hmmm, hadn't thought of that. Emotions were unsafe in my house; feelings off-limits. We did not talk. No one was interested in talking or knowing each other. My Dad was a selfish alcoholic, my Mom co-dependent on him and too busy with keeping a spotless house to be bothered with kids, and my brother and I just coped in our own ways. (Thank God for grandparents.) We were left on our own, particularly during the formative years of our lives when my parents were divorcing and remarrying and too consumed with their own problems. Emotions scare me. I cannot take much emotionalism for too long, or I have a desperate compulsion to run. This has not served my marriage well. I want to be different, but I fear I'm too deeply conditioned otherwise.

Another friend said, "Yeah for you; you set appropriate boundaries!" Yeah for me? I know she's right, but I don't feel like celebrating. There are lots of great things about my Mom, and I want a relationship with her. Am I willing to continue in a relationship if there is no change or repentance? What do you sacrifice for the sake of family? Where do my boundaries lie permanently? Do I expect her to apologize? Agree with me? What will it take for our relationship to be restored? These are answers I do not have. I do not know what's going on in her mind or heart, but I am praying that the veil of deception and root of bitterness of 30 years is being torn to pieces, and trusting that the Holy Spirit is at work in her life. I am praying that we'll both come out of it healthier; I know I will.

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