“….The pain I feel in reflecting on this time is for my mother.
Nobody once asked:
What hurts so bad that you want to escape?…. What would it take for you to feel safe?
to be continued… – excerpt from closing part one.
Maybe a little compassion and grace could have changed my mother’s life. Instead, she was managed with anger and judgment, and she returned it equally. She spat at my stepdad on a regular basis. Reminding him, he wasn’t the father of us kids, and he had no rights to discipline or otherwise. Telling him, he was less of a man and reminding him that he wasn’t her first choice. Why he stayed? I’ll never know. Maybe because when they were growing up he had a crush on her and he had finally owned the prize. I don’t think it was love because love doesn’t inflict pain on purpose trying to cut deeply leaving innumerable scars. Perhaps he felt some sense of responsibility to care for all of us? That doesn’t make sense either. Because he often abandoned us for weeks or months at a time. They were different times. Maybe he was just as injured and didn’t want to be in his lonely world by himself? As they say, “hurt people, hurt people.”
When I start working with a new client, she often responds like a deer caught in the headlights of a fast approaching car when I ask, “what do you want?”
What do you mean what do I want? I have everything I could ask for. I couldn’t ask for more.
Did you pick up on what just happened there? I didn’t ask for what she deserved or what she should want. I asked what she wanted.
Why do you suppose that we stop even asking ourselves what we want? Because there’s some part of us that thinks:
I made my bed; I should lie in it? This is as good as it gets? I can handle what I got I better not rock the boat?
Many of us are such “practicing positive thinkers” that we have trained ourselves to look at the bright side even though we are wholly unfulfilled and need to prick ourselves with an emotional pin now and then just to feel something.
Is this you?
Did you just swallow hard?
Are tears streaming down your cheeks?
Regardless if this is an “oh, gawd, you know.” Or a meh… it’s worth thinking about.
Do you have aspiration, ambitions, goals, dreams, plans to really express yourself in this one magnificent life of yours?
Did that catch your breath? Another meh?
Either of these reactions is a call for you to go deeper. Find that spark.
When was the last time you couldn’t help but smile at the possibility of a new something? A new lover, book, hike, venture, friendship, anything that gave you a fresh perspective; a new sense of hope, a connection to self.
If you can’t remember it’s been too long. Start doodling some dreams and then move in their direction.
About my Mom… I truly love and adore her. She wasn’t perfect, but I believe she did the best she knew how. She stopped drinking in 2007 without any intervention of any kind. She simply stopped. She was done. Mom had to live with and dependent on others until 2003 that’s when she finally had a home she could call her own. She was responsible for her own care for the first time in her life. It took her a few years, but when she realized she was in charge, she no longer needed to numb.
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Teresa Rodden is the founder and owner of Pink Cloud Coaching, Author of Wholly Sober, creator of several woman based groups and organizations that recognize the unique needs and challenges of women.
She’s passionate about helping women identify their personal power and break the need to misuse life-sucking vices robbing women of their one and only precious life experience. Living Wholly Sober is not recovery! Click here to talk.