I had done extensive psychotherapy years ago. It was tremendously helpful. Now, when therapists ask about my mother, I say, “She’s the one I got. So, I’m thankful for everything she’s done for me. She did the best she could for us with the resources she had at the time. And more importantly, I’m damn glad she is the real maverick she is rather than the phoney ones we see on t.v..” And..........I actually mean it.
Nothing transformed my life more than my ability to accept my mother for who she is. Now, I find ways for us to have a comfortable connection. I know what she is able to do. And with this understanding, I don’t waste time with a lot of disappointment about what I think she ought to be doing. I harness the what she can do and revel in how delightful the results are for all of us.
Until my husband was on the road all of the time, I didn’t need a therapist. He is one of the healthiest human beings on the planet. When I would go crazy with family dynamics, he would shrug. Then, he would make some profound proclamation. And leave it up to me. If I chose to swim in unhealthy behaviour, he would patiently wait for me to start drowning and save me. Never a “told-you-so,” only observation and questions. If it impacted our financial matters, he put his foot down. Rightly so. And he didn’t care if he was cast as the bad guy. (He’s a lot like my grandfather whose motto was “we three and no more.” Well....only when it pertains to bank account issues.)
But, with him on the road, I’ve suddenly realised that I must create my own internal boundaries. So, off to therapy I go again. And I’m experiencing some visible truths I had not seriously acknowledged for a long time.
Recently, I read this piece of humour. Wealthy Teen Nearly Experiences A Consequence, on one hand, I was rolling on the floor. On the other hand, my eyes went wide, my mouth made a huge O; and my brain catalogued the outcome of several of my daughter’s prep school friends.
So, what does this have to do with therapy? When asked to say “who nourished my soul and spirit,” I thought first of my father - when he was home. Then, I could only come up with a list of my mother’s best “maids.” (And since my daughter broke her wrist and has become a hostile, antiestablishment punk - with my Mother’s Godsend of a maid to tend to her three times a week - it suddenly clicked. We have allowed others to do our “dirty work” for several generations.)
But, the other “aha!” was that by agreeing to the terms established by wealthy persons of European descent, we open ourselves to a sickness which has permeated the owning class for many years.
So, this time around, when I attachment parent without apology; allow self-weaning; home educate; give up professional gains which support some external idea of self-worth...I am breaking a cycle. I am breaking the cycle of the sick and privileged.
And I am beginning to think.... now, this will be an interesting journey. And I begin to understand, every conclusion is the preface for something new. We never get to the end...until we get to the realend.