Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Epiphany: Turning away from the issue and to comfort. By then it's too late.... I'm done....

This post will likely not make sense... it sort of comes out of left field and though I normally like to lead in to something, that's not really how my brain works most of the time.  Most of the time, it's all over the place.  So here goes.

I've had a therapist for so many years; since I was about 11 years old. Though it hasn't always been the same one, it has been the same one since I was about 15, I think?  I'd have any kind of issue and since I was able to drive (at 16), I could go in anytime I wanted or needed. I'd just drive myself. I didn't have to have anyone there with me. Mom let me go by myself, and I am so thankful for that. I think this started the habit of going to someone who WASN'T the issue and talking to my problem to them. This way it allowed me to get it all off my chest, without dealing with the crap that could or would arise from the actual person who pissed me off in the first place.

Let me go back about as far back as I can remember and start there....

When we were younger, my mom and stepdad (at that time, NOT PAT) would argue like cats and dogs. They were two terribly different people and they both were very protective of their own kids. It was a terrible clash of two personalities and they argued, pretty intensely, just about every weekend.  Fortunately, we had a home built on in the back of our house and that is where my grandma lived. When they'd start arguing, we'd go out the back door and into grammy's front door and stay there while they argued.  I am SO thankful that eventually they parted ways and mom vowed to never go through that crap again.  Anyway.... they argued, and we could run to grammy's for "comfort" (for lack of a better word). I couldn't EVER talk to the stepfather.  He just wasn't approachable and had zero communication skills. He was a good teacher if you wanted to learn to play backgammon.... or chess.... or if you wanted to just sit and watch a movie (he could watch movies for hours without ever speaking a word).... anyway.... any and all of the anger I'd ever had towards him was NEVER expressed directly towards him.... it was kinda stuffed down inside when I'd run to grammy's back house.  She'd either turn the TV on, play games with us or cook us something to eat.... The bad was quickly covered up with that of comfort or "happiness," though the bad feelings didn't just magically disappear.... They were MASKED....

Mom was a single mom for most of our childhood years.... I KNOW how exhausting this can be.... she worked full time (and for some years, she worked SEVEN days a week).... she STILL somehow found time to clean, do laundry and care for us.... and make time for us to take vacations and such.... how difficult it must have been to have THREE children.... ALL girls.... constantly arguing with each other.... I would have pulled my hair out, for sure....  With that being said, she still managed to pay the bills, work on the house, and everything else it took to run a functioning home and maintain her job. Our house was beautiful.  We'd won Lakewood's most beautiful one year.... She did a wonderful job at maintaining everything, and for the first time in my life, I understand why our home was so beautiful and well-kept. It is peaceful to work in the garden.... It is without kids fighting.... it's outside, in sunlight, and usually alone... which means, that, at least for a brief period of time, you just might find yourself lost in YOUR OWN THOUGHTS.... whatever they may be....  Most of my memories are filled with her understanding and willingness to help us fix our problems.... I can also say, that it wasn't always "the right time" to approach her or bring up a topic.... Not because she wouldn't allow it, but because there was so much going on all the time and I just wasn't fully in tune with how to bring up a topic.... I think I set my feelers out for her moods a lot of the time.... If she was in a bad mood, I felt like it was selfish to bring up something I wanted to bring up.... Of course, when we were little, we probably were so self-absorbed, that we paid no attention to anyone else's moods but our own....

There was a lot of pain and trouble understanding my father.  He lived in San Francisco until I was about 7 years old (we lived in southern California).... So we saw him sometimes, but not as often as a child would most likely like to see their parent.... (assuming they adore their parents, that is)....

Well, I adored my dad.  For whatever reasons, I adored him. He was the funniest person I knew.... He knew how to have fun with us. He really did....

Dad moved away to Tennessee with stepmom when I was 7.  There are parts of that move that I distinctly recall.... I remember HELPING to pack boxes in his condo, and not fully understanding just how far he was moving away. I remember him showing me, on a map, where they'd be moving, and I remember him telling me over and over again how he'd still be seeing us often, just that he'd be further away and it would take a little longer to get to each other....  I remember him showing us pictures of his new home and without even seeing it, I knew I couldn't wait to see it....  until I did.

I loved his home in Tennessee.... I loved his home and I loved how fun he was, and I didn't pay much attention to everything else, but that.... that's what I tried to focus on and I think that even though there was pain (that I couldn't quite explain where it came from at the time), I pushed through it because I wanted to see and spend time with dad.  He loved sweets. (that's where I got my love for sweets).... He also loved music. (Music is a HUGE part of my life).... He also loved cigarettes and beer.... and a woman....

Though I couldn't quite pinpoint the pain (at that time), I knew SOMETHING wasn't right.... guess who was there for THOSE feelings? Mom was.... mom was there.... for comfort, without judging, without prying, without anger or sadness or frustration... she'd listen to my little 7-year-old problems from then until this very day....

She'd try her very best to understand them and to figure out where they were coming from... and it was so comforting.... it was a breath of fresh air, because a lot of times, it felt like she hit the nail on the head.... even if i didn't know what it was, she seemed to know....

Fast forward to many years later, and I'm sitting in my therapist's office expressing or explaining situations that involve everyone but my therapist.... I can explain the situation or express my feelings without fear of the pushback.... I can cuss if I want.... I can say things to the people that I am uncertain of how they'd react.... In fact, I am not even hurting their feelings.... I am able to express myself without hurting anyone else's feelings.... This became a learned behavior, mostly in dealing with my dad and stepmom.  I wasn't ever able to talk to them.... EVER.... I remember one time, in high school, when I'd called my dad. I was crying over a boy, and it was late in Tennessee.  His answering machine had picked up and I was crying to the machine. He'd picked up the phone and was so upset at me for 1. calling him that late, 2. for crying on the machine, because, to him, nothing was really wrong, 3. scaring him and making him think that something really was wrong and 4. for crying over a boy.... he was angry.... They were angry.... and just as quickly as I'd thought it was a good idea to call him, it became very apparent what a terrible idea it was.... I'd hung up the phone feeling even worse than I did when I'd called....

What an epiphany I'd had this morning.... soooo extremely upset, I'd turned to google today instead of another human....

I googled, "how to deal with resentment" and found this blog entry from tinybuddha.com.  It was everything I'd needed to read today....

to be continued....




3 comments:

Ms. A said...

Good to see you!!! Perhaps I need to check out that link. Lord knows I have a lot of resentments to deal with!

Skyline Spirit said...

pretty nice blog, following :)

buymebarbies said...

I can't wait to hear the "to be continued" part. I'm sorry for all your pain and would take it all away if I could. I love you!!!