Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys.

Mom and I hit the rocks, then the reef, then the iceberg over the weekend.  One realization that came from it was startling, sorta dream-crushing and it needs to go through the journal process before I can share coherently.  Sorry.  The other realization is that I can’t make my mother have a happy end of life.  I can’t do it for her, I can’t ease her from her dystopian state into the station where she believes she belongs.  It’s not my job to make those choices for her.  It’s like trying to have a pet polar bear in Phoenix, just isn’t going to end well.  I will be there to help her with her choices, of course, but I’m no longer going to foist them on her.

The fight was bad, things were said, apology made but we’re still dancing around each other not sure when the other one is going to launch the next salvo of words to try and destroy the other.  Neither of us willing to admit we love the other, and there are moments when she talks to me and I wonder if I still do.  I guess I do, I haven’t called the Shady Pines to come and take her away.  She hasn’t called the police to report me for elder abuse, so I guess we are still on an even keel.

What I don’t really like about myself in this fight is the war in my head of how to behave.  I don’t want to be mean to her, yet I think bad things, and wish I had the wherewithal to do what I imagine.  I get too much pleasure out of calling her bluff and watch her try and squirm away from the consequences.  For example she believes I don’t love her because I won’t dust my room or clean the birds cage on a more regular basis because of her allergies.  So, I’m sending Sammy away to my sisters to live for a while.  My reasoning is two fold, I want the feathers that stay aloft in the air for hours, the one she breathes in, to settle down and to see how well she improves and to, mostly, call her bluff.  I won’t let her use my parrot as a wrench in her manipulation toolbox.

It’s those words, the mean words, that I want to get away from.  I know I’m angry right now and I’m working hard to keep my head from swimming in the anger and frustration.  When I start getting angry I start deep breathing and chanting in my head, but that’s ameliorating the symptoms, not ripping out the foundation of them so I can build anew.  I’m at a loss of how to do this though.  How do you plug the holes and snip off the pour spout of the venom in your brain in favor of peace, love, and …YIKES…I sound like a hippie!!  I don’t want to feel the bile bubble up or the desire for revenge or strut the I’ll-show-you posture any longer.  Part of me is hoping this declaration will be enough, that making the choice to do so will be all I need to do to become that loving, peaceful zen-like person…..I guess that is my circus and one of the many monkeys that are on my back.  Reality sucks, and it’s hard work.  Maybe I should rethink the hippie thing.

“I just want to spend all the time I can with you…”

Raise your hand if you don’t think is a guilt trip…..

Yea, that’s what I thought.

Wanting Vs. Doing Vs. Needing

I want……….

  • to go back to school to spiff up my phlebotomy credentials (long story)
  • to write at night and on weekends
  • to have a clean and neat room, with my bed made and laundry done
  • to go on hikes on weekends and maybe learn to Glamp from time to time
  • to make jewelry for gifts and for myself….maybe even to sell
  •  to keep working a full time job so I can have a full time pay

Vs.

I’m doing……….

  • 8hrs a day on a less than taxing job but still need to take a nap in my car
  • I’m registering for school but will have to do it in person instead of online, terrified I’ll sleep through it or fail
  • I clean my room by turning off the light and turning on the TV
  • I get out of bed late on weekends and then require a few naps to get through the day
  • The thought of pulling out and putting away all my jewelry making stuff is exhausting in itself
  • Honestly, I don’t know how I’ve been able to keep a full time job.

Okay, I’m tired right now. I really have no reason to be, other than I stayed up too late last night. But when I’m in these moods I wonder if I will ever be able to have a normal life, if I’ve ever had a normal life. My Mom is insistent that I just need to “push through” and “fight back” and basically “get over it” and I will be fine. Sometimes I think she’s right, very rarely, and I try and spin myself back out of control. I think I need a routine…a “doing” and slowly build from there. I keep changing this idea of what my day should look like beyond going to work, going home, going to bed, getting up and going to work, going home, going to bed.

Right now I’m thinking that Mediation is the direction I should be going in. Of course I can’t do that until I have a space cleaned in my room, which means I need to work in my room, which means I need to do my laundry and find a meditation pillow and make hand knotted-silk strung beads and a tassel for meditation……See how the wanting and the doing are always dancing?

I need to……….

  • JUST meditate

    • I don’t need a clean room to do it
    • I don’t need my laundry clean to do it
    • I don’t need a special pillow to do it
    • I don’t need specially strung beads to do it (yet, I want them because it means shopping and creating)

The only thing I need to do is make time. Or in my case take time.  And take comfort in the hope that the needful will allow for the mental space for doing the wanting.

Revenge Is A Dish Best Served With Whipped Cream

Okay, a rather long title.  I’m still flying a little bit on the cheese cake(s) from my celebratory vengeance expedition at the local mall.  Perhaps I should say that revenge is best dished up with a credit card and someone elses money.  It goes back to the whole “I’m really ashamed of the way you present yourself.” and “I don’t want you to embarrass me” crap that I got from my sister today and my mother on Saturday.  So,  went shopping to buy clothes to wear to work with my sister.  Despite the fact that I got a great deal on the clothes, like saving over $200 on the majority of it, I used the money I’m supposed to pay my sister with.  Can’t have both, money and a sister that doesn’t embarass you.  Pick one.  I do have to say, retail therapy is VERY effective.

I did something I can’t believe I did but I have absolutely no regret on and that was buying a purse that is all leather, that fits all my writing paraphernalia and is just elegantly understated and is so not the tattered bag I’ve been carrying around with me because it fit everything I needed to carry around.  It’s sitting here next to me and the smell of the leather is soooooo nice.

So, let’s address the issues at hand.  First of all, I got angry and went shopping.  Everyone I talked to about how I had been so mightily abused agreed with me, even though I looked horrible, dirty shirt and torn jeans and tennis shoes, everyone agreed that was just out-of-bounds for anyone to say to another person, especially a family member.  But the sting of the anger that I normally would have been fussing at before, even though I’m off my anti-anxiety pills briefly due to supply, has me feeling more empathy for Cyndi and even understanding that she thinks it’s okay.  I’m trying to get beyond the crap our childhood has mired us in, she’s happy as a clam up to her nose in it.  She is hurting me because she is hurting and doesn’t realize it, and I can’t hate her for that.  And I’m going to keep trying to maintain that attitude.

So, the clothes, socks, pj bottoms, purse, make-up, face care and make-up brushes are my ways of compensating myself for the slight by giving Mom and C what they want, me to not shame them in public.  Of course, this doesn’t mean I won’t wear the dirty shirt and the torn jeans when we’re out as a family.  I’m not going to stop who I am because it offends their narrow interpretation of what the world should look like in order to be accepted.  They can just bite me if they think  I’m ever going to be like them.  The one thing I am keeping is my Mickey Mouse watch.  They can pry that off my cold dead wrist before I’ll give that up.

I love my purse.

The Seed Of Anger

I finished reading Anger by my Monk.  He said something that was a bit disheartening.  He said Anger never goes away, its always with you.  He used the image of a house having a livingroom and a basement.  When one is confronted with something that pisses us off it’s the same as watering the seed of anger in the basement and it grows into the livingroom.  When you allow someone to water your seed it just gets bigger, and bigger until your howl livingroom is consumed with the soul eating plant.  (The flower from Little Shop of Horrors comes to mind).  He instructs that we smile at it, breathe deeply in and then again out until you feel the anger return to a seed.  Through practice, meaning mindful walking and mindful breathing so the time spent with the anger in the livingroom is as short as possible.

The thing that gets me is the whole smiling at it.  What if I do that during the irksome têt et têt and I give my anger a smile, it would serve to piss off some people more.  I’m sort of looking forward to the opportunity to try it out though.

I realize I have a lot of work to do in regards to my Wounded Child.  I’ve purchased Homecoming by Bradshaw which is what Connie said I should read to work with my wounded child and then I got a new book from my Monk about how to be mindful in everyday life.  Kind of like the book I read about Holiness in Every Day Life.  Between those two I should be on my way to heal the wounded child and to practice Mindfulness in everyday life so the seeds of anger will never get past the stairs from the basement to the livingroom.  My livingroom is crowded enough with my characters and plots, I don’t need the anger to crowd them out again.

Comforting The Wounded Child

Thich Nhat Hanh says there is a wounded child in all of us in need of comfort and needs to be brought into our mindfulness practices in order to facilitate healing.  He talks about bringing her along on meditative walks, maybe even spending a whole week with her, etc.  As flippant as I’d like to be at this concept I can’t find it in me.  He’s right.  The wounded little girl in me has been sending up flares for me to pay attention to her for a long time now. I’ve just thought it was a way for my anger to flare at my Mom in retaliation to all of her self-centered demands for things like they never were when I was growing up.

Memories of being hit, of going hungry, of being isolated in corners while my mother slept have been coming up in my mind.  Of remembering, or rather not remembering, my mother ever showing me how to clean house, just demanding that it be done, and yelling or spanking me when it wasn’t done right.  Of being called stupid, weird, strange, fat, pig, etc.  I won’t allow myself to believe these taunts, beatings and shunning were malicious, intentional attacks on my as a child, but it doesn’t make it hurt any less.

I guess this harkens back to the whole “getting in touch with your inner child” psycho-babble of the 70’s and 80’s, but as I recall, that just encouraged the rich and self-indulgent to be childish.  This isn’t about getting in touch with your “child” but the “wounded” child.  Two completely different entities.  Christ talks about how we need to become as children, but He was talking in faith, in wonder, in guile.  The wounded child had her wonder and guile taken from her.  Luckily I still have my faith.  I need to work at bringing her back to that child-like state and get away from the angry, child-ish frame of mind.

It seems appropriate for me to comfort her and pay attention to her because I’m trying to re-raise me as well as my mom.  To not only be the mother to her she always wanted and for me to be the mother to me I never had.  An integral  part of that is going to be spending time with my wounded poppet and comfort her, tell her she is loved and wanted and that I am grateful she was born and is a treasure if to no one else but me, and I value that treasure beyond all worth on earth.

I’m not sure how to apply this concept though.  Do I schedule something on the calendar or do I try to remember it in my daily practice and life?  I hope she tells me what she needs because I don’t want to mess myself up more than I already am.