my 100 year old selfPosted on 06/29/11, 11:31 am
About 10 years ago, after a life trauma [divorce], I found myself on a spiritual journey. I said to myself, "If I believe in treating all people with respect and dignity, beyond just saying those words to tell myself what a "wonderful" person I am for such a "wonderful" belief, what does my life really look like? Who are all the people in my life? What are our relationships like? What do we do together? How do we treat each other while doing these things? What are the spoken and unspoken words / feelings we share? What is the outcome of our relationship? Is it something that my 100 year old self (a way of often think through the pros and cons on an options) would be proud of?
Based on all that, I ended up volunteering at local prison and founded a non-profit that makes communities safer because we address the underlying causes of crime which requires setting aside the anger at the wrong-doer just long enough to see their humanity and to try and understand what needs to happen to prevent future crimes. It's been an amazing life experience.
But my reason for telling this is that I find myself applying a lot of the learning I got through this to my situation with my ED. Yes, I am profoundly hurt when she shuns me. I weap and wale in misery. But at the end of the day, I know that hurt people hurt people. That's true no matter the circumstances. I can and do try to analyze why my ED would do such callous things. The bottom line is that there's something not right in her processing. I'm positive that she'd also prefer the "happily ever after " view of famly. In fact, that's one of the charges I hear about when she's in the mode of sharing the litany of offenses she's suffered due to me being her mother. (I don't come from a close family of origin.)
I think these days that maybe that's why I'm a little stuck in my journey to "acceptance" because I can't come to terms with any kind of reasonable understanding about the lack of compassion coming from my ED. I kind of know that I don't really need to understand that but still...
MAYBE the universe's lesson for all this is to realize that we will never completely understand things. We will never completely resolve things. People will always be different versions of messed up. We all get to decide how to respond to all of these confusing realities.
We all get to decide what our 100 year old selves would want us to do about it ALL!!!!!
Reply #1 06/29/11 12:15pm
Love these post, so in line with what I have been pondering lately. Needing to forgive to forget and just not willing to allow that kindness to such cruel DIL's. My hard head getting in my own way! And wondering what and where I will find a purpose and passion again. I am exercising my patience bone right now, and its way out of shape!!!! Waiting for direction and something to catch my attention now....so also exercising "open minded" because I have a feeling that this will be a "Now for something completely different" experience.
Reply #2 06/29/11 3:52pm
To quit asking 'why' and to learn that I don't have to understand everything is the biggest step I took in getting to acceptance. It took a few years and it happened a couple of years ago for me. It gave me freedom to go on with my life.
But I do miss my ED so much today...I had a dream about her. She and I came together for lunch and shopping (don't know why that was in there, because she doesn't like shopping). We went to a store, and got separated and I searched and searched trying to find her, but I couldn't. I never found her before I woke up. This reflects our real life it seems. How sad. I know that she and her husband are going through some big changes just now and chaos is always a stressful time for her, so I guess I'm worried about her.
See, no matter how much 'peace' you have, that 'motherly' thing doesn't disappear. It fades, but does not disappear.
Tomorrow I will be much better. I'm gonna go maike a happy day for myself.
Reply #3 06/29/11 4:58pm
So if "hurt people hurt people," as you suggest, maybe you should inquire from anyone she may confide to as to why she is hurt? Was she hurt by you or by someone else, or maybe by your divorce and remarriage if that is the case. And have you had other children since the divorce. Could jealousy be a problem. I know my ED and ES both had trouble when I remarried. It was to them like betrayal.
If your acceptance depends on your EC, lots of luck. Many of us are in that boat.
Have a good happy day tomorrow.
Reply #4 06/29/11 5:05pm
A really pensive, probing post truly. I really related to "the bottom line is there is something not right in her processing" as I feel the same way about my ED. And I do have an understanding of the "only hurt people hurt people".
Part of what I also recognize is that I can't fix it.......I sure have tried. The "not right in her processing" in the case of my own ED points to a possible mental condition and, if that is the case, specialists in the field even have a tough time.........that is, if ED ever gets to the point of seeking help, which, based on stats, many with the kind of condition that describes daughter's behaviors, do not seek help.
I'm a "want to know why" person.....have sought understanding as well, but it's still not there. Very hard.....
Reply #5 06/29/11 5:54pm
Heartfelt thanks to all who have commented.
onlyconnect - Yes! I think your explanation that "understanding" isn't finite / simple / even possible is correct. It's hard enough for us humans to understand each other when both come with sincere intentions to try to be understood. If one party refused to communicate or has passive aggressive patterns of communication. Well, no understanding of any kind will ever come.
army - yes, I'm thinking about the value of looking at life from a broader place (like purpose and all that good stuff...)
deserving - I understand in my head that stopping all the "why" questioning is key to getting to that acceptance place.But for some reason my heart keeps lagging and I keep whirling through it all.
kindredz - I don't think my ED daughter even knows why she hurts. She even told me one time that she didn't know why she was so angry at me. I'm guessing that she, like all of us, has her own internal struggle that may or may not even actually have anything to do with me at all. Maybe she's struggling with some feelings about herself. Only she can know or at least has the potential to know.
Sooooo, I think the KEY to ACCEPTANCE is to stop all the analysis and all the head bashing but I don't know how to get it to stop.
charl7 - I think you're on to it ----> I CAN'T FIX IT!
One step at a time I suppose :)
Thanks everyone. This is just plain 'ole hard!!
Reply #6 06/29/11 6:05pm
I too talk to my 100 year old self at times. It gives me perspective.
My 100 year old self is telling me to maintain my distance from my EC and DIL - they are dangerous to my emotional welfare.
This is good - I and my older self are in agreement on this - that doesn't always happen.
Reply #7 06/29/11 6:59pm
Truly, you said: I understand in my head that stopping all the "why" questioning is key to getting to that acceptance place.But for some reason my heart keeps lagging and I keep whirling through it all.
That's what makes each journey through this different. Each one of us does it until our heart gets tired.
Reply #8 06/29/11 7:13pm
You are so on point deservingpeace!!! We MUST process our feelings until we can stop doing that - as you said until we get too tired and just can't do it anymore.
It is almost impossible to stop asking why until we see our situations with clarity and that takes a whole lot of processing over and over to be able to stop.
We do what we do until we can stop doing it - it's all in each persons own time.
Reply #9 06/29/11 7:16pm
And trulykind, I think the key is to continue looking at the situation until you realize there is nothing more that can be done - analyzing it actually - and that is what leads to acceptance. At least that is how it worked for me.
Do you have adult children, who have blamed you for everything wrong in their childhood, lost contact either through addiction, divorce, or in laws? No phone calls for birthdays, Mother's day, just no communication. How do you cope with the emptiness, the painful loss of not having your children in your life? *WARNING*: Read this note about privacy: http://www.dailystrength.org/people/548/journal/1802327