Friday, September 6, 2013

Old Dog. New Tricks.

I've taken a rather long hiatus from logging my thoughts and insanity. I don't know why I feel the need to state the obvious, but I do. So I did.

Work has picked up, which is both a good thing and a bad thing, but at least I have a purpose again. During my break I've done a lot of work. Internal work, as well as what I do for a living. I've done a lot of thinking which isn't at all out of the ordinary, but I've also done a lot to change some of my thinking, which is completely foreign to me. Somewhere in the midst of all of this "work" I stumbled upon the answer to all of my questions in my previous post. All of my "what do you do?" questions. The answer turned out to be pretty simple, and at the same time, to me it was almost a revelation. The answer is nothing. I do nothing. Simply because there is nothing I can do to change another persons feelings, actions, or behavior. Only they can do that, and only if it's something they actually want to do.

Simple, right? Everyone knows this to be true, and yet, it feels like I am just finally "getting it." I'm just now realizing that I don't have some kind of super human power to make things as I want them to be and to keep people just as I like them. At the same time, I also realized what I do have power over, and that is myself. I not only have the power over whether I allow other people to affect me or not, but I have freedom. Freedom to choose. Freedom to take care of me. Freedom to do what feels good.

Perhaps most people already know this. Maybe somewhere in the back of my mind I knew it too, but I never really knew it enough to allow myself to put it into practice. So that's what I'm doing now. I'm practicing. I'm practicing at just being me, and being okay with that, and doing what I need to do when I need to do it. I'm practicing at NOT giving more than I receive and not depleting my own resources.  And I'm doing it. Not always and not perfectly, but still, I'm doing it. So far so good.

My parents are in town for a couple of weeks right now, which is always somewhat bitter sweet. More bitter than sweet, but it's giving me a lot of opportunities for more "practice." They aren't staying with me, which turned out to be what was best for everyone. Basically now I will see them for a few hours here and there when they have a gap in their schedule and can squeeze Jack and I in. I won't lie, and say I'm completely fine with the way that is. It's taken me a lot of years, and a lot of struggling, and trying to use my imaginary super powers to make our relationship into something that is wasn't. Something that it was never going to be. I fought it. I resisted it. I tried to change it. And then finally, I accepted it. Now... I do nothing. Now, I finally realize there is nothing I can do, and I don't have to feel bad about it anymore. The truth is not all people connect. Not all families are close. Not everyone can really, really love each other. It could very well be different when the parent and child are biological, because I couldn't even imagine not being close to my son. It could be that blood really is thicker than water. But despite all of the possibilities, the fact remains that we are all strangers in a very fundamental way. If they weren't my parents and I wasn't their adopted daughter we would never have any reason to be friends, or in the same room, or to even speak to one another. This is what it is. And I'm okay with it. I'm free of it.

As sad as it might seem to most people, accepting this is probably one of the best things I could have ever done for myself. It helped me to realize that just because I wasn't the daughter they expected or hoped for, didn't mean I wasn't exactly who I was supposed to be. It didn't mean there was anything wrong with the way I was. I'll admit that this lesson was just recently learned, but the mourning for the parent/child relationship was over and done years ago. Ironically,  I also believe it has made me a better parent. At least I hope that it has.

Hope, who now highly recommends therapy. Even if you aren't a Crazy Muthah. 

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