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August 19, 2012

August 19, 2012

I called my mom today, to see how she was doing. She is still worried about me, and she said my siblings are, too. I told her I was OK. I get it that they think I’m unhappy in my situation. Anyway, as an OA member, I did a 9th-Step amends to her about a month before I got married. I know I’m judging myself, but I think I didn’t go deeply enough at that time. My relationship with my mom was OK after that, but I continued to judge her and started to distance myself over the years. I think this is why she said she feels I’m being controlled by Mara. Also, I’m in a life-coaching program, where one of the assignments is to clean up any messes I’ve made with relationships in order to create new possibilities for those relationships. The first person I called was my mom, because I realized that I’ve done my share in messing up that relationship, even since I made my 9th-Step amends nearly 16 years ago.

The assignment was to let the other person know that I’ve been inauthentic toward them. I don’t know how specific I was supposed to get about that. I wanted to say I’ve been inauthentic because I got into a rut of approval-seeking, and now I am making my own decisions about my life without the need to seek anyone’s approval about it. I was afraid she might take that the wrong way, like I was somehow making her wrong. So I didn’t say that. I just said I was sorry I had caused any pain in her life. I may have to revisit this conversation and be more specific with her. But at least I made a start. I also asked if she and my older brother, who lives with her, would like to come for dinner sometime in the next few weeks, and she said that she doesn’t get out much anymore. I’m not sure she is comfortable with Mara, whether Mara presents as male or female. She invited me to come and visit whenever I wanted, but she didn’t mention my spouse. I think she meant just me.

About a half-hour later, she called me and was almost in tears. She said that it had occurred to her, since I had never called her and said anything like that to her before, that I might be about to “do something dumb” (read: suicide). I told her not to worrry; that it was the furthest thing from my mind. I then copped to her that I’ve been in OA for nearly 22 years. (I hadn’t told her when I made my 9th-Step amends back then that that was was I was doing.) I also told her that the life-coaching I was doing (which I had mentioned to her when I went to see her two weeks ago) was behind my cleaning up my side of the street; that I’m learning how to take responsibility for my part in relationships. And she got it.

But I can’t help but feel that she really thinks I’m unhappy being married to Mara. She really thought I wanted to take my own life, and on the first call, she was really concernd about how I was doing and said that everyone in the family really loves me and will be there for me if anything should happen to me. I’m just going to let it be for now.

I learned in my life-coaching seminars, and via our counselor, with whom we met this past Friday, that forgiveness is letting go of the need to resent someone. In 12-Step we say that resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. I’ve been having a hard time getting that definition on a gut level. To me, forgiveness has always meant to somehow absolve the other person, and that’s really impossible for any human to do, especially when the other person doesn’t cop to doing anything that would warrant an apology on their part. But I’m slowly getting it, and I believe I will be able to forgive my mom, and forgive myself for beating up on myself.

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