I need a holiday

I sometimes wish it would stop – the constant demand on my time and energy.

I sometimes feel like I have been both mothering my son and myself in this last year.

The intense disappointment I feel in my mother for not having ever been a soft place to fall or a sanctuary of safety for me is sometimes crippling. As I write that, I cringe. Have I become one of those blathering people steeped in their misery, ignoring their reality and the blessings in their lives? Am I to be forever mourning my childhood? I have never had much patience for people who dig through their childhood too much and get themselves all worked up and indignant over past hurts. Life is happening now and it does not serve to be too tangled up in the past. At least this is how I was raised. To avoid the psychologist like the plague and never to dwell on unpleasant things. Hell, I was even told to never disclose my feelings to the homeopath as they don’t know what they are doing when it comes to emotions. And when I burst out spewing all my anger as a 14 year old, no one knew where that could come from.

And yet, I do feel that this current journey is in some way warranted.

When my son cries, it pushes major buttons for me. I feel like I am missing something, and I get very very stressed out. And I do not think that is healthy for either me or him. I guess I am hoping that by exploring my childhood not only as an exercise in memory, but also re-experiencing the emotions, I will be able to let it go a bit and be more present as a person and a mother.

I remember some time ago being asked what I wanted from my mother by a friend and I was stumped. I had no idea. I had been trying to figure out who my mother was as a woman, in an attempt to understand why we have such conflict, and it wasn’t working. I think now I can say that I want my mother to hear me – all of me. Not just the parts she like or knows how to relate to – all of me. I want my mother to be able to relate to me in a supportive way, even if she does not share the same passion or ideology. I want my mother to hold me gently, to soothe me. I want my mother to ask me what is bothering me and take the time to listen. Especially the last one.

Unfortunately that which I want is not very likely to happen.

So, it seems I am not yet out of this wood of self examination. I have tried repeatedly to write my blog on other topics, commenting on books I am reading, ideas that are springing, experiences that are flowing….. for now this space is reserved for my personal work.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “I need a holiday

  1. I have been trying to teach my mother to do all these things for me for years — and she still has way to go. And that is after I got over the idea that it is not fair that I have to teach my mother to do these things when it is her job to know how to do them, and that wasn’t simple, believe me! I still think it’s not fair but at the end of the day I had two choices: giving up, and trying to teach her, and I took the more promising one.

    And another thing: there’s a line somewhere between ‘avoiding the psychologist like the plague and never dwelling on unpleasant things,’ which sounds like a nightmare to me, and being one of those ‘blathering people steeped in their misery, ignoring their reality and the blessings in their lives,’ which also sounds like a nightmare, albeit a different one. Of course you know this, but it can be confusing to find the line when you are questioning your own behaviour like that. (Again I am speaking fro experience, lots and lots of it.)

    I’ve pondered this for years. Looking back and trying to figured what the hell happened seemed desirable and helpful, and yet sometimes it was overwhelming that I kept going back to the same things. Ah, if I had a penny for every time I said “shouldn’t I be over this by now?” Until I realised there’s no point in saying it, that is, and started laughing at myself when this kind of thought arose. Which is not to say you never get over things, you do; but at the same time you do have to revisit them now and again, as increasing maturity and experience changes the way you see the world. It is better to accept that you will be revisiting the same stuff for years, especially every time you have a growth spurt (and I’m sure having a baby results in some of those). It makes it a lot easier to deal with it if you are expecting it.

    But this isn’t actually what I meant to say. I meant to say that yes, some people do get stuck in looking back and feeling sorry for themselves, dramatically so sometimes; and it’s a terrible thing. But not all self-examination or looking back has to end this way. It took be years to figure this out, but there is a point in examining the way you were brought up and trying to figure out what your parents did and did not do. Firstly, because once you’ve put a name and a description, once you are conscious of it, it loses much of its power to affect you. And secondly and most importantly, because once you know what you’ve missed out own, you can set out to give it to yourself (or find someone else, besides your parents, who can give it to you, or even attempt to teach your parents to do it). Not that any of this is easy, but even a small success makes you feel great, and all grown-up 😉

  2. Haha. That’s a bit long for a comment isn’t it!

  3. mamawork

    Dimitra,

    As usual you are pretty much spot on. I even got DH to read your reply and he was impressed with how insightful you are 🙂

    I’m getting there.

    I really appreciate your stopping by Xx

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