contentgrrl

I am conTENT. My work is CONtent.

mom: free to be you and me

Posted by contentgrrl on October 30, 2007


I am thankful that my mother raised me to be fairly self-assured. When I was a baby in the Big Apple, it was just her, me, and Dad after five years of marriage. Oh, yeah, and Dad’s brother (my godfather) and his wife. Then Dad joined the Army and got stationed as a military surgeon in Oklahoma and San Antonio, where Mom dealt with being a military wife and mother.

And she taught me to love reading. We still like some of the same authors: Clavell, Tolkein, McCaffrey, MZ Bradley, CS Lewis, L’Engle. From there, I branched out into David Eddings, Stephen King, Frank Herbert, Ayn Rand, Katherine Kurtz, Robert Zelazny, Michael Moorcock, Morgan Lewellyn, Douglas Adams, and Robin Hobb.

Mom dove into Edgar Cayce psychics when I was very young. She actually had an audiocassette tape done for me, of a heavily accented psychic channeling what my past lives were, what my destiny was, and some symbols to keep around and ways to encourage my potential. I still like my symbols, and may make a mandala just for kicks someday. It was so psychodelic. Of course, I was a history teacher when Atlantis fell! Of course, I was a Mother Superior in 13th century France, and my mother and sisters were among my convent! We gals have always been together, the fate of our souls are entwined for all eternity! And we will all play a significant role in each other’s souls’ steps toward … whatever the goal is!

From my psychic reading, I think Mom took the role reversal theme to heart. Mom needed me, as a preschooler, to take on the role of the hero child. I helped take care of her through two difficult pregnancies, helped deal with my sisters (one autistic, the other just funny), covered for her substance abuse and some other bad choices (SO seventies!), and later helped her stabilize through a “certifiable” episode, coping mechanisms gone awry, an abusive stalking ex (not my father, just someone she met through a 12-step program).

She struggled hard through her own family baggage, through the changing roles of women over the last few decades, and through the consequences of some bad habits and decisions.

Mom is one of the kindest people you will ever meet. In my opinion, too kind. She believes she has special powers, and indeed she virtually radiates a generous welcome. One that attracts strays of all species. Mostly cats and unworthy men (again, excluding my dad). But when you have no boundaries, and offer all of yourself, there are predators who will take it all, and more. The emptiness and consequences that are left make it difficult to fill your life with wholesome things. Thank goodness for the community she found in a church.

I have to say I have learned a lot from her, and I am thankful for her part in my making. But she is also somewhat of an anti-heroine. I would not follow in her footsteps. She has taught me to be risk-averse, while more ambitious.

But she’s sober. She’s working. She moved to a city where she has friends and a friendlier church. I’m proud of my mom for making strides.

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One Response to “mom: free to be you and me”

  1. contentgrrl said

    I got a note from my mom, not about my post, but to share a post she made on a forum talking about Radiant Recovery. I love how she articulates her adventure as a warrior against depression. And after seeing a friendly response from a fellow member, I’m thrilled to see her widening her circle of influence and making a difference.

    A couple years ago, I was teaching remedial classes to adults who had not finished junior high school. One of them said that she hated the word “problem”, it just seemed like something that was bad.

    I tried to help her reframe that word. What if a problem was just something to find a solution for and then use the solution? What if a problem was a challenge – something I could rise to and overcome?

    I have to try to do that for myself frequently. Due to energy and pain and the dumb lies in my head (do you know that everyone all over the world has those same mean, dumb thoughts in their heads?) – Some of them learn ways to defuse the charge on them easily. Some people like us have to fight harder – adjust our chemistry in order to be able to get past the thoughts.

    I keep with the idea of warriors – we are all warriors who are in a battle (or maybe just a circumstance particular to ourselves). I don’t like being like this either, but …but I do have tools or weapons to use. And I know how to use them. And I do use them even if it isn’t consistantly or skillfully, but I am doing my part to be valiant in this battle.

    I’ve been in recovery programs and conferences and trainings with 10’s of thousands of people. Some people find their life battle is with other types of diseases and they don’t like thier fight any better than we do and I gotta tell you they waffle about just like we do.
    At any given time an individual is doing the best they have at that time. In the next second they can do better, even if it’s just a little.

    The point of power for anyone is at the point of choice. At any moment I can choose to say a vigorous NO! to the thoughts that are trying to harm me. I can keep on saying no. I can say YES! to any thing better than those negative thoughts. And then I can keep on saying YES! as many times as I want to until I take control – even if I only have it for a brief time I can say YES! again and again. I can choose to use a tool like the loving treatment of my body with RR. I can choose to do any good thing for me I want to do.

    A warrior is a person who has a challenge in life or in a story, the person finds or discovers advocates and fellow travelers, she may find weapons in the strangest places, she may have to train in how to use the weapons – this training enhances not just the physical strength but also the emotional and mental and spiritual strength. It takes a lot of practice. The fellow travelers may have skills and strengths that the hero doesn’t but who will use those skills to help the hero at crucial moments.

    What if I were to detach myself just enough to see my challange as a story of my life. It is not just a tragedy, it’s an adventure.

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