Hello! It’s May long weekend, but it feels like any other day/weekend in this quarantine LOL. (Not complaining though!) Weekends still feel nice, weirdly enough. We just get to do a little bit of extra nothing on the weekends, or relax a little further than we do during the week.
I just sat and had a really long talk with my mom. I was wandering upstairs because I was going to use the washroom but I found myself drawn to her room instead, where I found her sitting quietly by herself in bed. I immediately had this feeling that I had to sit with her and talk. I’m glad I did.
She’s so good at disguising her pain and anguish, but not that good. After almost 28 years of being her daughter, I know her. I know where and when exactly her pain will come out and turn into temper tantrums and passive aggressive remarks. I also know that situations like these trigger her anxiety and depression. So, I wanted to make sure she was doing okay on some level.
We talked for quite awhile, and I was right – this whole thing that happened with my dad set off a fresh bout of worry for Olivia and I regarding our education. But this time, I was able to sit and listen to her without taking it personally. I was just, there for her. I set myself aside and listened to what she had to say without feeling triggered or hurt myself.
I know she’s worried about us, and why we haven’t graduated yet. I think she’s always worried about it, but doesn’t say. But when things like this happen with my dad, those latent thoughts become a very real spiral of anger, pain, worry, and sadness; a spiral she can’t really control and a spiral that we usually get dragged into as well.
I felt like talking to her was almost preemptive – I knew what was coming and I hoped that I could diffuse the future tension before it began. I hope I managed to lighten her burden, somehow. I promised her that Olivia and I are doing our very best, and that one day we would be just as self-sufficient and successful as she hopes we will be.
The sad thing is, is that she has it set in her mind that her happiness is solely dependent on us. She said that we are the only thing she has to live for, and that made me sad. I wish she saw the beauty of her own life and how much else she has to live for aside from us. It’s also a lot of pressure on Olivia and I, but I think we both know better now.
We have to live life according to our own paths, journey, story, lessons and timing in order to guarantee and secure our own happiness on OUR terms first and foremost, and everything else will follow. Ultimately, I know that if we’re happy on our terms, she’ll find a way to be happy for us too. So, as much as I would love to get back into school and graduate ASAP because I know that’s what she wants and dreams of, I have to make sure I’m doing it on my terms and at my own pace, first.
At the end of the day, I know she doesn’t have to worry about us. But, because of the comparative and competitive nature of our culture, it’s hard for her not to think that way. Especially with so many of our close family friends around us who are graduating or entering career paths, and their parents asking about Olivia and I. It’s not easy. I don’t blame her for feeling the way that she does.
Anyways, we ended our conversation in agreement that we have to be more strict with my dad. No more lottery tickets, no more encouragement about winnings (when he does), and no more “allowance” of weekly money until he shows more self-control. No more allowing him to get away with not taking accountability for his actions and his sickness. We can’t be enablers and just say “oh he’s sick”, every time something like this occurs. Yes, he is sick. Yes, he is an addict. But he’s not a child and he’s not helpless. He has resources and people he can reach out to. We have to stop allowing him to fall into these cycles.
I gave her a big hug and promised her that she’s not alone in this and that she can always come and talk to me about anything that is on her mind. I also advised that she talk to our family doctor about potentially getting on anti-anxiety medication or antidepressants until she stabilizes again and is able to fall asleep normally (her anxiety/worry is causing insomnia and resultant headaches). She’s going to look into it.
We had a really good, constructive, mature and heart-felt conversation. But man. My heart is heavy in my chest, there is a lump in my throat, and I’m pretty sure I held back tears like ten times while we were talking.
I’m just so sad for her. I’m sad for my dad. I know it’s not my responsibility to save them. But… still. I’m sad that they have to go through this pain. Especially my mom.
I’m so thankful that I’ve brought so much beauty into my own life by taking accountability and control of my mental and emotional health through my therapy and other means. I’m glad I know that life has so much to offer and hope/faith can carry you through anything. I just wish that my mom knew that, too.
I’m proud of myself. I’ve ended the cycle of pain. I no longer feel threatened, triggered, or upset when she brings up her worries of how I haven’t graduated yet. I have faith in my path. I have faith in myself. Now, I know that I can just try to do my best to assuage her worries rather than take them personally or assume that she thinks I’m a failure. Now, I know that’s not the case. I have come far from the person I once was.
Everything happens as it is meant to. Every pain we encounter, every trying time, every trial and tribulation leads to a greater strength and a greater self. I know this. I have faith in this, I’ve lived through this, I have experienced it and know it to be true. Time heals all and life is beautiful, no matter what. Sadness is just as much a part of life as happiness is, and I welcome it to pass through me as it needs to. That is my right as a human being, and only a sliver of the spectrum of how wonderful it is to experience that humanity.
I guess that’s all for today! Somber log, hehe. Maybe I’ll paint a little, or work on my book some more. It’s still a beautiful day, the rain is coming to wash away whatever it needs to and feed the growing life of spring, and I’m here with my family and loved ones. Life will always, always be wonderful and I will always have plenty to be thankful for.
Until next time!
Love always, infinitely and with all of my heart,