Sunday, October 11, 2009
My mother died 24 years ago today. I have very mixed feelings where she was concerned and am currently trying to make sense of it. She was very smart and educated for a women of her generation but I don't think the members of her family treated her very well when she was growing up. Consequently, she grew up a confused, very needy woman who had difficulty getting her own needs met, let alone meeting the needs of her children. As I work my way through my issues with her, I have discovered that I spent a big chunk of my childhood fending for myself physically and emotionally. There were many periods in my life during which I took care of her as well as myself. That wasn't one of the most healthy periods of my life. Yes, I ended up being the family caretaker and official person to dump on and in some ways, I still am. I'm working on fixing that, which has made my siblings miffed when I give them boundaries. Since joining Spark People, I've dedicated myself to learning to protect myself from people who try to use me and hurt me. So as I think of my mother today, my feelings are mixed. I miss the occasional good times that we had together and those wonderful Christmases when she put such magic into the day. There are times when I wish I could call her and ask her questions about my past. There are still many things I don't understand about my past. Then there is the relief that her death brought because taking care of her for 5 years was so exhausting. She, my small daughter and my job totally took up 100% of my time for 5 years. During this period, I learned to put myself last. I'm sure that some of you can relate to this. It was years before I took any time just for myself. It took years beyond that before I took "me" time on a regular basis. Spark People has taught me to take me time every day. Some days I do this naturally and other days I have to force myself because old habits die hard. So here's a toast to you Mom - to both the good times and the bad. I know that you'd be proud of the progress I'm making and I'd like you to know that I'm proud of myself too!