I was Missing the Unhealthy
Saturday, November 30, 2019
I realize I sometimes miss the unhealthy with both relationships and with food. It's important to recognize this dynamic, so I don't sink into something toxic. Most recently, I realized how unhealthy my "close" relationship with my mother used to be. I had become an enabler. I wanted so much to save her from the stress of caring for my father that I physically helped her beyond what i could truly handle. I became her primary confidant, which eventually turned over time into verbal punching bag to release her stress. She isolated herself from friends, refused to seek professional support and expected me to be her only emotional support. When I set boundaries and stepped back, things escalated, which was painful. Eventually, after the dust settled, something beautiful happened. She reached out to friends. Over time she started making regular plans with all different friends she rediscovered. That is how it should be. Nobody should expect one person to be everything to them. Our relationships is still strained, but no tirades in a while from her. When I miss the "closeness," I remind myself of how toxic it became and I rename it "codependency." I had spent less time with my own friends and was setting up fewer playdates for my kids because I was drained from mom's needs.
During the holiday season I still find myself pining for old UNHEALTHY habits. I still have fantasies of going to a bakery and getting a bunch of holiday cookies...for me! I want to bake...which ALWAYS results in me over-indulging-even with health-ified recipes. I want to go to a cookie exchange. I realize these things feel like warmth and comfort to me, but just like the relationship I had with my mother, they weren't. Yes, it's good to be close with a parent and no it isn't bad to have a cookie occasionally. The thing is, with mom she wasn't taking care of herself and she let her neediness grow out of control. Also her own mom had verbally abusive tendencies toward one child (not my mother) so there may be a genetic tendency she needs to keep in check. With cookies, I am like an alcoholic and abstinence is best. With mom, I will continue a relationship, one with healthy boundaries.
**There is a good chance I will take this down at some point because it is personal.