"Come on up!" She said, smiling radiantly at me. She locked eyes on me. It made me uncomfortable. We got on the elevator together and she turned to the 3 others in the elevator and proudly announced to them that I was her daughter. They didn't even flinch. That didn't seem to bother my mother though; her smile adorned her face.I was eager to get out of the elevator. I wondered if that showed. It probably did.
She took me to her room, introducing me to her roommate. I wondered what she was "in for", as if it were a prison cell. I didn't know what to expect, but a dorm room situation with a roommate hadn't crossed my mind. My mother invited me to sit on her bed with her. Other than a lonely chair with stuff on it, that was the only place to sit.
This is the part where I attempted to be present and be in the moment. This is the part where we have conversation and discover worlds of unknowns.
I struggled to be there. I was listening and speaking through my own filters.
- "It smells awful in here"
- "I finally did it"
- "What's Mo doing? How long have I been in here?" (She was waiting in her car for me, and told me to take as long as I needed)
- "When is it okay for me to leave?"
- "What am I supposed to feel right now? I don't feel anything."
I found myself immediately searching for similarities and finding very little. I look nothing like this woman. She's got fair skin, light hazel eyes, and straight hair. I looked for even more similarities but on a deeper level. I was looking at her, looking FOR her mental illness.
No doctor has ever told me that I am unwell. And, I'm not my mother. I am my own person. Unfortunately though, I lived my life [unknowingly] underneath the story line of "I'm going to end up mentally ill like my mother anyway," for my entire life -- up until now.
Once I GOT that, I realized how living like that had impacted me and the choices I'd made in my life, specifically when it comes to romantic relationships. Anytime a man would get too close, I pulled out the old "I'm crazy! Why would you wanna date me?!" card. [Can you believe that?] The impact on them is that they never got to be with me.
It was time to close the chapter on that dis-empowering story line that was running my life. I had to go back and see my mother, and this time, with the proverbial gloves off.
I scheduled a time to meet with her one more time before moving to California. I had to apologize to her for unfairly using her illness as an excuse to why I was not in a committed relationship. You might be asking yourself why I would even consider doing that. But I knew that it was the only way to really be free and allow me to live my life! And so that's exactly what I did. From there, that opened up the doors for me to share myself with her, and get EVERYTHING out; all the undelivered communication I'd stowed away for decades.
WHAT A RELEASE!
I felt like this dark cloud had be lifted away. And now, the light in that part of my life could shine! I began to see my mother as a beautiful, brave, intelligent woman, responsible for the wonderful woman writing this blog entry right now.
And wouldn't you know, not even 3 weeks after moving to California, I meet an amazing guy. Serendipitously. He said something so poignant, and I couldn't agree more.
"Sometimes things come to you only when you're ready for them."