Sunday, October 06, 2013
Toward Freedom XXII
My mother is not doing well. It seems that cancer and close to 90 years of living have combined to take away most of her will to live.
I got the first hint of this three weeks ago. My sister and mother called, gave me a precis of the situation, and said it would be good if I came to Colorado to help.
There being a pretty strong filter between what I feel and what I think, it took a while to understand what happened in me, but the main thing was anger. Still is, for that matter. Here are people who've barely had a word to say to me in years, and have rarely bothered to listen to me, giving a good yank on the cord that's supposed to connect family members. In the past I'd have obeyed, stuffing reality under assumption. This time I said I had other things going on and was unable to leave immediately. My sister was not pleased.
The truth is that I've never had a home with them. It was their home and I was a tolerated guest, so long as I behaved in the ways they expected. The most unfortunate aspect of this is that I've modelled nearly all of my relationships ever since on the same idea: I enter the other person's world and no one cares about mine. In many cases this is true, but in others it is most definitely not true yet I still behave as if it is.
God is gently leading me away from that, having me look at the real relationship instead of the model I've built in my mind. This causes great fear.
Well, maybe the really most unfortunate aspect of my upbringing is that I have no home even within myself. I tolerate myself on the good days and try to knock everything down on the bad days. God helps keep the swinging fists from hitting too hard and gradually we come to understand more of the fear and anger.
People are delicate entities. We're made that way; we're made for wonder and beauty but live in a world that mostly denies everything but force and guilt. Jesus removed the guilt. I retained the force.
A few days ago I got an Email from my sister, saying she didn't expect our mother to live another week and that I needed to get myself out there. Another pull on a string that just doesn't exist any more. Am I heartless? Selfish? What good would I do in Colorado? How can there be an emotional connection with people who've denied me any chance to express my emotion? I hear about theirs. Or did, anyway, before I stopped trying to communicate. Let her friends, for whom she was always much more present, take care of her present needs. I'm tired of being called in like the TV repairman or the moving assistant.
For some things there is no healing. Is there even supposed to be healing? How many times must one crack against a stone wall before learning that the wall won't change and has no desire to change? I myself know something of how hard change is. We all make our decisions, and actions have consequences. I'm willing to live with the consequences of my actions.
Maybe I'm growing a backbone. The story goes on.
2013 October 6