Monday, February 27, 2012

Getting My Peace Back

I was in another world last week.  I felt such calmness and contentment from within.  I took delight in nature - the sounds, the smells, the sights of tiny snails and tall Oaks.  I prayed and journaled and felt God near.

Now I'm off to another week and the joys of just a handful of days ago are no longer felt from within.  I keep telling myself that it doesn't matter how I feel - that the wonderful week I experienced can't just go away.  But that week has passed, and it took my smiles with it.

When I take a step back and ask myself, "Why am I feeling less than good?  Why am I no longer calm and peaceful?", I have a few concrete answers, but the brick-house of them all is the approaching wedding of my sister, which has unfortunately bridged the gap between myself and my estranged mother.

My mother has called me sporadically and left voicemails over the years, all of which have gone un-listened to for the past 3 years.  My avoidance of her will come to a screeching halt this weekend when I will see her at a bridal shower.  I'm not so sure how I feel about this.  Who am I kidding?  I absolutely do not want to see her.  I do not want to talk to her.  I do not want her to ask me questions about where I live and what I've been up to.  And all of these do-not's are made even more frustrating by my uncertainty about how to handle the situation.

I've made progress.  I've read books and I've attended counseling for quite some time.  I have knowledge about her treatment of me and truth about my goodness and why my reality is so insufferably distorted.  This truth has given me a new perspective -- about her, about me, about my past and present and future.  I see her as a terrible woman, a woman with her own pain so deep that she inflicts pain on others.  I see her as clueless and immature.  I see her as a human being with her own goodness that she must discover herself, but a human being that I do not want in my life in any capacity, nonetheless.

My boyfriend has given me advice on how to handle any interactions with her this weekend and the weekend of the wedding.  Even though I asked him what I should do or say, I was compelled to yell at him, "You have no idea how I feel!"  But I didn't.  His advice was good advice, but good advice that I expect will be very difficult to follow.

Use my voice.  Don't feel obligated or at fault.  Remain focused on what the day is about -- my sister.  I am an adult who will be respected and treated as such.  I am an independent adult who owes nothing to anyone.  Assert myself.  I have the power to speak, to remain silent, and to walk away if necessary.  Pretty good advice, huh?  Shit, how will I do this?

All of my work, all of my progress and breakdowns from childhood to today, all of my insights and fears and experiences housed in this very blog, every counseling session, every prayer -- this was my preparation for a day that would inevitably come.  And I'm scared.

I'm a lot of things.  I'm bitter.  I'm fed up.  I'm tired.  I'm sad.  Why me?  Why more of this crap?  The day will be a breeze or a complete nightmare -- it's one or the other with her.  And the power of positive thinking won't apply to her craziness.

So where does all this leave me?  Today it left me empty.  I had many negative thoughts about myself which I had to tell out loud were lies and to just stop.  I don't want to spend my week worrying about a 3-hour event.  I thought ahead and scheduled an appointment with the pastor of the church I've been attending - I had other things I wanted to talk to him about, specifically Lent questions, but also the relationship with my mother and what God thinks about it.  I found out this morning my mother would be attending this weekend's event, and I couldn't help but think, "Perfect timing."  I meet with him tomorrow morning.

I am leaning on God.  I am asking Him for clarity and forgiveness and peace.  I am counting on Him to help me this weekend.  Perhaps, this too, is my preparation for a day that will inevitably come.

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