Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving With My Codependent Family of Origin

For those of you who have been following my recent story, by now you know that my books 'The Road Back to Me' and "My Road Beyond the Codependent Divorce' were projects I essentially hid from my family.  Because I chose to tell the story my family has forever denied, my books were not ones I felt comfortable sharing with them.

I was blown away when my mother called me and told me she not only knew about my books, but that she was also proud of me for telling the truth about what went on in our codependent home--I was totally blown away.

I was so taken a back, my knees buckled below me and I slumped to my couch in tears.

For anyone who has read my books, you can imagine for yourself how difficult it had to have been for my mother to make that phone call.  I held nothing back in my books, and swore to myself after my brother in law committed suicide last year, that when I finally published my books, I would leave nothing out.  J's suicide was the direct result of his codependent relationship with my sister, and his death was the impetus I needed to finally find the guts to tell my families truth.

A few days after she called, she called again and invited me, my fiancee and my children to Thanksgiving dinner.

I was terrified.

It is the morning after.  I am sitting here at 4 a.m., writing to you my dear readers--my friends--and my extended family of light, because I know with all of my being--that all of you--understand how stressful, uncertain, and anxiety provoking a Thanksgiving meal can be for a codependent family.

I would be lying if I said I did not for a few moments wonder if I were walking into a firing squad.  Was this a ploy to get me back for exposing my families truths?  Would my family now embarrass me in front of my wonderful fiancee who accepts me as I am?  Would my father throw out some loaded comment and expect me to just sit there as his so called 'funny' insult slithered under the dining room rug?  And would my mother, the one who had recently shared that she was proud of me, turn against me, and pretend as if that healing conversation never took place?

I had no way of knowing.

In the recent days of my ongoing healing and recovery journey--I have begun to contemplate how detrimental the emotion 'fear' can be.

So many of us GCoA's and ACoA's live with fear--in our minds--in our hearts--and even in our bodies--all day long.  We do not know what a moment is without worrying (worry is fear) about this thing or that. We worry about our weight, our hair, our wrinkles, money, our kids, our parents, the war, the kids grades, what the neighbors think and so on and so on.

But recently I have become ever more aware of how thirsty I am for something more than what I have always known.

I don't want to be afraid anymore.  I don't want obsessive and ridiculous--freakin' worry to blanket my inner and outer being anymore.  I don't want to go to bed worrying--dream worry--and wake up full of anxiety over crap I have no damn control over.

And so, when I felt those love and acceptance robbing thoughts creep into my mind this past week, as I pondered visiting my family for Thanksgiving, I visualized myself staring masked, slithering bandits in their face--and declared--"No--not today you don't.  I refuse to allow you to pull me out of alignment with how I WANT to feel and with what I WANT to experience," and believe it or not--the worries vanished.

My mother has been suffering with Multiple Sclerosis for over ten years now.  Yesterday she complained of feeling numb and she was also having difficulty with her vision.  I personally feel she has migraine disease and not MS--but my mother is too fear based to let go of what the doctors she trusts have decided to diagnose her with. (That is another story--and a thing I cannot control.)

In all of my mothers inner fears about her health yesterday--I sensed that the mother I have longed to love--actually 'saw me' for the first time in my life yesterday.  When my mother first laid her blue eyes upon me, she threw her arms around me and pulled me into her with great warmth.  She kissed the side of my head and whispered in my ear, " I am really, really glad you are here."

As the little wounded girl in me choked up with tears--I struggled to maintain my emotional balance and to hold onto the sphinx creature I believe my journey has morphed me into--and looked her into her eyes and said, " I am glad I am here too."

My mother doesn't need me to be a dependent little girl right now--nor do I need to be mothered the way I once did.

Today my mother and I are both--women--creatures of God (source--higher power ((whatever))--and both of us have been wounded by unaware parents--who unfortunately were clueless as to how to raise children in a truly responsible way.

In so many ways--my mother and I are equals now--almost one even.

I know in my heart that my telling of my personal childhood trauma's has helped my mother accept her truth.  She was not the mother I deserved--and in her accepting of that of herself--her heart has finally opened not only to me her child--but to her wounded inner child as well.

In my ability to see me--my inner child--miraculously it has given way for my mother to see her own wounded inner child--a thing most ACoA's never do.

I am well aware at how blessed I am this Thanksgiving, and although my father and sister still very much walk in the darkness--I am certain my mother has brighter days ahead--and hopefully she and I--as mother and daughter do as well.

Thank you for taking this ride with me...