After a CoDA meeting, on Friday evening, a friend (who I will call V) approached me to ask my advice. She said she was thinking of talking about her loneliness to her adult daughter. She wanted to tell her daughter that she felt alone and needed support and to ask if they could plan to get together every other week. She said that while this felt like expressing her feelings and asking for what she wanted, something kept nagging at her about it… it just didn’t feel right to her.
I knew what to say right away. The problem with her request lit up like a neon sign in my head – so much so that I had to slow myself down to be able to express what I was thinking in a calm way.
I told V, it’s good to express your feelings. Telling your daughter you feel lonely and want to see her more is fine. Saying how you feel right now and asking if she is free this weekend, for instance, is fine. However, locking her in to getting together on a specific schedule seems like controlling.
She nodded and smiled. "Yes, you're right."
I said, “you never know… it may get to the point where having a rigid schedule with your daughter would feel confining to you.”
She laughed at that, but nodded as she thought about it.
Another friend (Gail at the "Know Your Its" blog) posted a post in which she sometimes talks about her heart-wrenching experiences watching her mother deal with old age and poor health. In a recent post she was especially discouraged and wrote about her anger at God. She seemed defiant in her anger, as if she was afraid someone was going to call her on it and say she should not have such feelings where God is concerned.
This is part of what I wrote to her:
It's heartbreaking, Gail. You paint the picture so well I feel as if I was there with you...When I read that last sentence I was really surprised at what I’d said. What a profound thought! It had come from my fingers to my keyboard before I hardly knew what I was thinking.
Anger is real. It is human. It is part of God's creation and God can take it... It's okay to be angry. It's okay to say, WHY? and to cry and to scream and to tell God you are angry.
Being angry does not mean you don't love... just like all the bad things that happen in the world don't mean God doesn't love.