At a CoDA meeting on Tuesday night, I read something in one of the stories in the "Blue Book" which has me thinking about my current state of mind. The statement was something like:
"I used to think if I didn’t feel joyful and happy, something was wrong."
I first read this and thought, isn't there?
I have never expected every day to be rosy and cheerful, but I always thought that was the goal. Of course, no one would choose to feel sad, angry, hurt, etc. Even so, it’s interesting to realize that it is just as normal to feel those “negative” emotions as it is to feel the ones that are more pleasant.
To look at it that way is to accept that however I am at this moment truly is okay. It makes it more possible to look at my feelings dispassionately, and without judgment – which is exactly what I need to be able to do right now.
I've been dealing with things on all fronts, lately:
1. Emotionally: Depression, a companion I've traveled with often, is back at my side.
2. Physically: I had oral surgery to remove all my wisdom teeth, one week ago - an event which brought with it pain, anxiety, an inability to open my mouth wide enough to accommodate a spoon and several days of drug-induced fogginess.
3. Mentally: My thoughts have been swirling around in my head for over a month, creating confusion and panic, ever since the big blow-up with my father.
4. Spiritually: As often seems to happen, when I am in the most need I have the hardest time feeling connected, and the least inclination to look for that connection. In addition, I realized a couple weeks ago that I’ve been having some transference issues with the minister at the Unity Church I’ve been attending… and that is confusing things further.
5. Support-wise: Because of the holidays and the surgery, I haven’t been able to attend the things that keep me on track with any kind of regularity since mid-December. I’ve missed some or all of my CoDA meetings, Writers’ Group, church services and appointments with C, and that is really taking a toll on me.
I've decided that cutting all ties with my parents is not a course of action that suits me. At the same time, I am determined to set strong boundaries with them in order to maintain a feeling of safety.
What would these boundaries look like? Defining them, describing them, determining how to explain them to my parents, and deciding what consequences there will be if they do not respect these boundaries is about all that’s been occupying my brain. While my most adult self writes page after page, trying to get a clear picture of exactly what these boundaries will look like, there is a crying eight-year-old who is fights the whole thing, and a very little one who keeps throwing a picture of my mother - as she was when I was less than two - into my mind every time I get started on this path towards setting boundaries.
Because of these little ones, It is not possible to completely give up hope on my mother – at least not right now. Even if I think I know all the way through me, that my mother will always be who she’s always been, I can’t make the little ones give up hope. All I can do is offer them a substitute – me – so that’s what I’m doing. If they take my offer to reparent, that will make things easier. Many sides of me have already accepted this arrangement and I am much happier that way. I have hope that one day these other lost little ones will "come home" too.