Today is Tuesday. I haven't written a word since Saturday so I think maybe I ought to make some kind of effort to entertain you before I forget how to write. The past several days are a jumble, I'm not really sure what happened.
Sunday, I was trying to work out my feelings on talking to my mother again. I'm still not sure what to think. I'm happy to have the chance at family but at the same time I wonder how wise this step is. We stopped talking for a reason. and the reason wasn't as reasonable or civilized as "stopped talking" implies. How long before the reason comes up again?
I have commitment issues. trust issues. serious ones. with good reason. If you look around my home, you won't see any of my pictures on the walls. The most permanent picture hanging I did was to tack a few of Alex that school sent home and one of our wedding day onto a bulletin board hanging by my work space. We've lived here for almost 6 years and it took 5 just to do that much because I was afraid to claim this as our home. As soon as you claim something, things happen and it's no longer yours to claim. Trying to force the issue, my husband found an old school picture of Alex's and hung it in our bedroom. It's still there. alone.
I have made more of an effort in the past year or so. I even made spaces that are mine. Last year, I started with the schools. making an effort to be... I don't know, I wouldn't call it "involved" but something like that. Maybe something on the lower end of the "involved" spectrum. like, from a distance. This year I started with PTAs and Curriculum nights. stuff like that. I decided this is home. Life is good. This is my happily ever after. I need to enjoy it instead of waiting for someone to rip it away. Monkey see, monkey do... my boys will follow.
Well, Walter. because this is the only life Goofy knows. He was raised with stability.
Over the weekend, talking with my mother, it started out exciting, I started out with big dreams and stars in my eyes. She would be my mom, and I would be her daughter. My boys would have a grandparent and things would be perfect from here on out. We would be a family, perfectly willing to accept and love each other unconditionally. Beautiful, warts and all.
I started with the determination that this relationship would be what I wanted it to be. When she left Saturday, I sprung a hug on her. Parents hug their children. That's the way it's supposed to be and that is the way it will be. If I can make the effort to push affection, affection will grow. After she left, Walter cracked a joke about the hug, not knowing it was a sensitive topic. I let him know that it wasn't funny. I explained to him that the only time in 32 years that my mother hugged me was an awkward hug when my grandpa died. I explained to him that that is exactly why he and his brothers get so very many hugs and kisses and I love yous. I know what it's like to not have them.
I decided that this time around, I would have the mother I never had. She would be my mom, and I would be her daughter.
and then I realized. I realized a lot. As much as I have changed over the past 5 years, she hasn't. These past 5 years, she hasn't missed me the way I missed her, she didn't feel the gaping hole in her life. She doesn't want to know me the way I want to know her. At first, that bothered me, a lot.
I wondered how this would work if nothing has changed. How we could have this loving relationship I envisioned when only one of us wanted it. I thought I could change our relationship. I thought time had changed us both and now that I understood what I didn't understand back then, maybe that would be the difference. I thought if I made the first move in everything from here on out, maybe I could lead the dance and we could have the relationship I wanted. If none of that is true, what has changed? Why would it work now when it has never worked before?
Because I have changed.
Because I see that accepting her as my mom and being her daughter means being perfectly willing to accept and love her unconditionally. Finding her beautiful, warts and all. This time around, I will have the mother I never had because I'm not the needy little girl I used to be. I can accept her as she is. Autism has given me the tools I need to understand that just because they don't say it or show it, doesn't mean they don't feel it.
As for how long before the reason comes up again? It doesn't even matter. My happiness is not dependent on someone else. I have the conviction and the courage to stand on my own now. My self-worth is not wrapped up in how someone else feels about me. I cannot force her to care for me, but I can love her without the relationship being on my terms. I can meet her in the middle and not be devastated if she doesn't want to walk that far. This is a two way street, I cannot expect to dictate the relationship, to force her into an uncomfortable role and for both of us to be happy with it. This is her relationship as much as it is mine. I understand that now.
I have faith that this time around, that will make all the difference.
We have a chance at a relationship, I need to enjoy it instead of waiting for it to crumble.
Over the weekend? My mom sent pictures from when the boys were little. Walter claimed 11 of them. ...and then hung them on his bedroom walls :)
Monkey see, monkey do... We are home. Life is good.