I have happiness in my heart and a thorn in my soul

Adjusting expectations

on October 2, 2014

I spent years in emotional turmoil, my Mother issues were rampant, so were my Daddy issues to be fair. I was just so angry at my Mother, so angry at my Stepfather, so angry at my cousin, so angry at my husband. Everyone had let me down and I was pissed. True, my Mother let some pretty terrible shit happen to me when I was younger, my Stepfather has done some pretty terrible shit to me when he’s been drunk and raucous, and my husband and I have had our issues but I held onto every little slight, and let it fester.

I would look at my friends and the relationships they have with their Mothers and I would feel this ache in my gut, such sadness that I will never have that. After not talking to my Mother and extended family for about 3 years we started seeing each other again a year ago, and I’ve learned a lot in this year: if you expect the world from someone they will surely let you down.

Basically, i realized that i was holding people to an impossible standard and expecting them to jump through hoops because of their previous fuck ups towards me. I had to let go of the past, the anger and the pain and realize that yeah, my Mother and I will never have a normal relationship but who says we need a normal relationship? Why can’t we just be what we are, slightly dysfunctional but both trying our best. She tries her best with my kids and they really enjoy the sunday night dinners we have at her house, we don’t really do much else together but that’s ok, dinner once a week and the occasional lunch or shopping trip is enough for me now, now that i’ve lowered my expectations.

I guess at some point we are faced with the question of whether we can let go or not, and until very recently my answer would have been no, but thankfully i’ve started uprooting the pain that has itself so deep inside my psyche, it’s a work in progress but it’s so so worth it. I was so scared to let go of the anger and pain because I feared there would be nothing left, no link to my Mother at all, but instead there is love and understanding and patience. Just let go.

5 responses to “Adjusting expectations

  1. I hope I can get to a point of letting go, I do have the fear of there being nothing left. It would be nice to just have lunch every couple of weeks or go to the store. Not quite yet though.

    • mckarlie says:

      You’re still angry? That’s fair, i was so angry for such a long time. And i still get pissy with her over small things but now i vent to hubby instead of take it out on her, i just had to accept that she is a flawed human being and i can’t expect much from her and it’s made things a lot easier on me. no gilmore girls crap for us lol

      • LoL I’ve never expressed anger towards her. I took it out on myself. Thus why the no contact / strict boundaries for now. Most everyone wants me to stay away until I get stronger. She still makes me physically ill, it’s bizarre.
        Tonight was an “ah ha” moment in that my mom really was sick. There really was something wrong. As if this is ah ha to anyone but me.

      • mckarlie says:

        Yeah does it make you feel terribly different about the things she did now that you know she has an illness that explains a lot of the behaviours? I didn’t get diagnosed till i was 31 but i understand it can happen much later, sometimes it never gets caught.

      • Yes and no. I don’t feel differently but maybe validated is a better word. Like I didn’t dream it up or imagine it all. My mom didn’t ever, I mean never went to the doctor. Before her stroke it had been at least 30 years since her last visit.
        So I suppose I do feel different. I want to say that I’ve never been angry at her, but I know that’s not true.

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