If this is your first time visiting, you really need to start reading from the beginning. You can't possibly hope to understand the perspective and motivation for this blog without starting there. You can easily get to the beginning either from the sidebar, or by clicking here. Thanks.
My last post mentioned the newly discovered popularity of my blog. I was more concerned with explaining the changes I was making as a result of this rather than addressing new issues that have come from it. I am prepared to do that now.
The primary focus of the blog has been relationships, specifically my relationship with my mother and my father, but I have also touched upon my wife, my sisters, my aunts, and my brothers. At least that's what I remember of the top of my head. And each time I've written about them, the context if thoroughly based on my perceptions. Guess what, it's my blog, so why wouldn't it? But the thing is that each examination is really an opportunity to focus my thoughts into something workable and nondestructive.
That means that when I come across as bitching and moaning, I am doing just that. What's different is that I am courageously doing what most of us never do, and that is I am airing my thoughts as I have them, unfiltered, unscrutinized, and unapologetically there for myself, and others, to see. I do this because I have the penchant to ignore my feelings and leave issues unresolved, allowing them to fester in until they come out in the most unhealthy ways, often directed at people who had nothing to do with anything. So instead of having cross words, or writing emails and letters that are completely uncalled for and mean-spirited, I can go back and look at what I wrote and organize my thoughts and feelings into a healthy response.
If you can't understand this, or the logic and reason behind this, then I would challenge you to get your head out of your ass and try acting mature.
I find currently myself at a crossroads in my life (sorry for the cliche) transitioning from a life with my mother to one without it. While you can never fully be prepared emotionally for this, I at least saw this coming ahead of time. Despite this, I made the decision not to cave in to pressure from my family and continue my distance from my mother and basically not talk to her, although in her final days I did write her a letter that she probably wasn't able to read, hear, or understand. I am OK with that. It's not what I would have liked to have had happen, but that's how it ended.
As her death has passed, I've taken slings and shots over my decision not to "forgive" her and talk to her and tell her I loved her. My sisters and aunts had a hard time with this, and I can totally appreciate that. They weren't ready for my mother to die at such a relatively early age, and quite frankly neither was I. Things were said that weren't helpful and were taken as mean and hurtful, but I choose to believe they were unintentional and I have to believe that they were all still so very said and hurt over the loss of my mother. I think any mature adult would be able to forgive some ill-spoken words that came out of that time. I know I have.
However, there have been hushed comments and whispers that remain long after what I deem to be an appropriate amount of time for people to get themselves together. Whether it is these hushed remarks or hate-filled emails from misanthropic and hubris filled, emotionally stunted people is irrelevant. I think, since this blog is also serving other people, that I should explain myself a bit on the subject of my mother and why I didn't talk to her during her final days.
My mother betrayed me. That's how this came to pass. Click on the link to read how (or refresh your memory) because I'm not going to summarize it here. What she did was horrible, and she acknowledged that in a phone message she left for me. But if you knew her you also know that she didn't have a clean slate up until that time, it was just the final straw in a history of abuse, neglect, and manipulation. I'm not trying to bad mouth her now that she is gone, but I'm also not going to lie and pretend these things didn't happen either.
So, once she betrayed me, I decided I wasn't going to keep her in my life. I wasn't going to make a huge speech or grand statement declaring my intentions and burn bridges in the process, I just pulled back, refused calls, and didn't initiate anything. The only plan I had was to make sure I didn't allow her to hurt me again. Those closest to me applauded this decision and to this day I know it was the right one.
Since then, I've been asked by many people what my mother could have done to make me change my mind. My wife, my friends, my therapist Ivan, and even my father have all wanted to know. I think it's important to acknowledge this question and answer it here, because it is the absence of these actions by her that allowed me to continue my distance and silence into the rest of her life.
As I recently told my father, I do no regret my actions or decisions. My mother could have shown me that she was truly sorry for what she had done by removing the burden and responsibility of forcing her children, let me be more specific and just call it accurately and say Teri, of having to anguish through making decisions that she should have made on her own. She had over a year to set her affairs in motion, to sign a living will, to request a DNR status, and to name Teri the medical power of attorney. She also had that time to secure life insurance so that Teri and her sisters were stuck paying for her death arrangements.
My mother lost me in her life indirectly because of how not taking responsibility for that can hurt and affect those you love. Yet she did nothing, or to be fair, if she did I wasn't aware of it. At the very least, I know that with the exception of getting life insurance, she didn't need money to take care of her loved ones.
As much as I loved her, and I absolutely did love her, this characterized her life. She always looked for someone else to be responsible for her. Emotionally, socially, and financially, she never had accountability. Even up to the end, I prayed every night for her, and hoped that she would finally take action and for once do what was right. But we know she didn't. So how could I accept her back into my life when I knew exactly what was coming?
My niece and nephew can hate me for taking this stance, so can anyone else. But they didn't have to listen to all the pain and torment in my sister's voice when she told me about how much she suffered trying to do right by my mother. My sister Teri loves them both far too much to have let them hear the hurt, the pain, and the fear in her voice while she second guessed herself and her actions. My sister was a true hero and I don't think my mother deserved the selfless devotion that Teri gave to her. But I heard how tore up Teri was over whether to keep my mother alive by a machine yet dead in her soul.
I have seen my sister go through some tough times in her life, but I have never heard her so low as the she was then. That wasn't fair to her. It could have been avoided. But my mother choose not to. That's why I didn't change my mind. That's why I do not regret my actions or choices. I loved my mother, but I could not support what she was doing. I love my sister and I am so sorry that she went through that, and hell she's probably still hurting from that.
So to anyone out there that wants to judge me, that wants to attack me or comment on me. You go ahead. I stood by and supported the right decisions.