Vacation time

hi friends!

I am on vacation. Visiting my parents and mother in law. And my sister and her family.

My beautiful nephew was baptized this past weekend and I have the honour of being his godmother. He is an absolute angel. I wish he lived closer. I wish his whole family was at least in the same country. But no, they are in England and I’m in northern canada.

It has been a good trip. We have spent time as a family, visited old friends, I did a yoga workshop and now we have a few more days to find fun and visit.

I was worried about the trip. My mother is hard to get along with. She is my biggest trigger by far. And trigger me she did. But this visit I had an ally. My sister and I have found a new friendship that we lacked growing up. Honestly, our mother has often pitted us against each other, growing up and now. The overt comparison and subtle criticisms had us each defending ourselves against the other. It seems sad now. And such a waste. We are both smart, kind, successful women with a lot in common.

I am not letting it happen anymore. I’m not willing to let anyone interfere with our relationship. I only have one sister, and she is an amazing person. She has given me support and love over these last months that has prompted me to reevaluate how I see myself. That’s a powerful thing. 

It’s hard to look at your parent and see her behaviour as harmful. Emotionally abusive. But it is. It always has been.

Sigh. Acceptance of how things are is not always easy. But it is necessary. 

Stillness and peace

Anne

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23 thoughts on “Vacation time

  1. Congrats on your godson. 🙂 And wonderful that you can connect in such a way to your sister. I hope that my brother and I can one day come to understand eachother. I am happy for you.

    Yes, I find it hard too to look at destructive behaviour of my parents. Sometimes I can take it to the next step: accepting that they too were a produce of their time and upbringing as am I. And then I come to the thought that the not accepting of what is has to do with denial. I sometimes wonder what part of my track into denial was founded in my youth because I needed to deny because the things that happened were not bearable (yet). In other words: I am thinking denial in my life was not something that suddenly start when I drank 1 glass over the weekly limit for females. I’haven’t worked it out yet. Currently reading Anodea Judith’s chakra book on how these things get ‘ingrained’.

    xx, Feeling

    1. Somewhere I think that recognizing that a parent has done the best they knew how is important. But I also have acknowledge that my own needs as a child were not met and it hurt me. And it continues to happen and it still hurts.
      Perhaps letting go of my expectations (or hopes) that she will change has finally let me see her behaviour as unacceptable to my adult self and to actually start putting up healthy boundaries.

      1. Yeah. I have/had difficulty with realising that I need to put up these boundaries because ‘that is not how it is supposed to be’. 😦 And yes, I do think the acknowledging comes before the making peace. No making peace when denial of myself or the other(!) is still around.
        I said goodbye to my father because he literally told me ‘I have never listened to anybody in my whole life, why would I listen now?’ And I thought: that is a clear answer. You could try because I am hurting badly now but I have already told you that and you are not interested so we are done. :-/ 😦 I was still drinking then. I think currently I would have cut loose first, sealed up seccond and thirdly I would have actually said what I thought then.

  2. Yes, seeing my mom with a clearer set of eyes has been rather sad for me too. Maybe it is seeing “mom” as not perfect is what is sad. She certainly does not claim she is perfect & I know I am not a perfect mom. If she triggers me ( my mom visit is coming up) I guess I will have to be a sober adult and accept my own feelings. I’m glad you wrote about this.

    1. In some ways I wanted to write more. To be angry about it. But I am slowly seeing that holding onto that anger is actually what’s holding me back.

      We have moved to my mother in laws house as space was too cramped at my parents. I think limiting contact is necessary.

      Good luck with your visit!

  3. Anne, it amazes me sometimes how parallel our stories are in some ways…I experienced almost the same dynamic in April when I went to visit my parents (similar relationship with my mom)…I had went on the trip hoping to “repair” things and then after the trip it left me deeply sad to have to begin to accept the reality of how my mother treats me…she’s always been that way in fact it is me who (in my mind) sugar-coated my image of her for a long time…part of my healing is accepting her as she is, and accepting the fact that the mothering I needed and didn’t get is also part of what I’m healing from.
    It makes my heart smile to hear of you and your sister repairing your relationship and how your sister is inspiring change in you. Have a wonderful trip!
    Jenn

  4. Enjoy your trip and your new nephew 🙂 I get along well with my Mother (now, not when I was growing up), and I still get “triggered”. I have to remind myself she did the best she could with me, based on the upbringing she had. But as you say, it still hurts, I still want to blame her for not teaching me to love myself, or have confidence or self-esteem. I’ve accepted it though, I can’t change the past. I’m so happy you and your sister have connected, it’s never too late!

  5. There is a peace that comes along with finally seeing your parents for who they are and not who you wish they were. When I was finally able to let go and see her for who she was, I grew as a woman, a wife and a mother.

    Be still my friend, this too shall pass.

    Sherry

      1. Oeh, 😦 I’m sorry. Those words coming from you must really mean something. I wish you, not sure. I guess I wish you insight, clarity and the ability to look at it from a distance in order not to get hurt (too badly). And hugs, loads of hugs from people who see it too and understand.

      2. I know. I often said that my mother was not the kind of person I would have ever chosen as a friend. It helped me to remember how broken she was in her own life and that she didn’t have the capacity to love me the way I wanted to be loved. When I took it out of her hands and realized that it was just that she was weak and damaged from her own life experiences, I was able to see that there was nothing wrong with me…she was the one with the problem.

        It also helped me forgive her.

        I truly hope you find peace in this. It’s a biggie that can consume you.

        Sherry

  6. Hi Anne,
    How lovely to be spending time with your Godson and family members. I’m sorry things are difficult with you mum.
    Enjoy the rest of your holiday. Family time is precious. You are so lucky to have a sister. I always wanted one. I love my 3 brothers but a sister would have been lovely.
    A x

  7. Dear Anne,
    I am very sorry your mom is mean and selfish.
    I love my sister, too.
    Our mom is not mean, but she is focused on herself.
    I think it is very good you moved to your in-laws, and keep your distance from her.
    You deserve to be treated with love.
    xo
    Wendy

  8. Congratulations on your godson, so glad you are getting to spend some time with him! I am so impressed with this coping mechanism of forging a new relationship with your sister… it helps to deal with your mother, and it is a hopeful new connection in your new life!

    I look forward to the update on the rest of the vacation when you get home. Enjoy!

  9. Thanks for another great post. “Acceptance” of all of life’s hurts and fears is my trigger. Glad to know you’ve got a renewed relationship with your sister – it is a gift from your mother, in a way….

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