Jay Z

This weekend we ventured outside our normal genre and went to see Jay Z. It was my birthday and craig bought us all tickets…in Edmonton.

It worked out well. Cleo had to see the eye specialist anyway, so we flew down on Thursday.

And we invited my parents to meet us. They drove up and we had hotel rooms on the same floor (not adjoining…not right beside).

This was a big win. A few years ago I decided that Christmas was not a time for visitors and I told my parents they couldn’t come to our house. The last time they did was December 2013. I had just quit drinking. I was stressed, hysterical, embarrassed, depressed. It was a nightmare.

My mom is hard to get along with. Nothing I do ever seems right or good enough. Everything is an underhanded criticism. When I am around her I begin to believe again that something is desperately wrong with me, and if I could just do better/more, be smarter, thinner, nicer, less difficult, less opinionated…sigh. Less me…than she might like me.

Yes. It is hard. And hurtful. And it really is like that. But, of course, if I ever mention it it’s all me. I over react. And in my drinking days I just drowned out the criticism and hurt and feelings of inadequacy with wine.

So. Over the past 4 years of therapy I have found short, neutral ground visits work best for me. I need my own space.

I have considered just not seeing her, but the kids enjoy short visits with their grandparents…although Cleo sees it all exactly as it is and refuses to take any crap from her grandmother. And I feel guilty when I avoid them.

So this weekend we met up and had some visits and did some shopping and played some cards. We celebrated my 46 birthday. We were all pleasant and nice.

Jay Z was fun. Not as much dope smoke as anticipated. Lol. May parents didn’t come to the concert.

4 years of sobriety have helped me find those boundaries while still living my life. I respect anyone who chooses complete avoidance from family who are difficult. It’s a hard decision to make, but a brave one. I am glad I have found a middle ground that works for now.

Life isn’t simple…it’s just much clearer. I am not the problem! And I remember everything.

If you feel obligated by family during the holidays step back and ask yourself what is necessary. What would you prefer. And how can you make that happen. People might not like it, but I know I’m responsible for my own mental health. We all are.

Stillness and peace,


15 thoughts on “Jay Z

  1. Great post, we are responsible for ourselves, and as we get sober and become aware of what we need, taking the steps to take care of ourselves is so important!
    You are doing great.

    On the other hand, I had to re-read this a number of times because I couldn’t get past Jay-Z!!!
    I love him….what a great concert

  2. My perspectives on relationships have shifted now as I view them through a sober lens – without numbing and/or always thinking “it must be me, I need to change.” I redefined a lot of relationships this year. Not everyone is happy about that. But I am.

    As always, Anne, thanks for sharing.

  3. You are in a tough situation Anne. My Mom was the same and wrangling with her really fuelled my drinking.I was not, at the time, able to find a middle way to deal with her. Honestly, I wasn’t really free until she passed away. I admire the way you’ve found a way to manage the relationship with her that protects you and your kids. 🌻

  4. I’m with you on this 100% Anne. I too learned the necessity of establishing boundaries around certain people in my life. It was an attitude cultivated over time and with the help of a good therapist. It’s not easy especially when it involves family and the feelings of guilt and resentment still arise even when you know it’s what you need to nurture your own mental health. Stay the course I say! It’s critical and brave and others need to hear that it’s okay to set boundaries. I’m so grateful you shared this! xo

  5. Happy belated birthday! So glad you’ve found the middle ground. It’s crazy how self aware and respectful of our boundaries we can be.. or we think.. until we are with certain people! Working out how to deal with those people is so crucial! X

  6. Happy belated birthday Anne! How fun that you went to see Jay-Z!
    I have dealt with what sounds like similar issues with my mom. It sounds like you are doing an amazing job of setting and sticking to boundaries with her, and I am so happy for you that you’re able to do that. ❤

  7. Taking time apart and away from the craziness is so important. This was good for me to read because I am entering this holiday season completely run down. Totally needing a complete reprieve, a total break. Those are hard to come by during the holidays. Thank you for this very clear reminder of what I need to be doing.

    1. One thing I learned is that kids don’t need it all. I often make plans thinking they want to go to parades, fireworks,sleigh rides.

      Often they don’t. My fear that they are missing out is truly unfounded.

      I hope you get a few days of home alone marathons and cozy Pajamas.

  8. Yes to boundaries! The whole concept of putting a nice happy family face on things just because it’s Christmas has always sat badly with me. It sounds like you did the right thing.

    I’m glad you had a great time around your birthday 🙂 x

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