I never considered myself slow to accept the curveballs that life often throws my way. I smiled through my recent bout with Pulmonary Embolism, I adjusted to this extended period of unemployment, and I walked away from His Side with a clear conscience.
Yet the more I find support and comfort in the presence of other adult children with a narcissistic/abusive parent, the more I continue to struggle with my membership in that group.
I can't pin this struggle on pride or embarrassment, which would seem like natural reactions to such a broken relationship with the one who is supposed to love me the most. As I dig deep to understand "why," I only find one nugget: By most accounts, the pattern I've experienced with my mother (who refuses to admit any wrongdoing) does not result in a path to reconciliation.
In effect, I lost my mother although she continues to walk this earth. This death of our relationship encompasses the death of my fantasy of what - and who - a mother should be to her adult daughter. Essentially, the death of this fantasy represents the death of my hope.
My ability to hope in the goodness of others remains important to me, yet I have to let it go when it comes to the larger-than-life presence called "mother."
I clearly remember the day, many years ago, she wanted to go to counseling with my father as she lamented over his possible denial that counseling was in order. As a young adult, I was elated over her willingness to start addressing our family problems. "If he won't go, you and I can still go and get help with our family issues.
I stood broken-hearted as her body language indicated that our relationship wasn't important enough for such a measure. Looking back, I believe she likely wanted a counselor to "whip him into shape." I doubt she wanted anything to do with taking any responsibility for her own actions.
So here I am, elated about my new freedom that comes with setting boundaries against anybody who desires to abuse me, yet surprisingly sad about accepting the death of a fantasy. There's nowhere but up from this bittersweet place...
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