Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

I no longer wish to be angry or resentful. It's probably not possible for me to completely stop wishing things were different, but I can try to detach from that as well. One of my big realizations this week having to do with my family is an obvious one, but it bears repeating until I can remember it.

The real root of my family issues come from (IMO)Mom's unexamined, debilitating lack of self-esteem. None of the outcomes were meant to hurt me. None of it was "against" me. Yes, I was in the overspray. Yes, I got caught up in it, but it wasn't intentional. I just need to let it be hers and my end of the tug-of-war-rope needs to stay where I discarded it. God grant me the serenity.....

The day was a fun, a bit sad and enlightening. I discovered that even when I'm trying to be in recovery, I tend to fall back into old patterns and behaviors that were established decades ago. It's a sing-song chorus that I've been actively participating in for years. It's hard to change those behaviors and it makes other's uneasy when you don't do what you've always done.

I've said here before that my sister has always been my fashion consultant. She's got good eye and I trust her judgment. It never dawned on me. until yesterday that those exchanges between us might not be good for her. The three of us were having a great time. We'd gone to see her new property, had a great lunch (so much for my healthful ways - hello, sweet potato fries!) and then went shopping at "our" favorite store in my old stomping grounds - all old patterns. I needed/wanted a new dress to wear to a wedding in a couple of weeks. So I asked her to help me look. And she picked out three stunners, two more work appropriate, one summer wedding appropriate and each under $20, so I bought all three.

She went with me to the dressing area, hanging out by the big mirrors, as she always does. She makes friends with everyone in the dressing room trying on clothes, as she always does and before I can even get out of the room, she's helping others with their clothing choices, as well.

But those people aren't her sister. I am. And when I come out of the dressing room, it hurt her. I could see it in her face. Not that the dress doesn't look good, because it did. With the recent weightloss, this dress was made for me. And she took one look at it and turned it all inward. I could recognize the signs. Been there, done that. Picking out a dress for me became a weapon to use on herself.

She is beautiful. Drop dead, always dressed to the nines, eye catching gorgeous. As she is. Right now, today. She's a six foot tall red head with blue eyes the size of saucers, pearly white teeth and dimples. She's 35 years old with a wicked wit and I suspect she's close to 300 pounds, if not over. Her weight doesn't matter to me one whit (save health reasons), but it bothers her in that way that most of us know about. And I know, or think I know, that it the weight is just a symptom of other stuff. I just hope that she can find a way to be happy with herself.

Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Make peace.



  1. They can't play tug-of-war when we let go of our end of the rope!
    I consider myself to be in "recovery" as well...
    Maybe "discovery!"
    And OMG sweet potato fries...
    Here's to a great day, Roxie-style!

  2. Anne's coment made me smile.

    Change is hard. Especially on those who are not willing ( or possibly able ) to change. I love your self discovery posts. I always learn something new about myself.

    Thanks and Happy Mother's Day!

  3. I'm absolutely adopting Anne's use of discovery. I think it's very fitting. Recovery has it's roots in the negative, the past. Discovery is much more positive, much more forward-looking. The best is yet to come. Spectacular observation, Anne H!

  4. I've always had a very shallow relationship with my mom and sister. We have never been a close family ... EVER. I feel like I was left on the doorstep.
    I do love my mom but I always feel tinged with guilt. Like I have to make up for my siblings who have very limited contact with her (my brother not at all)
    My sister has always resented me from the time I was born. She will be 59 and I will be 50 this year. I think she even resented me having cancer as it took away from her own pity party. She emailed me when she found out ... once. I never heard from her again.
    Except for 2 days 5 years ago, I haven't seen my brother in 20 years. He disengaged a long time ago. I am 10 years younger and it isn't personal because we never had a relationship really to begin with. I always look for the brother in every guy I meet.
    I think all of this has made me fearful of claiming my greatness. The payoff for being wonderful has been resentment, abandonment and guilt.

    Sorry for posting a post in your comments but family stuff just hits a very sore nerve for me.

  5. Ah. Your sister has done a good job of hiding it, if you haven't picked up on the dress issues until yesterday - you are a very "aware" person and wouldn't knowingly do anything to cause hurt to another. Poor sister - I hope that someday she can find her way through the excess weight and come out on this side.

    And Anne H? LOVE what you said! I am going to write it down and keep repeating to myself "let go of the rope" - wow...thank you!

    P.S. I love sweet potato fries and would have eaten them, too.

    P.S.S. I want to see pictures of you in the dresses!

    P.S.S.S. Happy Mother's Day!

  6. Happy Mother's Day!

    Sometimes I wish we could meet others in a stripped-down state-- without all the layers of vanity and loss and hurt and concealment. Your sister would see your love for her, her beauty, as well as the pain you feel when she hurts and your wish for her to feel well and whole. But what you've done for yourself shows her that it can be done: it's a kind of gift, too.

  7. Belated Happy Mom's day to you!

    Ya GOTTA eat sweet potato fries. They are so rare and so good! You enjoyed them in moderation, I'm sure.

    One little ditty I like to use (almost as a mantra) "Drop the rope." There can be no tug-o-war with one person pulling.

    I like Anne's spin towards 'Discovery' too. After all, are we recovering what we had, or discovering what we've been missing?

  8. You are so sweet and caring to your sister....i hope my sisters are like you.....


We'll try this for a while.