Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Healing Family Wounds

OK, so now that my contraversial post is out of the way, I feel like I can move on. 
After a period of feeling extra bloated and fatter than normal, wondering if I need to cut back on the wine consumption (boo), I woke this morning with a ton of energy and feeling a lot flatter in my stomach than I have in some time.  I can only attribute it to my monthly ending and it just so happened that I had a lot less calories yesterday due to it being too busy at work to get away to eat.  Even though I woke early at 3:30am and tossed and turned until my alarm went off at 5 am, I woke up feeling so good and still do.  Maybe I need less sleep than I thought?  My body is weird, that's all I've got!
My eating has been a little less structured as I'd like it.  I planned some lower-carb, veggie based meals this week, but forgot to make my lunch (cauliflower crust mini pizzas) and ran out of time to make them last night.  I will get to it tonight so I can eat how I planned to eat.  The Indian Samosas I had planned to have for dinner this week were actually gobbled up by my family.  I didn't have the heart to tell them they were for me, so I will eat veggie burgers instead.  Not a big deal or a big difference nutrition wise.   To be honest, I haven't really changed much with my menu this week, I added the mini pizzas because it's a sneaky way to get some veggies in, it tastes good and I was craving green olives.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.  I just wish the cauliflower didn't stink up my entire office lunchroom but OH WELL! 
I am learning to let things roll more, to use my voice instead of being nice just to accommodate people, and let my needs, wants and opinions be known more.  I might be loopy, but I think the whole process of bucking the societal ideal of being some emaciated woman or overweight woman constantly on a diet; well, letting go of all of that has been liberating in so many ways.  It is a fecundity, one positive flowing over onto the next.  I'm less stressed out because I'm not hyper-focused on do's and don'ts and that gives me more confidence, both of which make me happier.  I am in a really good place right now.  I wish I'd never started dieting in the first place, but I know that is part of my journey that I needed to go through in order to appreciate the feeling of liberation I feel today.
Not much has happened since the experience the other night, but I have been asking for signs.  I did get one in a dream, the zodiac glyph for Cancer.  From what I have read, it is a sign of nurturing and awakening.  This has been a message I have been getting seemingly all around me lately, and I figured I better start putting these signs and energy in the right place.  It starts with my mom.
I do not have a very close relationship with my mom.  She has some really good points, but she puts so much of her energy into cutting people down that it is hard to feel really warm toward her, even when she does something nice.  It has been this way since I was a child, kind of cold and sometimes completely lacking in empathy.  I have given her the benefit of the doubt before, thinking of how tough her life was, growing up poor to abusive parents, she barely had coping skills herself before having kids and trying to shame and degrade us into being who she thought we should be.  I never felt like anything I did was good enough to please her, so when I was in my early teens, I stopped trying.  I purposely did exactly the opposite of what she told me, as my own way of rebelling.  I thought I was being tough and building a strong fortress around myself, but in reality, I was closing off a huge part of myself to her and not allowing anything in from her either.  When that happened, I not only made it impossible for her to give me anything, I also pushed her out so I couldn't connect with her or even try to understand her.  I didn't care, she hurt me, she damaged me, she was supposed to be the loving parent who would take care of me, nurture me so I could blossom.  I spent so much of my life blaming her for not being what I thought she should be, doing the same, hypocritical thing to her as I hated having done to me.  I didn't see that at the time, though.  I just shoved down all those feelings with food; drowned the feelings as if I could drown her out of my life.  She supported me when it was time to move out, and when I was starting my own family and moving 2,000 miles away with them.  She sent money to make sure I would be OK, every month she sent money for diapers and bills, and there were months that we honestly couldn't have made it by without that help.  The miles helped us be a little closer, and I felt like I had to be nice because she was giving us money.  She is generous, but she never lets you forget it.  Since we've been back within driving distance of one another, things have softened a little more.  She hugs me when we visit, which isn't very often, and my kids have loved visiting her because she loves to keep them entertained with crafts.  While I don't pretend that everything is lovey-dovey with us, we seem to have found our ground where we're OK with one another.  This latest burst of energy and opening within myself made a small opening in my heart for what I know will be regret of lost time and understanding.  I am turning 44 next month, and she is turning 63.  She has been a smoker since she was 11, and every time I talk to her she coughs and coughs and blames it on her sinuses.  Every time she gets a cold it goes into her chest and lasts a few months long.  I know she won't be here forever.  When I think of how small my life is in comparison with my lineage, the span of the history of my ancestors,  how old the mountains and the stars are, I feel silly and selfish focusing so heavily on my weight and how I eat my emotions that I was never able to get over.  So, today I wrote my mom a letter, because that's how we most often communicate, and I told her that it made me sad that she spent Thanksgiving alone and how thinking about family makes me realize how awesome a job they did as parents despite all the challenges they themselves faced.  I told my mom I love her, which was really hard to do.  I did it because she deserves to have that.  I did it because she is broken, and too proud to see or admit it.  I did it because I do love her, and I do respect how strong of a role model she was for my sister and I even after enduring a bad childhood herself.  I did it because it will heal us both, and I know for myself I won't be able to move forward in any way until I heal this thing between us.  In some ways, I think she too just needs someone to love her despite her dark spots and sour moments.  She needs someone who isn't going to leave her like everyone else has.  She wants to be shown kindness and I have spent my life being pretty unkind and ungiving to her.  I am finally learning, at my ripe old age, that I am not the center of the universe.
So, I find myself questioning if someone was really here with me, some guardian angel, or if I was dreaming it.  In the end, it doesn't matter, the message was received and I am making big, positve changes, and somehow I feel like this is the true new beginning I have been waiting for for so many years.  No matter my weight or my appearance, I feel so much lighter already.  Some people never get or take this chance, some people live their whole life blaming or hating their parents.  It may not be an easy thing to forgive something that hurts or has hurt us, but holding it forever is such a burden that we spill it onto all other aspects of our life, and the stains don't come out until we personally release them.  My bad feelings toward my mom do not serve me anymore.  I don't have to be best friends with her but it's time to forgive and heal.  I'm finally ready for this.  Let the healing begin!

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