Chapter 4 - Rounds 1 & 2Ding Ding....back to your corners. No, it wasn't a boxing match, or even a brawl, it was more like two thirds of a no contact sport.
Round 1 - (Hey, that even looks like a boxing match sign!) Saturday night. Bubba and his family bear the hard decisions, in my opinion, of dealing with my mother. They have children. So Saturday night was a loving conversation about my mother's physical well being, and her ability or inability to take care of these precious children for part of summer vacation. We had a loving, open conversation about her physical problems. (what I haven't shared with you is that my mother was born in 1948...she's not old) She has seven degenerating discs in her back...and is in A LOT of pain. We talked very openly about what the doctors are doing, and what the plan is for the next few months. We also talked about all of the possibilities of her physical state with or without surgery. No specific decisions about anything were made, but we were able to communicate about it, and that we are here for her, and that we love her.
Round 2 - Sunday, after a morning of attending my church....something that meant so much for me to have them both with me. We got bubba all packed up and were ready to go visit grandmother before he headed out of town, when a whistle somewhere blew. Mom sat on the sofa and said "I have one question. Will I be able (allowed) to keep the kids this summer?" (Insert dramatic music here) We sat, and Bubba told her that he didn't think that she could physically care for them. As a parent, and a son, this must have been a VERY difficult statement to make. Mom began crying, and retreated to her room, expecting us to vacate the premises to leave her to her self pity. Bubba went and got her, and asked her to come talked to us...then...the truth began to come out. We talked about feelings and how you cannot change the way that someone feels, and that we understood that she was hurt, but that there were other options, this wasn't the end of the world, and that it was selfish of her to act this way. (Ok, so I am sugar coating a bit). We then discussed her mental well being, and how there are MANY inconsistencies that we have noticed, and that she will not be able to manipulate those kids, or us anymore. We talked to her about her short temper and the fact that she used to be a much nicer person, but that when she lashes out (in her words...as a result of her physical pain) that she doesn't apologize to the people that she hurts. She admits that she knows that she lashes out...she had no explanation for not apologizing. (In my mind...there is a HUGE admission of guilt in all of this.) The conversation went on...for three hours. We discussed LOTS of situations, and remedies to how we all could do better at being a family. We all discussed what we needed from each other in order to feel like a family, and to be a part of each other's lives. It was a good conversation.
Given the lengthy past of being hurt, it is going to be a very difficult road for all of us. We all have to forgive each other. (Forgive - a word that I do not believe that my mother truly understands...she seems to misconstrue it and turn it into "give"...what else can she "give"...) It is truly God's work that my brother and I have such a good relationship...hard at times, but ultimately, we truly love each other. We want the same thing for and from our mother. An HONEST, LOVING relationship.
My view on the whole thing...I feel like I have some HUGE unresolved issues. This is where faith and therapy will play a BIG role for me. I have to work on my own ability to forgive my mom for hurting me. We didn't talk all that much about my mommadrama (word adptation taken from another blogger...thanks). After a few comments made during the conversation, it was clear that my hurt has developed into anger, and I am not able to control my tongue at times. The comments, and hurt that we did talk about were completely denied on my mom's part...which hurt more, which made me more angry, which made me want to say hurtful things to her, which would make me no better than she. THANK GOD that bubba was able to recognize this and cut me off before I spiraled. So, therapist and I will be working on this, so that I too may have some peace with my mother. Skepticism about her reactions is going to be a VERY hard thing to overcome.
So there you have it. I honestly feel like there is a round three to come. I am trusting God to prepare my heart for it. I pray for the ability to overcome my own pain, and FORGIVE her.
I can't do this on my own. I can't do this with my brother's help. I can't do this. I know that you know the desires of my heart and that you have blessed me time and time again. This one...it's all yours...
I love you.