Blueprints: an Introspective

One of the things that really annoys me is how things that happened so long ago still have impact now.

I understand that our foundation story is deeply routed into our brains and our smaller selves can get trapped in the ruts. It can take all our skill as learned adults to get our smaller selves out of those ruts and moving in a positive and healthy directions.

Our foundation stories keep coming up throughout our lives in our various interactions and experiences, as they are our blueprints and how we recognise our relationships. Changing the blueprints is a lifetime of work.

It annoys me that things my adoptive mother did so many decades ago can still have impact. She’s ancient. I’m well and truly middle-aged. I have a deep seated anger toward her that I rarely touch. I also have deep seated pain that I let go and let go and let go.

I have been through periods with my own adult children where they have been busy separating and blaming. I understand that this is a process we all go through. I am grateful that they have matured and we have settled into adult relationships that are mutually supportive. I did not do to them what my mother did to me and my siblings.

What happens when your parent is the cause of significant damage for you? When they put you into such appalling situations of abuse that the blueprints are disastrous? Those blueprints may never be able to be altered. They get shelved. They get dusty. They get frayed and torn at the edges. They are still there.

I have no resolution for this, I’m just irritated. I cannot allow myself to even think about my mother. It makes me sad, especially when I consider what I have with my girls, whom I adore. They are truly wonderful people (and yes, I know I am biased). I wish my mother thought that of me.

And therein lies the niggling doubt. No matter how much I appreciate myself and am grateful for my resilience and strength, the foundation person in my life does not consider me a person of worth. There it is, that thread of doubt that it might be true.

Ahh, now that I know what it is that taints my blueprints, maybe I can get them off the shelf and find those threads and erase them.

Timely Gratitude: an Introspective

I left home at 19, practically running out the door. A few years later, when my Mum expressed how I had shattered her life when I moved out (keep in mind that I returned every Sunday night for family dinner), I responded with, “Mum, I’m not responsible for your happiness.”

True, yes. Callous, yes. Arrogant, definitely. I have read a fellow bloggist’s post on gratitude and I am reminded of my lack of gratitude. I have been feeling so sad at my son’s moving away from home I have been focussed on my sorrows instead of my sparkles. You need gratitude for sparkles.

This week they turned up, unannounced, and have stayed a few nights. A bit of notice would’ve been good but lovely to have them. I have had an handful of texts since he left and have been doing my best not to mind (while minding furiously all the while).

Last night I asked him why he was not calling me Mum any more. He responded that I was only his foster mother and he wanted to call his real mum, Mum. I have had care of that boy, worked my life around him for ten years. His mum died three years ago but had given him up for alcohol when he was six. I told him my feelings were hurt. He was angry with me.

And I have been feeling sorry for myself.

Now I am remembering how my Mum felt as I broke away and expressed my new found sense of separation and adult hood. I am reminded of my youthful callousness and arrogance. I am grateful for the reminder.

I am grateful to have had that little boy, all stick arms and legs, who flew into my arms his first night in my house for a cuddle.

I am grateful for learning all I had to about Autism to make his life better.

I am grateful for the experience of going into battle for him as it made me more assertive.

I am grateful for all I learnt when I taught storytelling at his school and worked with the deaf children there.

I am grateful that I got to fight for what he wanted and not have adult decisions imposed upon him.

I am grateful that I learnt to be a great mum for him.

I am grateful that he called me Mum for so long because it soothed my heart.

I am grateful that we got through the phase when he thought shoving his fist in my face was the way to get what he wanted.

I am grateful that I got to see him through to completing high school and the big effort it was. I really learnt about sticking by someone and what it means to complete something.

I am grateful that he feels strong enough to venture out into the world.

I will focus on my memories until my sorrow eases. Gratitude offers sparkles. I need a few sparkles. I will send my Mum some sparkles for Mothers’ Day. Her happiness may not be my job but I can certainly light up her life.

(c) CLHHarper 2 May 2014