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Monday, March 4, 2013

The Constant Confrontation

A week ago today I hung out with my mother, This isn't as easy as meeting her at the mall anymore. I look back at those times wishing I hadn't complained so much about it....SURE I hate shopping but walking around with my Mom was nice. She searched for clearance racks and got so happy when I actually bought something too. Looking back I knew even then I knew as the mall posters and air fresheners clouded my focus, I would walked from Sears to JCpennys trying not to trip over small screaming kids thinking to myself that it was sad the toy store went out of business now these kids don't have anywhere to go hang out. Standing at registers with my Mom as she asked if I'm hungry she promised my brothers food or ice cream in the courtyard. I would chit chat, follow my mother in hopes to connected and share the exciting things about our lives, wondering what is she up to doing these days.....nothing ever went to deep in talks or reminiscing. I was seeking that kind of connection in my 20s so vibrantly with never came close to such a moment. Once she got so mad at me for saying how lucky she is to know from visiting with her adult children how to be a better parent with these next babies still at home. I really meant well in my honesty, but she took it so wrong. Even those times are gone getting into spats and arguments while shopping. One time she slapped me across the cheek for saying "Friggin" I was stunned, even embarrassed at the age of 27 wondering if I should make scene but found my silence much more comforting. I had my own car keys and no reason to be shopping with her so it was classier to just walk away going back into my beautiful life. The constant confrontation in my family will never go away, they aren't really my family anymore. I look back and think of my parents as they once were in my memory and they are not like that anymore. They both believed in hitting, correcting and following through with punishments raising us kids.....That is quite a bit to carry for such an emotional woman as myself. It explains why I am a fairy tale seeking, rainbow drawing and magical love believing person now. I built a protection to this constant confrontation growing up, now my real family is full of cats and dogs, of love in everything I say and do, of sweet kind peoples that I have found......a person like myself who was hit over a dozen times by my parents before I was even 2 years old will always carry those bag of bones in fearing to not know love, ironic that I DO know so much more about love because of the fear in growing up without it. My frustration now as a grown woman is that this journey of forgiveness is almost never ending, I've kept hoping in the last 5 years that I could forgive and let go of the hurt my parents put upon me. It rather a working progress, I am at peace with all my memories now. They still fire and sting but I am NEVER going back thank God! Those things and emotions are all now memories not the facts in my life for today, how grateful I am to not be stuck in time, to have grown up is to break free of all those things. My hope and joy in life isn't when I think of my parents, it is when I let them go, they rest in peace now of my memories. Who they are today is some kind of mystery that I respectfully allow time for. 
So last week I was there helping my mother, dreaming of summer time and how she could stay in handicap hotel rooms when traveling. I bring what hope I have for her to feel, for her to laugh and smile...those things will slip away easy so I also bring with me all my fairies, my sun light and those deep long breaths in good strength. Just last week my father got us all to meet up for dinner, their youngest son turned 14 and they have been married 34 years so we ate out. It's always a hit and miss in conversations getting confrontational, my sister and I never talk anymore but I will always be polite and nice. In some accidental way one of our brothers called her by my name, then she spatted off angrily as if this was the worse name to be called. The humorous part of my self wanted to hold my hand up in the air as we all ate listening to her vent over the horrors of being called "Debby instead of  Dana" I wanted to hold my hand up and say "Ah yes I am RIGHT HERE...hello, my name isn't all that bad really." Instead I chuckled to myself  very aware of her jabs in anger. She doesn't like me, this is VERY clear but as to why I am not sure. The clues are found in her rant of not liking to be mistaken for me. I would never actually ask her unless I was ready to fight back, it's all rather silly to me in being so dramatic in keeping tabs on what I do or say that is wrong or stupid in her eyes. She has her own family to raise, she cares over our parents better then I do. I know that time will keep moving forward, we will not be stuck in this memory of her flipping out in an identity crisis of accidentally being me for a half a second.....this to shall pass. Confrontation use to terrify me when I was younger and now I can stare it straight in the eye with bravery that I hope to always share!
Only a week ago I drove home thinking about how I missed meeting my mother at the mall before her stroke, and one day I know I will look back and miss these rare family get together as well.....For nothing can last forever, not even being called "Debby" by mistake!


  1. Families are always complicated and messy, even the "best" of them. None are perfect. Every experience in our lives shapes us...perhaps all that conflict and drama was instrumental in you becoming the loving and light being that I often refer to as "my ray of sunshine". You have overcome the negative and choose to see the positive and spread it around. I'm so glad to have you in my family.