So Grammy and I were at it again yesterday. Sadly we reduced our would-be apologetic conversation to a battle of who hurt who worse. Anyone should know that this is not a way to resolve conflict. It’s an exercise in hurt, bad attitude and a heaping side of ego. It’s ridiculous and futile.
And yet there we were spinning our wheels on some ish that happened last week, the week before, a few months ago and more than a decade ago, which I now realize we have completely different takes on and has affected us more than we ever could’ve dreamed.
In an absurd nutshell, I want/need my mother’s approval and validation, but some tongue in cheek crap she said forever ago put me in a “my mom thinks I’m stupid, so now I need to see if I can make her think I’m smart” space that still exists. Grammy already thinks I’m smart; in fact, she thinks I’m really smart. But you know, irrational thinking and all…
Twenty years of therapy and thousands of dollars spent, and I’ve still got mommy issues. Merry Christmas, ABM! And, I’m pretty emotionally healthy. God help the folks who’ve really got some drama.
So what does this have to do with adoption?
No sense in letting all this expensive therapy go to waste, right?!?
I figure if some messy mess that Grammy said to me a lifetime ago could mess up this reasonably well adjusted, never abused or neglected, educated grown arse woman, to the point that I’m alteratively begging for approval and kicking her to the curb,well then what should I expect from Hope and kids like her who have sometimes been to hell and lived to tell the story?
There’s the grief of feeling rejected and not having the kind of relationship you know you want and deserve. There’s the lack of trust tied to the rejection, because well you can’t get too close to let that happen again. There’s the lashing out because you’ve got to get them before they get you, so they don’t even have a chance to get you at all. There’s the desperate need to still, inspite of this cray behavior, to have a connection, some kind of relationship with the person who hurt you and who you are scared might hurt you again in some way.
In some way, it’s not irrational at all. It makes perfect sense, right?
Now squeeze all of that into a little kid who is not developmentally prepared to wrestle with any of it, and who had it so much worse than we might imagine. Wow.
It seriously increases my compassion for Hope, and puts her behavior in context for me. I makes my own drama seem overblown; not that I’m trying to dismiss it, but certainly there are other things I could and should lose sleep over. It also makes me know I need to stretch with Grammy a bit, and she’s going to need to stretch with me too. We’re all going to have to stretch.
Whew, emotions are messy.
The good news is I went to see Grammy today. She’s retiring this week and there was an office party for her. She was delighted I came; I was delighted that she was delighted. People told me how much she bragged, and I felt small for fretting that she didn’t believe in me. I felt warmed by the things they said she said about me and my sisters. Grammy loves me, and I don’t have anything to prove. Maybe now I can get back to focusing on getting used to my own new role as Mom and stop fretting about how Grammy sees me as Mom. It’s going to be ok, even when it doesn’t feel like it.