The previous four days have been completely wrought with high emotion, deep distress, and life-changing events. Most of the stress and conflicted thoughts and feelings centered around my co-dependent qualifier, Keith, whom I sincerely and honestly believe experiences Borderline Personality Disorder. A significant amount of his symptoms, especially the anger, were triggered by my son’s treatment of him when we attended his wedding on Saturday, cementing the rift between them.
Another potentially triggering event was that LaLa once again needed to leave where she had been living, bring some of her things here, and stay here temporarily, on the same day he came home. Those of you who have been following for a while may recall how badly that went the last time it happened.
Thankfully, LaLa has grown and matured, as have I. So, she was more cognizant of the role her own actions and choices have in contributing to conflict, especially with Keith. She’s doing the work on her inner self that she needs to do. I’m so proud of her and was grateful to have her around.
I think the most difficult thing about my life’s choices and the resulting consequences and turmoil is the realization that I don’t have the power to change my past decisions and their outcomes. Another difficult thing is being able to see and appreciate the good that comes from what seems and feels so bad. The latter difficulty appears to cancel out the former difficulty.
I may regret the pain and sorrow my two oldest children experienced as a result of my relationship with Keith. I may wish we had been less toxic with one another and had found our path to functionality and healing sooner. Our present difficulties may trigger feelings and thoughts that try to feed my inner fears and demons. Yet, none of that means I regret Keith’s existence, because without him, Luna would not exist.
After examining myself and facing my inner truth, I know that regardless who my partner in dysfunction was, I would have been the same me I was and my oldest kids would have suffered from that, regardless who I was in relationship with.
Because it was Keith, we have Luna, who is the love and light of not only her daddy’s eyes, but the thread of love and joy that connects us all, even though the rift between her father and brother is so deep and wide it currently seems unnavigable.
I am powerless to heal that rift. I can’t reason or explain away the anger, resentment, and deep wounds that exist between them. I can’t control or dictate when, if, or how they are going to interact, forgive, or work through their damage.
I just know I can’t and won’t close either one of them out of my life and my heart.
As we were driving away from the wedding on Saturday and Keith continued to rant and rave in overwrought anger because he was so hurt by the rejection and ostracization he experienced by my son, all I could do is close my eyes and breathe.
It hurt me deeply to hear what he was saying: I hurt for him, I hurt for me, I hurt for Luna, who was hearing her dad, and I hurt for my son. I had no ability to intervene and stop the flow of words, thoughts, or feelings emanating and overflowing from Keith’s side of the car.
I felt my pulse pounding, my heart skipping beats, an explosive pressure building up in my head, and the constricting, choking sensation closing my throat and causing my breathing to come in short, incomplete bursts.
I began thinking of an old hymn, actually one phrase, “Peace like a river.” I closed my eyes and began praying and hearing the hymn inside my mind. As I did, I began recalling the story of the lyricist. This man lost so much and went through incredible hardship prior to writing the words to this song. His tale was a modern (in his time) story of Job.
The realization came that if a man who has gone from the height of socioeconomic and familial success to the overwhelming loss of it all in uncertain times, can experience and write about such profound spiritual and inner peace because he experienced it, then I can too.
My peace cannot continue to be dependent on people or circumstances, relationships or the approval of others. My peace has to become founded on the knowledge that regardless of what is happening in or around me, “it is well with my soul,” and my story is still being told.