*There are some things in this post that deal with formative events and situations that may be triggers for people. Please take care of yourself and be cautious when reading further.
I did a lot of crying yesterday. If you read my post, Suckerpunched, you will understand why and realize I also did a lot of writing yesterday. The best thing is that, in addition to letting it out by writing about it here, I also didn’t wait to reach out to one of the best and most faithful friends I’ve ever had, even though she lives so far North of me it was easier to take her kids to Canada for their martial arts lessons than to the nearest U.S. city. I even managed to have an online chat with her and talk through the situation and my thoughts and feelings. The absolutely interesting thing about it is that when she gave her opinion in telling me what she thought I should do about the situation, even though I didn’t agree with it, I didn’t have the same instant sense of defensiveness as whenever my other friend communicates with me. Something to consider at another time.
So, here I am now, feeling tired, drained, and a little empty. Numb, almost.
I’ve got to confess that I fed my food addiction a little bit last night in reaction to all of this, but not as much as I would have done in the past. As a result, the G.I. symptoms of my fibromyalgia are now activated. Oh well. Enough distraction.
In my past, I’ve let go of relationships with people I considered important, in my adult life, way too easy. Both of the friends I’ve referred to here have been examples of that. Thankfully, both of them have turned back up in my life after a period of absence after I just let them drift away or when I withdrew into my isolated world of chaos, conflict, and confusion.
I believe that is an example/symptom of what I consider to be my bonding and attachment disorder (self-diagnosed).
You see, my mother died when I was 12 years old, in what everyone believed and I was told was suicide. I didn’t cry for her, until a year and a half later. I didn’t really miss her. The thing is, a few months before she died, she had signed guardianship over to her younger brother and his wife, and moved back down to Texas, where I had mostly grown up. Prior to that event, we had moved several times during the preceeding year and a half or two. Her third marriage had broken up due to her discovery (my telling) of his molestation of me. A fact that I reported only after it had been over and my prepubescent, love hungry self was feeling lost and angry about, because it had ended and he wouldn’t start again.
Wow, I just had a revelation. I was suseptible to his distorted representation of love because I had never experienced a true sense of having been loved. Something to come back to and process another time.
I believe my mom loved me. How could she not? I was her child. She tried to take care of me and my needs to the best of her ability, but her ability was impaired. The same way my ability to take care of Marco and LaLa has been impaired and probably for many similar reasons. My lack of attachment to her and lack of grief over the loss of her was not just a symptom of something wrong or missing inside of me, it was also a symptom of something wrong or missing inside of her. Neither one of us is at fault or to blame for missing critical pieces of ourselves that were necessary in order to attach and bond with our children.
I have carried the knowledge of what I lacked and was unable to offer Marco and Luna and worn it like a cloak of self-blame. Instead of being able to understand and accept that I had no control over what I didn’t have to offer, I have wallowed and buried myself in the false belief that my inability was due to something I was fundamentally responsible for.
When LaLa told me about the possibility of her being adopted by Jojo, she had a hard time meeting my eyes. She was soft-spoken and slightly reluctant. She stated that she wanted to be open and honest with me. She acknowledged that she knew this decision would probably cause me pain, but earnestly asserted that it wasn’t her desire to hurt me and that hurting me wasn’t the reason and purpose behind her decision. I told her I understood and accepted that. More importantly, unlike with Marco, I asked her why she was making that choice. Her response was kind of jumbled but basically boiled down to the fact that she didn’t feel like I loved, supported, and was available to her as a mother the way I am to Luna and that in the past month while she’s been living with and helping to take care of Jojo, she has been receiving that.
I told LaLa that I could understand how she and Marco felt that I didn’t protect them and chose Jerry over them, and that their feelings were valid because they were their feelings. I also told her that I didn’t love them any less than I love Luna. That, unfortunately, it was the pain and mistakes from me parenting them that are enabling me to do a better job of parenting Luna. I also informed her that as much as they believed I didn’t stand up and fight for them and continually chose Jerry over them, they had no idea the number of times I heard those exact same things from Jerry in regards to them. I have been fighting for all of us: them, Jerry, and myself all of this time.
I can grieve over the loss of my mother and the attachment and bonding we never had. I can grieve over the loss that my children experienced while they were growing up and the mutual loss I had in my inability to attach and bond with them as they were growing up. But the fact of the matter is, that I cannot grieve over the loss of my children because they are not lost to me. They are still living, as am I. However stilted, awkward, uncomfortable, or painful our interactions may be with one another, we are still able to interact and we are acting on that ability. Going through this has been a very painful and wrenching experience. But, it is also something that is enabling me to really process and work through some of my personal issues that have perpetuated the problems.
The fact that they are bonding and forming attachments with other people to fulfill those belonging, attachment, and love needs while their brains are still developing, before the patterns of abandonment of self and others are completely set, means that one of my life goals is being met. Some of the generational cycles are being broken. The fact that part of me has been broken along with it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A broken bone that healed wrong has to be rebroken before it can be set to heal straight.