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Surviving and Finding Joy

Friday, November 20, 2020

I was going to a post about how evolved I am and how I've moved on towards acceptance of the situation with my difficult elderly mother, but then I woke up with waves of panic this morning and realized who am I kidding? Perhaps the better word is "adapting." It's not a smooth adaptations, but a messy process with bumps, but I would like to think I am at a better place than I was years ago.

I have learned to mourn the loss of what I thought these years would look like. I envisioned mom becoming gentler with age and us welcoming her to our family events and delighting in supporting her. Over the years that vision and any appreciation she had for me exploded and I somehow morphed into the personal scapegoat for her rage with siblings exploiting the situation to their advantage. I am trying accept that this is my pile of dirt mixed with smelly manure. It's not going away so I might as well accept it and plant some seeds.

So over time I have been planting my proverbial garden to make the best of this mess. Turns out a few old friends from childhood and college are in the same boat. I even have a theory. Those of us who were pressured by mommy to keep up appearances, be thin and get perfect grades are at most risk for having mommy be a nightmare in old age.For some reason my newer mom friends seem to come from functional families. Imagine that...There is nothing like talking to people who get it and comparing notes/stories and strategies. I recall when I was in the trenches of the early autism years, I felt so alone and lost until I found my soul sisters...other moms of kids with special needs.

It's the same with managing pandemic life. We plant flowers in the dirt and poop and hope they will bloom. Feel free to quote me.

Dave Chapelle said something profound in his SNL monologue/comedy routine reaching out to people who feel disenfranchised post election like police blamed for their bad colleagues' actions or those who wanted Trump to win. You may feel like you have a target on your back. He knows that feeling as a black man. The thing is he says you have to find joy anyway, even it it seems like the world is against you. I have a target on my back put there by my aging mother, but I can find joy and love life despite. I don't need her permission or acceptance.

To joy! To friendship! To planting our proverbial gardens!

**May take down since I vent about my mothah (Misspelling on purpose ;)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'm glad you have friends to process the experience with. That makes such a difference.
    52 days ago
    What a wonderful blog. all the joy to you and yours.
    52 days ago
  • SPICY23
    I have often counseled my kids: "when life gives you sh*t, plant flowers!". Your garden is blooming beautifully and your graceful soul shines brightly. It is too bad your mother cannot see it or appreciate you the way she should. So sad.

    Learning how to grieve and mourn the things we cannot change is key. Forgiving and letting go is the next step and as hard or harder. I sometimes wonder if we can't truly move on until we do?

    Wishing you strength and fortitude.

    Peace and Care
    56 days ago
    Sending strength your way!
    58 days ago
    Mourning the loss of what you thought it was going to be like - I really can relate to this concept about several things in my life and I like the way you put it.
    59 days ago
    Keep planting those seeds. It good to vent!
    60 days ago
    Life does not wait on us - we have to define and deal. We can decide what makes us happy and pursue it. Don't look bac, right or left, just forward. emoticon
    60 days ago
    That's a beauuutiful garden you're planting! And I love the generosity of Dave Chappelle and others like him.
    Stay strong!
    60 days ago
  • HEDSTS58
    Hugs to you my friend and Cudos to you. Plant your garden and keep the weeds (your family) plucked. Although I cannot relate to your situation (Mom and I were close), I have had friends who were and are. Don't let them wear you down. They are bullies and you are stronger than they are.
    60 days ago
    60 days ago
    With age comes the wisdom its not you its them .you have to believe the good person you are without their validation . its their loss .Hugs for a good blog
    60 days ago
    Prayers for peace and comfort for you. emoticon emoticon emoticon
    60 days ago
    Sending you hugs and support, I know this can be difficult to deal with.

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    61 days ago
    OH, my dear, you are so right. It is adaptation. And it is NOT a smooth process. Definitely messy. **SIGH**

    Clearly, I understand your mourning what is vs. what you thought would be. I went thru that too. Perfectly natural and NECESSARY. It’s part of healing and adaptation.

    You can’t change her, but for sure, you can control when, how often and for how long you are exposed to her if she is verbal w/you. It’s perfectly ok to walk away when you need to. YOU are in charge of taking care of yourself.

    I am happy that you have those who are in the same situation to share with and learn from. I would never wish it on anyone, but . . . good you are not alone!

    Love your quote about pandemic life! Indeed, we plant flowers in the dirt and manure and you know what? They WILL bloom.

    Wow. Dave Chapelle is wise. Truth!

    Today the joy was in a wonderful early morning walk. Nice temperatures, sun (well, for awhile). Makes me smile.
    61 days ago
    emoticon something most if us endue too.
    61 days ago
  • COOP9002
    Blessings and encouragement headed your way. Hopefully, you are able to see how much the Father cares for you in spite of all this.
    61 days ago
    Please don't take this down! You are not alone and so many people struggle similarly and need to know there is a way through.

    I had a similar relationship with my own mom, and then she died not long after the pandemic began. And now I deal with the family issues that remain behind... I do not know why I thought it would get easier. SIGH.

    I very much appreciate this reminder that whether or not I bloom, when and where is all in my own hands. So is discovering the joy despite any and all circumstances.


    61 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/22/2020 12:18:58 AM
    Hugs to you my dear... you are so right about what can grow through the dirt and poop!
    61 days ago
    What a beautiful blog. I had a difficult mom who always made me feel like I was lacking, even when she thought she was paying me a compliment. Long ago I had to come to the realization that I being the person I was, I felt certain obligations toward a mom who always wanted me to be someone else. Right now we are having a serious issue in my extended family which brings all those bad feelings back to the surface. Once again I have to remind myself that my self worth comes from inside me, not from the outside. Good for you for accepting the situation and looking for the joy. Today we have been blessed with a beautiful sunny day, not too warm but the sun makes everything feel wonderful.
    61 days ago
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