Life is interesting. Things change. I'm changing. I really am at the point where I'm making very conscious decisions regarding my direction. Mostly, my emotional direction. My parents are both having some health-related issues. No wonder, considering the fact that they're both in their eighties. The thing is that they're still my parents and I haven't yet gotten used to the fact that they're old. I've been so blessed because they've both enjoyed good health for most of their lives. I have, maybe, one or two memories of my mom being sick with the flu or something when I was a kid. The thing is, though, amidst all these blessings I never really learned how to just be with what is - there was a pretty high level of denial when it came to things of an emotional nature. I don't blame my parents because they, too, are products of their own family environments BUT now, in their eighties, they're becoming the emotional equivalent of "touchy feely."
My mother has some yet to be determined form of early stage dementia. The neurologist I have the most respect for through all the testing and nonsense has said that he suspects she has Alzheimer's. In any case, she's started doing things for me, when she stays at my apartment with me, that she never did for me my entire childhood. For example, when I get up in the morning the first thing she calls out to me is -
"Dawn, do you want me to put the kettle on?"
"Err...ummmm...(scratch the head, rub the eyes)...what????...oh, uh, yeah. ok, mom."
And when I get out to the kitchen she has a tea cup, a cereal bowl and two spoons set up on the kitchen counter for me.
This is the same woman who would come in to my bedroom my freshman year of high school with a Benson and Hedges 100 dangling from her lips barking "GET UP!" And ten minutes later (aka the second time she came in to attempt to wake me) she'd yank the covers off me and yell, "I'm not coming back. Get up now or TOUGH SHIT!" The obvious point being that my breakfast was not ever laid out for me.
The same goes for my Dad. He was not the type to rip the covers off my freezing carcass but he drove a hard bargain. He was a tough disciplinarian and had little time for the cuddly stuff. However, recently he showed up for me on such an emotional level that all I could think to myself was -
I had just gotten to the point of accepting my parents fully as the teachers they were meant to be for me and had resigned myself to the emotional distance they themselves had set up in each of our relationships. I know that I've learned more than a few things in this life and that I, too, have made room for the love I feel for them and they feel for me but still....still, I'm realizing I had hoped, somehow, that it wouldn't be enough to hurt me. Silly of me, I know, but I've been flooded by realizations, lately, of the places/relationships/events that I incorporate some of this emotional fear in to -
Yes, I am a cup is half full kind of person. I am positive and am most comfortable with thinking the best of people. However, my most recent light bulb moment came when I was having a conversation with one of my children. I realized that my need to get to the emotional "point" was my way of getting to a place that would make me comfortable because I am not comfortable with, well, emotional discomfort. I need to know, in some way, shape or form, that something, anything, everything is alright and/or will be alright.