The Parent Traps

Letting Go Never Easy, But Necessary

 

When a parent leaves, walks out or passes away and the child is young you can end up with the “parent trap”.  The trap can happen out of caring or out of the other parent being really pissed of at the situation that took place.

The caring parent trap can be where the parent cares so much about the child having a positive image they make the parent that passed away or left a saint, this all encompassing hero, this larger than life person.  I get that a parent wants their kid to have a positive model and good memories of the other parent, but his can be a real negative.  If you create a saint to rival all saints and heroes in that parent, that child is going to feel their whole life like they have to bend over backwards to live up to being like this larger than life saint or person you and the whole family created.  That does not help at all, not them, not anyone who has to live with them or deal with them on a day to day basis.  Truly loving them means giving them a very human parent flaws and all, not some mythical hero with a heart, spirit, soul larger than life.  My dad was by all accounts a nice guy, maybe too nice for his own good some might say.  I am glad I have  a very human picture of him, very glad, one that is a mix of strengths, but also weaknesses that hurt him in his life.  Still, I prefer the very human dad than if I had some larger than life myth.  Then there is the other side of the coin, the one where the parent is so angry, bitter they do nothing but tear the other parent down, creating a lot of chaos within the child, fear and a whole bunch of insecurity.  They create anger issues in the child and through adulthood, lots of stuff that is projected and as a child, that child has no real way to process or understand.  They develop a very warped and negative image of the male or female gender due to that.  A lot of damage can be done by this other “parent trap” as I call it.  I understand that loss of  partner under less than ideal circumstances can be reason for anger etc.., but that is no reason to bring poison into the life of the children.  Whatever war is going on between the adults need to be worked out strictly between the adults.

When one parent gives the image of the other parent, any mythology, needs to be left in the mythology section of literature either way.  It is not in anyone’s best interest to create a false extreme narrative of a parent to that child positive or negative. Best to keep it as honest as one can, keeping in mind the age range.  If a parent has left and the child is young, just say “mom/dad left, we have a lot of stuff to work out and it’s between us grown ups, but it’s stuff that happens with grown ups and sorry that you get stuck in the middle, but we love you”.  Don’t create monsters.  If the parent passed away, even if they were great people, don’t create a larger than life myth or saint, make them as human as possible, no grandiose anything to strive to live up to, don’t ever burden children or anyone with that.  Not fair to them or those around them.

Amen

 

Mom, All Encompassing

garden

A mother is like this garden in a sense. A garden huh? Yeah, a garden.

A garden has different flowers and trees and though weather and seasons may cause periods of dormancy in the garden, it will bloom, it will survive.  A mother must be like that as well for her children.  A mother must have different tools in her arsenal to help her children become health adults and be able to contribute to this society with their God given gifts.  They must also however be wise gardeners of their own garden lest they burn themselves out and be unable to then be of any use to anyone including their children.  They must cultivate their own garden, but also be careful in cultivating their children, who can also be considered a garden full of potential, so they can learn to become wise gardens for themselves at some point.  Mothers have quite the task of being many things, wearing many hats of having to love, but not to the point of creating dependency so the child never quite becomes a truly independent adult, yet still maintain a strong bond with them.  They must be clear that they are the parent and not their children’s buddy, though there must be trust both ways. Mothers have quite a task nurturing their own gardens to stay healthy on all levels and at the same time the garden that is their kids.  Not an easy task.  If that mother has issues of their own, even trickier.  Mother, the ones who bring us into this world when not warped by modern feminism for hatred of motherhood and marriage, and of men are the linchpin of society.

My tribute to mothers I give by sharing this poem by Lucretia Maria Davidson

O thou whose care sustained my infant years,
And taught my prattling lip each note of love;
Whose soothing voice breathed comfort to my fears,
And round my brow hope’s brightest garland wove;

To thee my lay is due, the simple song,
Which Nature gave me at life’s opening day;
To thee these rude, these untaught strains belong,
Whose heart indulgent will not spurn my lay.

O say, amid this wilderness of life,
What bosom would have throbbed like thine for me?
Who would have smiled responsive?—who in grief,
Would e’er have felt, and, feeling, grieved like thee?

Who would have guarded, with a falcon-eye,
Each trembling footstep or each sport of fear?
Who would have marked my bosom bounding high,
And clasped me to her heart, with love’s bright tear?

Who would have hung around my sleepless couch,
And fanned, with anxious hand, my burning brow?
Who would have fondly pressed my fevered lip,
In all the agony of love and wo?

None but a mother—none but one like thee,
Whose bloom has faded in the midnight watch;
Whose eye, for me, has lost its witchery,
Whose form has felt disease’s mildew touch.

Yes, thou hast lighted me to health and life,
By the bright lustre of thy youthful bloom—
Yes, thou hast wept so oft o’er every grief,
That wo hath traced thy brow with marks of gloom.

O then, to thee, this rude and simple song,
Which breathes of thankfulness and love for thee,
To thee, my mother, shall this lay belong,
Whose life is spent in toil and care for me.

Being The Center “Handicapped”

mourning us

Don’t get me wrong I love my mum, I do.  However, as they say a life unexamined etc…Since, my birthday is tomorrow, I have of course been doing that, examining.  Not always a fun thing, this examining of life etc.., but necessary.  

I realized that as much as my mum loved me and I her, in her making me the center of her world, the only thing in her world, she handicapped us both in a big way.  Let me explain.  She never learned to speak the language, with the notion that her whole world was centered around having to provide for and look out for me.  She never made friends because she never learned the language, so really she never created a life for herself, never really had a social life outside the ladies of the building we lived in.  She never even thought of finding a good man to help share the burdens etc… of life with.  Also if you did not do everything exactly the way she did it, even dust the furniture, then it was not done right.  All of this created a great handicap for us both, though she didn’t realize it at the time, and frankly growing up neither did I, except in having lots of anger that I didn’t fully understand with life, in part due to my dad leaving when I was a kid, but I realize now it was more than that.  I have just now, in the  two past years, really made my journey to being my own person and authentic self etc..  

In not creating a life for herself, in not cutting the cords with me, in creating in me a sense of I was her center, her world, all she had in the world, not learning the language, so I had to make all the doctor’s appointments, take care of everything because of the language barrier etc.., she created a dependent relationship where I was more of a “spouse” than a daughter who would at a young age go out there and create her own life at peace in the knowledge that her mom had her own life and would be okay.  She created a situation of such dependency on me in  way, that I never felt I could get married, start a family of my own, pursue my true dreams of being an artist because what if I had to tour, who would go to the doctor with her etc…?  I never felt I could, and life is funny that now, when she is 92, now, I have such a strong sense of who I am, my dreams etc… that I can do that and if she has need of someone to take care of things, well the Catholic Church has something called Visiting Angels and I can probably find someone who speaks Italian to come and take care of things for her, spend time with her etc… Now, at 51 is when I feel totally free to embrace my life, my dreams, have a life partner etc…, all the things, I never felt free to embrace before.  I guess that is a huge birthday gift this year, huge.  

Namaste, Shalom and Amen