My mom left my dad on Friday, came down from Pennsylvania to Georgia, and then my dad followed her two days later. Very strange. I know they've been having serious marital trouble, but I am trying to stay out of it. My mom came and spent the night at my mother-in-law's house (they're friends), and Rebecca called me to let me know that she was here and that it was apparently permanent, but with the physical and emotional pain I was already in, I didn't feel up to seeing her. I didn't have the strength to be her comfort and support -- and I think it was for the best. I'm actually rather pleased with myself for NOT getting involved in the mess, though I am very curious as to what the situation is, and my old habits of mothering my mother are rearing their sneaky little heads. I want to make sure that she's not getting walked on, or letting herself be manipulated -- but she IS an adult and she IS capable of making her own choices and I need to learn to let go.
They showed up at 1pm at my apartment, knocking and yelling hello until I got up and threw something on and opened the door. Now that I think about it, it's kinda funny. And they wanted to take me out to my favorite restaurant, but I was feeling so lousy that I said no. Me! I said no to FREE mexican food! I think that is the first time ever. They asked how life was, and of course I explained that I felt yuck, and then my dad asked about school (I think when my dad looks at me he sees a giant torn-in-half diploma) and I said that I knew where I wanted to go -- Glasgow University. And then I had to mention Hannah and Kate, of course, and my dad was openly skeptical about their wonderfulness. I showed them one of the paintings that Kate did of me, and my mom looked at it and was properly amazed and awed at Kate's incredible skill and obvious care for me -- my dad looked at it and said something derogatory, picked out some imaginary flaw. Soooooo typical. Ever since EVER, my dad has tried to convince me that the only people who will ever REALLY love me are him, my mom, and my siblings. (hah) It's not going to work, okay? I'm not going to be convinced that my only hope for love is with my biofamily, because if that were true I would have a very very sad life.
As usual the elephant in the room was utterly ignored -- no mention was made of WHY my mom came down. If I had been healthy I probably would have challenged that -- as it was, I asked, "so what's the deal with you guys?" and my dad changed the subject, and I just let him. The only reason I care at all really is that I want to know what will happen to my little sister, Bethany. She's just 13 -- and my dad seems to have become a much better father to her in the past year, so I don't want her to lose that, but I don't want her to have to watch him disrespect/mistreat my mother, either. Bethany already has a very weak sense of self, and bagillions of issues to work through -- she doesn't need more.
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall of this came on top of a spiritual sickness that started on Friday... I felt like my spirit was throwing up, sick to the point of death. Scary, especially since I had no idea where it came from. Now I'm thinking that it was a combination of a lot of things... I still haven't really mourned the loss of Anika and I'm having a hard time trusting people whom I had no doubts in before. I put more effort into treating Anika with respect, space, unconditional love, and consideration for her sensitivities than I EVER have in any other relationship. I know I wasn't perfect, but I couldn't POSSIBLY have tried harder, and that makes her disgust and rejection of me so very hard to deal with. Usually at the end of a friendship I can look back and say, well, I could have done this and this and this, and been a much better friend -- not so here. So if my best efforts are not good enough, how then can I trust friendships that I HAVEN'T given that much effort to? I feel like in order to compensate I have to do some magical transformation of myself to become a hugely better person -- that's a false feeling but I'm having a hard time getting rid of it. The mature part of me knows that I am not to blame for being rejected, but the immature part says, "you were rejected at your best, there must be something fundamentally unworthy about you that your efforts cannot overcome." Bah.
I will not let that voice win. I am a worthy person, I am a good friend, and I not only do my best, I strive to learn and grow so that my best improves. I will not stamp myself with someone else's opinion of me. I will glean what I can from this experience. I have learned that sometimes no matter how hard I try, I will fail to meet someone else's desires or expectations. I have learned that I cannot predict what someone else will desire or expect -- so I should ask, but still understand that what I think is good, someone else might think is bad. I have learned that I cannot measure my success as a friend by how pleased the friend is with me, but rather by how much I lived by what I believe to be good friendship -- and that for the sake of harmony, I should seek friends who share my beliefs about friendship. I was the best friend that I knew how to be, and I hope that that had a positive effect on some level, but even if it didn't, I have developed as a person through it. I have learned more of patience and humility, and how to restrain my tongue/fingers (sometimes). And perhaps most importantly, I have grown in my ability to give unreservedly. When Anika came to visit, I opened my heart to her in a way that I never have before, and I grew so much from that experience. I no longer have such an intense fear of rejection, because while she visited she accepted my love completely -- and rather than feeling drained, I felt stronger because I gave. I look forward to giving my love more lavishly and fearlessly as I grow. No labor of love is in vain -- I believe that with everything in my being.