Thursday, November 19, 2009

Three Things Thursday

Mom around 1962 ( I think?)

We all have our family stories, our scripts, the things our parents said to us which somehow "stick" for better or worse over time. Among the things my mother told me, rather consistently, over the years were these:

"The Waltons are NOT real. Families are not like that."

I remember spending time watching the Waltons, and loving every minute of it. I knew it was not real. But I longed for that sort of cohesive unit, and every time the show ended I felt some measure of safety in hearing each character say "goodnight" to one another. There was peace. There was resolution. Her vehement denial of such a family dynamic made me very sad. Truth is, I do know of some families who are like that, though not many. Part of me still longs for that long table, the being there for one another, the "goodnights".

"There is No such thing as Unconditional Love. It is a myth."

This one has bitten me in the ass more than any other. I suppose the Pope, in his Pope-mobile has Unconditional Love. Kelly Rippa seems to have it for Regis Philbin. I have even seen it among people I know. But, part of me is still deeply wounded by this script. I think I am really hard on myself for not being as unconditional with my loving as I feel I should be. I find it difficult to figure out a balance between staying present while someone is making me really uncomfortable (not loving me "well") and leaving the relationship. I have had too many people love me for "what I may become" and not what I am at the moment, too. People have told me they could only love me if I did or was "this" or "that". Maybe I believe in Unconditional Like. But, if you squeeze me really hard, I will tell you that I really have a hard time believing in Unconditional Love, for me, with me. This is something I want to change in my life. It takes a lot of digging to get to that particular nerve, it is so deep in my emotional muscle. I hate this family story.

"'I'm sorry' is not an eraser."

There is no such thing as forgiveness, really. Nothing you can say or do will erase the sin, the hurt or the mistake. It is forever burned into memory. Ouch. I envy the Catholics. I would have preferred kneeling on rice and saying Hail Mary's and making it go away. Even now, when I have been deeply wounded, I have trouble letting it go. I make space around the wound so I can navigate to a healthier place, but some things stay there, indelible, no amount of white-out or rubbing makes it go away. I want to change this in my life, too.

Are there things YOU were told as a kid which still linger in you? Are there stories and scripts that still drive you to do or be or feel anything but the magnificent person you really are, do or feel?