Friday, February 17, 2012

Deciphering Mom


This is a shower handle. It came with my house. The house was built in the mid 1970's. Hot and cold are controlled by movement of the handle from left to right. Movement of the water from on to off are controlled by movement of the handle from up to down. 

The handle on the shower in the Master Bedroom's bathroom broke shortly after I moved in. I used the little stick inside to control the shower.

One day when my son was about one, my mother called me in tears saying 'it was raining in the kitchen!' The kitchen is below my bedroom. One of the cleaning trainees on the cleaning crew I hired from Monster Maids, unscrewed the shower control from the wall. The smart supervisor turned off the water to the house. So here I was, with a patient on cardiac bypass in the heartroom, trying to coordinate insurance and flood  repair teams to my home. There was no one to relieve me in the O.R. The cardiologist used his smart phone to help me find the number to call the insurance. The surgeon said, nastily, 'can't you take care of this some other time, someplace else?' I assured him this was indeed an emergency that needed my attention, and that I would take care of it ASAP. And that there was NO ONE to relieve me in the O.R.

Mom said, 'this is the worst day of my life!'. She was trying to dry the house, and my son had gone out into the street due to the confusion. Each adult had thought another adult was watching him, as he loved to watch the vacuum cleaner and would follow the team. Everyone was okay. But when I came home I was faced with the emotional wreckage of my mother, who had taken this personally, was devastated, and could not move beyond the tragedy.

My mother was the center of our house. Only her opinion mattered. Having her watch my son opened up a lot of emotional wounds in me. For example, when she was trying to declutter, and bringing all her things to my house, she offered me the clock on the family wall, a huge oversized black pocketwatch with antique white face and black numbers. A wave of terror washed over me when I saw that image of the clock. Instantly I was ten and being yelled at by mom in one of her chemical rages. I don't know what the chemicals were or not: starvation (anorexia), or the guilt that comes from a binge, caffeine, alcohol, diet pills (everybody takes them! she used to go to a sleazy doctors office in a bad part of town to get them and make us girls wait in the car).  All I know is I grew up with two strong impressions of her as her child: no emotional connection, and not sure whether or not to believe what mom said.

Mom is not direct. Due to her Italian heritage, Sicilian in particular, there is a lot of 'unwritten rules' you are supposed to automatically understand. I take after Dad on this part. I was and still am always guessing. And you never know when she is going to bail after promising to help you. Every time I ask her to baby sit, I have another backup ready. 

Since we've been sick, I offered her to have the sitter watch my son during the school holiday today. She relaxed. But then acted normal. And she said, 'see you tomorrow' at the end of the play, and ran out of there like a bat out of hell. She is convinced my bird (I've had nearly twenty years) and my turtle (I've had twenty) are the cause of all our illnesses. But I had heard the same cough in a classmate at school, and my coworkers have all had what I had. 

My mother has caught pneumonia from other children in my family. She ended up in the hospital instead of taking a trip I paid for her to go with Dad to Montreal to help me watch the boy while I took my certification exam for my work. The one I had spent six-months studying full time so I could pass. The one I had failed when I first had taken it in Fellowship.  I was still breastfeeding, and it was a week's separation. It was too long for a two-year old to stay with his father. Plus I didn't want to leave him with a new sitter in Montreal. Dad ended up coming without mom, but got sick. We took him to the emergency room. He had a pneumonia. He left AMA, flew home, and got admitted to the same hospital as mom on a different floor that night.  I caught it. My son caught it.  

She has no concept of catching things from anyone except my son. When I tried to make plans with her--yes or no--do you want sitter to watch your grandson like you said? 

She said, 'It would take  me months to get better if I caught it.'

I asked again " Mom, is that a yes or a no?' 

'Well I will watch him and pray that I don't get sick'

I asked again, "Mom is that a yes or a no?", she wouldn't say. 
I said, "fine, he is going to the sitter!' 

And she says, 'I am so relieved! I was scared I might catch something". 

Do you have one of these people in your life?

If you do, here are some tips:

A) there is something in their life that is more important than You. It may change 'somethings' but there will always be a 'something' that is more important than You.
B) The Universe will send people into your life to Make Up For It. Do not be concerned about their relation to you. One will pop up and help at the right time and place.
C) You can't fix them
D) There can be a lot of damage to repair in you because of them. Just like the flood in my house and the shower knob.
E) You will have a gift of independence you never thought you could have when you move on from them. (The knob, is a Valley knob, and even though the bath supply store, Ace and Home Depot don't carry it, a plumber friend told me Lowe's did. I fixed it. All by myself, and have extras in the home.)

I also deciphered the father of my son at the play last night. At the last minute, as the curtains were going up, breezed in. Was wearing his ski hat and in an unusually good mood. I asked him after the play 'are you leaving tonight?' He said, 'No, tomorrow' and his parents were like, "Where?!?'. It was his weekend with our son. He skipped on it three weeks ago, without telling me why, except I needed to watch our boy. I learned from our son it is to attend a race car driver camp. To learn to race his car. His parents were totally out of the loop. And he just laughed it off. High. Again. On 'herb'.  A total Peter Pan. 

The real reason I do not date or seek relationship is the damage that was done to me by my mother gets played out time and again in my significant others. I do not wish to play the game any more.

Reiki helps me to be functional. And Karuna Reiki helps me to have compassion. Both for myself and for others, including my ex and my mom. But the damage in itself has been done. And my siblings haven't done much better in their relationships as far as long-term emotional connection and happiness. 

Reiki is useful for people who have been through a struggle like me. It gets you grounded and these hiccups don't rock your world like they used to. Even for self-Reiki, you should learn it. It is that helpful.

Namaste,

Reiki Doc

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