Today was the first day I’ve seen my parents in almost a year. Not because we live hundreds of miles apart but because our estrangement at times makes us seem like worlds apart. I will definitely write a post very soon about my family estrangement issues but for this post I just wanted to write about today’s visit with them and what it felt like to me.
My mother and I have always struggled with a healthy mother/daughter relationship. It can be extremely unhealthy to say the least. My mother and I stopped speaking last October (not for lack of my attempts at reconciliation). Two days ago, my mother called me….my uncle had passed away. I hadn’t heard her voice in so long and holidays had gone by without a word from her (including my 40th birthday) that I was surprised at my calm demeanor. I listened respectfully as she brought me up to speed on the sad passing of my uncle and what the details were to follow with his memorial.
Today, I decided to pick up a small token of my sympathy for them and bring it by the house. As mentioned earlier, we don’t live states away….they are 15 minutes away from me. It seemed odd to drive down a street that I hadn’t come down for so long and the anxiety crept in as I got closer. There’s always that familiar knot in my stomach when I know things can fall apart so easily by saying the wrong thing. Pins and needles…walking on eggshells….whatever term you want to use, I’ve felt it.
My mother and I exchanged pleasantries and I gave the gift to her and my dad but under the surface it was awkward. We all engaged in small talk but with each thought that was about to come out of my mouth I knew I had to somehow filter it because the eggshells were already paper thin.
So many emotions today. Dealing with the death of my uncle. Seeing my parents after so much time had passed without bridging that gap months ago. And driving away reflecting on how far I’d come even in my anxiety-ridden state of mind. I’d gotten through the visit…hopefully one of many more to come but I’d also realized how much I’d grown and the boundaries I know I’m going to have to set going forward.
I know it will take time to rebuild the strained relationship I have with my mother but I know I’m willing to put in the work.
Thank you all for reading…I’m sure someone out there has been where I’ve been and it’s always comforting in some way to know I’m not alone.