Frozen

she was incapable
of doing what was right
wasn’t moved
to undo the damage her actions left behind

no remorse
no empathy
no compassion
no connection

narcissists can’t be what we need
nor do what we deserve
nor heal themselves enough
to give us a desired remedy

it’s like time stood still
in the formation of their soul
solid and impenetrable
never truly warming to us

Friends And Family

Picking the closest one is like choosing a favorite. Now, that might hurt feelings, and I don’t want to do that. Plus, I really can’t say I have just one, nor are they all blood relatives! I consider my real friends family.

I will feel close to people and open up to them when I know they accept and love me and allow me the space to be myself. The friends and family who feel the closest to me are those who can let me be just who I need to be at any given moment. Those relationships where I can let my guard down and feel safe. It’s been a process, literally years, to understand what I needed and get to this point of surrounding myself primarily with those who respected my thinking.

So that’s me, in a nutshell! ūüôā

Richer

Inspired by Sadje’s Sunday Poser #3 & The Sunday Whirl #483

with wind prodding me towards home
tender reminders and gratitude 
fill my essence as

i feed on the love shown me 
no frill or pomp and circumstance
nor silver spoon of connections born 

my friends, my tribe
they flow alongside my road traveled
no words mince, no hearts break

i transfer a kiss to my finger
with a smile and gratitude, place it firmly
on the lips of my family

Her Spirit

my face in the mirror reflects
a ghostly reminder
this leathered skin
has endured hardships
just as she did

except

only her contentedness
beamed through
she was always glad to be alive
her adventures many and
her strength evident

as i remember her fondly
my weariness etches slightly less deep
i won’t allow my defeatist demeanor
to harshly pigment my day
thank you, gamma

#Whatdoyousee
Image credit; Pisauikan@ Pixabay

Falling From The Tree – Part 3

Part 1

Part 2

I continued the dinner preparation, letting my thoughts of the past go by the wayside until I’d put all the ingredients in the crockpot. Sitting down shortly after that, they resumed.

The tragedy of growing up in a dysfunctional household is that the vulnerable and innocent ones must eventually deal with their past and unburden themselves of learned behaviors. Usually, it takes years of trying and failing to overcome them, dealing with false starts, and making pitiful attempts at healthy relationships. It isn’t always pretty. This legacy has played out repeatedly not only in my personal life, but I’ve been a witness to it with those enduring a similar upbringing. So much hurt, so much pain to get past. One can consider themselves lucky to survive it and create a somewhat sane life after dealing with it. I was fortunate in that I had the strength to deal with issues head-on.

I always wondered how my life would have turned out had I been nurtured and cared for when I was a child. What would it have felt like feeling loved growing up? I would imagine I’d made much better choices in men and probably would have attracted less damaged people. Having mature, healthy relationships requires knowing how to behave in them. It seems to me, having had more stability and genuine care, those connections would be with people who weren’t dealing with emotional scarring or baggage. At the very least, not quite as much as coming from a dysfunctional household. They would have been safe havens, not the merry-go-round of perpetuating my past. So happy to be past most of that.

The death of my mom in 2012, and my dad’s death in 2014, really set me free to be fully in charge of my destiny. Of course, it always was, but the trials of life endured in the beginning put roadblocks up along the way for far too many years. I’d successfully untethered myself from my mom and our dysfunction, or so I thought, back in 2002, and my journey had become a bit easier from that point on. It still amazed me, though, how residual angst still cropped up occasionally. Life is nothing if not always needing to address problems, I guess.

When my dad died, my sister and I were at once free to be the top of the hierarchy and then immediately became estranged. I guess for her, it was time to be honest with herself – there was no love lost between us, nor did she ever really care. Maybe it was just too much effort now to continue to pretend we were family? She let me go, and honestly, I was okay with that. I deserved acceptance and respect, not just be at her beck and call when it was convenient to her and her needs. It was a one-sided relationship, and it was over for me as well. Blood or not, if you can’t thoroughly enjoy and love the people you are connected to, why are you even with them? The same goes for actually wanting to have children. My parents never had any business creating children together. Neither was capable of providing that bare minimum standard a child deserves – love and acceptance.

2014, and other events between my mother and father’s death, solidified my resolve to be happier and healthier, more than ever before.

TO BE CONTINUED ON THURSDAY…

Falling From The Tree – Part 2

Part 1

But that’s all we had. We arrived at our adulthood but didn’t know how to function as women who cared for one another. Sadly, I think it was mostly because our mother pitted us against each other any chance she could. I call them cruel mental exercises she liked to practice on us. It helped my sister, and I engage in war with each other. We had counseling in our early 20s, and I think it helped to some extent, but it wasn’t long-lasting. One positive, we got off the drugs we were both partaking of, but we still didn’t have a relationship where we trusted each other. She and I weren’t each other’s go-to person. Nor did we ever become that.

We didn’t have much of a genuine relationship during our 20s either. Thanks, Mom. When she needed me, my sister made me feel a part of the family, but otherwise, no, she was not someone who would confide in me, or vice-versa would I share things with her needing resolution. She just wasn’t someone I would entrust with my deepest feelings. That was our norm. Our relationship was superficial, at best.

So that’s how we moved forward. We continued to do what was best for us as individuals but never quite figured out how to make our relationship whole, making our connection meaningful. I’m not saying that it was all her fault, but I can honestly say I never felt she was working towards that end. I made my internal peace with her after my father’s death in 2014, but I don’t think she has with me. But I wouldn’t really know since she hasn’t spoken to me since then.

My father, an irresponsible and emotionally distant alcoholic, wasn’t much of a better role model than our mother. Nor was he hardly ever in our presence during our formative years. It’s not like any real bonding took place with him over the years. Because how could it when you are dealing with someone who was never really invested in you nor wanted to get to know you? I always wondered, was that the case or was it just hard for him to connect? It’s seriously a mystery how my sister and I ever matured at all with my mother and father as our parents. But we did.

I can honestly say my best friend made the most positive impact on my life when I got to know her in the 7th grade. She was my best friend but also, such a mentor to me. And it wasn’t until much later that I realized how impactful she was during those early years. How wonderful is 20/20 hindsight? Of course, I say that sarcastically because it certainly would have been nice to know how influential the lessons were as they occurred. But they didn’t, and I guess that’s okay now; we ended up all right from what I can gather. At least, I think so.

TO BE CONTINUED ON WEDNESDAY…

Falling From The Tree – Part 1

A random thought flitted across my brain. And I wondered why it would come up after all these years, especially while I’m cooking dinner‚ÄĒno rhyme or reason for it even to surface. My sister and I were teenagers then, and I’m an old woman now. Random and bizarre. Brains are so peculiar.

As I was peeling potatoes, I recalled my sister had slept with my boyfriend‚ÄĒsuch a juvenile move on her part, I thought. Just because we had broken up didn’t give her license to bed him. But what should I have expected from her when she didn’t have the most couth in the world. Plus, she hated me so much when we were younger; I guess this was like a feather in her cap to get back at me. Paybacks for when I punched her or any number of things I had done to her previously?

Having moved on years ago, it made no sense this part of my past surfaced. It’s not like I even have any allegiance to the boy/man anymore. That relationship eventually reconciled, and we even got married and had a child too. But I don’t have any residual thoughts or feelings, good or bad about it now at this stage in my life. Another husband and another child later, I’m so over my first baby-daddy.

But then I consider how my sister and I grew up; I shouldn’t be surprised at all she did what she did. It’s not like we had any good role models. She wasn’t the only immature one in that family. I did a whole lot of crazy things myself. Certainly wasn’t proud of it, upon reflection, but could definitely understand us becoming dysfunctional human beings after the background we both endured.

My mom, the narcissistic, mentally challenged, and often hysterical woman, didn’t offer us much hope of getting a proper upbringing. Sure, we had food in our bellies, clothes on our backs, and a roof over our heads. We weren’t growing up in the Ritz, money was tight at times, but we weren’t desperately poor either. What was lacking was sanity. It could become chaotic at any given moment. And you never fully knew where you stood in your relationship with her. Tip-toeing and caution were traits I learned early on. It always felt like my mom did her best to fill our lives with dysfunction, head games, and uncertainty. It was disgraceful if you were a witness to it. Why would a mother, of all people, behave in these ways? All her antics managed to produce was so much vying for her unstable attention so you wouldn’t be her target. That was it. Add to that the continual negativity and criticism, it took its toll on our psyches. After all these years, I still ask myself why my sister and I didn’t band together to become allies rather than become the enemies we are now, and not speaking with one another for quite some time. Emotional abuse and manipulation certainly took its toll on us. I guess I shouldn’t wonder and realize it makes perfect sense of why we don’t have a relationship today. Having a mature connection was impossible to nurture in the environment that we got exposed to and survived. Quite sad, but like I mentioned, we survived.

TO BE CONTINUED ON TUESDAY…