DAY 365+14

willing to be carefree

Ten days ago I went to the isle where I was born and where my mother and the rest of my family still live in. I was there because my nephew was getting married and I took the opportunity to stay at a hotel with J. (instead of at my mom´s house) the night after the marriage. When we woke up we went for a walk near the hotel along the promenade... believe me or not this is something that I haven´t done during the last years as I usually have devoted most of my time to my mom

I love sharing my time with her and I feel the urge to help her to solve everyday problems (no matter if she asks me to do it or not) and this has been my liking and my function for so long now that I don´t feel uneasy. But now, even feeling that I want to keep on playing an important role in her life, I see how wrong I´ve been

This feeds an unhealthy dependence  and even when at the end of the day I am happy if she is happy (and being generous is important to me), most of the time this makes me work with an unbalanced approach of the matter that ends up being exhausting

When I am unbalanced (and to be honest, I often can be balance only when I am away) I don´t even consider to do something good for me as a walk with my camera, not to talk about going to have dinner with some of nieces or go to visit an exhibition. These simple things are  anathema to me, something that I vehemently reject

Now I see that my perspective regarding this issue has been totally distorted, in particular since I started to be afraid of my mother ageing (and her lose). The more I have become obsessed with that idea, the more I have restricted my outings when I have visited her but this has tried my patience when the situation became more complicated and finally, it has helped me to understand that maybe this is not necessary at all

Before I used to complain because I live far away from her, but now I have to admit that this simple fact has kept me safe. I can´t even imagine develop this whole dynamic, every single day considering its effects even when I go there only once a month or so

This has been a hard path to walk, but after all the events happened since past august, I have started to travel through acceptance and to understand that I can´t do nothing to hold my mom here. I can be with her twenty four hours per day and deprive myself of having my own life, but this won´t prevent her to leave. The only thing I am going to get is feeling drained, hopeless and depressed... and the lost of many chances to enjoy what is around me, including my time with her

I don´t know why it has taken me so long to understand this and I can´t really understand my blindness but it suddenly clicked: the richer my life is, the better the love I can give to my mom will be

So from now on I am determined to turn the tables and start to take a little time for myself when I am visiting my mom and my brother, just to do something that can be pleasant or appealing to me. Things that don´t need to involve them like going for a walk, taking some photos outside, having a tea while contemplating the sea or reading a book… 

 When I am there I have many wonderful moments with them, moments that I deeply love and cherish, and even moments of tranquility (just a few to be honest, but they exist) but I need to invert my tendency to forget my own requirements in order feel fully happy and serene which include space, solitude, fresh air, freedom and some lack of concern  

I am sure this will be for my own good 


Introverted Art said...

Zena, first, the images are stunning. As for the relationship with your mom, you are absolutely right. That's called co-dependancy. Like you, I always felt like that towards my parents, trying to come up with a solution to each problem, offering advice, even taking the initiative and doing things my self. It's an unsustainable relationship. It is, like you said, exhausting and sometimes it breeds a feeling of resentment. I also came to find out that it is not the best for the other person, who becomes dependent on you. I also started to think that in reality, it is very disrespectful to my mother. She is an adult capable of making her mistakes, fixing her own problems... Like you, I moved away from home because it allows me a balance, a distance to something that has become second nature, reflex almost.
It is very hard to set up boundaries with those we love, but it is absolutely necessary to a healthy living.

La Dolce Vita said...

Just like you, I also love my mother too much. I have almost an obsessive love for her. The Reason: She is an extremely kind , extraordinarily calm and quiet woman who brought me up without showing any anger or frustration,ever. In fact, I never saw her getting mad or angry at any of her children.
But of late, after retiring from her job, she finds herself lost and insecure most of the time. I try to support her as much I can, although I stay in a faraway city, far away from my hometown.
I feel guilty of the fact that I should have stayed with her and be with her all the time...which is very funny and childish because now I am married and I have other responsibilities...I can't leave everything and go to my hometown to be with her...
Still, my heart aches.
I can see that your situation is very different from mine.
But if I were in your place and I had a emotionally draining mother or sister, I would have drawn boundaries...or visited them on and off...which you are already doing...
I do not know how many times you visit your mother in a year ? If by making this visits shorter, it helps you to be more relaxed, then shorten the visits..go less frequently...
Although I do not know the little details of your issue...but I feel that if my mom /dad/sister were knowingly/unknowingly making the situation worse for me, then it would have been really difficult for me... and I feel that you have every right to draw boundaries...what if they are your parents ? All people cannot take on emotional burden. If you are the caring,nurturing type, yet soft from inside type..you would feel emotionally drained...you have every right to protect yourself...While there, try to keep quiet as possible..do not give your opinions ...try to practice silence even while with family members...words leads to argument and disturbances...do your duty as a daughter and get out as soon as possible...all interactions and act of love need not involve words/conversations...this is what I feel...
I am sorry if I have said anything that is not relevant to your situation ..but this is what I feel by looking at the situation from outside.
take care,

Sofia said...

You have made me think about my own relationships with my mother. i should say it is a complicated matter for everybody and I love how thoughtful you are about it. I enjoyed reading how you progressed through the problems by analyzing your and your mother's roles in each other's life, so very delicate. Great pictures!

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