Archives for May 2010
I know that my family loves me, but I know that this is not a chore for my children. Johanna (who is 824 miles away from me) texts me “Mom I’m really worried about you! I feel like you aren’t being a hundred % honest with me and I know it’s because u don’t want us to worry. But I’m literally having stomach aches over it! I can’t loose you and it kills me to think you’re in pain or something’s hurting you! Please be honest with me about what’s going on and let me know when and what’s happening! Maybe these stomach aches will go away! I love u more than words will ever describe! You are not finished here and have many things to do and see happy and healthy! Take care of yourself mama!”
Haven’t really processed through this situation, and it is true that I lied to the kids about the biopsy. But I remember sitting in the Doctor’s office and thinking “No, God would never do that, I am the last one living in my kids life, of course I will live for a long time – God would never take my kids only parent away from them.” It just doesn’t seem plausible, doesn’t make sense. I keep going over it in my head. How did we get here? I mean as a family, what the hell happened? Plain and simple, everyone died. Until I was 37, 15 short / long years ago, I was surrounded by parents – I had 5 of them! I had a husband, a father to my children. It’s true our marriage didn’t make it, but we kept up the parenting always. We were partners in crime when the kids misbehaved; we would plot and manipulate to stay on the same page to discipline and to love. And now gone, all of them gone, and I am left standing alone. Normally I am fierce, I can be cruel, I can be endlessly strong.
But now, as I face this betrayal of my body, I weaken, I cry, God forbid, I’m a sissy. I can’t stand sissies.
And while I sometimes do not know, nor – do I understand the “is”. I know that it is what it is, not within my power and control – not within my wishing – not even within my thinking.
As we first met my daughter-in-law, we were challenged. .. My daughter-in-law is a bright and vivid woman, educated, stylish, smart, very smart. I am sure that several of us simply stared at her for the first two years after her introduction to the pack. Some time after that, and there is no defining moment, she became pack. And now, she is with us and is us. I don’t even know how I knew that the shift occurred, but suddenly one day, she was among us differently. I know that she did not try, as in trying – to be a member of the pack, it is simply part of her.
I have seen others, try very hard to be a member of the pack. They may even travel with us for several years. But they are not members of the pack and in the end our paths must separate and the pack moves on.
Still others, come to us and they are a member of the pack on the day that they come to us. What makes them our pack – immediately? I do not know, but they are there and they will stay.
And what is the pack? My son and I read a genre of writing that includes magic and great voyages and mysterious mages and among those books, which include thousands and thousands of pages in the telling of the story, there came to us a story. This story included a telepathic connection between a man and his wolf. They experienced each other, and so the story is about the two of them and how their disparate bodies could think as one. Often the man had to balance human thinking against the thought process of the wolf community. When the wolf committed great acts of loyalty and self sacrifice for another, and the man would question his motivation, the wolf always responded simply “we are pack”. When the man had to give deeply of himself to others in loyalty and brave deeds, the man would question himself for this, the wolf would respond simply to the man to help him understand his need to serve others with “we are pack”. In this magical mystical place a pack is…
Always there for each other in any need. Hears distress from each other, no matter how many miles separate them. Bears a love for the pack, sometimes maddening, sometimes daunting, but always a love for the pack. The pack is never to be abandoned, can be lost, even for a time, but never abandoned. The pack stands strong, no matter that one may be weak. A weakness is to be held up, not beat down. And there are no secrets from the pack, respect for privacy, but no secrets.
And I, who am the leader of the pack, do not know how one gets in or another can never get in. It just is. And the pack moves on.
When I agree to be the partner of someone who is passive, there are hidden agreements that tag along with passive. Those hidden agreements include: You make the decision so I (the passive one) am not responsible for any of the decisions, nor am I responsible for the outcome of those decisions. There is nothing inherently wrong with passivity. There are just a lot of responsibilities for the partner of passivity.
When I agree to be the partner of someone who is dominant, then I must also agree to trust the decision making process of the partner. One of the features of a dominant personality is that the majority of decisions WILL be made by the dominant one. Does the dominant one get all of the responsibility and ultimately the BLAME?
Does dominant / passive have to match up? Do situations alter our willingness to be dominant or passive? Did my decision screw things up unalterably? Did your decision screw things up unalterably?
How do you balance all of that with partnership and negotiation? Or rather how do you HAVE partnership and negotiation and your need for passivity / dominance?
And finally, the big question: what pushes us over the edge into sickness? Sickness defined as interacting in a way that when observed objectively will bring a groan even to the hardiest souls. That kind of sickness…what takes us over the edge into it?
All that I am able to conclude is that we must watch every single little decision that we make in a relationship. That if indeed I am the dominant one, that I do not accept all of the responsibility and blame for everything and that if I am the passive one, that I do not pass all of my willingness over to another. Each activity and each decision deserves it’s own process and is not to be relegated to “okay you decide”, or “no I am the boss”.
The other thing, and the concept I have believed for decades: is that relationships are this complicated spiderweb of possibilities for travel and yet are spun from the same old pattern.