Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Forgiving Mother

I thought about organizing the meeting with my mother and the children I found at the cemetery. I designed a sign-up sheet, thinking this would be an easy way to bring the children forward. The images that played in my mind weren't all that uncomfortable which actually surprise me. I thought it would be more frightening than this for those parts of me. Then, I've come to realize that there are less children signed up for the meeting than the number who were at the cemetery. No teen child signed up. Not one.

Now, I realize that these were difficult years, but my mother died over a decade ago. Could there still be so much resentment that those parts won't even meet with a deceased soul? How did they get like that? I honestly don't remember any incident other than the one that happened in my adult years that was never smoothed over.

"Smoothing over doesn't mean forgiveness or the return of pure love." My Journal Master again. That's the thing with self-hypnotic journaling. I never know when the Therapeutic part of me is going to jump in with some point of departure. "Who did the smoothing?" Several children step forward. I'm surprised that they are young. I wouldn't have thought they knew enough to smooth over any sort of disagreement.

"We smoothed." How innocent looking they are. I'm sad to know they had to do this. "She wouldn't talk to us until we smoothed." I have a pain in my chest. Wondering if I'm having a heart attack. I think I'll go get a glass of water.

Back now. No heart attack, but certainly an attack of the heart. It's the sadness and grieving for the little girls who are so lost and lonely. Yes, I remember my mother not speaking to them, but I had forgotten how many of them were abused in this way. No wonder the pain is so great. Emotional abuse can be extremely painful, worsened by coming unexpectedly. The day goes on in a normal fashion and then "bang." A problem arises and the mother shuts down. The child is left abandoned in her own mind and life. The grief is huge. Does the mother realize this? I wish I could climb inside my mother and find out why she did this and if she had any idea as to what her child was suffering.

"It wouldn't help." That's the Journal Master. "Of course she knew, but she was fighting her own demons and didn't have the skills to help herself. Her behaviors brought her more guilt, but like an addict, she couldn't stop, nor admit her failures." The work you are doing here is about your children, helping them to heal and to come out the other side of the woods as healthier adults. You are now the mature, mother-figure to your inner children. So, shall we continue?"

I post a memo telling all of the children that I expect them to attend. They are coming with me, and I'm in charge. I will be speaking directly to the mother, but they need to be there in order to heal. I will not be attacking the mother, but opening my heart, giving her a reason to open her own and all children will open their hearts as well.

I also send out a memo to all teens and young adults, telling them the same. They are no longer in charge, nor will they be asked to do anything, other than to be present. All grown adults will also be present. In short, everyone will attend. Attendance will be 100%. We've spent long enough in the victim, retaliation state and it's time to heal and move forward. I know the mother wants this as well. I can sense it deep in my gut. It's as if she is here with me, looking forward to having all of this over with forever.

The children arrive first, followed by the teens, young adults and older adults. They sit in the seats provided. I'm in the front of the room with a screen for images ready to go. I start by putting up photos of my mother's birth. There are my grandparents and her siblings. She was a middle child, so not all of my aunts and uncle are present, but I'm surprised at how young everyone looks. Of course, my mother is a tiny baby. My children are invited up to the screen where they can reach him and touch her, but very gently. She smiles with the attention. The picture changes to a time when my mother was a toddler, then a young school child. My children can now ask her questions. The dialog goes back and forth. Everyone is comfortable. Next, comes my mother's teen years. My teens are interested in her now....lots of questions back and forth.

My mother married young, as did I. My young married self is surprised at how young my mother is and shares some stories with her, as well as feelings/emotions. They have much in common. Next comes photos of my mother giving birth to my brothers who were close in age. My young adult talks to her, surprised to learn how frightened she was and the difficulties she shared with my grandmother who didn't speak English. She felt inadequate and had little understanding of being a mother. All of us could feel compassion for her.

Next came my mother's desire to have another child, a girl and then I was born. I didn't realize this, but my mother had an early menopause making her emotions every more difficult to manage. She had two young sons, a baby daughter, a husband who was rarely home in the evenings due to his work and so her insecurities soared. The baby needed to be still, and so I was. The mother was not ready to cope with this part of her life and there was no one to explain what was happening. While I had my children at an earlier age, I could feel my mother's discontent and could send her compassion. I also know that I was far from being a perfect mother, hoping that my children would find it in their hearts to forgive me. My inner children finding interest in the older components of themselves. All being one in the same.

I scoop everyone up in my arms and tell my mother. This is who I am. While I know you are my mother, I don't know you completely, but I do love you. As a whole, we love you and thank you for all you have done for us. You were a human being, with faults just like all of us. I hope you will find it in your heart to forgive us, and in so doing we all forgive you, for we are one in the same.

I sit still now. My insides are vibrating. I don't know why this is, but I figure I won't vibrate forever. Soon I'll stand up and go on with my life, happy to put this on a lower shelf in my mind.