Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Honesty at Last

After that initial therapy appointment I did a lot of processing of how I had or hadn't dealt with my genuine emotions. It was then I realized I had been hiding my true feelings since returning from New York. What had happened to make me believe it was not acceptable to be open and honest? Dr. Reese? My family? The classmates at school? The baker behind the counter? I couldn't begin to untangle the web encasing my people pleasing behaviors, but I was ready to admit how stuck I had become. I was in my twenties, and yet I continued to exhibit the same "acceptable" reactions as when I was seven. What is your definition of being unable to move emotionally forward? I felt now was the time to closely examine, develop and expand my level of emotional wisdom. With the help of my therapist, I set out do just that.

Dealing with conflict had always been challenging for me, so facing the prospect of being honest with my mom was beyond difficult. I felt the first step must be inviting all authentic feelings to emerge from the darkness of my fear, and this I did with my therapist. These genuine thoughts and feelings hopefully could then lead to the expansion of my emotional growth. Before this could happen, developing a sense of courage was needed in order to broach the topic of honesty with Mom. Loving my mom as deeply as I did meant I was afraid of hurting her feelings, or giving her the impression I didn't appreciate all that she had done with me and for me over the years, but I also knew the importance of finally having my true feelings validated after all those years. The day of the dialogue between my eyes, it came through loud and clear how crucial it was for me to share my side of the emotional ordeal of losing the vision in an eye. I continually reminded myself of the sorrow and grief those tears represented because I was afraid it would be too easy to slip back into my familiar pattern of hiding, ignoring, eating or joking my anguish into silence again.

Since Mom and I talked almost every weekend, I wanted to begin our sharing as soon as this Saturday. I almost felt a sense of urgency to call forth my newly discovered courage and begin this journey with my mom before I would get cold feet. I remember visualizing how this initial conversation might open with a fun little chat about Jessica's social activities with friends. I even had a short impromptu rehearsal for myself because often when I'd be nervous I'd have trouble staying on task and my attention could easily shift away from the core of my intended message. I now understood the essential element of honesty in our upcoming conversations. I know, I know, long distance was not the best way to enter into a communication on this heart level, but I felt this needed to begin soon. This was my reason for refusing to wait two or three months until our next visit to Madison.

I took a deep breath and dialed her number...

1 comment:

  1. I think Grandma is smiling as she reads your posts (from Florida).