Momma Bear & Lady D

The most exciting part of agreeing to do this blog alongside my daughter is that we can look back and see how different our stories are. I truly am so very excited about this… and I am also READY to ACCEPT that her story will be different than mine… her story IS DIFFERENT than mine.

Quite honestly… the story of us is a very difficult one… I was NOT a good mother…

My daughter was clothed… fed and sheltered… but I was emotionally absent much of the time… MOST of the time… I was in my own dark world… unable to give her the security and love she needed… Somehow… we got through childhood… the teenage years and then she left home… As I sit here today… I am shocked to realize that my daughter has been living on her own for 9 years… WOW… the time sure has flown by.

Two years after my daughter moved on her own… I left the city we were both living in and moved up North… The first time I lasted 3 months and then I returned… this time… I have been gone for 5 years… and I am staying here… I live in a beautiful little apartment on the edge of a lake… we visit at least once a year… which is not much… but we also keep in touch by email…  Her life is full… busy… and constantly changing… I am finally at a place where I can see the BEAUTY of that.

Now that everything is over… and done with… I am able to see very clearly that not only has my daughter SURVIVED a very difficult upbringing… she has turned it all around and made something positive of everything that was negative… I have no idea how she managed to do that as I WAS NOT able to… I am in AWE of her.

For all my life… I carried nothing but guilt and shame… and when I moved away from my daughter for the first time… for three months… that is when EVERYTHING changed for us… Once she was FINALLY free of worrying about me all the time… ONCE she tasted FREEDOM to simply be and do what SHE wanted instead of WHAT I NEEDED…. She began to blossom and I continued to DIE…

It is at this time… ( I believe ) and I think she will agree… that a deep ANGER introduced itself to her… Something had changed in our relationship… and I did NOT LIKE IT… IT PETRIFIED me… When I moved back after three months of being away… I became QUICKLY AWARE of the fact that things were different between my daughter and I…  I cannot begin to express the EXTREME FEAR and DREAD that I experienced at this time… It was like a constant feeling of being sick to my stomach… My daughter seemed so ANGRY with me… and although I knew it was normal… It was so deeply painful… It was at this time that I truly knew I had to return to the NORTH and give my daughter the FREEDOM she needed.

In these last five years… I have been able to learn how to cut those apron strings and let my daughter be her OWN PERSON… with HER OWN FEELINGS…

That my friends was NO easy feat!!!

There were so many things I had to learn… Because of my illness… I was not able to meet her needs emotionally… so she became the mother… the adult… This actually has a name… It is called Inverted Parenting… You hear about it a lot… children taking care of their brothers and sisters because mom or dad is an alcoholic or drug addict… and not around to do their job… well.. It also happens with mental illness.. When the sick parent simply cannot parent… Everything gets turned upside down and the roles get all mixed up… It’s part of survival and dysfunction… and it is the source of GREAT PAIN… Many families are NEVER able to break free of this… as it is a cycle that goes on and on… UNLESS someone addresses it and stops it.

I did a great many things wrong as a parent… but I also did some things right… Most importantly… I believe the fact that I was able to HONESTLY and COMPLETELY apologize to my daughter for EVERYTHING wrong I ever did… NO EXCUSES… NO BUTS…. NO EXPLANATIONS…. Just PURE ownership of the fact that I was WRONG in how I parented and a SINCERE… I AM SORRY… It is what laid down the foundation of FORGIVENESS and GENUINE HEALING… for both of us… I am certain my daughter will agree on this one.

It has taken years to change my bad habits… a lot of things I did were things that needed to change… Such as “dumping” on my daughter… Learning that when my life is out of control and a mess… it is NOT my daughter’s responsibility to FIX me or EVEN have to listen to me… That was a hard one quite honestly… I was so used to telling her EVERYTHING… but I finally got it right… and after many mistakes… I learned to keep my own life and problems to myself.

Another thing I had to learn was to ACCEPT that my daughter does things differently than me… she handles things differently than me… For example… if we had a disagreement… I had to take care of it right away… but she was one who needed to process things and work them through… OH my goodness… this would drive me crazy… I did not have a phone… and so I would wait and wait for that email to come in saying she LOVED ME… or that WE WERE OK…  and I would make myself sick… Those are only two examples of things that needed to change in me… there are many more things that I STILL need to work on… It is going to take a life time. I will say this… the hardest thing for me was ACCEPTING and BELIEVING that my daughter actually LOVES me and has FORGIVEN me… Oh my goodness… what a difficult journey that has been…. But… I am getting there… 

I am so very happy  to report that we NOW have a very loving and healthy relationship… despite all the trials and tribulations… we have overcome and we are closer than ever.

We have established boundaries and both of us have come to accept and appreciate the other for who we really are.

This blog is truly born out of LOVE… It is a testimony to what love… understanding and acceptance can do for even the most broken of people.

I am BLESSED… and I am GRATEFUL.

~ Momma Bear

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s