Waking each morning already engaged mentally in conversations with my mother pains me, unsure if we have ever really had an actual conversation, in which we were both fully present and engaged with each other. All of these mental dialogs (Me pawing again and still at my mommy for love) center around me trying to get seen, heard, validated, accepted, instead of silenced, dismissed or banished- always intense and strained and white knuckly, with the two of us in agreement on only one thing…I am and have always been the source of the “eggshells”, tension, misconduct, and harshness of those with whom she feels close. My recovery illuminates for me, the untruth of this sentiment and I can no longer abide. The shit has to happen before the shift can happen. The fall before the rising.
What is also odd is that my father, who passed 30 years ago, rarely enters my mind. I am touched occasionally by only shreds of distorted memories of fighting and weird little gifts and gestures, both of which meant the world to me in the moments in which those things bound us. What were we doing between the gifts and the fighting?
I wonder how much time is needed to grieve all that was and will never be. I wonder why I am the only one to fully experience the gravity of this….I guess it is my job to foot the bill for all the damage caused by my unfortunate existence. Actually, fuck that. I recently heard that the scapegoat is the one who cannot keep quiet and endure all of the brokenness in a system that demands you to keep quiet and endure. I am officially unapologetic for having held that role. Because of THIS, I get to live and parent differently from all of those with whom I am genetically linked who adhere to the codes of silence, blame, shame, triangulation.
As evidenced by the result of our 2016 presidential election, what the majority says does not always matter so much. The shit has to happen before the shift can happen, the fall before the rising. I possess the courage to stand alone, perhaps because I see no better alternative. Recovery teaches me to model for my sons that fitting in—TRUE BELONGING– does not mean accepting the unacceptable or pretending to feel and be what you cannot. To intentionally choose authenticity over adaptation is a way of life that is best suited for US. “The price is high. The reward is great.” Brené Brown
With the holidays approaching, I am acknowledging and accepting the feelings of agitation that come with knowing that my sister will arrange gatherings to include my ex-husband, children, and his family. And he will be thrilled. She does so knowing that this disrupts us and prevents US from best possible co-parenting dynamic, peace, and the possibility of holidays together(My boys father and me with our children) as we had begun to do before her predatory move on a man with no friends or connections in our new home town and lingering and now rekindled rage from a difficult marriage and divorce. A man, who feels honored to be chosen over me, by my family. …a man who like her, will use his children to gain access to people and places that would otherwise be out of reach. My boys ask “What if we ask your mom and sister why we never get together with our mom?” I told them that they would reply “Oh, she is welcome to join. She chooses not to” . My boys know the deeper truth which lies beneath this. I am welcome to return for more, to continue….I hold out for a third way, one in which there is no victory or defeat, but a shared effort toward connection and healing.
Just like standing for the flag is a show of symbolism in which I would willingly take a knee in objection to dehumanizing policy. Refusing a seat at a table with people who openly share unwholesome sentiments and practice damaging behaviors is action I must take. I decline any invitation from people who knowingly and willfully cause or tolerate harm to my children, me, or all others. Thanks but no thanks. That is a lie I will not perpetuate.
My friends be like, why would your ex go with them for the holidays, doesn’t he have friends and family he can be with? Ha! They all can #keepwinning and believing that the strength in numbers is proof of something. And, they fail to honor that the happiest days for our sons’ were the days in which mommy and daddy were working and celebrating together after years of being unable to. Thank you for restoring us to this state of opposition, Jilan Catherine Ghoneim Whitney. Happy Holidays to you and YOURS. What is the saying “Possession is nine tenths of the law.” Just keep possessing, maybe one day you will have enough. I wish that for you. Snatching and clawing for what you want is not the type of “lady” I think you mean to be. “I wish you well”. (My mothers’s final words to me-the irony!!)Much Love,
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