Sadly, I write to you now with some very disheartening news. As many of you know, 5 months ago, I opened the lines of communication with my mother for the first time in eight years. After all this time, I knew I was ready for whatever the result may be. Before I continue filling you in on the most recent events, I would like to give those who are just tuning in some background on the events leading up to this point.
The journey began with my post on June 8, 2015,Challenge Accepted! Below is an excerpt to give you an idea of how I was feeling when I made this decision .
When my mother was released from prison six months ago and sent me a friend request out of the blue, I remember feeling a painful cramp in the pit of my stomach. My hands immediately started shaking and I started to cry. I’m pretty sure I almost had a panic attack.
This morning was nothing like that. When I saw the message, I actually laughed. Not at her, but the fact that the timing could not have been more perfect. The moment was powerful in that I immediately realized how much I had grown in just a few short months. Before I moved to Colorado, I had so many open wounds. I was in constant emotional pain and most of it I did to myself. It’s like I was on a mission to self destruct and I almost did, but the fighter in me stepped up and saved me from myself. I smiled.
The message from my mother was short, sweet and missing an apology section, but I know she was sorry by what she said and the way she said it. One of the traits we have (or had) in common is the ability to get your point across without actually coming right out and saying what you mean.
If someone would have asked me a week ago what I would do in this situation, I would have immediately said that I was planning to ignore it. This time, I am actually considering it. Not letting her in to my life again, but opening the chain of communication.
I find it hard to ignore the synchronicity of this event. I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason and I can’t help but think this may be the next step in my journey.
From my reaction today, it is clear that my mother no longer has the same effect on me. I have complete and utter control over the situation and I know I am strong enough to see it for what it is.
After a few days, I replied to my mother’s message and shared the results in my post, So…I Talked to My Mother.
In my last official post, I decided that I was going to take the next step with my mother.
Although I knew I was ready, it still took a few days of mentally preparing myself to formulate the actual response to her Facebook message. After all, no matter what happened, I still knew the outcome was sure to have a heavy impact on my life – good or bad.
I did what I usually do in a situation like this and I over thought it immensely (yes, I’m a Virgo!). After I had run through every possible scenario to determine how I would react, I was finally ready to hit send.
My reply was perfectly formulated down to the punctuation!
I sent it to her late Saturday night. I was not expecting a response given that it was so late, but I received one immediately.
It went something like this:
Me: Hi mom. I know we have a lot to talk about. I hope you can understand that I am not quite ready to let you completely back in to my life just yet, but I love you and I think it’s important that we open the lines of communication between us. I am not sure how much you are online, so if it would be better to talk on the phone let me know where I can reach you and let’s set a time to catch up. I hope you are well.
Mom: Hey honey. Yea, we have a lot to talk about. I love you and miss you greatly. Where I am right now I have no phone signal so you can reach me on this till I’m in a better area.
She followed by giving me her phone number, but we have yet to speak on the phone. The following day, we spent several hours messaging back and forth. It started as small talk really, but we did have some heartfelt moments as well. I was sure not to give any sensitive information out of ‘course (I’m not stupid) and it felt good knowing that I had grown enough to finally take this step.
There was one thing she said that surprised me. She apologized. Not the normal hollow and general, “I’m sorry” that I’ve come to expect, but for the first time in my entire life, she actually apologized with intent. This is something my mother never does. For her to admit her mistakes without adding what she felt was exceptional reasoning was pretty huge.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying she has miraculously changed or anything. However, I feel that this action should be noted. I believe that actions speak far more than words and it is her actions that will determine her future position in my life. We still have a long way to go, but I am certainly feeling as though I made the right decision. I know now that I have forgiven my mother and that feels very freeing.
It has also given me a sense of closure, which seems to have been the theme for this week. The absence of closure in any situation is like a wound that takes years to heal. Words left unsaid or opportunities never taken can leave us with an unconscious longing in our hearts. When the day finally comes and you are able to close this wound and more forward, the feeling is indescribable in words.
It is for this reason that I have decided to make a conscious effort to open my heart and not be afraid to say how I feel. In many cases this may not go in my favor, but at least I know that I left nothing unsaid. We are not able to control the actions or feelings of others, but we have every bit of control over ourselves.
Wouldn’t it be better to lay it all on the table and be rejected than to have kept it all inside?
For me the not knowing is much worse than getting the answer you didn’t want.
We went on like this for quite sometime until the day finally came when once again the vale of illusion was shattered by truth. The juicy details of which can be found in two additional posts, Where is My Mother Now? and Fugitive Status Confirmed.
I ended Fugitive Status Confirmed with the following declaration:
I am not my mother! I have spent everyday of my life up to this point bound and determined to prove everyone wrong. And today it hit me, I have nothing to prove to anyone but myself and I don’t need any convincing!
So I guess the best description of how I feel right now would be strong. I just feel strong. Maybe that isn’t really a feeling, but it’s the only word that fits the powerful realization I just had.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still be watching my back over the next few months, but I am pretty sure I am going to be okay
It was this strength that has brought me through the events that followed. After finding out my mother once again had a warrant out for her arrest, I received a call from one of my aunts. Apparently, my mother had been staying with her and her boyfriend. She had told me she was living in CA and to be honest I didn’t really care where she was or what she was doing. I knew I would never truly be able to trust her again. I had no plans to put hope in her ability to change. Instead, I chose to accept her for who she really is. That does not mean that I would ever again make myself vulnerable to her misdoings, but rather that I accepted the type of relationship we had. Above all else, I just wanted to know she was safe.
As my aunt filled me in on all the crazy lies and manipulation she had just endured, it all sounded so familiar. My mother told her a tale about how she had a house she was waiting to sell and that she would have a large sum of money coming to her shortly. I am not sure why, maybe it was due to the hope that her sister had changed, but for some crazy reason she actually believed her. My mother was just released from prison in December, so I find it pretty unlikely that she had managed to purchase a home in the first six months of her release?!
Anyway, my aunt believed her and supported her for the few months my mother lived there. Mind you, the entire time my mother was living with my aunt she never once told me she was there. However, I am not stupid and had a pretty good idea they were together, but I am not my mother’s keeper. It is not my responsibility to shelter others from her actions. They have known her longer than I and their choice to let her in their home is theirs and theirs alone.
According to my aunt, after a while the situation escalated with my mother taking off with my aunts car for several days. When my aunt demanded she return the car or she would be calling the police, my mother flipped out on her and told her she would just leave the car parked where it was with the keys under the floorboard and she would never see her again (typical mom move). When my aunt asked about the money my mother owed her, she told her that she would leave it in the trunk (yeah right!).
My aunt and her boyfriend drove to where the car was parked and immediately opened the trunk. Not only was there no money in the car, but neither was anything else. Every piece of luggage in the car (my aunt had just came home from a trip) was gone and so was my mother.
I felt horrible for my aunt, but this is such typical behavior from my mother that I was completely unsurprised by any of it. When I told her that I had just found out my mother had a warrant out for her arrest, my aunt told me that it was just a bench warrant and they were not looking for her. As long as she doesn’t go back to Idaho, she would be fine. ( I verified this)
Several days after the conversation with my aunt, I received a message from my mother as if nothing had happened. I didn’t say anything because, as I said before:
I knew I would never truly be able to trust her again. I had no plans to put hope in her ability to change. Instead, I chose to accept her for who she really is. That does not mean that I would ever again make myself vulnerable to her misdoings, but rather that I accepted the type of relationship we had. Above all else, I just wanted to know she was safe.
And seeing as she was not a federally wanted criminal, I was not putting myself in any danger by communicating with her. So, we stayed in communication over the next few months and nothing was ever said about any of it.
Until I received a call from one of my other aunt’s, saying that my mother wanted to come visit her now and what should she do? After what she did to my other aunt, I was at a loss as to why this was even a question. She just screwed over your sister, but you want to let her come stay with you? I don’t mean to be crass, but come on! Seriously??
I told her exactly what my thoughts were. Open your door at your own risk is what I said. I told her that of anyone I completely understood the wanting to believe she has changed, but her reputation precedes her and it is not good. I love my mother, but she will never be allowed under my roof. I have come too far to go backwards. She is a grown woman. She has made mistakes, been forgiven and made the same mistakes again. Love will not heal someone who had no desire to change. There comes a time in one’s life when we must take full responsibility for our actions and stop using the past as justification for behaving a certain way.
I know my mother blames her biological parents for the rough life she has led, but enough is enough. I could have spent my whole life blaming her and refusing to grow from the difficulties in my past, but I didn’t. Instead, I accepted the responsibility of creating my own life and my own identity. My mother is my mother and part of me are parts of her, but I am the one in full control of the decisions I make and so is she. This pity party crap has gone on long enough. She has burned bridge after bridge and although it is easier to blame others for this, the truth is that it is all her doing and something that only she has the ability to change.
So, yes, I told my aunt not to let her in. I told her exactly what I have just told you, but she chose the opposite. She wanted more than anything to believe her sister had changed, that she could help her somehow. My heart ached for her, because I knew the day would come when she would be faced with the utter disappointment of the inevitable.
As of today, my mother has once again disappeared. Leaving my aunt’s house with only her backpack filled with stolen family heirlooms. I have not heard from her and I am not sure I will.
All I can do is hope and pray that she is okay and that someday she will choose the right path.