© Bethany Webster 2015
<p>Source: <a href=”http://womboflight.com/2015/10/20/navigating-no-contact-when-estrangement-from-your-mother-is-the-healthiest-choice/”>Navigating “No-Contact”: When Estrangement from Your Mother is the Healthiest Choice</a></p>
I was planning to post my response when Navigating “No-Contact”: When Estrangement from Your Mother is the Healthiest Choice by © Bethany Webster 2015 (http://womboflight.com/2015/10/20/navigating-no-contact-when-estrangement-from-your-mother-is-the-healthiest-choice/) was first posted on October 20, 2015. Today is a good day.
My mother died in 2009. At that time she and I had been estranged for two years. Estrangement from my family wasn’t, as the Ms. Webster suggested, “the hardest thing” I ever did in my entire life. My mother’s actions actually determined the outcome. I thought at the time, “She should know me better than that [she wasn’t trusting my choices]. She raised me!” As she changed the locks on her doors, I told her and my step-dad that I loved them. I never returned.
Now, as I age, I wonder whether it was her age and what came with it that made her and me behave in the ways we did. She died two years after our estrangement, so I’ll never know. I prefer to exonerate myself with the author’s words, that my “mother’s dysfunctional behavior has demanded an enormous cost to your [my] mental/emotional well-being and you’re [I was] simply no longer willing to pay that cost.”
I am now an estranged mother. I didn’t realize that my eldest daughter felt I was toxic to her. I ended the formerly close relationship one Christmas when my daughter yelled at me and when my eldest granddaughter chose not to train my youngest granddaughter in the Christmas chores. Their choices.
I followed my current procedure of considering it was me who was in the wrong, so I apologized to my daughter. She accepted the apology, continued the estrangement, and refused to return an apology. (My thwarted expectation, I suppose.) Perhaps, we are all “deeply wounded.” I take responsibility for my behavior.
As Ms. Webster writes, the estrangements were a long time in the making. And as Shakti Gawain writes, “We don’t have to be perfect with our children….The best gift you can give your children is to be real, authentic….It doesn’t mean you have to burden your children with your problems, but you can share with them your own real experiences…. Share your moments of happiness with them too” (Awakening, 10/27/09). Thanks, mom, for being real with me.
I must keep in mind that this is not personal. I thought I had been dealing with my inner life and I was confronting my disowned pain. Guess not. I am reminded of don Miguel Ruizes four agreements: 1) Be Impeccable With Your Word, 2) Don’t Take Anything Personally, 3) Don’t Make Assumptions, and 4) Always Do Your Best. Maybe I need to work on them.
As Ms. Webster writes, “We can’t save our mothers. We can’t save our families. We can only save ourselves.” I must remind myself that I need not seek others understanding in order to heal myself. I understand myself and that is enough.
I admit that I miss my family. Only my husband of over 52 years remains. (That relationship would be also be gone, too, if we didn’t compromise.) Yes, we both miss the family gatherings.
In order to thrive, as a former counselor i know I need to make new relationships and friendships. I don’t. Though I feel betrayed, I realize that I betray myself. I feel the grief. Ms. Webster writes that it gets easier with time. Okay.
Like Abraham supposedly said, “You cannot get poor enough to help poor people thrive or get sick enough to help sick people get well. You can only uplift from a position of strength and clarity and alignment.”
Each of us are spiritual warriors. I live with the knowledge that my soul family will value me as I am. I trust myself and I trust that I am not alone.
I wait for the day that, as Ms. Webster writes, “both mothers and daughters feel permission to own their full power and potential, connected in the heart while being free, separate individuals. The daughter’s individuality won’t pose a threat to the mother, because she’ll have love and appreciation for her herself as much as for her daughter.” I heal the mother wound and I create a new world for myself and for others.