Habits

December 14, 2010 § 2 Comments

Just got off the phone with my mother who I haven’t spoken to in…hmmm…over a month now? Our last conversation was over Skype, with her, my father and sister sitting in front of their webcam, smiling at us, interspersed with gaping holes of silence and awkwardness. Me, having had a few glasses of wine at dinner, was somewhat irritated by the whole set-up. According to the husband I was very ‘fierce’ in the way I responded to their questions. Meaning, snappy, abrupt, curt and impatient. Not very sociable traits to have. Throughout that session I felt as if I was about to burst into a tirade about how the whole conversation was a ‘sham’, that we didn’t, and never will, have a ‘proper’ parent-child relationship, that my mother just needs to get out of seeing her world through a negative lens and stop bitching about her siblings, the weather, the government, the economy….and everything else in general.

Yes, that was what I really wanted to say. But I didn’t. I went through the whole hour feeling trapped in a straitjacket. Just barely holding it together for as long as was needed, to put up a smiling face just enough to satisfy them. Until the next time.

God…with this kind of behavior, I should never have kids….Not that I want to anyway.

And since that last conversation, I have put off calling or texting or emailing them. Partly because of how busy our lives here have been, and partly out of avoidance. But avoidance of what exactly remains a mystery. I’m struggling to understand what it is that’s causing this aversion of contact with my parents, right now. Why is it coming up, when past conversations this year have been more frequent and less painful? What emotions am I feeling exactly, that’s causing this reaction? What does it say about me, as a child, who treats her parents this way?

Suffice to say that my relationship with my parents has been fraught with a soap opera’s worth of dramatic encounters, generously peppered with threats of suicide, abandonment and divorce, all wrapped in a lovely aura of violent humiliation. Endless cycles of violence (emotional and physical), followed occasionally by an apology or, rarely, a conversation, but usually just an icy silence. Then life resumes its course until the next outburst. That’s the cycle of my relationship with them.

Is the practice making me deal with these past hurts that I thought I had overcome? If so, why and why now?

How am I supposed to deal with this in a yogic way?

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§ 2 Responses to Habits

  • arturo says:

    Dear D
    Thanks for your comments in my blog. Your descriptions of your yoga practice are a beautiful spin. My comment is here because I haven’t been able to practice a lot while traveling 8 days. But also because I feel sorry for your troubled relationship with your parents – it seem to be specifically your mom. I’m sure you’ve worked it out emotionally with professional help. I don’t know your history but I read a lot Dear Abby and read stories about difficult relationships. In some cases the fault may be with a parent that had a lot of problems and so the children, and the person writing suffered. I remember Abby advising that it should not make the writer decide not to have children of her own, because she could instill values in her children that are good, and give a life different to them than she received.
    cheers,

    Arturo

    • D says:

      Hi Arturo, thank you for commenting, I hope your travels went well!

      I did see a psychologist many years ago during a particularly bad patch and it helped in so far as to provide an outlet and a listening ear for what I was going through. Right now, my husband is been a great source of support and the yoga practice, of course, is helping. On the topic of children…Abby makes a valid, hopeful point, but where we are in our lives right now, the prospect of starting a family is a very foreign one. I have too many reservations about it for a comment – maybe I should write a post!

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