it is said that as a problem arises, so does the solution. This week it is all about how that is true in our lives. What issues big and small have you overcome this week, month or year? Were they easy? What did you learn?
So Jeff gave us something deep, thoughtful this week- I'm not sure if I'm in my fit of depression, bad mood that I'll do any better in it than my nano-novel.
Looking back on my life, I can see some places where I did something that I thought was a solution to a problem but only caused several more problems, some are even problems that continue to today (thinking on ridiculous ex husband and looking forward to teen being 18 so I have even fewer reasons to deal with jack ass.)
The most enduring problem in my life however is my mother, the fact that she is completely disrespectful of any boundaries, unaffectionate (except when it suits her ends), and manipulative. I was already in teenage rebellion before I got to my teen years; while her memory of my childhood doesn't come close to mine <need an eye-rolling icon here>, I *knew* that I wasn't valuable to her except in the ways she could show me off to her friends and acquaintances. Well teenage rebellion didn't really help me, didn't get me away from the emotional abuse any faster. I picked a small liberal arts college, mainly thinking to get away, while I probably should have picked an urban school; a nervous breakdown later, I was kicked out of college, back in my parents' home, and taking lithium. Nope, that didn't help the problem of my mother. Made a whole crap load more bad mistakes- got pregnant unplanned, got married to someone I didn't love, moved away- trying to put more physical and/or mental distance between her and I.
In many ways, I look at my Master as the solution to all that. Well not exactly Him- I used the phrase "He saved me" once with a UU minister friend who took that phrase in a rather more mundane, mainstream way. My Master didn't so much save me, come riding in like a knight in shining armor, but He encouraged me to make choices- remove myself from the bad marriage and be with Him full time, figure out the ways in which my mother continues to hurt me, figure out what needs to change, and stick with those boundaries. Like the list I have, which every time I go to visit my family, He reminds me of:
1) If the car I drive isn't safe for the 2.5 hour drive, no visit is happening. It is NEVER okay for me to be dependent on my parents for transportation anywhere.
2) 3 days, 2 nights is the longest acceptable visit... and I have to remember to pack up my stuff and head home earlier if my mother can't be nice and respectful.
3) If money is too tight for me to bring my own food, no visit is happening. Wondering if she'll be "okay" about me being vegan or not is too much stress on my recovering anorexic, hypoglycemic body. And referring to #2, if she questions me buying something because she's made choices that have messed up my eating schedule, the second part of #2 needs to happen. I was so angry when she questioned me buying a frozen lemonade for myself and my teen at the zoo last visit- I was getting sick due to improper fast food (hello? she took a vegan to a Church's Chicken when a Burger King was available) and had me outside for a lengthy time (yup, another health problem, I'm allergic to the sun and have to be super careful when outside for longer than 15 minutes at a time).
Especially the second half of #2, I need to work on. The visit that included the trip to the zoo, that was just barely 24 hours and my mother managed to behave so unacceptably in so many ways. But I wanted to go to a UU church nearer their house than mine, so I tried to put up with her. Nope, I can't think of anything important enough to ignore Master's heatedly reminded second part of #2.