Hi peeps. Thank you so much for your words of support while I go through this very strange time in my life. It means so much to me that I can 'hear' the words I need to hear, regardless of where they come from and from whom. I'm lucky to have such a fantastic support system.
The mom and I went to a two-hour mediation appointment with my therapist yesterday afternoon. I took the day off work to finish up some of the house things we started this weekend (which look freakin' awesome; pics soon), so I was able to spend the morning centering myself and feeling grounded. I think this was the most important thing I could have done prior to this meeting.
My therapist/counselor/spiritual guide is a truly gifted person. He knew we were both nervous, and started us out when we didn't really know where to begin. He started by asking what both of us thought the other might not understand about the situation. I wish I could do this all the time in my life when I encounter a conflict, because it is such a compassionate and non-loaded way of saying how you feel. I said mine, my mom said hers, and I think that was all it took. She finally saw why what she had done was so destructive--strangely enough, before this she really had NO IDEA that she had damaged our relationship so badly--and I saw how really screwed up she is right now. Well, not so much screwed up as she is confused and dealing with a lifetime of issues that have been constantly pushed away. Fifty-some years of not dealing tends to catch up to a person like fire in an oil drum; BOOM. I feel for her and what she is going through, but because of the events of the past month or so, I don't feel tied to her fate and responsible for her happiness like I have in the past. She is going through some shit; shit that she can't see her way out of right now, and that really sucks.
But what I came away with from this meeting was basically this: My mom is a scared, fearful, negative person right now (she hasn't always been), and the best thing she could have done for me was to kick me out. She didn't realize it was so hurtful, but because it was, it forced me to become completely detached and independent from her in a way that I never had before. At first I was so hurt and angry--which I still own and those feelings are mine, and I was reacting the way that I think most people would have reacted--but now I have some perspective. I also heard her saying that what she did had nothing to do with me, and that filled me with a sense of relief. One of the things I was dreading about this meeting was what my mom might say to me--my faults, maybe something I did that I didn't realize, stuff like that--and I am so glad that this situation came solely from her issues. I felt that this was about her from the beginning, but it is hard to pull yourself out of the equation when the person involves you so immediately in it. And I'm sure that there is something pretty selfish about my relief, but I also know enough about myself to not hold it against myself. I can't fix her. I can fix me. I work on it everyday. I look for opportunities to grow, even when it might be painful (like this mediation session), and so I know what I can do and what I can handle, and what I can't. I can't fix my mom, but I can have compassion for what she is going through. I can't fix it for her, but I can be there for her. I am approaching this from a place of love--letting go of my ego for a bit--and realizing that the things that happen to me are not necessarily about me. (Not that I would let her do something like this to me again, not at ALL; but now I know what to say to her if she does, and that is pretty empowering.)
And the two biggest things: She finally apologized, and I was able to hug her and tell her I love her, and really mean it.
Now, I hope that she can get through this crap she is going through and come out a better person on the other side. I see her desire to do that; she just doesn't know how to go about it. She will start seeing my therapist on her own, and I am hopeful that she owns who she is and fulfills all the potential within herself, because she is an amazing human being. I hope for her what I have found for myself over the last year: internal peace, personal understanding and acceptance, and a whole lotta self-love.