Not having addressed the emotions surrounding Mother’s day and estrangement for years here on this blog, I found myself thinking about the subject and about what to say. Or whether to write a post at all or just let the day go by post-free as I’d been doing.
I am sitting myself down here to think while I type to see what occurs to me on this day, one of the more painful days to have to get through for mothers who have been estranged. A day which also can be painful for many who are estranged from a mother with whom they had had a loving affectionate relationship prior to estrangement. What to say?
My estrangement is now 23 years long. I don’t expect it to end. While I did suffer deep grief in the first 6 to 10 years as well as other strong feelings about the loss of a relationship with a person whom I had adored, eventually I developed a thicker skin and detachment set in. Consequently, I am sure that I am in a different place emotionally than most of the visitors to my website and blog. Most who come here are likely in that place of pain and devastation over losing someone they love to estrangement and would like to find some solution that would take their relationship back to the loving relationship they once had. Or thought that they had.
I wish I could offer that solution. I wish that I had found it myself. What I’ve found is that there are many reasons for estrangement. Sometimes the reasons have more to do with the person who has decided to estrange themselves and very little to do with the person who they estranged. I concluded that it can be futile for the person who has been estranged to resolve the estrangement. That the only person who can resolve it is the person who decided to do the estranging. The person who has been estranged has a few options: One is to keep banging their head on the door of estrangement by making attempts to end it. Another is not to do that but to bury their feelings and risk becoming clinically depressed. Another is to accept the estranger’s decision and to go on with their life, living it as well as they possibly can.
Recently a friend mentioned a book that she had read and loved. I haven’t read the book but the title caught my attention: “The Knife of Never Letting Go”. The title says so much. If you never let go of an issue or a person or a thing and the situation is unresolvable, then you are at risk of being damaged by the determination to hold on.
The friend who mentioned this book has experienced a loss that was one of the most drastic that can be imagined. She has had a very hard time emotionally in the years since that loss occurred. I don’t think she will ever “get over it”. But she seems to be doing a bit better as time goes on. She obsesses about it less. She is capable of feeling happy and of going on with her life. The knife of never letting go seems to be cutting her less.
From what I can see online about the book with that title, I don’t think that the title has anything to do with family estrangements but I don’t really know. It is a fiction book that is written for the age range of teens. I didn’t mention the book so that anyone would go out and buy it. It sounds quite good. I love the title. It would be a good title for a book on estrangement or other losses but the title has been taken!
Getting back to the subject of today, Mother’s Day, and what might I offer as a suggestion for getting through the day and other days of similar significance (birthdays, other family oriented holidays). Speaking for myself and acknowledging that I am at a different place in terms of emotions than most visitors to my site, on days like this I choose doing something that I REALLY want to do. See a movie I’ve been meaning to see. Eat some food that I like a lot that I haven’t had for a while. Wear comfortable clothing. Or wear something that just makes me happy regardless of comfort. Take a nap if needed. Read a book I’ve been meaning to read. In a choice between whether to do work or not, choose not to work at least some of the day if not all. (I tend to choose work too often.) Be good to myself. Be good to others as well as yourself. Meaning be polite, kind, civil, honest and genuine. If possible, let go of that knife for the day. If not possible, grip it less tightly and not by the blade’s edge.
Wishing you a most peaceful and Happy Day!