Sunday, March 9, 2008
Dysfunction: The only consistent feature of all your dissatisfying relationships is you.
My mom is deceased, but I nonetheless experienced a change in my relationship with her through the donor egg process process, but not until after the babies were born. Suddenly, I understood much better what she had gone through to raise six kids, have three miscarriages and give a child up for adoption when she was teenager. I understood how tough it must have been to prepare meals on a tight budget – and why she was always pouring the unconsumed milk back into the container (regardless of whether there were green beans stashed in the bottom).
Thousands of lunches, thousands of neatly pressed school uniforms, a thousand sleepless nights. I have, at times, been disappointed at my siblings' apparent lack of interest in my kids. Two of the four siblings have carved time out of their own hectic lives to see my boys at times other than holidays. What I found has worked pretty well for me is to recognize that what I may want from them is not something they are emotionally prepared/able to give. Sort of like dating a married man with the perpetual hope that he will wake up and leave his wife and children for a “better life.” 99 times out of a hundred, it just ain’t gonna happen. I've also come to understand that my siblings are busy - really busy, living their lives and doing the very best that they can (which is why I say "apparent lack of interest").
As women, we are often perpetually optimistic (and unrealistic) in our desire for true intimacy, no matter who it is in our lives that is not "doing enough" (or being eough) for us at any given moment.
The gap between expectation (and hope) and reality is often insurmountable – but we try again and again to close it. In letting go of my hopes and expectations about what my family might be to me, I have opened to what my brothers and sisters can give me - and to a greater universe of other people who really are what I need, what I want, and who are present with me in my journey.
From MVED: August 23, 2007