Those questions, I mean. The self-questions, the life questions. Why won’t they stay resolved?
These are not real questions I am asking in that paragraph… they are not really rhetorical, either. Just intro. Because I read Radmila’s reaction and it, in turn, created more thoughts on the subject.
One interesting observation she had was on some people’s reactions to their parents divorce. I had parents that divorced and here was my own cycle on that:
- teens: went through my struggle to just maintain my own emotional existence in the midst of my parents divorce; general feeling that it was for the best -just cause I was tired of the fighting and being used as a pawn between them. Shorthand for hellish “get me out of here” life.
- twenties: pretty much felt it didn’t affect or involve me… I had my own life now
- thirties: I understand, marriage is harder than I thought… I wish for divorce sometimes myself. I think I have got the emotional thing together and an observers view.
- forties: surprise surprise. Unresolved issues arise that I thought were gone and buried. Wow, I wish they had been. MAJOR issues with my father whom I had always thought I understood and accepted. No it is not alright to be selfish. No it is not all about you. And no the kids do not just get used to it. And yes, it colors their relationships all their lives. It complicates their marriages. It twists their parenting styles. And the parent, as they age and have more needs is still that person, only more so. Becoming the essence of themselves.Besides, I am being called on to help take care of them. Not together…doubled care in two very different places. The old divisions of the family and the coping mechanisms in place making it an impossibly hard job. I get resentful of that
- fifties: I must get on with life… what there is of it left. And I very much do not want to repeat certain things of my parents which robbed them of health, and of relationship. I must stop useless resentment and grieving. Easier said than done. But it will determine the future for those dependent upon me, and whom I will eventually become dependent upon.
That’s as far as I have gone. But note: I thought, in my thirties, I had it handled. I was just too busy to notice the flags waving on my family front. I was still entertaining some of my illusions … and much of the truth about myself and life in general was still veiled for me.
That takes me to the comments on denial. I have some succinct things to say on denial.
Life has a way of breaking in. Truth has a power that is surprising. Terribly surprising. Denials are a way of maintaining comfort. For some, the fall from that seat of comfort is far worse than the bitterness of facing reality head-on. The only remaining question is how much is ‘reality’? If we are careful and go into it gently I believe we can come out with a true reality; one we may live with. It is a better life than our delusions would grant us.
That is my own opinion.
It ends up that we must accept what others are. Not what we would like them to be. We come to grips with who we are, and separate that from who others have told us we are. To arrive at a gist, at a central truth.
I don’t believe most, if any of us are able to do that on our own.
I do believe developing love has lots to do with being successful in our handling of truth. I think that Radmila exemplified that in her recounting of her and her mother. There is love expressed there.
Love softens the edges of life, then infiltrates it with the best there is to offer and to know.
That is what I believe.
Even when I struggle with the concept.
One last caveat: People have different forms of personal make-up …there are some who never really struggle this way because they tend to be more positive in outlook. They are more balanced to begin with. Radmila has said some very pertinent and, I consider, valid things in her post. I appreciate that, and I appreciate facets of things that my view, alone, would never afford me.
We are creatures of communication. The iron which sharpens iron makes for the edge we need. So don’t take my critique-ing for criticizing in the ‘finding fault’ sense. It is only further exploring.