"I shared how I moved out of the house because you and I had a falling out."
Youngest son is telling me about his personal sharing in a talk he is preparing for a men's weekend coming up. I nod my head and act normal but inside me old, worn tapes are gearing up to go around and around. The kind of tapes that tell me a pity party is my only sane choice. I totally forget what an old friend used to tell me - "enjoy that pity pot while you're on it Hope, 'cause you won't be there forever." At which I used to look at him with a FU glare for raining on my parade and then continue on with my pity party.
Which is what I was preparing to do on Friday. The old tapes in my head go something like this: "I am so sick of being the bitch. Being the parent that gave our kids so much baggage they can hardly put one foot in front of the other. Dearest one, isn't it your turn for a while? Why can't you be the parent they have issues with for a change?"
And on and on.
No wonder the tape is worn.
I've hit replay countless times since my kids reached adulthood.
And I would have played it again on Friday night but just as I was giving dearest one a hug and was getting ready to vent, a thought popped into my head. "What if you simply accepted reality? That you really were the bag who gave them that baggage? What if you did that instead of looking to side step reality?"
That thought was so swift and in my face that I stopped the tape before it had a chance to begin. For the first time I had a different conversation in my head. I admitted that well, dearest one, hadn't been a whatever the male equivalent of being a bitch is, to the kids. He hadn't been physically, emotionally or verbally abusive like I had been. Nor had he been control freakish or mean. I can't carry their baggage for them nor can I heal it. But I can stop having pity parties over reality. No doubt my chilluns have their own issues with their dad but their issues with me are there for a reason. By the grace of God my ego deflated enough for me to admit this and the old familiar tape not only stopped but I chucked it.
Ego deflation doesn't leave without a fight.
I could not help myself. I later asked youngest son if he had at least told the men somewhere in his talk that I had changed and that things were different now. He looked at me and said, "Nope. To do so would have meant telling your story (of addiction and recovery) and that's not my business."
Lord have mercy.