Oh So Perfect

I was going to start this off by saying “lately”, but I realized that would be me being dishonest with myself and the blogging universe (lol). I don’t know if it’s been always but for a long time I’ve been preoccupied with this idea of comparison and perfection. Or, if not perfection exactly, the constant worry of what people think about me. And it sucks. Completely. It’s interesting because there are some times/things where I really don’t care. Then, there are others, when I can’t seem to let it go. At times it comes down to how do I or my things hold up to these other things or people. As usual, it’s very painful. I know I shouldn’t do it (and usually tell myself so), but sometimes it almost feels like I can’t help it. Which is terrible, I know.

I compare myself to my friends.

I compare my relationship or myself in my relationship.

I compare my life as a whole.

It all comes down to me feeling inadequate.

I’m not _______________ enough.

I’m not enough.

 

I’ve struggled with this for a long time, almost as long as I can remember. I’m pretty sure I’ve written about it before. I’ve talked about it in counseling before.

I’m constantly trying to fight this because it’s an obstacle to living. It distracts me from life while also chipping away from my personal significance and how I relate to those around me.

But, oh, the difficulty.

“Comparisons deplete the actuality of the things compared… ” – William S. Wilson

Change Always Coming

It’s normal for there to be highs and lows in life, right?

One of the many, unfortunate normals of life, I suppose.

There are some changes happening in my life, and I’m happy about them. For different reasons, including selfish ones. But I’ve found as they become closer and closer to taking place, it also makes me long to have my mother here. I wonder if I’m the only one or if my sister feels the same way. I’m sure she does.

I made a trip home recently. I usually don’t like going home…and tend to shy away from large family gatherings. As nice as these things are (I’ve written before), they tend to remind me more that my mother isn’t (t)here. This time was different though. We stayed with different people throughout the week. There was a fairly large family gathering. There was also some family drama (of course lol). But it was good. It was the first time, in a long time, that it wasn’t awful being home.  I guess that’s good. I’m sure it is..and I’m sure that means something.

But right now…I’ve given myself a timeframe for accomplishing things I want to do. One way or another it involves me moving this time next year. My sister is making some changes of her own. I know she’s nervous about it, I would be too. But I think it’s good for her. Change, however, makes us, almost involuntarily, want to look to our parents.

That’s the hard part. Looking for people who aren’t here. Not knowing, at times, who to turn instead. Or knowing, but still..it just not quite being right. For some reason I’m scared about my moments of longing for my mother overwhelms me…in this season of change I’ll be in not-quite-completely-new surroundings. And I’m not sure how I’ll express myself…or if I will. That will be something I’ll have to work on.

I saw the following quote on Goodreads semi-recently:

“A daughter without her mother is a woman broken. It is a loss that turns to arthritis and settles deep into her bones.” – Kristin Hannah, Summer Island 

It’s been almost 6 years. SIX years. I still can’t believe it. Almost 2 for my father. My age doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, I’m still a little girl wanting her parents.

I screenshot the quote when I saw it. Sometimes I feel like I’m drawn to sad things. But I don’t need to be reminded of this quote. It actually embodies some of what I read in a book about women whose mothers have died. Quite accurate it is. I think I keep thinking that it’ll get easier the older I get. Even though I know it’s not true. In some ways, it actually seems to be ‘getting’ worse.

& Now

I moved. Super happy for the big picture. I wasn’t at all happy where I was. Although I had semi-recently formed some friendships…so I was sad to leave those, but I know our friendship won’t end just because I’m not there. Being laid off from your job definitely has pros/cons. I keep telling myself (and others) that I’m trying to look at this as an opportunity. As I was telling my cousin yesterday, if I hadn’t been laid off, I’m not sure when I would have moved/left. Despite my desire to leave, I was also afraid of quitting my job to just pick up and move. But part of that decision was taken away from me, so here I am lol

It’s been pretty good so far. I’ve missed the city, the diversity, the food, my friends. Still looking for a job, but that’s to be expected. I was talking to my cousin yesterday about my future and not getting stuck again. I’ve never been a risk taker, but I’m at the point in my life where many things are a risk. Especially if I want to continue on this search for happiness. Here I’m reminding myself that the word I chose for this year was endeavor. Which, for me, includes some aspect of risk. I don’t like that lol But I guess that’s why it’s good.

This weekend my uncle has been visiting…I haven’t seen him in a long while, so it’s been nice. He’s also helping his daughter with some things around the house and his granddaughter with some things. Sometimes I get sad watching them. That’s why I decided to write here, it’s one way for me to express the combination of: being happy to see him, happy seeing him help and just the dynamic of his relationship with the two of them..plus my own sadness/memories.

Anyway. I’m definitely going to try to be more intentional with my pursuit of employment.  I’m not trying to have more jobs I dislike…escaping from darkness can be liberating, but the threat still lingers..and I don’t want to go back to that place.

Cinema

Tonight I watched a movie about a widower who traveled across the country to visit his kids. Robert DeNiro was in it, so I figured I’d give it a chance. Plus, I saw it as a preview in another movie I watched. I enjoyed it overall…one part of the plot involved the kids talking more to their mother, over the course of their lives, than their father. This continued after their mother’s death as well. They told their father only what he wanted to hear, while being more honest with their mom (the mother kept things from the father also since he worried a lot/pushed the kids to be perfect).

This reminded me of my relationship with my parents (of course lol)..though a tad different. But growing up my sister and I were much closer to my mom than my father. I didn’t lie to my father, but I told him more good things than bad. It was only in the last couple of years before his death (and after my mom died), that I started telling him when I was worried or stressed..or in need. Sometimes.

Watching Robert DeNiro go across the country visiting his kids (NY – Chicago – Denver – Vegas) also made me realize how much I [will] miss growing up (because despite being 28, I still feel, amazingly, like a child lol)..getting older without my parents. It’s something I’ve thought about before, specifically in terms of big life events, but this just made me think of the small things. Small things I know my mom would do and, I guess, small things I might do with my father..and things he’d do in his own way. There are a set of cousins in particular, and their parents, who I love so dearly because of the support they have offered my sister and I, especially in the wake of our parents’ deaths. I see their posts (whether my aunt’s or uncle’s posts about their kids or my cousins’ posts about their parents or their own children) and it makes my heart ache.  I suppose what it boils down to is I don’t feel like a daughter anymore. And the loneliness, the emptiness, of such a realization still hurts.

Baba

Disclaimer: Again, I ask for forgiveness for any typos/grammar mistakes. I wrote this fairly quickly & didn’t reread it all. 

I think this is the 1st time I’m writing something entirely (or at least mostly) about my father. By far, I talk about my mother more, though I feel both their absences so strongly. If I’m honest, sometimes I feel that I miss her more, which, at times (or maybe just in general), I do. Maybe not. But, then again, I think it makes sense. My parents were separated, reunited, and then divorced, when we were young. On TV/in movies, a divorce is often a horrible ordeal..even if the parents are amiable about the whole thing, the kids are usually upset by it. Not so with my sister and I. I think my parents only needed to be together to have us, but, other than that, it didn’t seem to work.

Even before they got separated, somehow I don’t have too many memories of my father being around. Then, once the divorce was final, he moved to another state. We were fine with it. I can recall being seemingly forced to go visit him over the summers. Part of the custody agreement.  We didn’t really care to go visit my father. I don’t think the main thing we disliked was going to see him, but we found his city extremely boring. I also tended to think, as a teenager, that he assumed he knew us just because we shared DNA…but in my mind, he wasn’t around that much, and we saw him once a year. What could he possibly know? I cried once, after something happened…I can’t even remember what it was, but I don’t cry easily. I just remember my sister phoning my mom and telling her that he’d made me cry.

My father died in 2013. It was only in 2008 that I truly believed he loved me. And only in the past few years that our relationship, to/for me, started to mend. When my mother died, my world was shaken. Though I still had my father, I still felt utterly alone. Slowly, that changed a little bit…after he died, I realized I would miss what could have been. I had only just started feeling that our relationship was getting better. The day he died, I was supposed to be leaving to go visit him.  I was excited to go..I hadn’t seen him in a couple of years. I felt guilty about that afterwards…at planning or beginning to plan an earlier trip, but I didn’t go. Either because I couldn’t or I changed my mind and postponed it. I was planning to give him a mug from the school I attended for graduate school. Because he likes tea. I was also planning to get him a large print Bible because he’d said at some point he needed another one. I was packed. I was ready. I had a graduation picture (from undergrad) to take with me as well, a big one..because I remembered/thought I’d only given him a small/medium one. After he died, once I got down to his city…I was shown the graduation picture I’d sent him previously. He’d had someone laminate it. Apparently he was really excited about me coming too…they had planned to have lunch set up for us in this common room. I was angry with myself, for putting it off. I was angry that it happened the same day my mother died 4 years prior. I was sad that it happened under the same circumstances as my mom: random, before Christmas, the semester before I was to graduate.

My father was an intensely private person. I knew this, but found it to be true even more, speaking with his/our relatives. I, too, am somewhat of a private person. I have to push myself to reveal the depths of my heart and, even then, I still have to push myself…and then I might not do it lol In my last post I talked about my introverted nature. I know I got that from my father. Oddly enough, I think I got my intense love for people from my mother..although it can be hard, that combined with being an introvert. They say hindsight is 20/20, and I find myself thinking more often about which parts of me I inherited from my father. Just like with my mom, I find myself thinking about calling him to update him on things. With Father’s Day coming up, I find myself also thinking about how I/we never…rarely got him a Father’s Day card on time. I am still struggling with some things I found out after his death. And I know part of the reason I didn’t go see him earlier was because I was still, whether consciously or unconsciously, holding things from our past against him.

All these things I know to be true. I miss the lunch we didn’t get to have. I miss the opportunity to show him pictures of my friends, discuss my classes, my ideas for the future. To learn, from him, about my family on his side. As I mentioned, I miss the opportunity to fully repair our relationship..or to see what it would have continued to grow into. My mother once told me my father had a hard time showing love. I can attest to that.

So much of me is him. I can’t pretend I’m not still confused/upset about…various things. Things that have made the grieving process even harder. But, I suppose, at least, I can say, finally, that I know he loved me.

TKO

There are times I think I’m fine and other times I’m sure I’m not. Both probably say something about where I am on/in this whole “grieving process”. I don’t know that I’m afraid of death perse, but I fear the process of dying. It’s probably more because it’s unknown. And though I wouldn’t say I’m a control freak, I do like/prefer to be in the know. The thought of life slipping away from me or suddenly being ripped from my grasp is a scary thing. I suppose that’s normal. But my mother dying almost 5 years ago and my father a few months ago has me seeing death in places I do not wish to see it, but I cannot help it. In places  where it may not even be that “serious”, it’s the first thing I think of. And when I think about it, I get such a feeling of anxiety and dread, that I don’t even know what to do with it or how to rid myself of it. The sinking feeling in my stomach at reliving what I already do or someone else experiencing what I know too well. I know death is a part of life…I hold no grand delusions that I will live forever, but at times like these I fear death has overwhelmed my psyche. 

Oh, hi…

I’m going to try to make this quick since I’m tired and want to get up early.

I haven’t written in awhile. It’s weird. I think awhile ago I was realizing how much I write here and was wondering if that was good or not. I was actually considering closing/canceling my account. But I haven’t as yet.

This has been a really difficult semester. It’s over though, thank God. But it’s been hard.

This semester I saw a new counselor lady. Let’s call her B. She’s my age, which was weird sometimes, but kinda cool too, I think. I like her..she reminds me a little of one of my kids, actually. She’s definitely different than the one I had last year, but I like her. She’s really nice. Very personable and easy to talk to. She teared up when I talk about my mom and how I feel and stuff. I can tell she really empathizes with me. I usually swallowed my tears when they threaten to come to the surface during one of our “sessions”. B gave me an assignment once…not to push down my emotions or feelings when I get sad or whatever, when it comes to my mom. It’s an interesting situation, though, because I don’t necessarily/really want to talk about it, but I’m not supposed to push it down either. So I had to find other ways to deal with it. But now I’ve taken to applying that to multiple areas. I’ve always been an emotional person, I just don’t show those emotions. She has me showing them now. I told her I blamed her for my reaction to things being tears now. Madness.

Though this semester has been tough, it’s also had some good as well. I’ve gained a renewed appreciation for the people in my life. I have a really good support system and amazing friends and sisters. Trying to get reconnected with some people who I haven’t talked to in awhile. But yay to them and who they are…and who they will be. Additionally, I’ve met new people, who I now can’t imagine my life without. And I’m thankful for that.

Anyway. Talking to B every week has definitely helped me out, our last session was last week and I’m taking it better than I thought, I think. I kind of miss the sessions though, is that weird? She asked me how I felt about it and I told her I had gotten used to it…to talking things through with her and…I guess to her “probing” questions. She had me thinking about things sometimes in ways I hadn’t before or even when I didn’t want to think/talk about them. Not that she forced me to talk. Because she didn’t. I think I kind of felt like, I might as well talk to her, that’s what I came for. Anyway. I guess that’s all for now. Maybe more later.