I know my ego is not my amigo. In fact, I’ve decided it is my frenemigo (which might be worse).
Believe me when I tell you there’s deep shame and stigma when the fundamental parent-child bond breaks. Life, and the way you move around in it, changes drastically. It doesn’t take a conversation with an old friend when she asks innocently, “How’s your daughter?” for the feeling of being hollowed out to happen. Not at all. And that’s because you mentally berate yourself all day long.
Most people look at their days in increments of hours, but I break up my day into 15-minute increments. I find it helps bring the most out of each moment because, in each moment, there exist infinite possibilities and opportunities to feel joy. While I’d love to say I’m grateful for the struggles, I’m not. This is a low point – and I’m completely terrified.
Did you know family or parental estrangement is a widespread occurrence? I’ve read hundreds of articles with titles like When Adult Children Cut Ties and Are You Estranged From Your Child. If I were to publish an article, it would probably be called something like, “From talking daily to watching each other’s stories, our friendship just died.”
So why does an adult child sever ties with his or her parents? Damned if I know. But unfortunately, most articles put the parents under fierce scrutiny. They seem to be the target of judgment, assuming neglect or abuse or some terrible addiction colors the child’s upbringing. But I know from my own experience it isn’t necessarily the cause. And too many “experts” offer this riveting advice: Whether you did anything wrong or not, just apologize. Plead. Ask for forgiveness.
We have a responsibility to own our choices and value our experiences. And while my daughter is off doing the very thing I prayed her to do (live a best life), I don’t have to own her choices. Little by little, the universe is releasing divine perspective – and I’m gaining a higher view, helping me feel less battered. But it’s a slow process, and every day is a surprise as to whether I smile, frown, or just nod through the day.
So, you don’t know what to do with the next 4 hours? Time to do one of the multitudes of things you say you want to do but never have time for, ya bish. You have a whole goddamn Pinterest board of shit to bake, friends to see, and places to visit. You have workshops to attend, self-expansion, shiny new experiences, and bonds to build. You can re-watch Season 3 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel tonight, or you can set your watch and witness the sunset because that’s pretty f—–g beautiful. Just stop feeling sorry for yourself.
Hours of this dialogue run through my mind … till, of course, I eventually lose track of the conversation.