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I wrote this recently to two of the most important people in my life...my Mom and my Stepdad. If it weren't for the words I read here daily I might not have sent it to them. But a good thing happened...they listened for a change.
Dear Mom and Poppa,
I apologize for leaving the way I did today, but my personal space was being invaded and it was uncomfortable for me. There are many facets of my life that I do not share and will remain hidden from the world but I felt I owed some sort of explanation for my outburst today.
First off, yes Poppa we are family and probably the closest we have been since we all became entwined. The meaning of family does not always mean to me what it does to most and I am constantly reminding myself that family can be good. Yes at 50 I hold a lot of resentment when it comes to that word and it is not just experiences in my early years, but through my life. At a very young age I promised myself that I would never be in debt to my family for anything. I have over the years crossed that line…having the mortgage with you Mom, which was out of my control and never would have happened if it weren’t for my ex, moving in with Dad prior to working at XYZ, along with other things that I won’t get into. I have found the only one that can take care of me is me. You allow others to do for you and the minute the chips are down…it’s there in your face. I’m not saying that either of you have done that or would do that, but it is something that has happened, and I vowed would never happen again. Perhaps being on my own for as long as I have, even though there have been people in and out of my life has made me whom I am.
You see I like living in the shadows, only revealing parts of me and keeping others entirely hidden from view. All parts of me are revealed from time to time but I am very selective in who sees what. Yes, I know right now you’re probably thinking, “She has gone off the deep end”…but you know what…I haven’t. I am discovering that I have been living my life as others choose me to live it and not in the way that I want too. I’d like to be everything to everyone but I’m finding it is at my own expense and I do not derive happiness in being someone I’m not.
Financially I’m in deep but the one thing I have always been proudest of is the fact I’m a fighter and no matter how deep the hole is it is never deep enough to bury me. There is only one hole that will do that and it isn’t my time!
Everything you two said today are things that I have turned over in my mind…what if…if I…should I…maybe…but those are areas of my life that I need to control. If I need guidance I’ll ask, but until then it is best left unspoken.
I know you both are concerned and for that I thank you, but I need you to understand that what you see on the surface is not all that I am. I need to regain control of all aspects in my life and right now “financial issues” are only a small portion of the problem. Could you relieve that burden…perhaps…but then once again I would be taking steps backwards and that is a direction I do not want to be going in. I’m getting closer to the time where my responsibilities to others will be coming to an end…really the only one left is X (my son). I’m nearing a point where my life can be my own and I can live it anyway I choose. If I can make it through this small blip of time I’ll be home free and that is my goal.
No, I’m not on drugs…not I don’t want to become a hermit…no I’m not crazy. I have lived my life as an enabler and what I want most right now is to only be obligated to myself. So you see if I accepted any offer to rectify my current situation I would be loosing that one part of myself that I’m fighting so hard to get. Please try to understand and know that I love you both very much. Thank you for caring but please let me stand on my own two feet. It is one of the few things I have that is entirely my own and I need to keep it that way as long as I can.
Let’s forget this morning ever happened and I promise if that hole gets so deep that the dirt is sliding in…I’ll let you know.
Love you both,
P.S. One thing I want you to know is that when using the word “family” I am not just speaking immediate family but all the various families that come in and out of ones life…friends, coworkers, ex-husbands, etc. Didn’t want you to think I’m who I am because of anyone in particular.
As I said...they listened...they don't understand, but they listened. Thank you my friends for giving me the courage to move on!
7/27/2006 6:59 pm
WOW, well done..articulate, to the point, caring and very comprehendable. I, have myself been, am, going through some of the same feelings..the enableing, the what ifs, shoulds, don'ts etc. Upon the passing of my wife(lover, friend, mentor and confidant), my family (dear mom, basically) attempted to redirect me, my life and my being.. Yes I lost someone something extremely precious and dear, I am, as Maryellen wished, wishes,... a survivor, a continueum... I do not wish to change my life..It has been changed..in some aspects, I am however the same evolving, learning, caring and loving individual I have always been, and will always..be.
Thank you for sharing..venting can be sweet in its reward to those whom you love.
8/1/2006 7:15 pm
You are a courageous woman. At this point in your life you are experiencing an awakening. I can completely relate to the enabling personality because that's what I've been. As far as your folks are concerned, the fact that they listened is really all you can reasonably expect of them. At their age change is particularly scary, especially when it's "their little girl" that's doing the changing. I say that affectionately, not as an insult - I think that you understand that .
Think of this post as a hug and kiss on your rosy cheek .