How did I get here?

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. Carl Jung
 

So, here I am in the house my mother designed, commutting to where she is in a sub-acute rehab facility telling myself that the fact that she has stepped forward and now fills the outline my father created, constant worry, guilt and sadness is basically ineveiatble. Years ago a teaching mentor who was a Jung therapist in her retirement told me that if you have a problem student and you get rid of them (transfer, graduation) another will simply step forward to fill that space. So really, it's about you and your ability to cope with difficult people and recognize what parts of your self is being revealed through strife.

I am impatient, stubborn, loath to ask for help, rarely want to change my mind and I'm constantly searching for reasons to be alone. My mother likes company. She likes telling people what to do and she believes she is always right. She is also 92 and has a broken leg and a brain that seems unaffected by age except when she freaks out as darkness appraoches. I hear her voice on the phone as darkness approaches and I am thrown back to childhood terrors, my father drunk, my mother pleading, barely able to breathe, hurt, angry, fear filling every cell of my body. I am 60 and have been sober for 33+. I am not her and I am not unaware that I have learned so much by sitting in twelve step meetings, my ten years of therapy, the daily reprieve of not drinking to kill my feelings, something I did from the age of 15 to 27. I have a grown son who never knew his mother drunk, in danger, angry, cruel. No, I wasn't perfect and made any number of mistakes in the past. But I was a good mother, I'm a good wife and I feel good about my life. Still, that hand reaches to grasp my own, a hand that is cold and cruel, desperate and dangerous.

I wanted this to be funny, to be about how I've taken the moments of this visit and turned them into amusing stories. But I can't. i am here. I am her daughter. She needs my help and then I go home and find my way again.

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