Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Even Ground

As of yesterday my Mom is speaking to me again. We chatted on the phone for a little while so I could get an update on the bleeding ulcers she's suffering from again. She brought up the blog to say that she felt overwhelmed reading it and just hopes that I can forgive her.

I avoided talking about her choice to live out in Corbett. I'm still so sad and angry about this choice, but I'm trying to at least interact from a place of non-judging. As much as it hurts to watch her make a choice that hurts her health, she is going to make those choices regardless of what I want or need. It is hard, but worthy Practice.

The thing she's missing is that I don't hate her, don't hold a grudge against her. I just ache to see her suffer and know that she was so hurt in her own childhood. I'm reminded of a talk Chozen Bays Roshi recorded on forgiveness of the abusers she interviews after examining hurt children -- that often these people are just abused children who grew up without ever having their abuse acknowledged, never treated, never healed.

That's my Mom - an adult who inside is an abused child who was never held in compassion. It helps me when trying to stay on even ground with her, stay in non-judgement. It also helps me be resolved to keep going to therapy even when some of those sessions are profoundly triggering and painful.

I have been so deeply touched by the thoughtful, sharing, compassionate and supportive messages I've received here and in person. Even today at Vida Vegan Con someone made a point to come up to ask me how my Mom was doing and how I was. Here was this lovely woman and she took a moment to tell me she's been reading this blog and thinking kind thoughts toward us. I feel so much gratitude that my fears around opening up have been meet with such loving-kindness.

I started talking openly and honestly about my recovery from trauma because there is a chance another person might be helped by it. Often I post stuff and I almost forget that people are out there reading it. When people reach out to me because of something I've written I am continually touched to learn that someone felt better for reading something I write. I'm also just humbled by the people that come to me to share their own experiences and offer their support.

Tomorrow will be my birthday, I will be 42, and on some level it feels odd to not be planning some party. I'd intended to, but with all the upset around Mom, my busy schedule at work, and getting ready to speak at Vida Vegan Con, there just wasn't time. I unfortunately forgot that DW made extra effort to take tomorrow off of work to go to the event I'd intended to plan, but we're going to make a point to spend some time together tomorrow afternoon. That bit of forgetfulness aside, it feels good to be speaking to Mom again and spending the weekend surrounded by people who are writing and working toward a more compassionate world.

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  1. you shouldn’t feel fear about speaking the truth. It’s a hard thing to do, and you should be proud that you are. I’m very glad you and your Mom and talking again. It’s healing for both of you.

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