Kroger has Chobani yogurt on a serious sale right now. One of my first impulses, other than to hoard flats for my yogurt-loving family, was to text my mom and ask if she wanted me to get some packs for her. We both love a bargain.
She and I haven’t been talking for a little over a week now. Well, almost 2 weeks. It has been the biggest relief I’ve had in months.
The fact of that sentence makes me feel all kinds of things, and most of them aren’t positive. But still, the relief is enough to overcome all of the not-positive feelings. For now. Perhaps you have a relationship like this in your life.
I write about these things because I know that many of us experience situations like this, and feelings like these (some of you have reached out to me personally to share your stories–I so appreciate you). Far too often, these not-positive feelings, including Sadness, Grief, Frustration, Sorrow, and, yes, Anger, get lumped together and branded with that dirtiest of S-words: Shame.
The thing about Shame is that it can blanket everything you are and everything you do. It becomes the unwanted but ever-present outermost layer of your thoughts, your words, and your deeds, that leads you to second-guess everything you’ve thought, said, and done. But, Dear Readers, almost always, Shame is a liar.
In spite of the fact that I Wish Things Were Different, right now, they’re just not. My mom lives with serious mental health needs that are presently unattended to because they have not escalated to the point where addressing those needs is more ethically warranted than allowing her to maintain autonomy. Yet.
In spite of the fact that I have engaged multiple mental health care professionals (who also happen to be friends of mine) and solicited their thoughts. In spite of the fact that I have attempted to dialogue with my mom about why medication and therapy would be beneficial for her and/or us. In spite of the fact that I have practically tap danced on her medication PA’s desk during her appointments. In spite.
So, for now, Mom and I are at a stalemate. She prefers not to receive medication and I prefer not to be around her because she does not receive medication.
I am sad, grieving, frustrated, sorry, and, yes, angry that my relationship with my mom is what it is currently. But, it is what it is. And I am not ashamed.