I don’t know your circumstance, but there is one thing I do know and that is you never ever wanted things to turn out this way; not for yourself nor your child. And while you may have made mistakes big, small or unknown, God knows every hair on your head– and most of all He knows your heart. He knows if you could change whatever it was that separated you from your child, you would in heartbeat.
But here we are. And to be honest, here we may forevermore be. This is not to discourage you, but having too much hope can drive us mad. Hoping for that call or thinking we might find a card in our mailbox invites disappointment. And for this reason mothers like us have to have to be diligent in self-care and face the reality that we may never again have that dreamy Mother’s Day. This is a sad but harsh reality. Sure, something might bust loose but who knows when and for how long? Once we are in this position we are walking on eggshells as the child is critically attuned.
So what should we do with such a day as today? What should we do every day? Here are some ideas that come to mind
- Avoid self-sabotage. Don’t call anyone who is the least bit critical. After all, who can really relate to what you are going through? And who really knows all that occurred?
- Designate device free days. Don’t look at your phone/social media when you are down. Intentionally separate yourself and find other outlets.
- If you feel you must reach out to the child do so by snail mail and kiss the letter goodbye as it is a note in a bottle. It is likely that whatever you write will be closely scrutinized so write unemotionally and cautiously.
- On holidays, birthdays and such, take a little road trip with someone who is willing to shoulder a bit of your baggage as you are likely to need help.
- Consider visiting someone who could use some love. Focus on that person for a few hours. Make things less about you on days you are apt to feel down.
- On days you suspect will be difficult treat yourself to a special meal or gift. God wants you to be well.
- Hug your pet if you have one. They adore you. (Can I have a mother do-over with my cat?) If you don’t have a pet consider getting one. They are, as they say, therapeutic.
The point dear mother, is that you are not a horrible, soulless person. You are just incredibly troubled by your situation. And as you feel the pain of your loss you are apt to dwell and become unable to express your feelings appropriately. It can be one of those vicious cycles in which you find yourself. You grieve and hurt; in turn you hurt (verb) unintentionally as you are on edge feeling worthless as a parent, and so on and so on. This has been my experience and it is likely yours.
The only way out, I have come to believe, is to make specific plans to take care of ourselves. Our children, if they are grown, will do what they will and others will assume they know you and what occurred. There is nothing we can do about that except avoid trigger situations that cause us pain. Clear your path and decide what it is you need to change, not for them but for you!
In terms of what to change consider this. Keep your heart as pure as you can. Love others as much as you can. If you have been judging anyone else stop. I find that as I judge I’m inviting judgement. Instead, my dear, let’s be the best people we can be from this day forward. Give no food to the estrangement beast– the warped thinking that we are not worthy of being loved.
If this speaks to you please comment below so that we can keep in touch. If you know someone else in this position, please pass this along.
Your Sister in Estrangement,