D and I just watched Adventureland, which was way more intense than I was expecting. It threw me back to that gaping, yawning void of my early 20s. Everything was so hugely meaningful back then or entirely empty of connection/meaning. For the last two hours, I have felt lost and scared in that young adult way again. Very weird. I felt a lot of empathy for the characters.
Last night I watched part of the Let's Spend the Night Together, the Rolling Stones documentary that Hal Ashby made of their 1981 Tattoo You tour. I didn't see them that tour, but I wore out their albums around then and had my first-of-many, fun Mick Jagger dreams before I went off to college. (That first dream blew my mind because I was always a little afraid of Mick's energy, and it was oddly freeing to dream myself so close to that energy. He has appeared in many dreams since then, and I recognize now that he represents a naughty Pan figure in my subconscious so I always take note when he shows up.)
If you've read here for awhile, you know that my therapist used to be a beloved college professor of mine, so she has a long view into my life and my relationships with family members. Today she reminded me of a heartbreaking episode that occurred with my parents back in 1983. It's funny how similar the dynamics then were to what's been going on the last couple of weeks.
(I'm rarely this specific here in order to protect my family members, but let's just hope/trust that I don't cause harm here. I need to talk about this and figure it out. I'm trying to be as kind as possible to my family... and to myself...)
K and I talked about how -- except for the day when I bought a recliner for my father when he was dying and in pain -- my mother can't acknowledge anything I do in a favorable way, even when I do exactly as she asks.
I've spent my life trying to please her, bring her happiness, make her proud. I've even gone against my own heart when she was so adamant that I do something or behave in some way to honor her and the family.
As I said earlier, when I talk about my own interests and plans, she gets agitated, and it's not long before she tells me some version of this lie: everyone will stop loving me if I pursue my dreams. She told me a version of that lie last week at her birthday celebration and again on the phone a couple of days later.
This is more than just normal mother/daughter stuff. When blame pointed squarely at my father, she blamed me. In order to maintain a sense of "family" and to keep honoring the light that shines inside of her, I have kept tring to please, humor, and delight her.
But I can't anymore. The people who really do love me suffer when I try to please her. It's time to work on my own dreams.
I have a lot of catching up to do...