Monday, February 28, 2011

No More Conflict!


I think conflict and I are intermingling lately.  I hate that.

If you and I had a close relationship and we had conflict this would be how I would deal with it.  After a great deal of turmoil and angst I would approach you (hopefully with patience and wisdom) and get everything out on the table.  Then I would do my best to never, ever see you again.  What is that all about?

I have no idea.

Well, you know about the conversation to get it out on the table that I had with my mom a couple of weeks ago.  I am about to have another one with a totally different person.  Here's the thing......

This conflict started a couple of months ago now.  We have had 2 conversations in relation to the tension that we both know exists.  One of the conversations I walked away feeling like I always did when my mom and I would have conflict.  I felt desperate, useless, like a piece of crap, like it was all my fault.  I didn't know why I was reacting that strongly to this person until my husband pointed it out.  Their personalities are similar.  It's no wonder I would feel that way about her.  She reminds me of my mother.

I felt so psycho after I realized that, but you know what, it makes sense.

There are certain things I will see, or hear, or even smell, that will, in that very moment, take me to another time.  Take me almost completely back to another time.  When I hear a song that was popular when I was in college, I will FEEL like I did in college, even for a few seconds.  When I smell beef gravy I think of my grandmother's house and how we used to go there after church every Sunday.  You get the point.

Why would my emotions be any different?

My aunt told me she has been impacted by what is happening between my mother and me - hurt by the distance.  She says life is too short.  That I should basically forgive and forget.

It's hard to explain to her why I'm okay with the distance being there.  I'm okay with it because I think its worth it.  Being face to face with a person who has hurt you deeply and who is unable to admit or apologize for those actions, is simply a way to take you back to when it hurt.  At least it is for me. And if this conflict isn't dealt with in truth, by both parties, I don't think healing can truly happen.

That's not to say I don't think I can ever have a relationship with my mother again. I just don't think we can be best friends. We need to come to some level ground before the distance can start to go away.

My dad and I had close to a year of distance a few years ago.  It sucked.  But at the end of that time we went to a counselor we both respected and just put some things on the table.  I can't tell you  how much better our relationship has been as a result of that.  I don't believe we would be at the point we are without that time of distance.  That's why I think it's worth it.  That's not to say things are all perfect.  Just this weekend he visited us and every time he touched one of the kids I felt like I was going to freak out.  Will that fear ever go away?

Does this make sense to you?  How do you deal with conflict?  Do you allow the distance or try to make it go away?

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