Thursday, October 18, 2007

Impulse Control

I almost did something really stupid today.

But I didn’t.

I’m so proud of myself.

I had one of those insane, thinking the best of people even when there is no reason to think the best of them moment.

Didn’t do it.

Instead, I’ve been thinking about what I wanted out of the imagined exchange. Goes something like this:

I write a heartfelt note, explaining how much I appreciate the help given with my son, Ben, last year. There are moments in your life that are turning points- last summer and going to Camp OUT was one of them for Ben. The person in question was pretty much responsible for pushing me to send him.

I pretend to think I don’t want anything in return.

But in return? I would have been acknowledged as a good person, a good mother. I would be thoughtful and kind.

Red flags start waving.

I call a good friend. I’m hopeless, aren’t I?

Why do you want to sabotage the good feeling you have about Ben’s success? She asks.

I’m not…

Funny thing, though, is I dreamt about my mother all night last night. Oh, she was mad at me. Kicked my ass back and forth through three different dreams. I kept waking up and she kept coming back each time my eyes shut again.

Hmmm. Suspicious. The note in question would be going to the stand in for my mother. Just as judgmental and just as full of glorious golden light. And thinks very, very little of me.

Just like my mother.

I can’t seem to let that go. I hate the thought that someone is going through life thinking I am a horrible person. I want to spread joy and goodwill. I want to be a good person.

Or is it that I can’t give up the wound? My wound of being declared a bad person and not being able to dance well enough sing sweetly enough to get the black mark on my name erased.

Yeah, I know. It’s not very clean anymore, is it? Suddenly, my desire to acknowledge something kind once done is full of more than one red flag. It’s a field of them.

I deleted the note. I’m never going to be a good person to her, no matter how hard I try.

And my mother is going to continue to haunt me in my dreams, chasing after me, telling me how wrong I’ve done everything. In one dream last night, my mother was furious she had to wait in line for a seat in a restaurant I picked. The response was over the top- she was screaming and slashing at me. How could I be so wrong and disappoint her all the time?

I kept crying to her, I’m trying… I’m trying… only to wake up with a dry, sore throat.

So… to she who will not be named, ever, Thank you. Ben is doing so well. Your push to have me to send him to camp, to acknowledge his growing independence was perfect timing. I am so grateful. At his birthday party, with as many new friends as old friends, he was himself. In full glory and completely accepted. I was so proud. More than that? I kept thinking about all the hands that helped him get to the place he is now. Thank you for being one of those hands.

I’ve paid my due, minus the red flags.

My god, if I get any more impulse control, I’m going to have to try yoga after all.


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