January 22, 2007

Hauntings from the Past

I worry about my mother.  The past seems to be haunting her.  With the death of my father, all the turmoil that existed with the old church kind of surfaced.  She had to deal with that church and prior pastor as my father was eulogized there.  He did not become a member of the new church my mother moved her membership too.  So the new pastor did the eulogy at the old church.  There were quite a few things that had to be worked out.  First the old pastor said he would be out of town and not there for the service at all.  So the new pastor and mom proceeded with all their plans.  Being out of town was really a lie as he was then calling around the members who were reaching out to my mom trying to find out all the plans.  In the end he called my mother angry that he was not being consulted on everything Why would he be?  He was not even going to be in town.  Bad blood all around.  In the end, mom feels that the old minister has told the new one all the beefs that they had before she left the church.  Now she feels that the new minister is thinking the worst of her. 

She is one who feels that it is all about her and actually lives her life that way.  It is a type of denial in my opinion.  It gets you off the hook about considering others.  Other peoples feeling and thoughts do not matter if that is your world.  Your vision is very small and narrow when it is all about you.  Even when bricks are hitting you in the head, you cannot feel them.  You think they are pillows.   Now it has become all internalized.  She thinks that the new minister is saying things directed at her.  In a room full of people when the discussion is about a book of the bible, she can pick out a sentence or a story and thinks that it is being directed at her. 

Now the only time I think that something was directed at her was when she came out with an odd comment about past things as it related to people not being welcome in the church.  I was almost embarrassed.  It was odd and out of the blue.  The cover of grief can be used to explain a lot.  Well, soon after that the new pastor related a story that related to what we were studying but also to people who are so concerned with what others are doing over there at some other church, (they have this and that and I do not have this and that) they fail to realize that it is not the people at the other church.  The problem is inside. I heard that loud and clear.  Mom heard silence.  She heard something totally different. 

Last night I went over to help her with some things and she was all about bashing the old church and the new pastor.  The new pastor is now in collusion with the old one.  Good lord, it is not all about you!  It was about an hours worth of the seeds of evil starting in the pulpit and pastors missing the blessing and on and on and on.  My response?  I flat out told her she was imagining things and making things up and that she needed to let the past bitterness go.  Whatever happened at that old church was long over and she needed to stop.  Do not bring all those old feelings to this new environment No one there knows what really happened.  I do not even know.  Only focus on what is happening right nowwhat is real.  Look inward and know that it is not all about you.  The new pastor has an entire church to worry about.  Not just you.  I was told that she knows the situation better than I did and that I did not understand what was going on. 

I feel that the Hauntings from the Past will just make her look bad and she cannot realize what damage it will do.  Is doing.  She was looked at as a wise woman and very knowledgeable.  Now people are asking me how she is doing and saying that she seems to be in a fog.  I say it is due to grief. They already think that is what it is. I just agree.  I know that it is due to a bitter heart.  Grief is but a small part.   Bitter not due to just her.  She has had a hard way to go.  But she has a choice.  The bitterness is there by choice.  She will not see any other way but her own.  I feel it will be her undoing.  People are going to change their opinion of her.  Her vision has put lots of limitations on her life.  Her whole life.  It makes her rigid and inflexible. Those limitations, self imposed as they are have made her unhappy, yet she will not go another way. She will not see any other way.  I have tried all my years to broaden her vision.   That has been the source of all of our conflicts.  She considers only herself and no others, even when told her way is not the best way.

What to do?  I am not sure.  After years, no a lifelong at being at odds with her, I gave up trying to change or help her long ago.  Now because we are not again attending the same church, I feel a little obligation.  No, I have always felt an obligation, but made the choice to stay away from a parent who is toxic.  Always was and always will be.  Do I want to get close to that toxicity again?  No.  I feel I might have to just to do a little damage control.  It might be a lost cause. She will not bend at all.  I might just have to stand back and let her self destruct right where she is and just try to stay clear and out of the way so that I am not a party to the madness.

The cup of crazy runneth over when it is all about you.  The bad thing is now, I spend lots of time thinking about her and how this will be her undoing if she continues.  What is a child to do with a toxic parent like that?  Old ghosts are hard to get rid of.  I have exorcised hers from me.  Now I just wish she had a way to exorcist her own ghosts.  She wants to live with them and welcomes them in like old friends.  Those haunts will not let her be free.                       


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