My mother is an undiagnosed paranoid schizophrenic -- undiagnosed because she thinks nothing is wrong with thinking that three different people, including the government, are tapping her phone. Therefore, a normal relationship is tough. For a while I thought the best way, the healthiest for her and me, to have a relationship was to severely limit contact. I declared to friends and family, most of whom fully supported my decision, "I am not Mother Theresa....if I was I'd be a better daughter to her and be able to handle the crazy talk..."
But, I reviewed the Landmark Forum a few weeks ago -- six years after I took it the first time -- and I got the major lesson again that I got the first time -- that I want to seek opportunities to give love, rather than shy away from them. So, the first big deal post-Forum was Aaron, my boyfriend, got to meet her for the very first time. He had been begging to meet her for months. He was thrilled, she was thrilled, and all-in-all it went off in a rather carefree, lovely way. So much so in fact that we invited her to Thanksgiving.
What? With Aaron's 16 and 20 year old? I wanted to protect them from the oddness, wanted to really protect myself from embarassment, and crawl under a rock. But, instead we ALL rose to the occasion. His kids were lovely and so mature. He was his consummate generous, easy self. And, I was really better than I've ever been with her either. I will say I had moments of internal freak outs when I found her carrying on quiet full conversations with the little voice or voices in her head while she dried the dishes, but I let them go fairly quickly because my god there really was so much to be thankful for....in all its shapes and sizes, love, love, and more love.
We have a section in our book on Gratitude and boy oh boy when you focus on it, it really makes like so much Lazier.
Happy Thanks-Giving-Every-Day to All!