This afternoon I was writing an article about resolving conflict in the workplace that had very specific parameters. I had an hour before I had to get the kids, plenty of time to finish up, proofread, and get it sent out.
The phone rang, it was my sister. She visited my elderly mothers over the weekend, four hours away. She was going through pictures to make a movie for my mothers eightieth birthday later this year. She was very excited that she found a box of pictures to make me a movie for my fiftieth which is still five years away.
The whole conversation with her set me off in such a visceral way.
My mother has been nervous to sign her house over to my sisters or I to protect her assets if she needed long term care. She is afraid I would sell her house, put her on the street, and buy drugs with the money. Instantly I was again that lazy, good for nothing, fat, person who lived in her house from birth to age eighteen
Then my sister went on to tell me how she found a box of my pictures of from when I was a kid. She was so excited because she was going to make me a movie when I turned fifty and I quickly said, No please don’t. It was a kind thought but I don’t want a movie of my life in her eyes. She will wind up making me a movie of my life the way she wants to see it. She will delete periods of time that were so important to who I have become today. I have large periods of time in my life that she has declared “dark” which to me were where I started to discover who exactly the person I wanted to become. I don’t want a movie with pictures of my childhood, looking at the photos and remembering the intense bullying I suffered or the fact I was suicidal at ten years old because of the abuse all around me. I remember suffering through weeks at a time with a knot in my chest for years. I have no clue how I made it through that time. It was hard and oh so painful.
I got off the phone with her and I could barely finish my work. Her call was an intrusion on the happiest part of my life. I don’t need a movie of where I came from because I want to live in the now. I love my life, I am married to my best friend who I love, who loves me back, my kids although challenging are completely amazing, I have dear friends, and good neighbors. I am happy. I rarely, if ever have that knot in my chest anymore.
Ahead….I choose to look ahead.