My mom has been writing me letters. Real letters, not email. When she wants pics of her grandchild, or make sure I’m still alive, she will call or text. Sometimes we Skype with the kid. She decided she wanted to write letters because she felt disconnected to me. She doesn’t like the distance between us. I think my moving 400 miles away was an emotional slap in the face to her. She thinks it was physical evidence of my desire to escape her.
Anyway, over Christmas she felt I was being cold to her. I’ve never had that mother/daughter relationship where we did each others nails and told secrets to each other while brushing our hair. The more trouble I got into, the more I tried to keep her away from my problems. Eventually I had no choice but to let her help me, and since then I’ve had a hard time getting over the guilt from that.
I like to blame Astrology, so this all can be tied back to Saturn Returns. When you are 29-30 you are forced to deal with your “mommy issues” and my mother sending me a big box of stationery seems to be its materialization in my life.
A lot of things came out during our exchange, most of it painful. She’s worried about me being alone. She thinks her relationship with my dad has set me up for a life of failure when it comes to men. I don’t think she can blame herself for my screw-ups, but I was kind of scared she was right in one respect: That I was doomed.
I told her I was happy being single. I told her that I didn’t understand why people were married to husbands and wives they couldn’t stand, just for the convenience or because they didn’t want to be alone. I hate people like that. Then I started to evaluate where that hatred was coming from. Maybe I was hating them because it was a direct insult to my lifestyle. I am a happy, competent single mom. It feels GOOD to support yourself, get over the fear of being alone, and find independence. Its freedom. No one holding you down. Why can’t those crazy, desperate relationship-seekers see that?
Maybe all those negative emotions I have associated with co-dependent, serial daters are preventing me from having a relationship of me own? Maybe my pride from being self-sufficient was drowning my need for intimacy? Maybe I should stop looking at loneliness, desire, needing male companionship as feelings I just need to get over. I mean those feeling don’t go away. I may “get over”
them temporarily, but they always come back. But I can’t deny that I associate those feels with weakness. And as a single mom, I can’t be weak.
Maybe admitting those emotions are normal, and aren’t going away will allow me to finally go for it. Having lovers, flings, dates, FWBs is all and good, but it only goes so far in satisfying loneliness, desire, support and companionship. It doesn’t last. Its exhausting, and like it or not, I’m going to get older and less attractive. FWB, flings and dates are based primarily on initial attraction and passion. I think my odds for successfully lining up enough sex to satisfy me will decrease significantly in the upcoming decades.
Being a Pisces, I won’t lie. I have this romanticized vision of me as a solitary female warrior, aging like Athena, the Greek Goddess who never took a husband. I’m alone, yet I have power and admiration, plucking men like grapes when I want them. In my single mom fantasy, that would be the ideal outcome.
But what if that doesn’t happen? What if I just get older, more tired, more burnt out on life? What if I can’t carry the burden of parenting alone? Yeah, I’ve got this far just fine, but I’m not going to lie. It’s getting harder. Those of you with teenagers probably are nodding. Honestly, the thought of my kid at 16 really makes me want some back-up in my household. I’m scared.
So Step 1: Admitting you have these feelings and that they aren’t something you should just “get over”
Step 2: Realizing that these feelings are scary and unpleasant and make you cry (when you are alone) but its ok, because having a good partner will take care of those feelings.
Step 3: Taking a risk to find that partner, and knowing until then you have to live with those crappy feelings you tried to “get over”.
My mom felt like she didn’t have any good relationship advice for me. She and my dad live separately now, but they are still “in love” and committed. I call them a dating divorced couple. Despite her practical, almost cynical nature, she still believes in love. She is with my dad because she loves him. And in true hippie fashion, she told me the only way I was going to be with someone is when I was “ready to have my life enriched by love.”
For some reason, it made me cry.