Planting my Feet Firmly Back on Shore

Dates pass as dates tend to do. I take note each time. Better or worse, I can’t say until they’ve arrived. The two year anniversary of my mother’s event passed on the 4th of last month. The two year anniversary of her death is in January…her birthday is on the 19th, in just a few days. With this season of difficulty here again, I’ve been reflecting on all the change. And I need to verbalize a few things today to get them out in front of me if nothing else.

The day I found out, I had just returned home from vacation with my kids. The trip up north we take every summer before Labor Day. The trip we will continue to take each year. It’s always a joyous break for us. Away from the world. Though I’d texted with my mom the entire trip, that year I felt a black cloud over the week that I couldn’t explain. From the moment we settled into the house, my energy was low, and I felt weight looming over me. The weather was bad. My dog ran off on us. I slept a lot. I fought with my kids. Nothing was working. A force of some kind was bringing all of us down. It didn’t feel happy. Like usual. Because life was changing. I just didn’t know it yet.

As I watched my mother suffer without a voice or use of her own body, I made a conscious choice to wake myself up. Finally, and by force. And clean myself up. When we were back home that week, my brother asked me, late one night, “…what do I do?” Simply. He was lost. I said, “there’s nothing you can do. Just be good to people.” I made a promise that I would be better to my kids. Like she’d been to us. That I’d listen without feeling burdened or irritated. That all my energy would be theirs. I made a promise to get better. To drop all the vices and toxic habits. To mend the hurt between my daughters’ mother and myself. To make the best of our new reality. Instead of sinking further down than I’d been. Instead of being sick. It could have so easily gone the other way. I just happened to refuse it.

And something began to take place that I wasn’t familiar with. I noticed a change in the vibration that circled around me. In purging out loud everything that was happening and attempting to heal, it attracted energy that only saw my pain and weakness. That only saw me as a broken person and nothing more. I was just a mirror, in the moment, to reflect the hurts in others. The importance of the form I inhabited, inconsequential past that. Feigned care turned to indifference turned to hatred. Learning to get well alienated me from people who only knew me when I was hurting. Yet there I was left standing unsupported by the ones who never knew me as broken, refusing to hear my hurt at all. Stuck in the middle.

Which reminded me of a word my mom often used. “Limerence”. Which she always used tentatively and incorrectly. She was often distrustful that faxes, texts and emails went off into “Limerence”. No true proof of receipt. She would also describe the space stuck hovering between life and the afterlife as “being in Limerence”. Though it was wrong, I always knew what she meant. And I’m able to see the poignancy in her own usage of the word in so many ways now.

Truth be told, Limerence is defined as “an involuntary, inspiring state of adoration and attachment involving intrusive and obsessive thoughts, feelings and behaviors from euphoria to despair, contingent on perceived emotional reciprocation“…The perception of hope choreographed by mixed messages. We are not always the only ones controlling our emotions. Perception pulls our strings. We are only human. Remember that.

My mother was stuck, hovering in “Limerence” for four months. We never knew if she would speak the next day. Eat on her own. Or pass in the night. False hope and perception pulling our strings. Controlling our vibrations. We are only human. And for a year afterwards, I felt in a “Limerence” of my own. Rejected for the same hurts that had drawn people to me. Yet rejected for rising above my own pain. Stuck in the middle.

No matter where, on this timeline, you dropped in or out of my life, these are things I’ve been working through every day for two years. Every day I balance those promises I made to be better so long ago, with hurt and false hope. These things come with me where I go. I have to continue to treat them tenderly. Like it or not, they are part of me when I ask to be accepted and understood and give the same.

As life changes again, I’ve found healthy ways to accept my healing and let new energy surround me. I have learned to translate my own ongoing ‘Limerence’ into a positive output for others. I am learning to manage the balance of hurt while still Growing the Good in my home. Creating comforts in any way I can. Where I stand now is the best I’ve been. Being able to put words to this is proof enough for me.

I am no longer merely treading water.

Mother’s Day will arrive in May. And I will, once again, handle it the best I know how. And, once again, it probably won’t be to everyone’s liking. But I’m doing my best. I’d like to believe we all are. I suppose it depends on perception.

Sam

24 thoughts on “Planting my Feet Firmly Back on Shore

  1. You have truly gathered your strength over time. I’m very proud of you. I know the road ahead is long……but, one step at a time…..and there are no time restrictions. You take the time you need. Even if that is the rest of your life. NO ONE has the power to throw you off. You took your strength back from people, even from grief. And in fact, your strength has grown from grief. You are in control of this. And when you feel you are not…..because some days you won’t feel in control, like the ground is not steady under your feet…..that’s okay๐Ÿ˜Œ. You are not alone. โ™ก (in your corner). Your Mom and your Brother, are *always* going to be special, loved and inspiring.

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    1. ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ Thank you so much. I’m still looking for needed perspective in some things because sometimes that’s what helps me the most. But being able to talk to a professional (without judgment I’d like to think) has helped me understand the tangibles. I think working through things forever is fine as long as its always progressing *forward*. When it’s not, it’s worthless. And can’t be defined as “work”. I’m feeling good….even when I’m really not. So, I am grateful. ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—

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      1. ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿพ I only say ‘forever’, because we’re always progressing through these things. And that’s what matters…..you feeling good.

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  2. You are amazing in so many ways, Sam. Bless you x

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    1. Thank you, friend! ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š It’s so helpful to put words to things!

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  3. I applaud you and I am inspired by you Sam. Keep going…xo

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    1. Thank you, Janie! I love lists, they clear my mind, and all this has been almost like self-listing! Sometimes it feels like Christmas when you find out there’s still one more to open ๐Ÿ˜‚ and surprise, it’s clarity! Lol

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  4. Bravo! Keep up the good work that God has started in you. You are blessed and are a blessing to others.

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    1. Thank you so much for this! Some days are harder than others to see the good, but If I keep circling I do find it ๐Ÿ˜Š

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  5. Something in this reminded me of something Iโ€™ve been thinking lately…the things said to us that offend us the most have a bit of truth that we deny. We hold ourselves down so much in this world, even when trying our hardest. We are forced to mend broken hearts, betrayal, confusion, sadness while carrying on with a normal life. Itโ€™s so hard.
    All of it.
    Some loss is so big that we have to close our eyes not to see….yet it never moves. Not ever. Eventually we face it and adjust to its presence. It lives there forever. Right there. Omnipresent.
    Never a choice.
    Not a gift.
    No words to describe.
    Only growth.

    You appear to have experienced such emotional growth.

    ๐Ÿค—

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    1. I’m a big believer that these things become part of us. So, if that’s going to be so, and be our every day, it has to be turned into motivation. Otherwise you’ve just been tricked into losing time in this one life. Everything serves a greater purpose. Or at least, it can ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

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  6. For what itโ€™s worth, you are not alone in your stryggle, although each personโ€™s experience is unque unto themselves. Humans are fickle and often transient beings. Those who donโ€™t appear overly involved or conversational are often those who share the most common bond. Prayers are sent. Energy is shared. Comfort is offered in the simple words, โ€œI understand what you are feeling.โ€ You are doing a fantastic job of keeping it together and setting the best example you can for your children. Parents are people, not role models, and we need to show them what people do when they are challenged, how to handle lifeโ€™s pleasure, pain, ugliness and beauty. This forms their own reference volume. Hang in there Sam. You are an awesome human being. I still miss my mother, 38 years now. But she is ever with me.

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    1. Thank you so much for these words. I think the validations help so much in matters that have made you have questions about yourself. And doubts. My kids have seen both of us victorious and emotionally strong, and also at our absolute disgusting worst. Im shooting for consistency these days. Thats my one check box every day. I figure struggling and having questions is part of acceptable consistency after all they’ve been through. Because in that case, soemthing is being done. Progress is being made. Check box number two! Thank you again, so much! ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—๐Ÿค—

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      1. Youโ€™re never alone. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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  7. Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your experience!โค๏ธโค๏ธ

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    1. Thank you so much! Every little bit is helping me ๐Ÿ˜ถ

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  8. Loved this post. Loved hearing about your mom and her little idiosyncrasies. Love seeing the growth in you, but more than that, the confidence in that growth.

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    1. Thank you, Allison! ๐Ÿ˜ขI always shy away from voicing things that remind me of her and, this post was planned to go a way different direction until I remembered her saying that word all the time. I would always sort of roll my eyes. But, It made sense for so, so many reasons, to come to me right then that it had to change directions.

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      1. I think you’d be surprised at how much talking about her will help you continue to work through your grief. I know you have reasons to not and have been burned by sharing things before, but it really is a strong part of the healing process to talk about the person we have lost and share our memories with others.

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        1. Burned is apt. But you’re absolutely right. The thoughts about either parent that I’m able to get down always feel so much better once I do. Like fitting pieces together.

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  9. Thank you for sharing this post. I struggle with my mom’s passing, just missing her and not being able to talk with her, more than anything. It’s been 16 years. It should have gotten easier by now, but I’ve just accepted that this is life now. In a way though I remain thankful that she was so amazing to me that I still wish I could share life with her, so there’s the blessing…

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    1. ๐Ÿ˜ข I’m so sorry to hear this, friend. I’m learning by talking with others and also my pastor that grief can never be purged or healed. It can only be carried. In the way that you say, this is life now, that becomes part of you much the way they did when they were here. Thank you for sharing with me as well ๐Ÿ˜”๐Ÿ˜”๐Ÿ˜”

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  10. Thank you Sam for sharing this today. I really needed to hear it, read it, and think it. It takes me back to my grandmother. She was the best person in the world. Maybe I am biae, maybe not but my “perception” of her created my perception of life and when she was gone…well, that was gone. And then I swolled into my addiction. Now, here I am three years into recovery knowing that I need to go back and visit what made her perception so great in this world. The hope. The faith. The love. And, I need to hold onto that as tight as I can. So thank you for reminding me!!!!

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    1. That’s wonderful! I hear you fully on visiting/revisiting these things that are knit into us so deeply. I have several strongholds as well that helped me both *out* of addiction as well as staying out. Remembering her struggle is a big one, I was lost in a lot of ways before she passed. But here on the earth as we all still move, I’ve had to find other things as well to connect me with the family I’ve lost and with *staying* well! Thank you so much for understanding and for sharing this with me ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

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