Sunday, December 28, 2003

Longing

I don't mean to sound ungrateful.  I love my friends and the new traditions we're creating.  I'm learning to rely on my spirit.  I spend all year trying to remember to look within to fulfill my own needs but come Christmas I lose sight of that.

It just occurred to me last night that so many of my friends don't really know what it's like NOT to have family around.  Not just for the holidays.  Every day.  No phone calls.  No check-ins.  No lunch-dates.  No safety net.  It's been my choice.  I moved 3,000 miles away.  No longer willing to be who they needed me to be, I cut myself off from their ways.  I created my own life, based on how I wanted to live it. I have a better life because of my choices.  But that will never replace the longing I have for a mom and a dad.

I know that even if I had them in my life on a daily basis, they themselves could never replace that longing.  They never did - why would I think today would be any different?  So are my standards too high?  I've gotten myself stuck in a catch-22 situation.

What do I long for?  What do I think a mom and a dad can provide that I don't already have within myself? 

My mom and I have come a long way.  We are in limited communication, slowly learning our way back toward each other.

My dad and I are about as far apart as living relatives can be.  I don't know him.  He certainly doesn't know me.  Perhaps he doesn't even care.  But I refuse to believe that.  Maybe that's where I'm stuck. 

I'm sure this place isn't new for me.  And each time I visit, I get to a deeper level of acceptance.  But really, if you haven't lived a day without your parents - your living parents - then you have no idea how I feel.  I compare it to flying without a net.  I'm able to soar but the pain of the fall is excruciating.

Perhaps we all feel this way - parents or no parents.  But do we all long for that parental figure to make everything seem bearable?  To make life seem that much less overwhelming?  To feel protected from the big bad world?  I've been longing for that person as far back as I can remember!

15 comments:

karensull12 said...

I feel the same way, especially on holidays. It's an ache and a longing too difficult to put into words. And on the other days of the year, when I'm busy and not focusing on them not being here, or me not being there, the sadness lives inside somewhere. It never goes away.

chefgracegeorge said...

I am blessed to have my parents and my children around me at Christmas, though I still sometimes long for the "perfect" Christmas~ like the ones I had as a child, when I still believed that the world was an easy place to live.

itsjustusinnc said...

Wow Freee! Definitely some "getting to know you" material here. I actually did a bit of the same thing when I moved out there. I rarel came back to visit even on specail occasions though I could have. I felt great satisfaction whther I succeeded or failed because I did it on my own. But I have my whole family now (except my mother of course) so I can't even answer that question properly. I have to think on this.

Gregg

miarenee24 said...

I can relate to your longing, only on a completely different subject.You know the story of Stephen enough to know what I'm talking about. I long for the normalcy we'll never know. Whoever said, "you don't miss what you never had" is full of crap! Paul can relate to your relationship with your dad. He never knew him, then it was too late. His father died when Paul was 11. His mom was mom & dad to him. She died when he was 18. He has no family except for Stephen and me.

miarenee24 said...

" So are my standards too high? " No, dear...I don't think that wanting happiness and harmony is too high of a standard to have. You have every right to want these things. It's everyone's birth-given right to have. Too few have it...I long for you to have it too. Love you.

slowmotionlife said...

I know I can be insensitive to this, though I don't mean to be. I usually do a lot of complaining at the holidays, about the running, the family issues, etc. But blessed to have a family to spend the holidays with. I don't think I can possibly understand what you're feeling. I can't offer to be your mother or your father. I don't even know that I offer a good friendship. But I do know something in me hurts when you're hurting. And I wish I could take that away for you, for both of us...

babyshark28 said...

(trish) it is the human condition to want and need a safety net, or love...however you want to say it. You are lacking your safety net, everything you are feeling is right on. I just pray for that healing that needs to come for you or your mom and dad, to break down those walls and release all the good feelings that are trapped behind them. love you.

aynetal3 said...

I also have parents that I've not been able to count on. I've tried over the years, but they have never gotten over their needs to have me be someone very different than who I am. It sucks. It hurts. And, it sometimes makes me angry. The thoughts and feelings of wanting someone to at least "act like parents," has never gone away. But, truth be told? I like the role models I've found and will never give that up. They continue to teach me to trust me.

andreakingme said...

2 of 2

Trish, I think you're ahead of the game if you've got wonderful friends who are willing to create new traditions with you. Friends CAN be family. Blood relations are NOT always thicker than water.

Even though you're going through this difficult time, I've read what a wonderful and caring person you are. And wonderful and caring always comes back to you a hundredfold.

andreakingme said...

1 of 2

Even though he's always lived within 20 miles, I've never had a dad. I'm sorry about it only when I'm weak, because I did what I could over the years to bridge the gap, but he chooses not to be a part of my life. I've learned to accept that.

And it wasn't until I moved out on my own that my relationship bloomed with Mom. Me and Oogie are too much alike! We drive each other nuts regularly. But we also know we can rely on each other, and that's comfort that can't be measured.

krobbie67 said...

I can relate so very much to what you are talking about here. Wanting something you never had, nor ever will. I think there must be an innate sense within us for security and love that can only be provided by a parent. When it's missing, we search for it in all the wrong places. Peace can't come until you just accept the situation as it is - that the hole will never be filled. {{{freee}}} ---Robbie

wayoutdacloset said...

I HAVE TO SAY.. I THINK ITS GOOD YOU STEPED OUT ON YOUR OWN AND ALTHO I MYSELF HAVE NO FAMILY AND KNOW THE LONGING FOR YOUR PARENTS I THINK IT'S BRAVE OF YOU TO WALK THE PATH YOU CHOOSE. ~BERLY

musenla said...

My situation is completely the opposite. I'm part of a close knit family and find myself wishing I can get away and breathe once in a while.

Our parents try their best, the way they know how. But they're only human and have also been hurt somewhere along the way. So we all come to a point when we say, "Thanks Dad, Mom. I'll take it from here." That's what you've done, Freee. You're taken the torch and ran with it, and you have reason to be proud.

grodygeek said...

The season is especially hard on me, because my parents are gone. Now that is good because they would be very hard on me due to my marital situation. I still miss them and my mom has been gone a decade. I always had a reasonably good relationship with them so their being gone isn't an unfinished business situation. I also lived a far apart and when they began the decline that made it harder. Gordy

isabelzmia said...

I can relate. I also moved 3,000 miles away from family (where the courage, strength, and love comes in). I did it because I could not be who they wanted me to be (I promise, story coming soon). Yet, I still want to them to be closer, but know that when we are, my life will be different, and the 'pretending' will inevitably be. I don't want that... I want to be me, but, it's difficult around them.
I'm around anytime ... xo - Isabel