On the Upbeat, Positively Carolan

All Aspects of Mothering

I have always told survival stories — anecdotes, mostly humorous, and mostly involving such characteristics as my lack of sense of direction or totally off-the-track life experiences.

It is true that I have successfully weathered anything I’ve encountered, be it drowning in debt, failed business ventures, stormy jobs, rocky relationships, raging anger, divorces, death of a son. But then I heard something on Grey’s Anatomy that gave me pause — an admission by a parental figure to a now-grown child: “Nobody stood up for you.” And it went on to become a sincere apology.
Well, midway through that emotion-filled speech I dissolved into great gulping sobs. I mean, I do understand that I had the toughest, strongest mother and the softest, most artistic father anyone could imagine. And indeed I’ve written that neither practiced very much parenting. (Nor, I must admit, have I done much better.) But as a result of Meredith Grey, I am now able to voice the anguish lurking in my unconscious mind.

All my life I have needed to be cared about and to feel precious yet allowed to be human and therefore fallible — not the most independent person in the room.

Bottom line, I hope that this brave new insight can be trusted to guide me in constructive forms of self- and grown-children-parenting that begin satisfying unmet needs. Not mention steering me toward valuable, validating two-way relationships of every kind.



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