I awoke quite early again today. My body had settled a little more from the massage I received on Wednesday afternoon. I obviously stirred up a lot inside me and I had tough day yesterday which is one of my usual therapy days. I got out with Jasper in the cold and damp for a while and then went over to town for lunch, and bought myself a lovely book by Anita Moojhani who suffered terminal cancer and was miraculously cured after a near death experience. I came home and made a simple dinner and watched some TV before retiring and I dreamed quite a lot.
This morning I worked myself into a state of anxiety as my mother wants to meet with me today about a significant amount of money she wants to give my sister and I. We were called together about six or so weeks ago and she dropped the bombshell that she was going to give us both half of our inheritance. The meeting didn’t go well, as she expected us to be overjoyed at the news but for both of us it was a shock and bought up a lot of anxiety and other complex feelings. I tried to express how I felt, but was sidelined and then something blew up from the past about how she had forced my hand at the auction of my property at a time with my sister was going through a very nasty experience of being involuntarily hospitalised in psychiatric ward by both of her sons. I was trying to explain the impact but it didn’t come out well and my sister ended up walking out, Mum got upset with me and then we had a further meeting where she tried to argue with me about my childhood and how I should be feeling, how I should have behaved, what I should not have said to upset my sister, and on and on and on.
According to my therapist I handled that meeting very well. I just stood for my own point of view as firmly and gently as I could and asserted my feelings and boundary, despite some manipulative gestures on my Mum’s behalf. Since this incident she hasn’t called me much. I didn’t call her for a time but because she is aging I do try to keep in touch. Earlier in the week she told me she needs to meet with me about the money as she is anxious to get her affairs sorted.
I was in a lather of anxiety this morning. Painful things were coming to memory about how my dead sister was treated, how she wasn’t given the money she needed and how at times when we went out and she wanted to buy something I wouldn’t always get it for her. I feel guilty about it now. The family story was that due to her so called bi polar condition she was an overspender. I don’t think this is entirely true, sometimes she had needs and wants that were important for her and were not always allowed. Sometimes she did over reach her capacity with things thinking she could do more than she could in the final years when she was completely incapacitated. I still feel so sad and guilty sometimes though I know of all the family I was the one who was most there for her emotionally, just not as much as I would have liked to have been in the final two years due to other family stress.
Anyway this morning I purposely made myself just sit still with my anxiety and worked gently to explore my deeper feelings. Little Jasper (my dog) wandered in to sit by me, I was part of the time in tears and the rest of time had all the anxious body symptoms but I just sat there with my hands on my tummy and spoke to myself like a loving adult would to a small child. I must stay it really helped. After a little while I lay flat on my back and felt the way my stomach gets wound up tightly into a knot. I also had a visualisation in which I remembered that my belly button was where I was connected to my Mum all those years ago, when I was in the womb and before the umbilical cord was cut. If I am feeling anxious today, I wondered, how is my Mum feeling? This cannot be easy for her either. She had said to me around the time everything happened I mentioned above (and we had a very long conversation that covered a lot about her own childhood issues by the way) how challenging she has found it to have to handle all the financial issues since my Dad died so many years ago.
Prior to this I had said the AA prayer, asking to be freed of the bondage of self. By this I don’t mean that the healthy self in me needs to be denied, I just need to be aware of the part of me that gets caught in its own perspective and reactivity with people who don’t have much of a handle on my own inner world and life experiences and then reacts angrily in a situation in which that will not go down well for me. I guess at heart its about having self compassion and self awareness while also understanding others have their own deep issues and agenda.
Anyway I am in a much calmer space now, an hour later. The sun is out after many overcast days today (though clouds are lurking) so soon Jasper and I will get out to the park and spend some time. In a moment I will call my Mum. I know I can bookend this meeting with things the keep the focus on me being in a healthy space. Part of going through difficult experiences like I had about 6 weeks ago is that we learn and grow in awareness so we can handle things differently. I am learning so much more about what I didn’t get and the anger has slowly worked its way out. I know now as an adult its up to me to care for me. And to be more aware of who I share my deepest feelings with. My feelings and the way I support myself through them is ultimately my responsibility. That said its okay to get upset too as I can (with inner work) unpack that upset and learn what is says to me and what I may need to do to ease it. This seems the best way to manage my anxiety.