A new day


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Yesterday was all about my granddaughter's prom. It was a wonderful day for all of us, I felt so proud of her and so grateful for who she has become.

As the day drew to an end, I was reading The places that scare you, by Pema Chodron and this paragraph jumped out at me because my thinking has changed about my difficult child and this sums it up:

"The third near enemy of compassion is idiot compassion. This is when we avoid conflict and protect our good image by being kind when we should say a definite "no." Compassion doesn't imply only trying to be good. When we find ourselves in an aggressive relationship, we need to set clear boundaries. The kindest thing we can do for everyone concerned is to know when to say "enough." Many people use Buddhist ideals to justify self-debasement. In the name of not shutting our heart, we let people walk all over us. It is said that in order not to break our vow of compassion we have to learn when to stop aggression and draw the line."

I have just reached that point where I have to stop the aggression and draw the line. It actually is not difficult. It feels like the natural completion point. When my daughter drove away in her car, I felt that shift within me letting her go, letting her be free, freeing me. I also knew that in taking her cats to the shelter, I was making a choice which would likely create an estrangement.

There was something significant about spending my day yesterday with a feeling of such promise with my granddaughter, a sense of a beginning of something which I am a part of. And, at the very same time, there was an ending, the end of my being a part of an "aggressive" relationship. Reading that one line summed up a lot for me. And the recognition that I am now saying, "enough."

I also read the last chapter in the book When your adult child breaks your heart, which interestingly is entitled 'Facing reality and walking away.' That's exactly where I am......... walking away.

These last 2 1/2 years have been the most challenging of my entire life. I have one child and she has become a person who for whatever reason, cannot make good choices to keep herself safe and free of dire circumstances. Her lifestyle and her choices have a profound negative impact on not only my life, but the lives of my SO and my granddaughter. I have done it all, like everyone here. I have turned over every rock. There is nothing left to do but to "face reality and walk away." I am choosing me.

There will undoubtedly be more to the story, however, it's changed for me. Gone are all the tactics to keep me stuck, I worked on those one by one. I worked hard. I feel "done"............... not with anger, or resentment, or anything really, simply a certainty that I am doing the right thing.............. I quietly slipped in to this place and it feels absolutely right.

I feel free. I feel relieved. I feel as if an enormous burden has been lifted off of me, it's been lifting for awhile. This feels as if something significant is over. I don't know how this translates into real life..........other then the lack of any emotional reactivity.............but time will tell. And, that's okay.

I was reading COM's post earlier about rituals. I am a believer in rituals and myths and how important symbolism is in our lives. I am going to create a ritual for this completion with my daughter. Fire is a tool often used in rituals, I will think on this.

in a daze

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I'm glad that you've found that peace and certainty within yourself, Recovering.
Maybe you should change your screen name to RECOVERED Enabler!

Not to change the subject, but curious as to what your granddaughter's dress looked like? Did you go shopping with her for it?

And so appropriate that you came to this place in the springtime which is a time of renewal and new beginnings, right?
I once went to a catholic retreat for women with my ex mother in law. It was a full weekend of silence and introspective thoughts. At the end there was a big fire we all sat around for our final prayers before the end of the weekend. The nuns gave us each a piece of paper to write one thing on that we were troubled by but needed to let go. I wrote my worry down as did everyone else. We prayed and sang as each woman put their piece of paper in the fire in symbolism of letting it go. It was very powerful after so much peace and serenity.

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curious as to what your granddaughter's dress looked like? Did you go shopping with her for it?

Thanks IAD. My granddaughter found the dress below on line on a prom site but waited to long to order it, so a friend of mind who is a seamstress made the dress for her. My granddaughter and I bought the material, picked everything out....... it fit her perfectly and she looked just gorgeous in it. It was fun to watch it evolve with each fitting. It's a beautiful dress. We bought an egg shell color chiffon and she has dark hair like the model so she looked a lot like the picture.
prom dress.jpg

And, yes, renewal and new beginnings. And, Easter just passed too. I'd thought of that very thing as everything is in full bloom and life is regenerating.

CA Mom, thanks for sharing your story of the retreat, I was thinking of something along those lines too........I'm wondering what it is that I would like to burn. Fire is cleansing and the act of doing something concrete and symbolic is powerful. It feels right to do that. Years ago when I had a fireplace, I wrote on a small piece of wood what I wanted to let go of, I did it with other women in a ritual sort of ceremony and then we were warmed by the fire the wood created. I think it's important to recognize these transitions we go through.......

I've had a very lighthearted day. I want to feel that sense of a light heart more often.

Scent of Cedar *

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How extraordinary to release your daughter during the same series of days when you are preparing for your granddaughter's transition through childhood and toward independence, Recovering.

The dress is beautiful!

The energy of fire is not only destructive but transformative. A marking of change, true, but a gift of energy, as well.

You are the thing transformed, Recovering.

There are three transformations here. Three women, generation after generation, transformed and transforming, each in a different way.

I love the Pema Chodron quote.



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Really really nice that you are getting this moments with your granddaughter...I"m sure you missed a lot of them with your daughter. The dress is perfect..your granddaughter has elegant taste.