Sit Back. Enjoy the Show. My New Mantra.

My heart and stomach are a little jumpy lately. My niece is graduating from high school and my sister is having a big “to do.” Which means, I’ll be seeing my parents for the first time in 2 1/2 years. Oh sure, we’ve talked on the phone for the obligatory birthday or random holiday but to actually be trapped in the same room?

Oh, my head hurts.

Be an observer. Don’t engage. Deep breaths. All part of my mantra repertoire.

Or…….the lyrics to this song! (For those of you with a good memory, yes – you’ve seen it here before. But it still applies.)

“I’m just a little bit caught in the middle
Life is a maze and love is a riddle” – I wish it wasn’t like this. I wish things were comfortable and easy and smooth with my parents. But it isn’t.

“‘Cause it’s too much, yeah it’s a lot to be something I’m not” – If I play along, I’m not being who I am. I’m teaching my children very dysfunctional ways to maintain a relationship. And it is just too difficult to be someone I’m not. I refuse to model co-dependant, unfair, destructive behavior for my children to witness.

“I’m just a little girl lost in the moment
I’m so scared but I don’t show it
I can’t figure it out, it’s bringing me down
I know I’ve got to let it go and just enjoy the show” – Why oh why do I still fight the urge to turn into a 12 yr. old when I’m around my parents? Obedient, willing to do or say anything to keep the peace. The fact that I’m an adult with my own opinions, separate values and different grasp of reality is why we aren’t close anymore. They will try to drag me into their stuff and I’ve GOT to let it go. Sit back. Enjoy the show.

“I want my money back, I want my money back
I want my money back” – Oh, how I wish I didn’t have to go. I’ve been dreading this trip for months now. Please send me good wishes and strength. I can use all the help I can get.

“Just enjoy the show, just enjoy the show” – My new mantra. Saying it over and over and over and over……

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21 Comments

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21 responses to “Sit Back. Enjoy the Show. My New Mantra.

  1. I can really relate to your post. Without going into specifics which would fill both our blogs, (really), I have been studying Buddhism and one of the books suggested that you take a pause and just experience your feelings but taking the pause while in the midst of life and difficult situations and acknowledging to yourself how you feel, accepting it for what it is–allows one to have options within the moment and to respond instead of react. It’s hard, I grew up being the cheerleader, peacemaker for everyone. Best wishes….

  2. I understand your dilemma. It is so hard. Best wishes for a peaceful reunion.

    You constantly amaze me with how you always seem to find just the perfect song for every situation. I had never heard of this artist and really enjoyed that song. Thanks for introducing me!

  3. Ooh, this is not easy. As you said, just try to sit back and enjoy the show and don’t get sucked into somewhere/one you don’t want to be. Just make it all about your niece and hopefully it will all be over with before you know it!

    Sending positive vibes and strength your way. Good luck!

  4. That’s why we have blogger families, too. We get to choose them.

    Hugs!

  5. gloriadelia

    This post hits between the eyes. I’m reading it as a parent of a daughter who has morphed into a different person since going off to college. I don’t want her to ever feel the way you feel about your parents. I don’t want our communication to be limited to obligatory holiday visits.

    *tears* thanks for opening my eyes. Gloris

  6. I absolutely send you good wishes and strength. I have no doubt that you will behave with dignity and class. And may that be enough to sustain you through the awkward and difficult moments ahead.

    xoxooo

  7. Jane, big, giant, warm, sloppy hugs from me. I know that YOU will behave impeccably. I hope the others have the grace to do so as well. Call me if you need anything, okay?

  8. You will survive with more grace than I ever could. Even with my anxiety meds. I can send you some if you like, but shhhhh! Don’t tell anyone!

  9. Oh goodness, everyone! Your support brings tears to my eyes. Truly! 64 hours. I can survive anything for 64 hours. Right?

  10. You can get through this with absolute grace, Jane. It is always a challenging thing. Just remember not to take their actions personally, and know that everyone is doing the best that they know how. Here’s rooting for you!

  11. You’ll be great. Focus on what is important and not the uncomfortable moments that may arise. I go through this with my brother whenever we’re in the same room. I’m sure you’ll handle it better than I ever do!

  12. We all have baggage we carry with us, which makes us act in different, not always easy to deal with, ways, our parents included. And just because they’re our parents doesn’t mean we have to like them or agree with them, but we do have to recognize they’re doing the best they can with what they’ve got. Be grateful you don’t have to live with them or live like them. Then grit your teeth, smile, and remember there is a light at the end of that tunnel!

    Easy for me to say – I’m not in your shoes. Good luck!

  13. unabridgedgirl

    * Hugs, hugs, and lots of hugs! * Best of luck on this trip. I know you can do it!

  14. Soooo not easy. But keep repeating the mantra. Wise words, for so many of us. Thanks for the reminder.

  15. I have been in a similar place and how I know that strange reversion to my 12-year-old self in the presence of my parents. Thinking of you, sending wishes for strength and minimal drama.

  16. That sounds stressful. *hugs* Even with a somewhat normal relationship with my parents, I still like I feel 12 around them.

  17. I’m with faemom. I have quite a good relationship with my parents, and I was thrilled when they moved so much closer, but I still struggle with regressive feelings and behaviour when my mom and I get into a thing. When the relationship (and the mother) aren’t healthy to begin with, it must be very difficult. I think you’ve got an excellent mindset going in, but (ooh, I almost said ‘give yourself permission’, self-bitch-slap) there’s no avoiding the fact that it will be a trial — give yourself some recovery time.

  18. I hate to state the obvious, but if the idea of a visit with them has you this upset, then maybe you should just forgo it.
    Sometimes keeping peace within yourself is more important than keeping peace with dysfunctional family members.
    Best of luck, Jane – I know it’s not easy..

  19. We’ll count down those 64 hours with you and send you strength … even though you have enough of your own to make it through! Hang in there. And bring emergency chocolate.

  20. ANIL

    Hi Jane,

    The following bit I’ve taken from your blog is now so true of my 23 year old daughter. She has been thru some personal issues with a relationship recently and despite her age,we seem to treat her like a 12 year old….finding it hard to let go…is it because of what she’s been thru that we are being over protective ??
    “I’m just a little girl lost in the moment
    I’m so scared but I don’t show it
    I can’t figure it out, it’s bringing me down
    I know I’ve got to let it go and just enjoy the show” – Why oh why do I still fight the urge to turn into a 12 yr. old when I’m around my parents? Obedient, willing to do or say anything to keep the peace. The fact that I’m an adult with my own opinions, separate values and different grasp of reality is why we aren’t close anymore. They will try to drag me into their stuff and I’ve GOT to let it go. Sit back. Enjoy the show.
    I feel I need to wake up myself and let her be herself rather than mould her to the way I was.

    Thanks once again for an insightful article.

  21. Sending you zen and lots of love. Hope it went as well as possible. I admire you.

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