Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Wall {Bigger Picture Moment}

I want it to not matter.
I want so badly to not be affected by her, changed in any way.
I want the subtle insults and the painfully uncomfortable comments to roll right off my back.
I want to be better at this, at handling her.
Oh, I want it so badly.
She arrives. Vodka and wine her trusty companions.
     stones laid
She corrects my adult child's grammar...almost before she's said hello.
     mortar added
She compliments things...ooohs and aahhhs over all that has changed since the last time she was here....
      more stones laid, so, so very long ago.
She asks my brother to move her chair, my son to fix her drink, my husband to pour her wine.
She asks everyone but me for help.
"What can I do for you?" "Do you need help with the meal?" "What do you need from me?"
Me she offers to help.
Because roasting vegetables must be beyond me.
     mortar and stones and mortar and stones and mortar....

By the time we sit to eat, my wall is built.
My mom has, once again, come into my home and shut me down. Shut me up.
And, at this point in my life, I can't even blame her.
I've retreated into myself, speak only when spoken to and wait her out.
Eventually she will leave.

When I'm on the other side of my wall, watching the evening through the windows, sitting alone, on a well worn bench....I regress. Any signs of my 'enlightened self' vanish and the berating begins. Her shoulds have long ago been replaced by my own shoulds and I begin to give myself a long lecture on how and why I should be beyond all this.

And I get so mad at myself.

Today, the word in my heart is "want" and not "should" and I've let myself off the hook. The wall is down already ~ it's only taken four days....not years, or months or even weeks. So, I smirk as I type, and fight to be grateful for the progress I've made. Progress that I've made because I can let it all out and have listening hearts and ears who will take me as I am....and love me. Even while I'm still lugging around some of those useless old stones.

Joining other bloggers to share 
the simple moments that help us 
see the Bigger Picture.
We're linking up at Alita's today.


  1. This is so raw it hurts me to read it. I hear my words to my own adult daughters sometimes....words that I don't mean in any negative way...and I see in their eyes that those words have been received as criticism. Like the roast vegetables line in your piece....I am afraid that more often than I can stand that my offers to help with the vegetables will be heard as you can't do vegetables. I pray that I have the wisdom to limit this from happening. I never want my own children to feel the way you felt here.
    Thank you. I needed this glimpse painful though it was.
    Hugs to you, my smart, talented, competent friend!

  2. This breaks my heart. I am so sorry ...and you have listening hearts and ears right here. xoxo

  3. OOPs it's me again Ayala ...

  4. Oh friend...these words break my heart for you, because I can hear your pain and I want to reach through the screen and hug you tight. Praying for you to keep on rising above this and to remember that you are not defined by the past...oh, but I know how hard it is. Imagine a big huge virtual hug coming from me...and knees bent low in prayer that His peace and His words of truth would cover the hurt and the pain.

  5. Covering you in prayer ... those stones, He can use them to build something new. He can redeem them, and He is ... I see it here in your writing. Hearing you, friend, tonight, and knowing that behind your words there is pain no matter how well crafted those words are.

  6. Oh, my sweet friend. I have had people in my life who have had this affect on me. This is so beautifully expressed Adrienne. Also, I do not think I have gushed over the picture of you up there in the corner. It is absolutely lovely. YOU are absolutely lovely.

  7. Oh, sweet lady. This is so affecting and hard -- although I'm glad your recovery time was short (comparitively, I mean), I'm sad that you have had this stony wall built up again and again.

    I worry that my words to my daughters might someday take on a stone and mortar quality: blocking off their successes and focusing on their downfalls. And even though I know you didn't intend this to be a warning to a mother of little girls, it's hitting me in the heart. I won't be that mom. I won't.

    Hugs! Surround yourself with the lovers of your self!

  8. Oh wow, what a fascinating portrait of a woman and a relationship. The metaphor you use and the way you use it is so descriptive. It's so hard to break free of old family patterns, no matter how adult we get and how much we should "know" better. But I love the part at the end when you say you are loosening your prisoner shackles and slowly breaking free. I'm glad for that. You may still keep a stone or two in your pocket...but I hope that if that's the case, the weight remains bearable, and for the most part you can move past these walls of stone. One day they will turn to dust, as everything does.

    P.S. Is that a new profile picture you have up there? So pretty! I love your hair!!

  9. Your time tearing down the wall is the most important time of all and the shoulds should not enter your mind or heart. Your pain is so palpable. Just like Hy, I'm covering you in prayer. I hope that you heal from the heavy stone in your life. You are strong and your love for life can not be knocked down, but you can knock that wall down.


  10. This breaks my heart. I am sending you tons of hugs. You are absolutely right that there are so many people out there that love and embrace you. Always.

  11. Wow~I could really relate to this. I think I do the exact same thing with my mother, hunkering down and trying to breathe until the visit is over. Your words are so powerful, the analogy of building the wall...I really felt that. Wonderfully written.

  12. this is the second time i have read this!! it's a powerful, thought provoking entry, filled with so much pain....

    what a loss, for both of you!!

  13. Adrienne, although this is such a difficult subject, your post is so beautifully written.
    It hurts to hear of the strained relationship with your mother. But I'm glad you have this outlet where you can share your feelings.
    And I guess it's difficult to let go of ALL those useless old stones.