Christmas Eve’s Lesson

I’ll never forget the day, Christmas Eve 2012. That morning, I was ready for Christmas, with presents purchased and many not yet wrapped. I had just returned from a morning run to town for groceries and had the minivan pulled into the garage, rear hatch door up. My cell phone rang. It was Mom.

I answered the call and her daytime caregiver was on the line. Ever since Mom had been released from a mental hospital several weeks prior, she required a caregiver at home. Initially, it was 24 hours a day, but lately as she was doing better, Pet was with Mom twelve hours a day, seven days a week.

“Susan!” she blurted out with her Caribbean lilt. “It’s your mother! I think she might be dead! I don’t know.” I slumped onto the rear opening of the van, head down, tears coming quickly. “She’s been having trouble sleeping, so I let her sleep in. When it was lunch time and I still didn’t see her, I went up to check on her. Oh God. I think she’s gone.”

“You think?!” She had already called 911 and EMT’s were upstairs checking on Mom. About this time, one of the men came back downstairs to confirm the horribly unexpected. Mom was dead.

Then Pet started mumbling something about a note. “What?! A note?” Holy shit. Reality slapped me across the face harder than Mom’s words had ever cut me. All her pill bottles were empty. The rest of the conversation was awkward and short. I’d call her back soon.

The next few days were a blur of notifying family, making it through Christmas and booking a cross-country flight. One sibling lived out of the country at the time and couldn’t zip back to the states on a moment’s notice. My other, older sibling didn’t seem to understand why it was so important to get on a plane and personally get himself to Mom’s house. Because, you dumb fuck, when your last parent dies, you get your ass to her house and deal with her body, her cats, the house, and a variety of other things. The caregiver’s job just ended. It’s not her job to go through any paperwork. And she has no authority to deal with the funeral home. Why the hell you didn’t get it was beyond me.

So on Christmas Eve I booked a flight for the day after Christmas to fly home and deal with Mom. Just ten months after Dad left us.

This ended 10 months of “dealing with Mom.” Days of monitoring her mental status (from across country): watching it deteriorate. Days of worried phone calls between caregiver and me, and me and Mom’s doctor, psychopharmacologist (they prescribe psych drugs), and therapist. Days of calling Mom, seemingly out of the blue – after her caregiver called me telling me Mom was talking about driving somewhere – asking her to not get behind the wheel of a car, because she didn’t know she wasn’t safe to drive (and taking her anger). Getting Mom hospitalized when she stopped taking her meds and lost all sense of reality: when her delusions and paranoia were what was real to her. Watching her faculties begin to fail, as she repeatedly called me, asking how to get into her email (when she’d been using it for the past few years with no incident). And getting her hospitalized again, several months later, when she was too depressed to get out of bed for anything but eating 2 bites, using the bathroom, and going back to bed for weeks on end. This all fell on my shoulders.

It’s been almost three years since this very dramatic and draining time, and a lot has happened. Mom’s life was celebrated, the house was emptied and sold a few months later, and with her gone, it was like a green light for me that now I could get busy on a lot of healing. Healing years of our relationship, many of which I didn’t remember. Do you know what it’s like to think back to the first 10 or so years of your life and have only a few spotty memories? The younger I go, the less I remember.

As I’ve worked with intuitives and hypnotherapists, I’ve been able to “see” and shift a butt-ton of old crap. It’s been amazingly fast progress. What I particularly love about tackling old emotional hurts using the framework of energy and energy work is, the unknown is made known, and in that process, is easily and forever changed for the better. And having the spiritual perspective gives my brain the candy it needs to find peace.

The most recent session I did with my hypnotherapist addressed a period of several recent weeks in November where I was not feeling well, emotionally, at all. And intuitive guidance from a friend suggested that a shoulder injury I was dealing with had to do with old energies of my mother’s mental illness that I had taken on. (We take on thoughts and beliefs from other people, thinking these energies are actually part of ourselves. And these energies can literally lodge in our physical body, contributing to areas of weakness or pain).

Just before the session, I wanted to know what was going on with feeling so depressed and crappy lately. The session was a little bit difficult in the beginning, but once I was able to get going, it became clear that what I really wanted was to be able to let go of all my anger toward my mother once and for all. I was tired of carrying that heavy load for so many decades; being a victim of my mother’s razor-sharp tongue for all but the last 8 months of our shared lives.

As we went along, there was a part of me that wanted to know why I agreed in a pre-birth agreement to have a mother who was mentally ill, who would verbally abuse me, and another family member who treated me very badly as we grew up. Why would I take that crap on? What the hell was I thinking when I was crafting the possibilities of this life? (Yes, we make agreements with other souls to play the parts of parents, siblings, teachers, friends, in this play we call life, before we are born into each life). When the answer dropped into my head, the truth of it was crystal clear and left me so emotionally relieved that I bawled. They did it for me. Experiencing this realization in the hypnotic state allowed every cell in my body to completely absorb the message and release any old anger. So, so powerful.

They took on roles that to our human eyes, made them look like barbarians, for my benefit. So I could have the most amazing experience of moving from thinking I was a poor, downtrodden victim, to rising up and into my own exquisite, divine brilliance. This is what life is about. It took their sharp and exceedingly hard tools to cut and polish my being into the diamond it’s becoming.

After all, if you’re going to facet a diamond, if you want to do it quickly, you’re going to need something extremely strong and hard to cut it. My mother’s sharp tongue was the perfect tool to create the strength of pain that I needed to move me this fast, this far.

My message for this much celebrated time of year, is for everyone who has experienced hard times, bad times, or sad times, to know that life is not random. Bad shit doesn’t happen TO US, life is FOR US. The most painful situations in our lives are created to give us an opportunity to change how we react to them, from feeling powerless and victimized, becoming afraid, angry, or fearful, to gradually moving into our power by first feeling a bit of understanding, then neutrality, and eventually moving into compassion and gratitude (for the challenge).

Now is the time for everyone to step into their divine brilliance of sparkling light and know the compassionate, loving being that is their birthright (that we’ve only temporarily forgotten).

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About mariner2mother

I'm a mother of a very spirited 14 year old son, and a former merchant ship's deck officer. To feed my creative side I take photos and make a very occasional batch of soap. I am also Reiki attuned and am a student of Energy Healing, having used several healing modalities to work on myself and my family.
This entry was posted in Energy Therapy, Holistic Healing, Hypnosis, Mental Health, Spirituality, The Voyage and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Christmas Eve’s Lesson

  1. Susan, I remember that well. I’m sorry, I’d forgotten it was at Christmas. I’m sorry for that loss, but so impressed and proud of the growth and change you’ve experienced. May 2016 continue to carry you forward. Merry Christmas! xox

  2. “Bad shit doesn’t happen TO US, life is FOR US”

    Oh, Susan, what a revelation you had. That they loved you so much to take on those roles so that you could blossom and thrive and shine. And to be able to let go of all that baggage and anger. I just read something in a poetry book that I’d highlighted:
    “Poet Robert Bly calls the shadow “the long bag we drag behind us,” explaining that as we learn what others don’t like or accept in us we start “bag-stuffing.” By the time we reach adulthood, Bly says, there is only a “thin slice” of us left—the rest is in that long bag.”

    I’m so glad we met, and I’m so glad we are both on a path of healing and understanding. I wish you peace and love, Christy

    • Christy, I too am so glad we met and are both walking our paths. I love that there are as many paths as there are people, and they are all valid and real. I still need to work on another family relationship that will be a tough one, but I’m making progress there a bit at a time. Thank you for the Robert Bly quote; it’s brilliant and amazingly insightful! (I’ve seen in myself that so much of what I think and believe is me, are actually things that were either put on me when I was little, or I voluntarily took on along the way). I also wish you peace and love. Blessings.

  3. The Hook says:

    I’m s sorry you had to live every child’s nightmare, Susan.
    I say “child” because we’re all children at heart.
    Be well, my friend.

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