The Scintilla Project: Day Seven

The prompt: Talk about a time when you saw your mother or father as a person independent of his or her identity as your parent.

Talk of the units always presents with a bit…OK a boatload, of trepidation. As the once– but no longer– only child of addicts, I’ve struggled through the years to let my siblings have their own reality, their own experiences and mostly their own voice, often stifling mine in the process, but that ended when my writing began.

I’ll tell you that much of my life I’ve seen my mother as anything but a mother. For the entirety of my childhood, I was the parent, hers and mine, and later my siblings and lastly–still amidst my childhood, my own children.

She is the subject of many unpublished essays, therapy sessions and my own looming fears. She’s just so flawed, so human, so independent of her identity as anything or anyone, and subsequently independent of obligations to anything or anyone. I find her equally as shameful as she is enviable.I could go on forever about the times she disappointed me, “dropped the ball”, but what I fear I’ll never understand is why I always rush to pick it up, again and again, until I’m juggling– mother, daughter, sister, teacher, friend, therapist, perpetual fixer-upper to the clan. I’ve spent my life navigating and surviving her independence. What I’d like is to someday bear witness to the declaration of my own independence; a life independent of codependency.

Comments

  1. Jewelry Rockstar says:

    >I too am a child of an addict, well he as transitioned from this Earth now. He and I learned a DADT (Don't ask, don't tell) dance. I could tell by his voice through the phone if he was in a good space or a bad space with his addiction. I left the codependency alone many years ago. I just settled on acceptance. Or maybe it was separation of the real him and the addict him. Anyway, I loved him so much and we were very close. I miss him.

    Funny, I can't seem to have a conversation these days without mentioning that I lost him.

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