A little over three years ago my teenage son and I had a blow-up. It wasn’t even about anything very important, but it was the culmination of a lot of anger on both our parts that had built up over several years. He was living with his father and visiting me at the time we had the fight. I told him to leave, which he did gladly, and I have not heard from him since.
At the time, I had no way of knowing that fight would turn into the estrangement that it has. Over the years I have made multiple attempts to start down the path of reconciliation, but have not received any response from him.
Today I had an a-ha that brought together and integrated different realizations that I have had over the time we have been apart.
In thinking about the fact that I haven’t missed him very much during this time, I realized that was because the relationship that we had was superficial. I long to have a close relationship with him, yet as he was growing up I was unable to be authentic and vulnerable with him. That authenticity and vulnerability is the very basis for an intimate relationship. Not surprisingly, he was not authentic and vulnerable with me, either.
So, I haven’t missed him because there was nothing much there to miss. And, I’d like that to be different.
Of course, I realize that there are two people in a relationship, and I can only do my part. But I also realize that if I’m not willing to go first and put myself out there, he probably never will. And, even if we never reconcile, even if I never hear from him again, I want him to know me. I want him to know who I am on the inside, which I have hidden from him most of his life.
To that end, I decided that I would start sending him stories from my life. I’m removing the mask of perfection and detachment from being emotional that I’ve worn with him.
I’ll let him see times I was hurting or scared. I’ll let him see times I did something I regret. I’ll let him see times things didn’t turn out the way I wanted.
And, I’ll also let him see the joy and love that has been in my life.
I will be sharing these stories on this blog as well because its purpose when I began it nearly five years ago was for me to show up authentically. There may be stories related to my son that I choose not to share because it would violate his privacy. But beyond that, my intention is to be an open book.
I remember when I first began blogging how terrified I was to be seen. The feedback I received here was a huge support in me being able to continue being more authentic and more vulnerable.
Today I find it almost amusing how scared I was to “expose myself” in the beginning. Today I am mostly comfortable letting people see me with all my foibles and imperfections, yet there are still times I hold back from being fully seen. Here is my opportunity to change that.
Thank you again for your continuing support!