Empty Mothers’ Business

 

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‘My son drinks so much on Saturday nights that he spends the whole of Sunday sleeping on the couch.’ When I raised my eyebrows at the mother telling this, she carried on, ‘you see, he has to drink otherwise the kids can’t relax and have fun.’ 

I have known this mother for many years and the son she is referring to is 17 years old as still very much in high school. 

Why would a mother, from a wealthy community, with a wealthy husband, bankroll her son’s drinking habits? He is the oldest of three boys and the other two are set to follow his example. What is apparent from this conversation is just how helpless this mother seems to be when it comes to setting boundaries for her children. This family is not dealing with a son who is experimenting with alcohol, instead they are dealing with a son who is forming very worrying habits regarding how what he socialized and imagines himself relaxing. 

There are 52 weeks in a year and this boy is drunk almost each weekend and more often during the holidays.  It is safe to assume that he is seriously drunk at least 80 times in an average year. This particular boy started this behavior at 16, so it seems to me that he has established a pretty solid drinking routine. 

Where does the alcohol come from, you may ask? From home, his home or the homes of the other kids that drink like him. 

The problem with drinking alcohol is that it takes decades before the drinker recognizes that he or she has a problem. Pop into any AA meeting and the average age is over 35. The drug takers however, realize pretty quickly they have a problem, which explains why drug rehabs have so many young people in their early 20s. The mother I spoke to is relieved that her son is drinking and not taking drugs. In her worrying worldview, kids will either drink or drug, and rather her son drinks than takes drugs.  This is the way her mind operates. 

At some level she is also extremely insecure, frightened that she will loose the love and companionship of her son if she limits his freedom. This is a mother afraid of her son and this is the heartbreaking reality of this problem. She loves him so much that she is afraid of loosing him to an argument caused by limiting his behavior.  Yet she cannot look into his face and accept her role as a parent, she would rather be his friend, his buddy, chums. As his mother she has inadvertently stepped away from her responsibilities to preserve this fragmenting relationship instead of standing up and facing his rage when she says ‘No’. 

By the way, this is not a single mother I am gossiping about, there is a father in the picture, and I believe he plays golf with an outstanding handicap. 

This generation of parents are scared of loosing the love of children by imposing limitations on them. I say that no child that feels contained and cared for has ever wandered to far, its the ones with no idea of how far they can wander that get lost in the wilderness. 

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Procrastination, under-earning and other things dysfunctional.

o I decided last night to post first thing Monday morning. “Just commit yourself to two hundred words” and then I rolled over and went to sleep.

This morning as I flip through my iPad for the millionth time I feel my brain flatline as I scan the hundreds of articles that are appearing on Flipboard. Some are really well written and I pause to read an inane article about Obamacare, and then notice an article about Natalie Portman‘s social life. Why should I read that, why on earth should I care? Yet I wander off to find out if Natalie is happy, is she eating ok, does she have any new projects? Once done with Natalie, I visit a cooking site, a self-help site and then read an article about yet another 12 Step program, this for procrastinators. “Might be a spot for me.”  and that is how I up writing about my two best friends, Uncle Under Earning and Great Aunt Procrastination.

You procrastinators do not need an introduction to how devastatingly destructive this behavior is, so pay a visit to http://www.procrastinors- anonymous.org to hang with like minded non-movers.

Alternatively, advance up the ladder and join  http://www.underearnersanonymous.org/ where you can actively quantify your procrastination into financial terms.

Did I mention the time it has taken to write this article could have been spent prospecting, writing for clients or cleaning the house? I am just proud that I finished something on time. Now  I am off to an appointment with my psychiatrist who refuses to medicate me. How is that possible, I must be the only patient on the planet who goes to her psychiatrist to talk and walks away with no script.

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Starting Again

So it’s been a while since my last posting. Not sure if making commitments and promises isn’t my undoing. Don’t think I will be doing that in a hurry again.

This post is about commitment, to myself, to others and to my work. I thought that writing a blog would be easy, I thought that writing a blog hidden deep inside WordPress would be a bit like keeping an online diary, without the hassle of hiding it under the mattress. Trust me, it was quite a surprise to realize that you are reading this.

Does it make me nervous? Possibly, just a bit.

This is the problem, I am plagued by the writing demons, relentless self doubt and a full blown existential crisis. On the one hand I am dealing with a freight train of thoughts that chug relentlessly through my head, day and night. On the other hand, I look around and am astonished at how people all around me are struggling with huge problems.

More soon.

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What to do with that eeugh feeling?

Its mid-week and I am feeling particularly sluggish, as if my brain has switched to hibernation mode and my mood to flat and dull. I don’t take drugs, but I feel decidedly distant and disassociated right now, as if  I am viewing the world through cotton wool. Maybe this is a good time to take drugs, they might actually give my synapses a quick kick in the proverbial ass. 

So I’m having a sluggish day, what’s the big deal you may ask.

For me, feeling like this can send me over the edge, to a dark place that can take days to creep out from. So immediate action needs to be taken or I will find myself drinking coffee and talking inappropriately to handsome strangers. 

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Almost Monday Again

So its Sunday again and that means that Monday is just around the corner. This is my week to stop treading water and to accomplish something substantial. My practical, functional for this week is to pull in a paying client,  get a meeting with two clients and to banish all negative self-talk for an hour a day.

Regarding my negative and dark thoughts, I think that chasing them away for an hour a day  for the week is achievable. People like me spend far too much time thinking myself into a corner. I never feel free of my memories and my critical self judgement. I am my own worst enemy and live with this constant dark and somber cloud over my head. Success for me is failure. I am certain that is the agreement I made with my family, that Aimee would be the failed one, the looser, the shadow child. But that does not fit anymore, I want to achieve, but find myself struggling against this force field of doubt and family disapproval.

I realize how improbable it sounds, to suggest that there is a family agreement to fail in life, but I am certain I am correct. No one ever said, ‘Aimee, you shall be the failed on in our house!” But things get said at home without words being exchanged. Families speak in codes and signals; the sudden intake of breath, the ominous stiffening of shoulders, the way a plate of food is filled and handed over. Its so subtle we mostly miss it, but part of us, the most perceptive and sensitive part of us picks up those signals and delivers them directly to our heart and that fragile part of us that assembles the very idea of ‘me’ in my mind.

Just for one hour every day this week I will insist that I think only positive thoughts about myself. It’s going to be tough, I will have to stand firm against the family code. But I will do it.

That’s not me anymore, but I feel the habits are so deeply ingrained I am struggling to change gear.

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I’d rather be mad like me, not like them

Wow, a bomb certainly rips apart far more than we realize. I feel like my legs have been blown out from underneath me. I can stand, but I don’t feel solid.

It frightening how insane people can become, how their madness can push them towards these terrible acts. We are all involved, through our TVs and online life, we are all victims both near and far.

I would much rather go back to nursing my childhood wounds, the sense of injustice I felt when my brother was served hot roasted potatoes, while I received none. ‘Your too fat’ my mother would say as she put my plate, sans roast potatoes in front of me. Its seems pathetic to cry publicly over lost potatoes from a distant childhood, yet that seems infinitely better than reading about two brothers who have just blown up a community of bystanders.

Is there anything that I can do to change the world for the better? If I was less self absorbed perhaps, less concerned about my weight and my lack of good fortune and more concerned about, about, about what?

About Monsanto? Iran? The plight of the Palestinians? The Syrians or the Afghanis? What about my neighbor?

Is it possible for me to become anything other than what I am?

I am crazy, I am mad, I am manipulative and dishonest. My mother told me so. Wanda keeps saying that. My brother won’t look at me and my father thinks I’m a waste of time. Why does none of this send me rushing to cook up a hot-pot of ball bearings and nails? A pinch of gun powder and a generous heap of fertilizer. And Boom! No, that’s just not me.

In truth I have fantasized about smacking Wanda over the head with a pot. Of dropping a bottle of wine on my mother’s toe, of driving over my brother’s feet (my favorite revenge fantasy). I have never done any of these things, and I don’t think I ever will.

The madness continues, but in truth, I would rather have my lovable madness than this savage madness which inflicts us all with crippling wounds in our hearts and heads.

Oh, and I actually did work this week, galvanized by the bombings. The website should be up in two weeks. I will not let people like that take away my life.

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Meat, with a side of…

Meat, with a side of….

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