Saturday, April 4, 2015

Post Estrangement: Does rumination help me or hinder me?

There is nothing wrong with the life that I am leading.  

I have people that care for me and for whom I care.  I do things every day that I enjoy doing.  I see things and do things that bring me joy. 

And yet I spend an inordinate amount of time each day pining for something that I have no control over.  I pine for my estranged daughter who has taken herself out of my life.  I pine for the relationship I had hoped to have with my grandson.  And in pining for these things I am telling my unconscious mind that what I do have is somehow “not good enough”.  

And today as I ponder all the wonderful grand things in my life I consider this:  am I being fair to myself?

Is pining for the “might have beens” preventing me from fully reveling in and loving every moment of what I do have?   If I had never had children, then what I am doing now would be a dream come true. 

I am doing now all those things that I put on hold to have a family.  I should be over the moon happy.  So is my own habit to daily focus on what I don’t have pulling me into a negative thought spiral?  Am I actually the one preventing me for really truly being content in the life that I do have?   And if I am my own biggest obstacle to contentment how do I change my attitude and my approach to the thoughts with which I navigate my day?

Something in me is crying to be heard.  Something in me wants to be healed.  Something in me wants to get to that place where the yearning for “what isn’t” ends.

I think I need to stop thinking of myself as an estranged parent.  Being estranged is something that happened to me, like losing a limb.   If a person who loses a limb sees the rest of their life as a limbless person do they not handicap themselves?  Do they not need to find a path to seeing their life from the perspective of all that is yet possible?   And if someone who loses a limb can fight back and live life fully, surely I can do the same.  An event, no matter how traumatic is an event.  This event is something that shaped my past.  This event does not have to define my present nor shape my future.  This is the choice that I need to make, to stop living my present wishing the event had never happened or could be in some way altered. 

The past is what it is.  My life now is what it is. 

And there is so much in my present that is good and should be celebrated with joy and enthusiasm.  

Does ruminating help me or hinder me from living the life that I do have to the fullest?  

I am starting to believe the later.  And the encouraging thing is that in seeing this I am empowered to change the way I think! And in changing the way I think I can start to respond to the situation with a different outlook.  Hopefully as I work on this I will be able to make the breakthrough to put the trauma of estrangement into the past where it belongs instead of in my daily present. 

Renate Dundys Marrello 
2015 - 04 - 04 

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  1. Yah, it is so very hard and it is not fair. Not to yourself or to the others in your life that love, appreciate, and need you. It occurred to me that I have not been really present to anyone since I discovered that my Son doesn't love me. It seems as though my joy has dwindled with his rejection. I miss that joy. The mindset thing is REAL. I'm thinking of posting "inspiration notes" in key places to help retrain my thinking. Holiday is over tomorrow -- it will be easier then until May. One day at a time.

  2. You are right sue, It us not fair nor is it right. Am estranged from 2 adult children and having to accept that they do not love me has been hard - I too live one day at a time. Love Renate' s words.

  3. Absolutely right on. The secret to happiness is to be grateful and enjoy what we have rather than be constantly mourning what we don't have. Unhappiness is suffering caused by events to which we attach emotion. Think differently and remove the emotional attachment and the suffering goes away though the pain still remains. Pain does not have to equal suffering. Acknowledge it, learn to live with it and move on xx

  4. There are days that I think of all the positive things in my life and appreciate the loved ones I do have in my life. I also, think it is not fair to the others that do show me they love me by only think of how things could have been. Because I am not in the present. I can only control myself and how I react to situations. But, I have days that I do miss my grandkids and think how they all are doing and such questions that I do not the have answers to. So, I think that there is a degree of not having closure. I don't think you can get closure when a person just gets up and leaves. Especially, when there were no fights or arguments. When they leave it's on their terms. They don't even take the time to try and work things out. So, I think that is why, at times I have days when I think about all the emotions that I feel. And they did not even stop to listen to your needs or feelings. That will never go away. I give myself a certain amount of time and then just go on with what does make me happy. I think I need time here and there to think about these things and maybe even mourn somewhat.
    I can never forget that I have a grown child out there somewhere that is going to have to live with this decision the rest of her life. I think it is only human to have those feelings . Does not mean that I am not making the best of my life. Anyway, that is how I look at it for myself. But, there are a lot of different situations and people have to manage things in a way that is best for them.