Tarot Journal #52: 10 of Wands (Oppression)/ XX Judgment/ 5 of Swords/ Four of Disks (Power)

Working My Way Out of Other People’s Lives

On Monday I worked for almost 5 hours finishing the cleaning at the old apartment. I felt drained and unsettled at leaving for the last time that space that had housed Roberta and my life and all but a few of our experiences together. For 5 years I lived in the middle of her family drama. I dealt with so many situations involving her grown children’s raw emotions, and deep feelings of resentment. They had all let each other down and still were very attached to each other through their mother and had been abandoned and abused by their fathers. And Roberta in the middle of this trying to love and support her grandchildren. She had a fierce love for her grandchildren, all three she had held within hours of their birth. She insisted on calling me their grandfather which made me feel both honored and uncomfortable as my family experience was so different. My children have no children and aren’t likely to, which is fine with me. I enjoy their company without children as I would if they had children. I don’t feel my life is incomplete without grandchildren, but I enjoyed her grandchildren and grew to love them.

I have no idea what I am trying to get at here. I guess I am trying to say that there was a lot of emotional life swirling around Roberta, and I was both part of that storm and somewhat separated from it because I was observing from the outside. They were all contained in their experience of growing through trauma and discord while I have my own history that I have drifted out of purposefully and accidentally. My love for Roberta was what involved me and was my filter. I was able to help them make some sense of the chaos, but I couldn’t help them solve the deeper problems caused by the pain they inflicted on each other. I have my own family issues that because I am too involved and implicated in them, I cannot see clearly a path to resolution only follow the threads and forgive and try to see the truth. I could see a lot of the reasons for their behavior, and I could get Roberta to acknowledge, accept and set limits around behavior that was based on guilt and trauma. But, I did not have a trusting relationship with her children, I was only able to protect Roberta and offer advice on parenting to help the grandchildren. The other relationships were too ingrained and integrated into their patterns of dealing with each other. I watched a few slow-motion trainwrecks that are still in process, but I have drifted into a place where they have very little effect on my life.

This whole experience has shown me the limits of my ability to make other people’s lives work for them. Mainly, what I got was Roberta’s love and the limited satisfaction of helping her navigate the last few years of her life with dignity and a little grace, which makes all the rest of the stress and trauma in my life worthwhile. I am still dealing with the fallout.

This last week has been painful in ways that I wasn’t expecting. I have been feeling as if I am abandoning Roberta and her family even though there is really nothing I can do to help them as I am broke and exhausted and have not been able to connect to their lives enough to gain their trust or friendship. I have to move on and let them be who they are. I am feeling battered and worn and ready to heal. I just have to figure out how to deal with all the debris that keeps surfacing randomly. It was a miracle that Roberta and I connected as deeply as we did and that I was able to hold it together as long as I did. Now I need to find a way of living outside the chaos of constant drama. I just need to sit and be me for a little while.

This entry was posted in All part of the process, Being Human, can't really complain but, change, developing relationships, discovery and recovery, Family, Fools Journey, House and home, Loss and Leaving, mindworks, my life, my mystic toolbox, paying attention, philosophy, Self-Experiments, thinking in words, Works in Progress and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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