I haven’t been writing much lately. I’ve neglected my blog about my PA struggles and therein lies the clue.
That would be because I am spending more time in “Acceptance”. I’ve decided to drop the burden I’ve been dragging for over a decade. And its liberating. Its now 7 long years since I was in her life. I have no guilt, no shame. I gave it my all in good faith to help her have her Dad in her life. But the cards were stacked against us both and those who know me or ever saw us together know that.
My daughter is now an adult and I take heart from the knowledge that I was a huge parental influence in her life for that first critical decade that shapes the person. Friends and society arguably contribute more than parents after that. No one can take away the great times we shared. There’s so many photos and videos of those magic times.
A combination of small factors coming together recently have nudged me out of the emotional quagmire of PA and back onto the pathway of a life to be lived. The biggest change has been shaking off my expectations. Because we were so closely bonded, its taken me over a decade to accept that the phone isn’t going to ring at any moment and we pick up instantly where we left off. Its taken me over a decade to accept that she may never come back. Even if and when she does, it will be a different relationship. But I’m always here – ready, and with love.
Life is fleeting. The past is gone. I have realized Acceptance is not weakness. Far from it. It requires strength and climbing the plateaus confers more strength on the climber. But I have learned you can’t get to Acceptance just by wanting it or saying it. You need to arm yourself. You need to go through a process and the time it takes is subject to different forces on all of us.
I know I am spending more and more time in “Acceptance” of the utterly unacceptable because I’m noticing signs and these signs make me want more. This month I have been noticing things like the warmth of the winter sun on my back or the freshness of rain on my face. Recently I laughed spontaneously, but this time it seemed joyous and limitless rather than restricted. Its how I used to laugh.
Some may call it mindfulness – but regardless of books or mentors, I found it impossible to maintain mindfulness while struggling through the stages of profound grief that long term PA thrusts upon us like no other experience in life.
I have always known I have blessings and opportunities in my life but now they are attracting my attention rather than the one precious treasure that was stolen from me.
I am well aware there will be times when I will slip and there will be black clouds on Fathers’ Day and our birthdays but for now I will allow those 3 weeks to grieve. I hereby reclaim the other 49 weeks and I intend to fill them with joy and colour again. Carpe diem!
I hope to soon post my “PA Mud-map to Acceptance” in the hope it may help others struggling on this toughest of journeys.