So I feel a little unsettled with how I ended my post yesterday. Grateful for loving someone sounds wrong. But the truth of it is my dad and I had a crappy life together until he showed up at my door homeless. I spent a lot of years being really, very angry at him. He was a brute, physically, verbally, emotionally. He is narcissistically disordered. He is a man of his time and generation. He was violent and egocentric. He never gave a shit about anyone but himself really, unless there was something to gain from the other person. He is however, also a boy who survived the burning of his city, the bombing of his grandmother's house in which he lost several relatives, he was a baby who was left with his brother in a playpen for a large part of the day while mother and father went out to work, he is the brother of an alcoholic, and was the husband of one for many years. He is a man who failed at business, marriage and parenting.
Some years ago, I learned how to carry the stone of compassion. This may sound bizarre but I get it .. so I share it this way. The stone of compassion for me was a real blessing. It does not weigh what the stone of anger weighs. It really doesn't. The stone of compassion lets you grow, leaves you room to grow, to be kind to yourself. The stone of anger eats away at you, doesn't leave you any room for much else, least of all yourself. I was able to learn how to carry the stone of compassion for my mother as well. So important to take the person in the context of their lives. Oh my God, I just had an epiphany - it makes total sense that I am the "type" of therapist I am - systemically oriented - believing and relying on the understanding of context to help people. Wow. I have been able to use compassion not as a way to forget necessarily, and I'm not even sure about forgiving - but truth be told all that isn't necessary once you carry the stone of compassion instead of the stone of anger. The two - anger and compassion - can not coexist. They can't. And yes, it is totally a choice - which stone you choose to carry.
My dad was shaped into being a prick. My mother was shaped into being an alcoholic. It could have been different but it wasn't. I choose the stone of compassion. For this, I am grateful.
and ps .. no we didn't find the wallet .. more on that tomorrow.