Spending Time with my Mama is So Bittersweet.

Family April 14 2023, Galina Singer

Spending time with my mama is so bittersweet.

There’s sadness and there’s sweetness weaved together all the time.

I keep trying to have a conversation to get to a depth I need, but it gets interrupted by some banality every time.
Then there are occasions when spontaneously we get to a depth I seek and there’s that connection again.

Sometimes, just being together is enough. Walking, playing a game. At times we can be in different rooms but knowing we are here, together, is reassuring.

Then suddenly in the middle of a casual conversation I get triggered. It’s always the same thing: her denial of my reality.

And, in perfect timing, I read this morning from David Bedrick: “Denial is perhaps the most common strategy for dealing with difficulty, violence, trauma and conflict.”

It always amazes me how underneath my surface there’s still so much darkness and depth and pain and unexpressed words and wounds. And how quickly and unexpectedly it flares up.

That is why the trauma bubble feels protective – it prevents the overwhelm from the pain of relating. That’s why it gets formed in the first place. We need the buffered distance to keep our nervous system from getting activated.

It’s painful to talk about things that are difficult. It rattles the nervous system. But if we can find the courage to talk about what hurts – there’s newfound closeness, as if the fog between us gets cleared.

We must learn how to not be afraid of feelings (that’s somatic work, of course.) It’s the only path to true closeness. If we can’t go there, we’ll just maintain the trauma buffer between us, stuck in the bubble of our own stories about the other and our own unquestioned perception.

Diving in depths allows us to breach our protective bubble, question our assumptions and expectations, and consider another’s point of view. Once we see the other not as a threat, but as another confused and wounded human being, connection is established, closeness becomes available.

Of course, none of it is possible without connecting to inner safety. When we feel Safe to Be Me, we can venture into relating again, diving into the unknown and unexpected.

One more week with mama.
So bittersweet.