It Doesn't Always Get Better

This is my first Christmas without my mother: not because she's dead, but because she's lost her mind and decided she cares more about enabling fascism than she does about her own family. It's on my mind, hence the dream.

I woke up this morning from one of those terrible dreams where you end up back in high school. I had to move back in with my mother and repeat my senior year at 30 years old, because dream logic.
All of the sudden, Will Smith was there. He sat there watching the dysfunctionalism that has always existed between me and my mother. He looked right at me and asked me the most important question I think I've ever been asked:

"What are you holding out for that you keep hoping she's going to give you?"
I have paid so much money to therapists over the years who couldn't even do that. You know what, Will Smith? You're absolutely right.
Even when I say I don't care, that I've "made my peace" with situations in my family that is never going to change, part of the reason I keep engaging is out of the misplaced hope that things will change. 
Because there's something I'm still holding out for. An apology. Acceptance. The smallest return on all the emotional capital that I've invested in her over the years. But she isn't the one keeping me there. I am. All the things I'm waiting for are never coming. I know that. I can see that now. My hope is misplaced.
If that's you too, give yourself the gift of letting go of the situations and relationships in your life that are consuming your time and energy that are never going to change. Take your precious hope and start investing it in someone or something else. 

And mom, if you're reading this somehow. The least you can do is call and talk to your own mother, who has done nothing but try to help you, so she stops asking me if I've heard from you or not. I've been consoling her for months now. There's my Christmas gift to you this year.

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