I don’t like green. A simple statement. A sign of progress.
I have been trying so long to just get through one day at a time. Trying to avoid expressing any opinion that might upset one of the reactive people in our household. Rages interfere with a family’s functioning. The rages alternated with massive denial. When I stopped avoiding rages and began acknowledging my reality, I desperately wanted my family to acknowledge my reality. It took me a long time to realize my reality did not depend on being acknowledged by the other members of my family. As I made peace with my reality, my anger abated, as did my need to be acknowledged. My relationships with the girls have steadily improved. Hope requested to stay home more and spend time together. GB is calmer when I can state what I think is happening simply and without a lot of emotion.
An interesting side effect of this process has been the slow realization that I hadn’t allowed myself my own likes and dislikes. For 35 years I have gotten green sweaters, green jackets, green dresses, even green blankets- for any and all occasions. Green is not my preference. After two years of therapy, I have started to think about what I prefer. I prefer short socks, blue or gray clothes, and soft blankets. I prefer seasoned vegetables without cheese on them. Pasta with simple sauces, short bread instead of cake. I enjoy predictable tv shows. I prefer reading the book instead of seeing the movie. It is more important to me that GB is excited by life then she is cognitively equal to her peers. I want Hope to see herself as capable coping with the the good and bad, and comfortable in her skin. I pray that my eldest daughter sees the value of being independent. If I could give the Dad one parting gift it would be an awareness of the difference between self care and self indulgence.
As for me, I am trying to be still and find what my real preferences are every day. Each morning I start the day remembering just how long I didn’t like green.