The day after Mother’s Day I heard a knock at my front door.
And then almost immediately, my door bell rang.
I quietly stepped to the front window and peeked out and I heard the doorbell again.
When I looked out, I could see my mom standing on the porch.
I stood there peeking through the blinds and I watched as she nervously shifted her weight back and forth. Her arms were swinging from side to side. She was anxious.
A few seconds passed and she rang the door bell three consecutive times and she stepped back down to the sidewalk. She looked around and then she lit a cigarette.
I really couldn’t bear to watch her facial expressions as she began to realize that I probably wasn’t coming to the door, so I backed up and sat down in my chair.
I felt conflicted as I always do.
I wanted to open the door and then another part of me wanted to hold my breath until I knew she was gone.
My anxiety started to make itself known and I began asking questions.
What was she doing here?
What did she need?
Was she in trouble?
Why didn’t she park in the driveway?
Was she hiding something?
Was she alone? Is she angry?
What if I answer the door?
What kind of person am I?
Why is this so difficult?
I absolutely hated every second of that she stood out there. I hated that she probably didn’t understand why I didn’t just open the door, embrace her, and invite her in for a tour and a cup of coffee.
But I just couldn’t make myself open the door.
I had no idea what would have happened if I did and that pretty much sums up the extent of our entire relationship from my birth up to this point.
I have never had any idea what was going to happen next.
(I would like you to meet reason number one why I battle with anxieties, control, and balance issues as an adult.)
Opening the door would be too risky.
She makes me feel unsafe and somehow her presence makes me feel unsure about everything. I know it’s irrational, but that isn’t the point. It feels like I am standing on shaky ground that could crumble beneath me at any given moment. Just because my heart sank as each minute passed that I knew she was standing there doesn’t mean that my head believed that opening the door was a good idea.
This internal battle is a tough one and it really always has been. Since I have been sober boundaries have been an integral part of my sobriety and recovery. I learned how to live a healthy life keeping toxicity at a safe distance.
But while it has made more sense over the years and I have gained more perspective on why my health and well-being is so important to me as a wife and mother, and as a woman in general, it doesn’t mean that it has gotten easier. It is indescribable to have to wrestle with what feels like a natural inclination.
I have tried to take this last month to just allow myself to process the feelings that I have been experiencing, quietly.
I kept how I was feeling between me, and God and I didn’t verbally share until two nights ago. When I finally did (out loud) I cried like a baby, and not because I hadn’t faced the emotions, but because there is something about saying it out-loud that just makes it hard to get out.
My head and my heart may not always agree but that doesn’t mean that either is necessarily wrong. I just have to remind myself that the boundaries that have been put in place are for protection, not to harm anyone.
For me one of life’s toughest lessons has been accepting that right thing is almost always the most difficult option.
This is just one of those situations where all that I can do at this point is remind myself that God is good. He is so good to me.
He has helped me to accept some of the harsh realities that have entered my life and my heart. I do my best not to over-analyze the situation, because I cannot change it.
I don’t spend all of my time worrying or beating myself to death or drowning in guilt anymore.
I have also been given the perspective that I had always sought.
I have the confirmation that I need and while I do doubt my ability to always accept my situation with as much grace as I have been given, I never doubt God’s ability to get me through the things that I face.
I also have hope.
Sometimes when we close a door another door opens.
Other times it is meant to stay shut.
But the best thing about doors?
We have options.
They don’t have to stay closed indefinitely.