“Your current safe boundaries were once unknown frontiers.” – Unknown
I have seen many different types of reunions over the years. Many I faciliated, others I just read about. The majority of them were pretty texbook. What I mean by that is that they were either like mine (where one party is more distant than the other), one party denies contact, or they go okay..with some bumps and pushing and pulling and trying and learning (One might argue mine is actually the latter but to me its different. The reunions I refer to in the third case are those where both parties gladly accept the other and learn to work through it together. My friend K and her mom/my friend M come to mind.)
One of the most disturbing reunions was witnessed by me (and many others) on another blogging service. They went through all the phases I mentioned about (distance, denial and discovery) but they had a unique twist. Outrage and abuse of each other – in public.
It was horrifying to read their reunion battle via the internet. Nasty messages sent to and from on public journals. Rude, incredibly rude and hurtful statements issued from mother to child. I eventually stopped viewing them. They scared me (both of them). Apple did not fall far from the tree in that case.
One of the most disturbing things the mom did was to impersonate a 20 something year old girl and gain access to her daughters private journal. (she actually bragged about this to me). To this day, I believe her daughter has no idea that her friend Mandy is also her first mother. Daughter thought she was sharing private thoughts, life stories with her friends…little did she know one of those friends was a horrible imposter.
This, to me, was the ultimate violation and form of abuse. When the mom told me about it, I gasped, loudly, in my home office. OMG. How could she?
The clear lack of understanding and need for boundaries was startling. And she wondered why the daughter had such issues with her? If she did that (without daughters knowledge), what else did she do that daughter knew about?
I can understand the desparation, the overwhelming desire, need, hunger to know your child but come on. Even mothering and parenthood has boundaries. She clearly overstepped hers.
My daughter and I both have many blogs, journals, online accounts. We have not friended each other. Not my request – but hers. There is only one journal I would never allow her access to and it is the one I am most candid in. Where I write thimgs, potentially hurtful things, relating to our reunion. We all need our outlets and that is mine. The rest of my sites (including this one), she is welcome to vist, read, etc. But she doesnt.
When her parents visited this blog a few montsh ago and I told her, she visited it for the first time. She read a few pages and left. she did not like it. Told me I was too personal, too open and that I should not be so public about my story .. since it refers to her. I struggled greatly with that. I mean greatly. I certainly wanted to respect her feelings, I have no desire to hurt her or family but hello, its my story too. I HIGHLY filter what I write for that very reason.
Should I not write at all simply becuase it makes her uncomfortable? I said no. Thats a boundary I set. I let her know that I filter, that I keep her name out of things, that she is welcome to read anytime and verify for herself. I let her know that I was uncomfortable with her request for me to stop being who I am. I would never ask the same of her. I did however, chop the blog off, to blurb it, and I am thinking a bit more these days about what I write. I compromised. She drew a line, I moved it a bit, we discussed it and settled on a new location. For now.
The thing about boundaries is that they can always change. They come closer or move farther away. I hope ours come closer and not farther away.