I think I've mentioned before that I'm a podcast junkie. My lab is kind of noisy with the whirs and whooshes of the various pieces of equipment, so it's good to have headphones. Lately, I've been listening to The Dr. Joy Browne show, where Dr. Joy, a psychologist, helps people who call in with all sorts of issues. I don't know what the appeal is, but it's fun to listen to.
Anyway, the other day, there was a caller whose mother had died a few months earlier, and she was also going through a divorce. Her question was how to get her siblings (she was the baby) to spend more time with her and help her through her situation.
This is where the issue of self-parenting came in. At some point, maybe when your parents are still alive, maybe when they aren't, everyone has to learn to have a voice that says things like, "yes, you should do this", "that's not good for you", "get out and have some fun", etc. People who as adults rely on others to tell them these things are in for a struggle.
My mom died 17 years ago today. I was driving to work the other day, calculated the number of years since 1993, and said out loud "Wow, 17 years. Wow, 17 years!" Twice, just like that. With this bit on self-parenting in my mind still, I mulled over my situation. Not to belabor the point, but looking back, mom's passing, having my marriage end because the x had "fallen out of love" and then having my sister die as well, has given me ample opportunity to learn how to self-parent, even though I didn't call it that at the time.
I find that I feel better if I don't dwell on these things, and instead choose to look forward. My mom did a fine job raising us, even if she departed too early. She would be proud of what all four kids have made of themselves. It's a testament to she and dad (who is still around, back in OH) that they helped launch four well-adjusted successful adults into the world.