Client Journal: Mom, I Still Carry Your Legacy of Sadness

I woke up at 4 today and was wide awake so I started to write. I haven’t been writing that much lately and I am going to put time aside to do it each day. This is a start on what I can begin doing today that is creative. I’ll write more tomorrow.

Mom, mom, mom, I continually call out to you, waiting for a reply. Gone ten years and I still carry your legacy of sadness. Like Atlas hoisting the world on his shoulders. I shoulder your grief and try to make you happy. Even in death I try to undo your sadness, make it better. I cannot give up my heavy load. I am a daughter of grief, of generations of sadness. Masked by smiles and Sunday dinners. Hidden by stoicism and defiance. Sadness that goes back to infinity. Am I not a sad person?  How could I ever undo this sad inheritance. Can I give it back? Refuse to accept it? Make myself over into someone who is joyful? My sadness is like a cloak, comfortable and familiar. It keeps me safe. It keeps me stuck. It keeps me victim. Is that all there is?

Marta: I am happy that you are back to your writing…this is part of what the child needs…your commitment to your creative expression.

Sadness is a teaching. Your mother is your teacher: she taught you to have sadness. The work, the process, is to use the emotional energy and first compartmentalize; find a container and edge and keep feeding it your creative voice. Second is to understand how from sadness comes compassion, just like from fear comes courage. You want to be a counselor; this sadness will teach you compassion and it will bring you out of the victim. It is a process of change and transformation every minute, a choice every minute. If you have the sadness from the child, then you can have the compassion for the child. Then you can give that to others.

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