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This is a two-part post and it’s kind of long and probably not very funny. Part 2 will happen soon. Bet you can’t wait.

There have been times in my life when I’ve questioned whether or not I’m a sociopath. I don’t really believe that I’m insane, but I don’t have the same reactions that other people do. Other people’s emotions are confusing for me and I have a bad habit of dismissing what I cannotΒ  understand. I’ve decided I’m just borderline sociopathic (or have dissocial personality disorder) because I can feel empathy for people – it’s just not very much and it doesn’t happen often. Mostly I think people should stand up for themselves, make their own decisions and take responsibility for the results.

People have told me that I’m too close to MoC. One therapist thought I should “break the bond” with my mother and said it was “interesting” that both my sisters moved away but my brother and I stayed. When I asked her why that was “interesting”, she said that it was “interesting” that the two youngest children chose to stay in town. So I explained that my sister is the one closest to me in age, not my brother. She thought that was “very interesting.” I never got her to explain what was so “interesting” about it and then I lost “interest” and stopped going.

I consider myself fortunate to have such a close relationship with my mother. Twenty years ago, it was not easy – it was tense and confrontational. Sometimes I wonder what my relationship with my father would be today if he were alive. It was never bad, exactly, but I never did figure out what made him tick. The only model I have for his psyche is my own. I look like my mother but my personality is more like my father. I’m moody; I’m impatient; I am easily frustrated. Still, those things do not define me. I’ve become the woman I am through my own experiences. No one ever told me that a heart could break more than once and no one told me that the pieces never go back together quite the same way. Those things I had to figure out on my own.

Griggs called me earlier in the week. Her mother was very ill and Griggs was understandably freaking out. It is never easy to watch someone die. At one point she said, “I don’t know what I’ll do when she’s gone. How am I supposed to define myself?”

Thank God it seemed to be rhetorical because I had no answer for her. The question confused me. And because I didn’t understand the question, it made me think something must be wrong with me.

My relationship with my mother does not define who I am. In fact, if I made a decision that my mother strongly disagreed with – I would do it anyway, and I would never let her tell me I’m wrong or make me feel guilty for doing it. Guilt is a useless emotion and I rarely respond to it, which has caused people to accuse me of being a sociopath. (Which made me stab them and leave their body in a ditch before meeting my mother for lunch, but that’s another story.)

Griggs’ mother passed away Wednesday and the visitation was yesterday. Wakes kind of wig me out, but I went because that’s what friends do for each other. Late last night Griggs called me to thank me for showing up. In that conversation, she rephrased her earlier question. “How are you supposed to see yourself when the person who influenced you the most is gone?”

That’s a better question, but I still don’t have an answer.