How do we say goodbye to those who have harmed us without totally shutting them out of our lives? I am contemplating this question as I face the realities of being estranged from one child and the knowledge that I will soon be bringing another into this world. This is a world full of things I cannot control and my job will be to shelter and protect this tiny new innocent life. This child could not have been conceived at a more difficult time with all the drama I seem to be facing. Yet somehow this baby seems to be symbolic of great hope. I will bring him or her into this world without delusions about whom I can trust and count on. Family members who before were the first to know will now be the last and I will neither expect nor count on their blessing or even excitement. If anything, I expect further detachment and emotional abandonment. Im not exactly sure what percentage of their actions toward me are about their disapproval or their own deeply repressed and unresolved wounds. Frankly, the highly intellectual part of myself is tired of trying to figure things out. It wants to rest. My body needs my mind to rest so that all the focus can be on nurturing this life growing inside me. My body needs my mind to rest so that it can prepare for the physically and mentally demanding task of childbirth that lies ahead. God tells me to rest in him. I’m trying to listen.
“Buh bye Bubba” seems to be an appropriate mantra as I say goodbye to all these people who rent space in my mind each day. To my father who continues to disrespect my wishes with regard to how he interferes with my ability to parent my son I say “Buh bye bubba.” To my mother who’s passive aggression is like a seductive sword that continues to slice me open with each encounter, I say “Buh bye bubba.” And to my ex-husband who has quite skillfully used our son as his weapon and meal ticket when it comes to expressing his anger and hatred toward me and perhaps his own mother, I say “Buh bye bubba.”
Bubbas are simply those whom we will never be able to convince that we are worthy of their respect. They do not know the meaning of respect and are trapped in their own delusional systems. We represent an honest way of life which frightens them and ultimately causes them to turn against us. Nothing they could do would suprise me therefore I must mentally say goodbye.
So what does it mean to say “Buh bye bubba” but not totally shut them out of our lives? For me, it means keeping a door open for hope or change. The twice a year gathering is an open door to allow them to enter as well as a chance to deepen my own growth and faith. Seeing me as well as the new life growing inside may inspire something within them. Some may call that being an eternal optimist but I see it as survival. To entirely close the door on what is possible before someone is actually gone from this earth seems illogical somehow. “Buh bye bubba” is a mantra I can wrap my head around. “Buh bye Bubba”sheds humor and light on the dark and sometimes ridiculous realities of the limitations of other’s humanity.
As far as my exhusband, I have been trying to say “Buh bye bubba” for about 15 years now. 2 kids later I find that I can finally do it. Unfortunately, with kids, the interactions are way more often than twice a year obligatory gettogethers. His sanity seems to suffer as I strengthen my ability each day to say “Buh bye bubba.” Narcissistic injury is real and I have been held hostage due to my fear. He makes sure that I suffer each time I convey the message “Buh bye bubba.” And he has managed to use an innocent child as his weapon of mass destruction. If he “wins” and continues to be successful in his destruction of my relationship with my son, I will have to go on. I have 2 other lives depending on me. No matter what happens, I will never say “Buh bye bubba”to my son and I will go into great debt if necessary to use the legal system as my weapon as it seems to be my last resort.
Thank you Peggy for coining this new term which helps me to cope with life on life’s terms. I’m going to place my Bubbas in a casket and prepare for their death and final departure from this world. I will leave the caskets open and continue to gaze over them periodically. I believe God has used them to be my great teachers. Perhaps I am also teaching them. If I close the casket we no longer have the opportunity to learn from each other and this “soul contract” will cease.
I have been praying for courage for the past year as I faced my fears and make necessary changes in my life. Now I pray for compassion as I continue to pick up my sword and fight for myself, my children and my life. Some might argue there is no room for compassion in battle but it is necessary for me. I am neither a victim nor a survivor but a warrior. A wise woman once told me that a warrior always knows where she is going. I’m not 100% sure but I do know that I can’t get there without compassion. I also know I can’t arrive with Bubba by my side.