Made to Measure


Thoughts on the way expectations
shape both the giver and receiver

When my mother had two daughters she did two different things.
She bundled all of her hopes and ambitions up and she gave those to the first daughter to carry.
They were pretty things - things with sparkle and hope,
they had ambitions and fairy-tales woven into them.

When she had another daughter she bundled up what was left, its was mostly the void in her life, the neediness and fear and  she pushed that into the shape of a daughter.

Neither was blessed by the expectations.

Being perfect and sparkley and living out someone else’s ambition turns out to be a bit of a curse rather than a gift. Although the first daughter got everything invested in her she just couldnt seem to shine and sparkle enough to please her mother. She just wasn’t quite good enough to be really proud of. Not surprising really as she wasn’t doing anything she had chosen , or had any particular talent at. But for a long time she got praise for it anyway.

The second daughter was the balance, so whilst the first was given things, the second had them taken away. Her gifts were the lack of things she was allowed.
But there was a plan.

One daughter, the first,  was one to be proud of and show off to the world what she was capable of, and the other was to provide all the things the mother didn’t feel she had.
The happy family she didn’t experience as a child. The approbation she felt she deserved. The care in her old age she felt she would need.

If you were to imagine a mold that was daughter shaped what could you fill it with?

She put the disappointments in her own life;
lack of status,
lack of friends,
lack of money,
lack of affirmation,
lack of love, into the void - or shape,
and then she put her child into the shape - and expected the child to grow and fill the space and make all these things into something else newer and more sweet.

Like one of those fruits - grown for novelty into a hollow plastic shape.


As time went by and the first child rebelled openly against the  role set out for her putting herself beyond the mothers boasting the mother gave up on being a successful parent and gathered back her resources.
If others couldnt give her what she needed - then she would try to make herself secure. As she did this the second daughter found herself cut off.  Not yet adult, the resources and security she expected from a home and family were withdrawn as the mother made her own nest more comfortable. Yet the expectations continued as did the suggestions for better ways to be pleasing.

Karma is an odd thing - it twists the tail of expectation and laughs at plans. The first child tries so hard to comfort her mother and make her bitterness taste sweet, yet she is despised for her public failures.
The second child achieved  everything and more set out for the first , but by failing to fill the void in her mother is finally rejected as inadequate.


Is it any wonder she will never be happy?
She doesn’t want her children, she wants her - but fixed.
She wants other people to be her happiness - but who could be that? It is not possible to  be someone else's' happiness.

It is odd that, although rejected for my failings, I don't wish her anything but happiness. I hope she has found it by making the choices she has. I could not change her. I could not change anyone. I tried a hundred ways and learned so slowly. So I wish her all the best with what she wants to do. How she wants to live her life. I am going to see what I can make of my own happiness without blaming others or expecting someone else to rescue me, but even saying that, I don’t think it needs to be alone, people are always welcome to come along for the ride.











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