The worst thing: part one

What is the worst thing for you?

In the About Me, I mentioned that I have kids.  I’ve purposely tried to not say much about my kids, even though they are such a huge part of me and my life.

The worst thing for me is when my kids get hurt, when my kids are hurting, or when I’m afraid they will be hurt.

Then how did I still let myself fall through the cracks, which meant I wouldn’t be the best mother to them?  How did I think that somehow it would all be okay in the end?  How did I let myself spend so much of my life tired and depressed, when that meant I wasn’t there for them in the ways they most needed a mother to be?

By the time I started to understand what passive aggressive was on the level of a personality disorder (not an occasional trait that most people can intermittently display in their lives), years had gone by.  Many years.  Many years gone by meant many years of enmeshment, chaos, instability, erosion, and an ungodly, unnatural kind of dependence.  It meant I couldn’t (or didn’t see how I could) just wake up, pick up, and leave my marriage.

Awakening has been a slow process, laced with hope, riddled with confusion, and sometimes gutted by Life happening.   It was recovery from a clinical depression, helping care for a terminally ill parent, a daughter getting married, another parent  diagnosed with dementia, a grandchild being born, a son going to war, another parent dying, another son in a terrible accident, a sibling reacting and acting out, failing school and making poor choices, another child needing intensive tutoring because of dyslexia and the attention span you often find with gifted children, and the son in the accident struggling so much to reclaim and build a life with a traumatic brain injury.  Life happens.

As I started to figure some things out, I looked at The Huge Mess (and that should be another post entirely) that the years of being down the rabbit hole had wreaked in my life and the lives of my kids.   My kids with arguing, dysfunctional parents.  The financial chaos and instability that touched almost every part of our lives.  As I tried to write about before, he was never all bad.  That would be so easy.  He’s always also had much good.  Some very good. Throughout the whole mess, there was love.  I tried to describe this once in a story:

“As the oldest son, he’d seen the best and the worst of his parents… Maintaining relationship, he distanced himself emotionally from the familiar dysfunction of their family, from the crooked loving of the walking wounded.”

That’s what we’ve had here.  Crooked loving in wild abundance.  Walking wounded trying to navigate dysfunction, love that careens around the room or sometimes hides to protect itself.  Kids looking to a mother with broken wings to learn to fly, and asking for love from a father whose heart was walled off from passion and vital connection.

Throughout the whole long messy journey, I’ve desperately wanted to do the right thing. 

 

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6 Responses to The worst thing: part one

  1. Amanda says:

    We all do the best we can with what we have and what we know at any given time. We can’t do anymore. Self forgiveness is one of the hardest things to do.

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    • WritesinPJ's says:

      Thank you, Beauty ♥ And yes, forgiving myself seems to be a process of acceptance on many levels.

      I’m trying hard not to filter myself on this blog. My feelings and thoughts may fluctuate on good and bad days, or even as I slip and slide in cognitive dissonance.
      When I want to filter, I stop and think… What if a younger kind of me is out there reading?

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  2. marsocmom says:

    You’re figuring things out and you’ve turned the corner, and I think it will just take time to work through. Kids are resilient, and they are smart, too. They’ll figure things out, especially with your input. Hang in there!

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  3. chosetobehappy says:

    The worse thing for me was waking up a few years ago to what this whole thing actually was and realizing that as a couple we screwed up the kids real good and I will never be able to forgive myself this. One son is just like his dad but worse at times, the other son is a more subded version of his dad but can still be able to calm down if you chose your words carefully, my daughter has become a jaded little mean girl. I talk to them when I catch them doing something bad and I hope that some good has been instilled in there and sometimes I see it, but basically the worse is that WE have created these monsters together. I wish I would have been brave when I actually left him many years ago and stayed away, not let him convince me that he could change and would change. I gave him a chance only to realize that a leopard does not change his spots. Maybe they would have had a chance. I can deal with me because screwed up, but the kids…. much harder to take.

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  4. Exodus says:

    I am dealing with a similar spiritual and emotional crisis related to how my choices have impacted my ‘ kids’ …I don’t have children but I had dogs that were like my kids. I’m really having a most difficult time right now because I had to euthanize my last dog this week and it’s triggered a lot introspective thought and bad memories of my own childhood.
    I grew up in a home with very unhappy and volatile parents that subjected me to a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety that has impacted my choices my entire life. It traumatized me so much that I decided that I would not have children because I was too afraid that I would end up doing the same thing to my own kids. I’m not sharing these details because I’m judging others negatively. I know my mom did what she believed she could do to counter the toxic effects but we need to be honest and realize that in these situations, our attempt to pacify the misery can do more harm than good in many cases where we have the abuser and the enabler/peacemaker.
    Anyway, my dogs were extremely sensitive to my emotional state and they often mirrored what I feeling. They would even try harder to be better dogs and they would often try to be super friendly and happy around my abusive husband – which until now, I never understood why. He always neglected them, rarely ever acknowledged them and he often put them in harms way. So, why did they seem to like him so much? I finally figured it out… They knew he made mom unhappy and they were always trying to make him happy so that he would not make mom unhappy. I was always trying to make my dogs believe he loved them and when he would pull into the driveway, I would say things like , ‘ Daddy’s home!!” and try to get them all excited even though I dreaded his arrival. They could see right through my happy front. On the occasion that they would run to him, he would just ignore them. It’s a terribly sad sick scenario and I feel absolutely horrible and sick that I have subjected them to the terror, the anxiety, the fear and stress that I have liked with. I know that in many respects I made my dogs sick. I hate myself for putting them through all the arguments, my crying and my own anxiety.
    For several months now I’ve been obsessed with worry about how to get of here and be able to afford a place of my own that would allow me to have my dog. I’m stressed about money and worried that we may lose everything and what would happen to my dog? I rescue all my dogs and to think that I would have to surrender them just ate at me all the time. Then I imagined us living alone and I worried about who would take care of Moses, my dog, if anything happened to me since I’m all alone now with no friends or family. I worried about my animals as much as any good parent would about their kids welfare. Moses was very sensitive and I noticed that in recent weeks that every time my husband came home, he would run to my office and hide under the desk and peak around the corner to see how my husband and I reacted to one another. I felt horrible that I was responsible for creating so much uncertainty and fear in my dogs. Mollie died in February of some unknown cause, leaving Moses by himself. He became even more anxious without her when there was any discord in the family. Then, last weekend, my perfectly healthy Moses suddenly developed some unknown problem and began crying out in pain that I had to euthanize him. I know in my heart that if he and I had just been living alone together, that he would have lived much longer but he also knew that I was suffering horribly and that the only chance for freedom would be without him. It kills me to admit this but I know it’s the truth.
    Three years ago when my other dog died from old age, I was so devastated that I actually went to an animal communicator and what she told me was horribly disturbing and shameful. My dog told her about my abuse and the night she died and how “daddy was angry at mom because I had woken up mom to help me die and dad was mad that he got disturbed. Mom attacked dad for being so ugly and selfish and there was a lot of chaos in the room. Mom was crying and trying to hold me and say good bye and she would not let dad come near me’. She also told the communicator to tell me to keep studying so that I could find a better home.
    I have never felt so shamed and small in my life. There is no way that this woman knew anything about me or my marriage or my dog prior to this session. I have pages of specific things that my dog told her and believe me, it was horrible listening to this.
    Again, I’m not sharing this with you in hopes that you feel worse. I know how hard it is to be confused and abused and uncertain and hopeless and I know how every victim tries their very best to soften the blows and create a happier home for their kids. But, I really hope that anyone who has kids will please find a way to gain your freedom from this abuse, learn to honor and nurture yourself so that you have something to give back to your kids…the most precious gift of self respect. If only I had been given that gift, I would not have ever married my husband.
    God bless each of you and I pray that each of us will receive His Divine wisdom and be open to His guidance out of this hell.

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  5. WritesinPJ's says:

    Exodus, I appreciate so much what you shared. The animals that have come into my life have played huge parts in it.
    May we each have courage, and find help where we need it.

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