Taking a Vacation from the Things I Enjoy
Giving Up the Things that Make Us Happy Isn't the Route We Should Take
It's been months since I hubbed. I used to hub as if it were an addiction. When I first joined months ago, I couldn't write enough. I realized something during those initial months. I felt relieved when I put something down in text. When I expressed myself through words instead of tears. I felt as if the power of the world; my world...was managed through my finger tips.
Then, life got in the way.
Have you been there too? The place I refer to as "life"? The term isn't a good indicator of what I was actually experiencing. It was more like a mini hell that had sucked me into its black hole of doom and I couldn't find a back door in which I could use as my escape.
When I chose to become a mother, I had already felt like a large breast walking down the street; gathering misfits and children of my friends to my side and loving them and treating them as if they were my own. I wanted nothing more than to officially have my own children. I wanted to be called "mom" and feel the love in their voices. I wanted to snuggle against those little baby toes and kiss those drooly chubby cheeks and when I retired at night in my own bed, hear the gentle noises that escaped the little mouths of the cherubic beings sleeping in their crib.
Fast forward 10 years and things look very different now. Don't get me wrong. I love being a mom still. I just didn't expect that this job would include all of the stress that comes with a teenager and a pre-pubescent child.
Now, when I hear the word "mom", it's often filled with anger, irritation or has a string attached to it. The noises that escape from the orifices on their faces often come out in the form of screams and complaints. I'm not idolized anymore by them; on the contrary...I am criticized for my expectations and demands of them and life with my little cherubs is far from heavenly. In an attempt to try to find ways to make their lives a bit easier and more fun, I lost a big part of myself along the way. I stopped listening to my own voice and tried to reason with and understand their demands and complaints. I began to believe that I was the most unfair and punitive parent on the face of this Earth. What did this get me?
More gray hair. About 15 extra pounds. A bottle of migraine medication on my night table. A developing ulcer. No farther along in pleasing them than I was before. Just like a baby bird who hangs out in their nest with their mouths agape...my two children were insatiable. Whatever I did never seemed like enough. It's taken me months and a bit of therapy to realize that I, like many parents in the world, have to admit that some things our parents did were actually right!
Growing up, I remember thinking that my parents ignored and neglected me in some ways. I didn't die. Didn't even shrivel up. Instead, I found ways to get what I wanted for myself. I also grew up feeling like I couldn't voice my opinion and that my folks didn't listen to me. What I learned from that was that I wasn't the most important person in the world and now I am also realizing through my own children that no matter how old one gets, these rodents we call children will also "always" know more than I do. Strange, isn't it? I have a double masters degree yet my kids still lecture me on what I don't know and how I don't understand them.
Their time will come. The revelation most likely won't occur until they are fighting with their own children over trivial items. I don't regret becoming a parent. I regret allowing my children the chance to make me feel like a child. I know the society of parenthood out there discusses this actual item on their weekly agenda. Gotta find out where they meet....
I was married for 13 long years and have been divorced from that man for 7 years that feel comparable to those 13. Needless to say, the divorce was messy and he hasn't given up trying to make my life a hell. I guess he didn't read the fine print that said he no longer has the right to give his opinions or that I could give a poop about his opinion.
Unfortunately for the children of such unions, they get sucked into the drama like a mound of dirt gets swept up by a tornado. It's not the life I wanted for them or for me. I have 8 more years of having to deal with the idiot I embarrassingly have to call their father. They love him. He buys them whatever they want and that in itself makes raising them with any resemblance of morals a difficult task. As I said before however; when they are faced with making decisions about their own children, it is my hope that a huge light bulb will flash above their head and they will reflect upon the efforts made by their loving mother, to form them into adults with a conscience. I just hope I'm not dead by the time it happens!
My partner of two years now is what I consider my true soul mate. He is far from perfect and thinks nothing of belching two inches from my face before bestowing a kiss upon my lips. We do understand each other though. We can make each other laugh which is something that everyone should do daily. Laughter really refreshes the soul. We also make each other mad. Anger is not a bad thing. As long as you discuss the problem after a cooling down period and feel respected during the process. I feel I have that with him. For the first time in a series of relationships. It's nice.
We both entered our relationship with lots of garbage we had carried around in our invisible bags. Every time we hit a bump in the road, we'd take out a piece of garbage and throw it at each other. To be honest, we did this for a while. We even separated a couple times but missed each other so much that we would choose to ignore the "elephant in the room" and reunite. What both of us learned over the past year was that we had to throw away our garbage bags and shoot the elephant.
From the stresses of learning how to be a good partner I gained another 15 pounds (food has always been such a good friend to me) and also stopped exercising. I knew that it was love when we went one day to hug each other and we both were stopped by bouncing off of each other's bellies in separate directions. It was then that I knew I was substituting my feelings with entities that only produced more stress.
So, here I sit...hubbing for the first time in months. It feels good. I feel a bit pissy and therefore am speaking with a lot of tongue in cheek. It does feel good though! I think I had to get a little pissy for me to begin putting myself out in front again. Nothing is wrong with taking care of yourself. It doesn't mean I'm not a good parent or a good partner. It doesn't mean that I don't care about the things in life that I have always cared about. It means that I am beginning to care about myself again. Something I forgot how to do.
That feels good too.
In the End....
In 10 to 11 years, my children will be living on their own; having completed college and I hope on their way to a life that they want to live.
In 8 more years, I won't have to deal with an abusive ex-husband any more.
In the future, I will have my best friend and soul mate, there by my side...learning more about each other each day and yes; fighting and laughing and evolving and growing. It's a cycle that has no end.
Today and tomorrow and the next day; I will have only myself to look at for every decision I make. I need to make sure I can without regret look at those decisions and feel good about them. I need to take care of myself emotionally, physically and spiritually. That is my hardest task. We often don't know or recognize our own self worth.
I want to be able to look in the mirror and like what I see. Not just physically but deep into my soul. I'm a new sculpture that isn't finished yet. Isn't that exciting?