What’s the point of even starting

There is one one specific and major memory to this core belief I have. However, it was built from a thousand different comments and examples, all with the same message. Quite simply it sums up to this:

If it’s not going to be perfectly finished – there is no point in even starting.

Examples in the real world:

  • there is no point hemming a pair of pants, if it isn’t in the exact matching shade of thread as the rest of the jeans, if it’s not exactly even (within a millimeter), if the stitching isn’t perfectly aligned with the bottom of the jeans… etc.
  • there is no point in doing dishes, because you are just going to have to do them again
  • if there are dirty dishes on the counter, you are a terrible housekeeper
  • if a project takes more than a couple hours, it’s a waste of time, money and effort. You have to make sure you get your “money’s worth”

 

To re-do them is just to make more work for yourself, so don’t even bother starting it, or doing a “good enough” job. Because you will just need to take it apart again to do it the RIGHT way later.

Story time: My grandfather had a tackle box for when he fished. He offered us the use of his lures, tackle box, and boat for when my father and I went fishing – since we had none. The day came, and I hopped into the boat, waiting impatiently for my father to be ready. I was bouncing around, impatient – I would have been maybe 10? And I knocked over the tackle box. Guess what happened right after? My father suddenly is ready to go.

I knew if I told him what I did, we would not be going fishing like he promised, and I would be cleaning up the lures while he told me how careless I was, and how I wasn’t supposed to put that one there etc and so on. So I froze, and when he saw the tackle box laying on the floor of the boat and the lures scattered where they fell. He launched straight into how careless my grandfather was, how he always did things half way and always created more work for himself, and how he didn’t know how to properly care for his things, etc.

I couldn’t tell you what happened next, because I don’t remember. I hope I claimed my own actions for spilling the tackle box. But I’m not sure. All I know for sure is my father was sullen and distant for the whole fishing expedition and we went back to the cabin just about right away. Was it me that caused the distance? Or was it something else? Should I do or say something?

That was one memory of many I could bore you with, but I can sum it up with this.

Re-doing mundane tasks makes me feel like a failure. Because doing it again means you didn’t do it RIGHT the first time. When it’s done properly you NEVER have to do it again.

So doing the dishes AGAIN – failure. Struggling to figure out where to start on a big project – failure, wasting time. Making a “tester” before making the final project – failure, wasting time, money and resources. Washing laundry and sorting the same clothes over and over – failure, didn’t do it RIGHT the first time, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it again.

It took me a while to puzzle out why I was in such a terrible mood when I needed to do chores around the house. Now that I know the cause I have been able to start doing better.

Talking vs Typing

I am finding it a lot easier to type things out, vs traditional “talk therapy. I think the core of it is that “I don’t matter” crap. Like, I am wasting their time by taking up their time. I am not valuable enough to deserve 10 minutes of conversation type thing.

But the plain and simple truth is, that I feel much more comfortable typing over talking. When I type a post, people can choose not to click on it. They can choose to scroll to the end to find the point, they can re-read something if it doesn’t make sense. You don’t get that chance with spoken words like you do with written words. You also don’t have the chance to go back and re-word something to express it better or whatever. It’s like jumping out of a plane. Once it’s spoken, you can’t just jump back into the plane – you just pray you have a chute.

When I am talking, and especially when I’m stressed, I keep watching whoever I am talking to, hoping that I’m not boring them, or wasting their time. Now, I have been getting more confident, and I’m learning how to take a breath and stop myself before I hit the panicked “can’t shut up!” phase. Once in a while I’ve even remembered halfway through a conversation “I’m not watching everything I’m saying. I am having fun and I’m feeling relaxed… This is weird. I could get used to this!!”

I’ve noticed that the times that I hit the panicked frantic talking phase, is when I haven’t had enough down time. Times where I have been pushing myself to meet other peoples ideals too hard, and I’m maxed out. So once I started pulling back from commitments, not over-scheduling, and I make sure I pace myself – instead of trying to do it ALL, and being “perfect”. I have been doing much better. Like instead of trying to make it to every gathering on all 4 sides, we skip my fathers side, and the rest we make it as we can, or have time for. I don’t double up on gathering days, unless it’s a really special occasion, or we just go if we feel up to it that day – no pressure.

I don’t get the balance right some months, and after a while the pressure builds to the point that in the middle of a benign conversation, I hit the panicked phase. It typically starts with a strained (on my end) conversation about trivialities, just chitchat.

“Oh geez, they looked away, they must be busy. Do they need to get somewhere? I should shut up, so they can go. Crap, crap, crap. I can’t STOP TALKING!!! What is wrong with me anyways?!?!? WHY did I just say that? It made no sense whatsoever!!! Shut up shut up shut up!

Eventually I manage to shut my trap, and then I end up giving one word, short or curt answers, because I’m so exhausted by my own Shame Spiral, and all I can think is things like this:

Ok, now you have FINALLY stopped talking they can run away, and never speak to you again. For goodness sake, that was ridiculous! What is going on? Why won’t they just LEAVE already?!!?! We both know you don’t want to be here, you are just being ‘nice’ to the crazy person. Everyone gets it, end my misery I beg of you. Just go away.”

You know why? I’ll tell you, because the conversation ends when they choose to walk away. I feel trapped by the expectation of conversation. I am in charge of other peoples feelings, apparently – insane as it sounds, somehow that is one of my core beliefs. So my job is to make sure other people feel good about themselves. I don’t matter in the equation. Therefore, I may not choose to end a conversation, I need to wait for permission.

All that explanation to say, that I feel more comfortable typing over talking… However, despite feeling more comfortable with the written, or typed, word, I catch myself writing out mini thoughts because I don’t want to bore anyone who visits. I edit myself to the point of not making any sense and sounding crazy for all my half formed thoughts, then I wonder why I don’t feel like I’ve got it written down right, and why it doesn’t make sense.

I also I have drafts in the double digits. I won’t say exactly how many, but still. I just can’t word good sometimes.

My father’s mother

I was the first grandchild. I was a girl, but that could be overlooked for a while, because I was first. The newest baby-toy. I was not a happy camper to start with. I apparently (though I have no memory of this) wasn’t happy about being evicted my nice warm snugly uterus-house into the big, bad, and cold world.

One of the visitors to the hospital was my mother’s mother-in-law. She banged into the room,

“Where is she?” Looking around for the bitty baby, that had previously been screaming, and now had finally given up the battle to sweet, blissful sleep. My mom said that she tried to explain that I had been crying just about constantly, and had finally gotten me to sleep. However, I have seen my father’s mother in the baby-zone and can totally see how she would have zoned my mother out and zeroed in on the BABY!

“I want to see her eyes!” and she proceeds to jiggle and bounce the baby awake, who promptly resumes screaming. Frustrated that screaming baby-eyes aren’t visible when their eyes are squidged shut to add more power to their complaints, the baby is handed back to my mother to quiet. Baby doesn’t stop for the rest of the visit, and the mother-in-law heads home dissatisfied.

The incident of not being able to see my eyes at the hospital was referenced whenever the topic of babies would come up. It was laughed about as in “it wasn’t funny THEN but I can see it was kind of funny now.” When confronted with “why exactly the baby had to be woken up to see the eye colour, right then?” my father’s mother responded with “tsk, well I was just curious!”

What isn’t wrong with me?

Every time I delve into my thought processes – I seem to always find something that is messed up thinking. Something that I have to change, because it is negatively effecting my life. I feel like I am constantly fighting a battle I will never win. I am scared. Terrified that this will be my whole life. That this is what I will be doing until I die, this will be me, not being good enough until I die.

Some days I get just so tired. Tired of always being in the wrong. Tired of having to be hyper aware to make sure I don’t mess up – again. It seems easier to check out. Just sit down and let life pass me by. But I know I am much unhappier when I do that – so what do I do? Where is peace? Because I want it so bad!

My problem is – I am trying to fight this the way you fight something in the real world. Push everything else aside and just focus on the problem. That won’t work with feelings, emotions and core beliefs. Emotions are like weather is a really cool post, then there is this one too.

Once I started accepting my feelings planting my feet and letting the emotions just be, if they made my head bow in shame, or my whole body crumple in agony or lift my head up high in confidence then so be it. Emotions are ok. They do not make us who we are. My advice to me, and whoever feels similar: Let them take over every once in a while. Don’t fight the emotions, they will only grow. But don’t let them rule either – the hardest thing I have ever tried to do. But at the same time – it’s the only thing that is causing any form of improvement in my life. Give yourself an hour, or two, or a day. Let the emotions rule, and do exactly what you feel like, let yourself experience every nuance of emotion without fear or condemnation. Keep plugging away, keep going for your goals even if you have to crawl.

http://i0.wp.com/www.dailyinspirationalquotes.in/wp-content/kapson_uploads/daily_quote_images/2013/16-05-2013-01.jpg

However the brown-coat in me likes this version better:

WHEN YOU CAN'T RUN YOU CRAWL AND WHEN YOU CAN'T CRAWL YOU FIND SOMEONE TO CARRY YOU
Link to author

Because sometimes you just need help. That’s ok too.

 

Family I don’t see

My father has parents, aunts, uncles, siblings, and nieces. Yeah I could claim them as my aunts, uncles, and cousins, but I don’t see them anymore, so not sure how valid that is. Well, no, it mostly just feels disingenuous. I didn’t feel close to them growing up, so why would I enjoy claiming them as my own now?

Growing up it felt like we saw them all the time. If I were to guess, I would say once a month, if not twice. I remember thinking “I have spent more time with my cousins then I have with my friends!” At first it was because of my father’s mother she needed to see the newest addition because “they change just so much! I don’t want to miss anything!”(Note: she didn’t much care for the older kids, just the newest and youngest. So as soon as my younger cousins were born we weren’t bugged to come anymore, just “I hope you can make it” type thing)

As we got older, the pressure faded, and then got together Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and maybe one or two in-between. My cousins and I would get together in the basement while the grown-ups would talk, and talk, and talk. We didn’t really get along well we had just about nothing in common, except for in the “we’re stuck here for the next 7+ hours, so lets make the best of it”. Then when we were leaving (we would get there as soon as we got out of church, then head home at bedtime 7/8 pm) my fathers mother would make a comment “Oh, you are leaving already?!? I didn’t even get to talk to you!” Then try to catch up as we are heading out the door. Really lady, really?? We have been here the ENTIRE day! YOU were the one to brush us off when we talked to you, and now suddenly it is hyper important to catch up NOW? REALLY?!?!

As we grew older, sports and all the extra-curriculars took over all our lives, making for no end of “we see you so little now! What have you been up to? I haven’t seen you in forever!” type of comments. But that’s all they would end up being, offhand comments, VERY different than similar comments when we were little.

Then as I grew up and got my drivers license, got some independence, I found could choose to go to the gatherings. What a novel idea! I felt strange knowing my family was getting together and I wasn’t there, but I felt so FREE! I didn’t have to go. I didn’t have to go if I didn’t feel like it. I did not have to be there!

I realized I didn’t miss them. I didn’t feel good going there, in fact I felt worse leaving after spending time with them – it felt worse than it was dealing with the guilt of not going. So I stopped going. I graduated, moved out, got a job and pretty much stopped going to gatherings, except for Christmas (good food!) and Easter (good food!). Yeah. That was me. I tolerated family so I could eat my favorite meals… My sister told me she got comments “You aren’t going to start coming like {me} now, are you?”

Why would I want to be at those gatherings anyways? It always was just hurtful. It hurt to see that my father could pretend to care about my mother and myself and my sister when he was there. He would brag about our achievements, he would tease my mom, he would tickle us kids, and listen to us when we talked. I remember at one of these gatherings I realized anew that he only listens with an audience, and I asked him a question that I had asked him the day before (at home). He blew me off then, and halfway through asking I realized “what am I doing? He doesn’t care!” So I let my sentence trail off, and normally he would have just carried on like I had never said anything. However, he asked me (really politely, and kindly – which kind of was the weirdest part) to repeat my question. I froze, what is going on? and I looked around and realized everyone in the room was looking at me. I don’t remember what happened next, that feeling that everyone was looking at me and my father being really nice to me in that moment was just so jarring. It wasn’t my normal.

Quite frankly, once I started pulling back from my father, and refusing to be the “good little daughter” trophy that he wants, he started to be waaaay nicer. How messed up is that?! He was more concerned with treating strangers better than he treated his own family he created – his wife he chose and daughters. He was more focused on impressing his parents, siblings and their spouses than us.

Going to those gatherings was hard also because these people have never seen the person I grew up with. He was always on his best behavior with them (from what little I have gathered he was the scapegoat, to his youngest brother’s golden-child growing up. Then the golden-child status was passed around like a carrot on a stick. Would you get beaten with the stick, or get the carrot at the end? Fun game! yeah, no). So if I would talk about anything from home they would say things like “that doesn’t sound like my uncle/brother! He has never said anything like that to me!” They would all defend him, making me feel even more isolated than ever. So I stopped. Because I had become the problem. Leaving my father in the golden child or ignored position, depending on the day.

They would be the ones that he would drop anything for, just to hang out with. Or help them move. Or help fix some random thing that was broken, no matter what commitments he had to us in the first place. Or what we were doing at the time.

So yeah, there is some resentment there, most of it’s my issue with my father and not fair that I pin on them, since it’s not their fault he treats them better. What is right then? Trying to make them see, pushing them to see the person they see in such a good light? Just to salvage a “relationship” with someone who I don’t even think cares that much? That doesn’t seem right at all, I don’t know what to do. So I don’t do anything. I have removed myself from the situation that was toxic to me. Is it the right thing? I don’t know. But it’s right for me, for right now.

The cut off parent(s) and your in-laws and other nosy people

When you get together with in-laws inevitably the conversation will lead round to people you have decided to exclude from your life. Or maybe I should call it keep out of your life, decide not to include? However you want to phrase it, or try to make sound “not so bad” with pretty words. Because according to “polite” society, cutting people off is too.. well, final. Not “nice”. For me conversations go something like this:

“Hey, how was your Christmas?”

Me -“Pretty good, busy, you know, the usual. We spent Christmas Eve here, as you well know, and then we had Christmas Day supper with my mother. Then yesterday we went Caroling with some friends.”

“Sounds fun! So what did you do with your dad?”

Me -“Oh, we didn’t meet with him. How did your Christmas go? Did you have any other plans other than when we saw you Christmas Eve?”

Now here is where the response will vary, but I have heard all of them, or a combination thereof from my in-laws, and other nosy-nellies. But for the sake of brevity, I will just make it a giant speech, instead of the little ‘innocent’ comments I typically hear.

“Oh but he’s your FATHER. It’s Christmas! Aren’t you being a little hard on him? Think about how he must be feeling. Love is about forgiveness. Family forgives. Really, what did he do that was THAT bad? You really need to celebrate Christmas together. Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. So when are you going to meet with him? You can’t just NOT see him.”

And when they start making comments like that, it’s all I can do hold in the rage, the tears and despair, and stop myself from rolling my eyes so hard they fall out of my head. Its so many emotions at once it is overwhelming. At first the emotions would be like a freight train, and just bowl me over. Slowly with time and healing I have found more peace but it will never feel good. But once I find words I just want to shout:

“Do you think I like this? Do you think I’m proud to say my father is the one who can stop conversation on a dime by his awkward comments?

I haven’t come up with a good pat response to those kind of questions or comments – at first I used to try to answer their questions. But for a couple years now, all I have done is a non-committal “uh-huh”, bean-dipped, or just plain ignored it. Out of everything I have tried this has been the most effective. Being nosy isn’t a good enough reason to cut someone off – seriously, do these people think I cut people off willy nilly?!??! However, I have taken a huge step back from the worst offenders. Avoid spending time with them one-on-one, and not sharing anything with them that I don’t want advice on.

The thing is, my in-laws are the ONLY people I have heard this from, as often as I have. Everyone else seems to drop it after I bean-dip. Now I know, part of this is because I used to give them the idea that I was looking for input. I was looking for someone, anyone to talk to, and they were happy to listen. But when they basically told me I was making a mountain out of a molehill, and I needed to let bygones be bygones and repair the relationship between us, I stopped. I didn’t have what it takes to be let down by my father again. I also struggle with over explaining. Especially when I’m nervous.

We saw my in-laws so often, what else was there to talk about after a while? They are so used to seeing each other so much, the entire clan is all involved in each others lives, every part. It’s their normal, so they thought they could do it with me too. If my father ACTUALLY had done even half of what he claims to have done, I would agree with them. However it’s not the case.

And I think the biggest part of my in-laws trying to “fix” my relationship with my father is this; my father went to them and gave them this whole spiel about how he “tried so hard” and “only so much I can do” etc. AKA: bullshit. Whenever I hear my father drone on about “trying so hard to be a good parent” my first thought is: Hang on a sec, I gotta go grab my eyeballs. I rolled them so hard they fell out. Again. Thanks for that. Now how about we try the TRUTH? Jackass.

So to sum up, some people are respectful of the relationship I wish to have with my father, which is NONE. Others I have to distance myself from, because they can’t respect that it’s my decision, and I don’t care to discuss it with them in depth.

 

Awkward Comments

My father is the Prince, the King, the Emperor of stopping conversations on a dime. One of the most memorable happened the Christmas after my Mom moved out of the house (so it was about 1.5 months). We were all sitting around the kitchen table having Christmas Dinner, and trying to talk about ANYTHING because it was so incredibly awkward.

My sister had her boyfriend along, and so we were talking about how they met, and dating. There was a lull in the conversation, when my father (who had been silent the whole exchange) pipes up:

“You know I had a lot of girls chasing after me when I met your mom.”

Dead silence. I mean, what are you supposed to say to that? “Woo hoo! Go you!” Like HUH?? I looked at him (after I picked up my jaw off the floor)

“That was really uncalled for.”

“What?” He replied with a little laugh that he used whenever I said something out of my depth, so I obviously got it all wrong, but he is just waiting for me to explain so he can lay it all out EXACTLY how wrong I am.

I looked around the table and everyone is shifting uncomfortably, avoiding eye contact with everything but the floor, and my mom is just trying to keep a happy face on. So I dropped it. We waited a while in awkward silence before someone found a safe topic, and then pretended it never happened.

I have blocked out a lot of his comments, and there have been a lot over the years. They weren’t worth remembering. Just bullshit crap by someone who is trying desperately to make people like him, or feel sorry for him or just talk to him.

This is a part of him isn’t toxic. It is a weird thing that could be overlooked if his heart was in the right place. If he cared, about more than himself, enough to say,

“I was wrong. I will do my best to not make the same mistake in the future. I am sorry.”

Words I have never heard, nor expect to hear.

Yeah, I could have started this post, with a disclaimer: this is not a shining example of wit. It is just a story, of one of the first times I ever spoke up in the moment. I had to say something. It was a baby-step in realizing I didn’t have to “just go along, to keep the peace”. Was it the right battle to pick? No. Sometimes doing the right thing is wrong. Not often, not all the time, but sometimes.

Baby rabies

In my father’s family I am the oldest grandchild. As the firstborn grandchild I was celebrated. Until more babies were brought into the family. Then I was scolded and chastised to “not hurt the baby!” unless I felt like mother-henning, and then that was praised and lauded for being “so good!”. And as the oldest, I was pushed further and further down the totem pole, while they used me to climb up and place the younger grandchildren above me.

In short, my father’s mother would only care about the newest addition. While the other older grandchildren were cool, they weren’t as cool as the special new baby.

As soon as the newest addition came to the door, my father’s mother would swoop in, and take the baby out of the arms of the thing parent carrying her. The parents then were expected to sit, chat, and “take it easy” because they weren’t needed. Baby then would only be brought back to her mother if something terrible happened. Like they needed to leave. Or wouldn’t be soothed by the ever special loving care of a grandparent– which would somehow be the mothers fault, “because her sons wouldn’t do anything so terrible as to set the baby against her”. The mothers obviously have been spoiling the baby. The mother was then expected to quickly soothe the baby and pass her back, without delay.

Walking past my father’s mother holding a baby without handing said baby over for a couple hours is akin to walking past a starving person with a tray of steaming hot delicious food. It’s practically a crime! Baby rabies – that phrase and visual is pretty on point for her.

The trip with my father

One trip I took with my father (it was just myself and him, and all his buddies) to a tiny hotel in a tiny town. It was a good hang-gliding destination I guess? Dunno. First night we get there, start getting ready to sleep, and I realize I forgot my bear. My, “I always had him near at night-time, even if I was too old for a teddy”, kind of bear. My father rolls his eyes and tells me I will sleep just fine without it. I start to cry, I’m not sure if I actually argued out loud at all or not. All I remember is being upset. Then he starts throwing the room apart in a temper trying to find this bear. Saying things like “if it was so important, I don’t know how you could forget it” and “wasting time looking for a bear, when we could have been asleep 15 minutes ago” It was nowhere to be found.

“Well, if you are going to be like THAT, then here” and he shoves a football at me. I looked at him confused and he replied “well, its round. You can hug it same as your bear.” When the football “isn’t good enough”  Fine, whatever I thought, and to prevent another explosion I try to pretend I will be just fine. Until it hits me. I need to get changed into pj’s, and the bathroom STINKS, there is nowhere else to get changed except this one room, one bed, one bathroom hotel room.

“Stop dawdling, it’s nothing I haven’t seen before!” was my father’s response to my request for privacy. Like could he go into the hall? “No, I paid good money for this room, and I’m not going to be kicked out of it! Just do it already!”

All day was spent setting up my dads glider, working in silence, or he was teaching me how to do it (with a good dose of “sigh, this is all just common sense don’t know why exactly I have to TEACH it to you..”) and then scolding me when I didn’t remember something just right. Or you know if I wasn’t paying good attention and absentmindedly did something silly/dumb. I was maybe 9 or maybe 12, my point being I didn’t just LOVE being there. I wouldn’t have chosen to do this trip if all the decisions were up to me, kind of thing.

Then he would be up in the air for however long, leaving me unsupervised (as far as I knew, however, I can see him shouting to someone to “keep and eye on her” without checking in advance if it would work or be ok with them at all. Or me, for that matter, I don’t remember being consulted on my caregiver options). Or he would head off to hang out with his buddies. I guess I could have joined him and listened to all the jawing, but as a kid I didn’t have any valid points or any interest in these very adult conversations – about mortgages, best place to find hang-glider deals etc.

Looking back all of these guys were either single, or with families that they left at home so they could have a “guys weekend”. Would have made it awkward having a kid hanging around…

That being said, even though I know I put a cramp in their style. Even if I made it super awkward, and they didn’t know how to relate to me… I have more fond memories of these guys hanging out with me, and making me feel more welcome than my father ever did. They taught me to play card games. Tried to connect to me, and there I was, super wierded out, I didn’t know how to respond. Since I had never had an adult male actually talk to me in a “how’s life going” type of way and not creepy at all way.

Typing that out sounds really sketchy, and now as an adult myself… I’m seeing all sorts of red flags about this. Anything could have happened. I could have just walked away while my father was out flying for hours. I could have gotten in a very uncomfortable situation because I didn’t have anyone looking out for me. At all. One of those guys could have gotten it into their head that I was a “tasty little morsel” and done unspeakable things to me, and I would have been powerless. Helpless. Ok, I could go down the rabbit hole on how completely messed up this situation was, or could have been, but back to the story of what actually happened.

Then once it started getting dark everyone would pack everything back up and head back to the hotel. One night they decided to have a party. My father decides to go that he “shouldn’t have to give up fun things just because I am there” and “it’s so lucky that I am there” that I could look after the other couple’s dog. I can’t go to sleep, per my fathers rules, I had to keep and eye on the dog so it didn’t poop inside. I spent hours with no book, there was no tv in the hotel, so it’s not like I could have even watched tv. I think one of the couples offered to let me watch their tv or something? I remember getting excited, then realizing my father would say no, and that’s exactly what he did. “We don’t want to take advantage! It’s not like she has anything better to do” that I do remember.

At the end of the weekend we drove home. I’m not sure why exactly I went on this trip. Was I so bored at home I thought anything would be better than this? I have a feeling my sister was having a sleepover or was going somewhere with my mom that I was going to be left at home alone. So my father was stuck with me. When I started typing this, I thought “this is such a benign story. Why am I bothering typing it up?” Now I realize why this specific trip made such an impact on me, even though this was the father I was familiar with. This was the comments he regularly made. How dismissive he was of me all the time. This was one of the first times I saw other people’s reactions to my father’s parenting, and I felt a glimmer of hope. This might not be normal, or even a little bit ok.

The forgotten one

You know, in all the time I have spent unraveling my childhood demons, spanning most of the stages of grief, you know something I forgot about? My mom CHOSE to stay.

She chose it.

She was so busy with her own battles, hitting that wack-a-mole that was my fathers approval, that she didn’t remove me from someone who was toxic to her.

She was so busy reeling from the emotional roller-coaster that she let my dad take her on, so beaten down from not having support that all she was concerned with was surviving. Survival. That’s the kind of mother I got. One that was surviving one moment to the next. What a role model to have.

If you haven’t seen the meme “me now, old me” please check out the original artist. Amazing work. But, the reason that I mention it, is my mother forgot that what was hurting her, was also hurting her children. She seemed to not realize that anyone other than her would be hurting. The self absorbedness of one in pain. That right there. Calling my mother self absorbed is VERY hard to write. I tried looking up synonyms – trying to find a different word or words or word combination… but unfortunately, its true. But I don’t want it to be true. It casts a very different hue on my childhood.

Facing up to what role my mother played in not protecting me has been a huge roadblock on my path to healing lately. I am so used to her being the “good one” while my dad was the “bad one”… While there was no “good one” in reality. Just humans dealing with losses – and too busy grabbing on to quick fixes to realize the were never even touching the core issues.