Friday, July 31, 2015

This space has been calling to me lately, or at least the need to write and to feel like someone is listening even if that "someone" is a wide open expanse. So much has been on my mind that I need to work through, need to talk about, need to give room to breathe but I am feeling a certain sense of not feeling like I have the right person/people to talk about them with for whatever varying reasons and that is making me feel a bit alone with it all and that brings me here to this space where I can talk all I want whether anyone is listening or not, where I can work through my thoughts and check back in with myself in the days and years to come.

As my children continue to grow and I think about our future I am brought face to face with the hard reality that I am truly figuring it out as I go with no real framework to guide me, no real healthy examples to follow, no real idea what I am doing. So much hard work has been done on my part, years of it, yet today as I drove home I saw a man that made my stomach clench and my eyes tear up at remembering while I type this, for he reminded me of someone who caused me years of pain that only ended once my mom found her freedom in recent years, but that still haunt me in ways I am only slowly uncovering. During my years of work the true impact of his actions were not in the forefront of my mind, in fact at that time I didn't really realize their full impact as he was still in my life. I was still having to play nice and pretend and those actions kept me from really being able to let the true pain sink in until the day finally came when I knew I would never have to see him again and from that point on the pain has little by little seeped up to the surface and has been felt so deeply that I fear if I ever ran into him on the street I would panic, would turn and run the other way, would shelter my children from his gaze because even the thought of him laying an eye on them is enough to make me sit here near sobbing. He didn't have to love us, we didn't share any blood, there was no obligation, and I only guess that is what he believed to be true because the near twenty years he was in my life, in the entire childhood and adolescence spent sharing a home with him, in the day in and day out of life I can truly say I never think he loved me. I never felt warmth from him. I never felt cared for, safe or protected. Rather than finding his joy in delighting the children, he would get his delight from igniting our joy just to extinguish it so he could find his own joy in our dismay. Truly, it is painful to think about and painful to live, but still only part of the picture. So, every day I love my girls hard. I give them the hugs and the affection I was starved of for many reasons from many people and I only hope they can feel the sincerity of that love. I hope they feel safe. I hope they feel protected. I hope with all the hope in my heart that they know that my greatest joy comes in seeing their joy and that I would never do anything to break their trust in that love or to make them question its authenticity.

I was warned once that as my children grow I may start remembering things I have forgotten, start being reminded of things from the past and my own childhood, start having to do some hard work once again, and it seems as it is time. With their growth and with other positive but still big enough to be overwhelming changes happening, it is more important than ever that I make stopping to process a priority. Make keeping my own health and the emotional health of my family a priority and keep challenging myself to attempt to thrive despite past pains rather than just surviving through them. All I know is that I don't want to look back and wish I would have challenged myself to grow sooner, to look back and realize all I missed out on because I was too scared to face the pain that stands between the here and the there. Ignoring the feelings, pushing aside the pain, it all seems easier in the day to day as it is the most inconvenient to pal to have along for the ride, but then a day turns into a week turns into a month turns into a year and you find yourself losing those chunks of your life that you will never get back and I refuse to do so. So, during this year of focusing on our family I will include focusing on myself as well because in order to be the mother and wife I want to continue being, I have to work hard to not let my past destroy the beautiful present I have built for myself. I refuse to let him or anything else have that kind of power.

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