The one where I puke … emotionally

Background:  I wrote this post yesterday.  I was angry and hurt.  I had just been to a therapy session that went well, as therapy does.  But it had opened some particularly festering sores.  It had scratched things open that I had put into boxes and kicked under beds years ago.

I was going to push the button that said “publish” and then I realised I was writing this from a very hurt and very painful place.  I then decided to hold on it, I dropped it into my draft tray and left it there.

Kennith and I spoke last night and I confided in him about things that had happened to me, that I had never told him about. Partly because (a) I had not thought about them in years (b) I had hidden them away to protect myself.

So here is the post from yesterday, but slightly edited ….

I was listening to Cape Talk on my drive about today and they were talking about the Seven Myths of Perfect Parenting and I was a bit taken back.

Here is the list just so you can get some  context:-

“I have to be a great parent to be good enough.”

“I have to parent perfectly so my kids will turn out okay.”

“Kids are scarred for life by the mistakes of their parents.” * file that one away for later shall we.

“Someone out there knows exactly how to do parenting the right way.”

“If I don’t teach them everything they need to know, I’m a failure as a parent.”

“If I don’t provide them with everything they want, I’m failing as a provider.”

“It’s important that I be my kids’ friend.”

Loads of moms were phoning in to agree that most of the myths. They were saying yes these were just myths.

Unfortunately I could not listen to the entire piece as I had to get out of the car at some point.  Well to be honest, if I did not have to get out of the car, I might well have thrown myself into moving traffic ….

For the little bit I was listening to I started to get upset, like angry and then crying upset. (I also realised that my anger and reaction was totally out of the what would be deemed suitable reaction for what was happening on the show – but it seemed to hit a nerve with me.)

I agreed with many of these statements.  These are myths and we often labour ourselves trying to live up to these ideals, which are things we should toss out with last night’s left over wine.

The thing that I was not hearing from these moms who were phoning in, was that you can actually totally “fek” your kid up – like start-investing-in-a-therapy-fund-now-and-abandon-the-university-education-one level of fek up.

I accept that as parents we will not be the perfect parent.  I am the poster parent for NOT PERFECT PARENTING – I barely make it on the ballot for “good enough parenting”.

As parents, we will get things wrong, and often kids will be okay …. but – and here is the kicker – some kids will be fine, and others won’t (presenting exhibit A).

I am probably not going to be eloquent here, as my nerves are raw and ragged.

As parents you can totally fuck it up.  The effects will resound in our children’s lives, well past adolescents and into adulthood and they will arrive like monsters in the middle of the night or when you lean in to hug your nearest and dearest.

Parents cannot use the “get out of jail free card” and “well, I did the best I could” – that shit does not work for me.

I know I am using profanity, but I am really worked up … so give me some latitude before you report me to the nanny-police.

I sit here as the result of the “I did the best I could with what I had” parenting.

As a thirty freak’n eight years old I am a total stuff up.

We can argue for hours how really stuffed up I am, and who gets to define the level of normal versus stuff up.  In my world, I get to make the rules, and I am pretty stuffed up on even a good day – I have a doctor’s note to tell me so.

When you have some time, I will give you a list.  Suffice to say that I can win an Academy Award for my ability to “act normal” in so many situation it will bring a tear even to the most jaded eye.

I have relationship issues.  I do not have good relationships to mould mine on, I have no clue what I am doing.  So I wing it.

Socially I am anxious, because I cannot relax into any social situation.

I do not know what is right and wrong in a social setting.  Everything is an act.  Everything is “hey look at what so-and-so is doing, I will replicate their action.”  But then I drink tons of wine, and it makes me somehow feel better and often behave inappropriately.

I struggle with motherhood each and every day.  I am not talking about the “usual” way we all struggle with motherhood.

I feel like I am Sigourney Weaver and I have just had an alien baby and I am trying to mother it.  No one has the same alien baby, and we are not on alien baby’s planet, so there are not self-help books on the problems I am experiencing.  I am alien, the baby is alien and we are being dragged to a mommy and baby group, where stupid mothers are showing off their advanced children in onesies.

I do not know how to parent or be a mother because I have no one to emulate.  Everything, every thing I do is hard – nothing has the faintest smell of natural to me.

When under stress I resort to being an “ugly almost abusive” mother – yes, go and dial child-line now, I will wait while you find the number.

I cannot tell you the discomfort I feel when my children try to hug me or touch me – because of my discomfort with physical contact! (how is them apples for a reveal?)

I struggle to have a relationship with Kennith, who is my partner of 17 years. He is loving, reliable, and a truly wonderful human being – but  I do not form healthy attachments  (my new word of the week) so I always keep him at an arm’s length in every possible area.

I form no permanent attachments to people or objects.  Nothing is permanent in my world. (watch me write off my father, my brother and anything else that just gets a bit too hard)

I have learnt from a young age that there is no one to depend on.  No one to fall back on.  No one who has my back.

When the shit hits the fan, or there was something that went so wrong or when I needed to run to someone and just be held and comforted, that person was never there.  Ever!

On the upside I was not an anxious attacher, as I always knew there would be no one there.   It was me – it was me alone!  I have formed an independent attachment.

Sure, I hear you say – that is super, you are independent, you are strong and resilient and look at all you have achieved?

Of course I am – I have the cuts and bruises to show for it, but I am a limping damaged individual whose ever day is a pretense of “normality”.

Nothing I do is easy.  Nothing I do feels normal.   I “act” my way through nearly every situation.

I look around and think “how should I stand to fit in here” “what is the right thing to do here to appear normal” and then I do it.  The person I most identify with is “Dexter’ – serial killer movie guy!

Do you know how exhausting and draining it is to act a part every single day – each and every day –with everything?  Quick answer – it is excruciating and totally exhausting.

I can never ever open up to Kennith, or rely on him because I cannot rely on him to be there for me (though he has shown me a thousand times over that he will always be there for me).

I cannot believe in my heart of hearts that he can be relied on.

Is not the act of loving someone just that? That you allow yourself to fall into them (physically/spiritually or what ever) totally.  You make yourself vulnerable to them, and allow them to be there for you when you fall or allow yourself to fall.

I don’t.   I can’t.

Every time Kennith leaves the house, I have made a mental plan that he is not coming back.

I have already worked out a plan of what I will do when he does not come back.  Even before he has completely reversed out the drive way.  I have worked out what I will say when people offer me their condolences – I know what the fitting response should be.

I cannot love Kennith in that totally unabandoned run-through-the-daisies sort of way … I can’t love anyone in that way.  I am robbed, and so is he (my poor egg!).

Why?  Because I cannot trust he will be there when I need him to be.  I do not trust anyone.

We can argue that Kennith  is a helluva reliable guy, and he has always been there for you.  He is and always has been– a good egg!  It is nothing that he has done, but he unfortunately bears the brunt of it.

My reality (maybe not THE reality), but MY  REALITY is still to only depend on me.  I cannot trust another.

That is what I have been taught from a very young age.  The lesson has been reinforced time and time again.  My coping or survival mechanism was created and I needed it to get through my shit, to survive my stuff.

I have spent years in therapy.  I have done psychologists, psychiatrists, hypnotherapists, psychologist-hyno-therapists, self help books, screaming into the night, ingestion large amounts of alcohol, anti-depressants, combining too much alcohol with sleeping tablets (the fun years) and short of singing kumba-ya around the fireplace, I feel I have done just about everything in the last 10 years to fix me.

What I know now is that I am a very broken individual.

There it is said – I am broken, and when all is said and done I actually can blame my parent (s), why shouldn’t I?

I have recently starting seeing a fabulous therapist.  She has given me a glimmer – a mild glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe she can’t fix me totally, but she can repair me a little.

That alone is ALMOST enough to get me out of bed in the mornings.

I get at thirty-frek’n-eight to face ANOTHER long long road of healing, because in short of the crap my mother (and father) did because they thought “they did what they could” was good enough.

Now what has this to do with the Cape Talk show you wonder?

I am a result of “well we did the best we could” parenting!

Here I am – standing before you with all my idiosyncrasies and bizarre shit that I present every other day on this blog.

This is not a persona, this is not the dancing monkey show for pennies, this is my freak’n life!  Every tear, every cry in the shower, every just-get-through-today is me – this is my shit!

I have done my being angry at my mother because well she fucked up.   I had my year back in 2004 where I was angry all day every day at her.  It nearly killed me.  I got a bit of institutionalization, and though I did not get my peace, I did get a bit more self-aware.

I have not forgiven her – nope, not there yet.  I have however decided to construct a relationship with her that protects me, and still manages to give the impression of a largely functioning mother-and-daughter relationship.

On one level I accept it is done and nothing can be undone. There is no Cntl+Z on my life!

Someone who loves me, commented that  I should not remain in the past, I should move on.

I am not here out of choice. I do not choose to drag this shit with me to make myself a more interesting person or so that I can self-fund the wine community of the Western Cape.  I am here because I DO NOT HAVE ANY CHOICE and I DID NOT DO THIS SHIT TO ME!

I do not choose to be this crap horrible individual who finds happiness bitter, and well not very often.

I do feel an overriding urge to bitch slap someone who tells me to “decide to wake up happy and then I will be!”

My childhood shit is being dragged into my adult hood and has paralyzing me.

I totally get that other people have crappier childhoods than me, and they go on to be president or CEO’s , whoop-whoop!!  Big fat ice-cream lollipop for them.

Me, not so much.

I do not care that my mother did the best she could.

I actually do not give a hoot, good enough was not enough on this one.

What I do care about is that I managed to get through my child and adolescent years and forced myself to be a good scholar and a good girl.  I played by the rules, and I decided that I needed to get to adulthood in one piece – without any help from my family situation.

Everything I did I did on my own!  I survived.

I am angry today because at thirty freaking eight, I am still fixing the crap that my mother did because she did not do good parenting.

And that folks is the bitter and ugly truth.

So when you sit and make your kids feel better that there are no monsters under the bed, maybe you can also give some thought that the scarier monster is the one calling themselves parent!

<I am sure tomorrow I will publish a retracting post, as clearly this one is way too emotional and is sounding a little fractured, but this, this is how I feel right now…sleep well…>

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50 Comments

  1. Ladybird

     /  November 11, 2010

    I only read this (and your subsequents posts) now. I have now made a point of ticking the two little boxes below (subscribe by e-mail and notify me of follow-up comments).

    I get it. I wish I could let you know how much I get it. I think that’s why He let me get effed over by life so much. This is why I pray. He is my “pill”. And no, I didn’t go looking for Him. He came looking for me.

    Kenneth sounds amazing. And so are you. Don’t forget that.

    xxx

    Reply
  2. You’ll never get over it, you’ll always be broken, you’ll always be weird, you’ll never be like everyone else, you’ll always have baggage and relationship problems, you will never be happy.
    You will always feel like an outsider, you will always be needy and clingy. You will always be paranoid, be detached from reality, think differently to everyone else, and you will always be depressed.
    You will always be a little bit aggressive and angry. You will most definitely always be fake. You will always suffer. You will always feel completely alone, even though you are in a room full of people.
    Sound familiar?
    Abandonment issues and separation anxiety? Got those friends too?

    I couldn’t even finish reading that post it was just too close to home.

    The only difference is the coping mechanism that works best for you. A blog, a journal, a bottle of wine -whatever it is.
    And stop feeling sorry for yourself. That helps too.

    Keep writing. You make me feel a little more normal.

    PS look up Dissociation Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder.
    My therapists like throwing those titles at me, with proud little glints in their eyes for “solving the case”.. but there is a bit of truth here and there that helps you snap bits together.

    Also, here is another blog that reminds me a lot of yours, and same type of personality… http://tilldivorcedoesuspart.blogspot.com/

    Tash

    Reply
  3. Karen

     /  November 9, 2010

    Hi RM – your post still lingers in my mind. Especially that part where you said how you don’t always know how to stand and what to do or say. That you always feel akward. I am an extrovert – (who seem to know how to stand and what to say) and I am one of those ‘seemingly happy moms’ you see at moms and tots and those who annoy you with being positive most of the time. Truth is, that is my way of dealing with stuff, and sometimes I also don’t know how to stand and what to say (could identify with it so well). I come from a fam with an alcoholic, abusive step father, who is unfortunately also mentally ill (and you can imagine the damage that can do). I remember being hell scared each time my husband took his belt off (although my fathers preferred method of turture was seldom a belt) but I found that if I sink into the hole, it gets too deep, I can’t get out, so for me it helped to put that in a different compartment and when I am somewhere else, to be happy that I am out of the situation and focus on that. It doesn’t mean that I don’t sometimes sob my eyes out and feel uncomfortable in others company and wonder why we had to endure it. The other thing I can identify is being scared that you can totally mess you children up, but also your dear, dear husband. Why are my words harsh and hard before they are ever soft and sensitive? Why do I always presume he meant it the wrong way before I realise that he has my best interest at heart? In my minds-eye I wish we could stand together and talk (even if both feel akward), because I may be that positive person who irritates the hell out of you on the surface, but deeper down, I know that we would find a link in our souls. I’m so glad for your DH and kids. And mine. Thank God that things didn’t always stay the same.

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  November 9, 2010

      Thanks Karen … I do think situations affect us differently, and that is why from a family of three kids, who may have been exposed to the same thing, maybe two of them will be affected, while the third will happily frolick through life. I accept that maybe my parents did not take enough care with me – maybe I just needed more than they were able to provide, and maybe for what ever reason what I was exposed to and experienced affected me more than my siblings (however I have a brother who is 7 years older who has a mountain of just-get-through-the-day issues, and a brother who is 13 months older, who I think has always appeared very stable, but I think things are not what they seem.)

      I agree, I am thankful that I recognise my stuff, instead of kicking it under the carpet. The pain is seeing it and having to deal with it, because I can’t keep it under wraps, but yes, thank goodness there is hope that things do not always have to remain the same. I can also choose not to do what feels instinctive for me …. thanks for your heartfelt message …..

      Reply
      • Karen

         /  November 10, 2010

        It is true what you say. I have a ‘laatlammetjie’ sister, and she used to be a carefree, sunny, confident child and (untill she was 7) and now she is a much darker person who really struggles with depression. I am very proud of her, however, because she puts things in place to help her cope. But it is so sad that who she was, was taken away from her (also, she grew up alone in those circumstances, because we left home by then). At least I had my other sister when things got tough. Parents do have an obligation toward children – for instance – I love my mom, but I always felt that she should have left and she should have protected us. She never did…I think she was also too afraid. Thank you for your post (and reply). It really touched my heart.

        Reply
  4. Deens

     /  November 8, 2010

    Thank you for finding the courage to write this post and to actually post it on the web – it’s one thing to have total strangers like me read about your innermost thoughts but when people close to you have a peep inside your soul, things can get um, tricky. I can totally relate to everything you said. I have spent most of my life wishing I could have had a childhood like the ‘normal’ people around me. I am 34 and a mom of two and also spent many hours trying to rid myself of the rubbish, in an attempt to avoid tainting my children with the same stuff. I think that simply because we are aware of how it affects every relationship, reaction and thought, we are able to rise above it and still lead full, rich lives. And one thing people like you and me will never, ever be is ‘boring’! Keep witing with your honesty – it’s refreshing.

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  November 8, 2010

      I agree, that being so “open” can lead to it’s own set of problems, and well awkward family dinner conversations. But at the same time, I have dragged this stuff with me for too long, and I have also convinced myself that either things did not happen, or that it does not matter that they did happen, I should just get on with it.

      But they did, and I can’t – I have done the therapy route, and speaking behind closed doors. Being able to post here is very liberating, and I am also aware of not to get into too many specifics and too many name naming … I have also toyed with starting an anonymous blog, but then I realised, that that is just not the way it works for me.

      Reply
  5. Faye

     /  November 6, 2010

    Oh Celeste, I am so very sorry that you had to grow up like that. Well done for all that you have achieved, and be kind to yourself now – and that little girl who is still inside you. Being aware of how you do not want to be to yourself, your partner and your children is an achievement in of itself. Hang in there.

    Reply
  6. Natalie

     /  November 5, 2010

    I hear you Celeste and you have every right to be angry!!

    Reply
  7. Philip Larkin – This Be The Verse

    They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
    They may not mean to, but they do.
    They fill you with the faults they had
    And add some extra, just for you.

    But they were fucked up in their turn
    By fools in old-style hats and coats,
    Who half the time were soppy-stern
    And half at one another’s throats.

    Man hands on misery to man.
    It deepens like a coastal shelf.
    Get out as early as you can,
    And don’t have any kids yourself.

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  November 5, 2010

      Man hands on misery to man.
      It deepens like a coastal shelf.
      Get out as early as you can,
      And don’t have any kids yourself.

      Oh dear, that ship seems to have sailed …..

      Reply
  8. John B

     /  November 5, 2010

    All things said and done, what is most telling to me (and most important), is that despite the bad parenting you were subjected to, and a product of, you are able to provide a loving home, and great parenting to your 3 kids. I have spent a fair amount time in the company of your family and the love is there. I reckon that you can make many mistakes as a parent, but as long as there is genuine love, the kids will be ok. and your kids get plenty of love.

    Reply
  9. Joyce

     /  November 5, 2010

    My friend, whatever you’ve been through and whatever you are working through right now, we love you just the way you are. And for Leon and I, who spend a fair amount of time with you guys, we hope that we would parent our child/children the way that you and Kennith have been doing with yours. You are brilliant parents and I tell everyone so – seriously. Jxxxxxxx

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  November 5, 2010

      Now I is having an even bigger sob at my computer …. people here must think that red-rimmed eyes are the new summer look!!

      xxx

      Reply
  10. Tania

     /  November 5, 2010

    Celeste, an extremely moving and hearbreaking blogpost… as kids growing up, friends, sleepovers, later on going to pubs/clubs together, I always sensed that you were not ‘normal’ compared to me, I am totally heartbroken that I was not able to realise that not everyone had a family life like mine. Hey, mine wasn’t perfect by far, but it was a breeze in comparison. You are a fantastic person and You need to start believing that, no one is perfect. The fact that you are consciously aware all the time that you are not being a good parent, means that you are trying to do the best you can and let K help you with it. God Bless My Friend. 🙂

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  November 5, 2010

      Thanks Tania – your family did offer me a great deal of the “normal” environment that I needed, so big up to your mom for being there for me and the other kids who practically lived at your home. She was awesome and her screaming at the side of the netball court and supplying juice and orange quarters was just what we needed. Many fine “normal” memories include that little white VW bug!

      Reply
  11. Kim

     /  November 5, 2010

    I don’t understand. Why are you blaming your parents. You are 38 years old. Take responsibility for your own actions. I find your post very unfair.

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  November 5, 2010

      Kim, the issue is that I am thirty eight years old, and some of the stuff I am dealing with as an adult is because of what my parents chose to do to me as parents i.e. if let’s say (purely hypothetically) that a boy was permitted into your house ………………………….

      So who in this situation should bear the blame for what happened to the little girl?

      I appreciate you find this post unfair, and you are totally entitled to feel that way.

      (full reply comment edited by reluctantmom)

      Reply
      • There are different levels of childhood trauma and for anyone to comment “you cannot blame your parents” lacks compassion.

        If someone says they had childhood trauma (and I’m also one of those), it’s not because they did not get a coveted Barbie doll for xmas or because they had to go through a simple divorce of parents.

        A crap childhood and someone’s desire to fix current behaviours and feelings is – in my experience – always that the neglect or abuse was of harsher nature that no Barbie doll or money was tight or I was bullied.

        Reply
      • There are different levels of childhood trauma and for anyone to comment “you cannot blame your parents” lacks compassion.

        If someone says they had childhood trauma (and I’m also one of those), it’s not because they did not get a coveted Barbie doll for xmas or because they had to go through a simple divorce of parents.

        A crap childhood and someone’s desire to fix current behaviours and feelings is – in my experience – always that the neglect or abuse was of harsher nature than no Barbie doll or money was tight or I was bullied.

        Reply
      • kimg

         /  November 5, 2010

        You are right – I should not really comment if I don’t know the details. I am sorry that you had to experience that. I can’t phantom how your parents allowed that to happen. I’m truely sorry. I understand now.

        Reply
  12. Claire

     /  November 5, 2010

    Wow, what an amazing post, thanks for writing it. It’s true with the myths that we as parents tend to take ourselves too seriously. But what you say is also true – there’s a fine line between not taking the parenting thing too seriously, and becoming blasé about it. I think a lot of being a parent is realising that sometimes your best isn’t good enough, and you have to get up, suck it up and do better. The difference comes between the people who do that, and those who don’t bother.

    I think, though, that as long as you are *worrying* about it, about how you’re doing as a parent, that you’re on the right track. Because just worrying about how what you’re doing is affecting your kids automatically makes you more aware, and is a great deal more than what your parents did for you. And having gone through it you know what to do with your own kids.

    One bit of advice? (I’m not sure if you do, but) Don’t hide your feelings from your kids. Don’t necessarily spew it all out like here, but don’t hide it all away either. Kids are intuitive and will pick it up, and they need to learn that it’s okay to have feelings – even bad ones – and it’s good to have people that they can talk to and lean on when necessary. Otherwise they could end up like you, thinking they have to do everything by themselves. If you can show them that you trust them with how you feel, and occasionally need their help, (fake it if you can’t for real) they will learn to trust you, and others, in return.

    As long as more often than not you do what you should do, as long as you’re there to kiss it better when they hurt, as long as you hug them more days than you don’t, you’re giving them a great shot. You have the chance now to make it better for your children than it was for you. And perhaps you can even get to relive your childhood through them.

    *hugs*

    Reply
  13. maryka

     /  November 5, 2010

    RM – I can’t really say anything that will make you feel better. But to say all these things that we all think but never write just shows you, you are such a strong person AND on the days you might think you can not go on – you still get up and go on. That is us woman – we go on.

    I also have the childhood past that has really become hauting for me and I am working on it. BUT the one thing I said is that I WILL NOT do the same to my LG. That is why I am working on it. Yes you have lots of SHIT and bad shit – but for you to get up – go through all the therapy to heal youself, just shows you that you are aware and you do NOT want to do the same to your own kids. That just shows, you are on the right track. It will take a while or even more that just a while but you acknowlegde and you are working on that. And just that fact that you will NOT make the same mistakes just show you that you are already a better parent. Maybe not perfect but way BETTER !!!!

    You will be ok……

    Reply
  14. Tammy

     /  November 5, 2010

    You know what? I think a lot of people carry this sort of stuff around. I don’t think a lot of people carry enough self-awareness with them, though, to be able to articulate exactly how and why it impacts them. So, you’ve got that going for you.. 😉

    And – in case it’s a little too raw and too soon for jokes – I really do understand this. I have also just realised why I identify with your perspectives so often, even though we don’t live similar lives.

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  November 5, 2010

      Tammy, it is never too soon to joke – after Kennith’s gran’s funeral yesterday, I suggested we order a shooter called the “Undertaker” at the bar we were sitting at…it’s never too soon or too early to make a joke about an awkward situation ……xx

      Reply
  15. I have your back. I know you don’t believe me, but I do…

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  November 5, 2010

      Thanks very much ….. I think the support when you do feel so “lonely” is huge …. thanks xxx

      Reply
  16. leon

     /  November 5, 2010

    RM,
    Very moving! And so very real.
    Thank you.

    Reply
  17. Sharon

     /  November 5, 2010

    Celeste, I really feel your pain and I’m not saying that lightly, I think each of us has some level of dysfunction. At the end of the day, no matter how “perfectly” we parent, we are all a product of our up bringing. I had a picture perfect childhood, but I have abandonment issues today and I am busy with a second round of therapy to help me deal with those issues.
    My family (my parents and brother and I) look like the picture perfect family, but we are so dysfunctional and so fucked up its not even funny, I have another blog, an anonymous blog, I’ll email you the link and you can peer into the fucked up dysfunction that is my family, I’m terrified I’m going to fuck Ava up as well because of my issues. My DH on the other hand comes from a royally fucked up childhood and he too carries the scars of that. His natural reaction is run when the going gets tough, which in turns exacerbates my abandonment issues.
    I think we’re all broken and fucked up in some way, some of us more obvious than others.
    (((hugs)))

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  November 5, 2010

      Thanks for the comments – and for the others.

      I know I should take comfort in the fact that we all have a level of “f*ck up” that we carry with us. Some days I manage it better than others. I also do feel however when I look out at the sea of “moms and tots” around I do see the faces of people who look like they have got it all under control, and they have these super role models to emulate. It is not “nice” to know that there are others who have sh*t do deal with, but sadly it does make me feel a little less bad, that maybe everyone does not have to right – and maybe when I am having an “honesty” moment, there are more people who are open to hear it and maybe share in what I am going through.

      Have I told you how much I love “blogland?”

      Reply
      • I honestly don’t believe that I look like I have it all under control. Do I? I would be very surprised!

        Reply
      • The friend that made you do it

         /  November 5, 2010

        Agreed, we’re all warped to some extent, some just hide their battle scars better than others. Does that make them better than the rest of us, hell no. It just means they haven’t delved deep enough to hurt or have decided to put the past behind them and move on. Whichever approach you use, be true to yourself. We also raise kids differently now to the way we were raised. Our kids are far more involved in the “decision-making” and what happens to our family than you or I would ever have been. We also consider our kids opinions and feelings far more than the previous generation. Your 3 kids are awesome and so are you and Kennith, and more importantly, you’re unique and we love you, battle scars and all. Hang in there and allow yourself to be angry.

        Reply
  18. I write every day for at least an hour about my dysfunctional childhood and the effects it has on me. If I lived in crap for 18 years, I am going to allow myself 18 years or more to fix it 😉

    RM – For anyone who grew up in an alcoholic home or dysfunctional home, there is an excellent book that I have about “we had no frame of reference for healthy parenting so how the hell can I expect to do it right”. I really reccommend it.

    Healthy parenting
    By Janet G. Woititz Ed.D

    If you grew up in a troubled or dysfunctional family and suffered through a parent’s problems with chronic illness, addiction, emotional upheaval, or loss, you probably know what you don’t want for your kids. but, you may lack the tools and experiences to create the nurturing home you do want: a place where your children’s physical and emotional needs are consistently met and where your children feel safe, valued, and loved.

    Reply
  19. Nisey

     /  November 5, 2010

    I think a lot (most) of us have this post lurking in the background in one way and another. most of us will never ever dare to post it.
    I believe that we all f*ck up our kids in our own special way – too much love, not enough love. too much contact – too little contact. the list is endless.

    Making peace with the fact that its impossible to be a ‘good’ parent would be the best bet but parenting comes with guilt. Guilt comes with blame and so the vicious circle continues.

    Reply
  20. Hilary

     /  November 5, 2010

    Hi Celeste. Thank you for sharing. It’s some comfort to me to realise that there are many people who go through crap in life as a result of a dysfunctional childhood. Not everyone grew up in the Waltons family. I agree 110% that parents can scar kids for life and the reality is that not everyone recovers. I certainly havent. I grew up in a home where my parents were constantly fighting, saying ‘I love you’ and hugs and kisses were non existent. I have parents who was and still is as emotionally distant as that Sigourney Weaver alien you mention. I try now with my family to be affectionate and share open and honest feelings every single day in an attempt to do the opposite of what was taught to me. But its hard. I have scars that run. I struggle socially and aside from my husband dont let anyone close to me emotionally. No one knows the real me and I am constantly on guard with every single person I encounter. I can relate to acting your way through days/social situations and often have days of feeling dissatisfied and unhappy for no concrete reason. My main reason for having a child was to have someone/something that was mine, who would love me unconditionally and that no one could take away from me. I worry constantly about repeating my parents mistakes.All I can do is pray and be aware that everything I say and do impacts on this perfect childs life.

    Big hug to you and dont forget that this is your forum and you can write about whatever the hell you want!!

    Reply
  21. Lollipop

     /  November 5, 2010

    RM, see you also get my personal favourite: “decide to wake up happy and then I will be!” it is enough to really drive you around the bend.
    I am, same as you, so scared that all of the things that I am carrying with me is going to impact my child, so much it leaves me in cold sweats, it is such a huge responsibility that frankly anyone that says that they are not scared, clearly has not thought it through.
    You are much braver than me, when therapy started pulling off the scabs from the wounds, I am ashamed to admit, it was too much for me…
    Hoping you feel better today.

    Reply
  22. So on the upside – you have 2 years of therapy before you hit 40 and apparently thats when the fun begins anyway 🙂

    Seriously though – this very thing worries me every day! To the world I had a perfect childhood, awesome parents, stability blah blah. To me – I had anythiing but and as a result I was divorced, having an affair and living at back at home with my 2 kids before I turned 30.

    I worry every day about how I am shaping my kids and what I am leaving them with. It scares me to be honest because like you parenting is not easy for me and to be honest most days I dont enjoy it – its just too hard!

    But we are in it to win it now! Or at the very least cross the finish line before they clear up!

    Reply
  23. Hi Celeste, thanks for sharing your raw honest emotions. Who cares if it was written in hurt and anger, they’re your feelings and this is your blog so there should be no judgement. All the best with your new therapist, hope it pans out as positively as you hope 🙂

    Reply
  24. SirNoid

     /  November 4, 2010

    Wow!

    Got link for this from my dear wife (http://thenocturnalwenchy.wordpress.com/) who says she can relate allot to this.

    Thanks for sharing as it has helped me understand her better

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  November 5, 2010

      The legend that is SirNoid, I am humbled that you have appeared here in my slice of hell. Yes Wenchy and I do have many parallels in our little universes, and I think we both draw out “ah hah” moments for each other. Reading what she writes about her, makes me often understand me a bit better.

      Reply
  25. THANK YOU FOR BEING REAL.

    For saying so many things I feel, out loud.

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  November 5, 2010

      Thank you for always commenting when I really need that person to comment – you are alway THAT person! People like you who blog with so much honesty and about what is real, makes it easier for people like me (who are total novices to blogland) able to have an emotional puke, and have the courage to push the publish button. You, chick, you keep it real, so the rest of us can follow!!! xxxx

      Reply
  26. I can relate to what you are going through. I am stll going through some deep waters. Can just pray that my two sons will be fine. Thank goodness for a wonderfull husband!

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  November 5, 2010

      I think the finding of a good partner who can steer the ship, when all you feel you are doing is bailing out water, is a good find, especially when you are people like me and always feel that you are not worthy. My egg makes sure I am always kitted out with a life jacket, and have a comfy seat on the boat, and then when I start to panic, he is always ready to sit next to me and pat my hand to remind me that the sea is not as rough as it looks! We are lucky to have good eggs.

      Reply
  27. I feel exactly the same way as you. My parents loved me but they fucked up again and again. They have paid some horrible prices though. I don’t think just saying you did your best is really acceptable unfortunately. I do forgive them though, totallly.

    Reply
  28. Hi RM
    I can so relate to the space you are in.
    Growing up with dysfunction, one is often asked “why can’t you just forget the past?” Like you are experiencing, this is easier said than done.
    Hugs.

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  November 5, 2010

      If I could take a pill to forget and the past and just “get on with it” I would. The problem – for me – is that it keeps rearing it’s ugly head when I least need it to. I was explaining to Kennith last night, that I am not looking for someone to say “I’m sorry, I f*cked up” it is past that – right now I am just looking for someone to assist me in building a bridge so I can walk over it ……

      Reply
  1. Nothing sucks like November …. « The Reluctant Mom's Blog
  2. Vulnerability « FMS (Fear of missing shit)

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