Breath …. just breath …

Recently someone made an observation which was a bit of an “ah-ha” moment for me.

She commented that as  a child you experience your experiences through the eyes of a child.  When you revert back to the incident through hyno-therapy and even through therapy as an adult, you often experience it again as a child and are re-traumatized.

The value in being able to look back is not so that you live through every horrific detail, but so that you are able to look back on that childhood experience as an adult and maybe try to understand it better.  Processing it as an adult, and trying to heal is the aim – one baby step at a time.

That really is what it is about, this looking back and reflecting. It is often painful, as you have to pick at the rancid sore that has an old crusty scab holding the delicate pieces of flesh together – it is painful and smells bad.

I agree that there is value in taking your ugly experiences and packing them into a box.

Putting that box into a cupboard and closing the door, and going “I’m done with that shit, let me move on.”

There is total value there.  I am all for that tactic.  Been there bought the dozen box set.

Unfortunately it does not always work.  Even when it does work, it does not work for very long.

The googlies do start to find gaps in the seal of the box.  They do start to crawl and slither their way out of your tightly strapped box.  They find gaps and creep through your finely constructed cupboard. The googlies find their way into your bed at night.

You go to sleep thinking all is well in the land of what-ever-you-have-created.  One morning you wake up to find that suddenly the sun does not warm your face the way it did the day before.

The hug of your loved one, has a bit of an awkward feel about it.  Everything you touch feels a bit sharper and more jagged.  The glow of the morning seems a bit duller than you remember it being.

You do not wake up and your life has gone to hell in a hand-basket, it happens one tiny tear or crack at a time.

Yesterday’s post was not about suddenly deciding today was the day that I have a total meltdown.

It was something that has always been there and is the underlying reason why I started this blog in the first place.

One comment made by one caller on a radio station, set off a tide of emotions that literally threw me to the floor like a raggedy-Anne doll, clutching my chest in anguish.

This week has been a very emotional one for both Kennith and I.

Kennith’s grandmother died last week, and we attended her funeral on Thursday.  Her death affected Kennith deeply and his sadness and loss was heart-wrenching to witness.  I have never known Kennith to experience such sadness or emotion, so it was painful for him and our family.

The emotions of the funeral, combined with a very “honest” therapy session on Tuesday, and the disclosure of some of my things to Kennith on Wednesday night was the crack in the proverbial dyke.

I agree that I wish I could just “get over my stuff” – I really really do.

I have said it a thousand times.  If someone could give me a pill, that would make me “normal” I would take it – I would take it every day.  I would even opt to take it as a suppository if that made it more effective.

As yet, I have not found THAT pill. I have tried several pills, and several combinations of pills.  But those pills do not make you “forget and move on.”

They often just help you get out of bed, get your shoes on and shuffle through your day.  And some days that is all you can do.  And all someone can expect from you.

I have realized that since I started writing this blog more than a year ago, I have changed as a person and I have evolved.  I continue to evolve.  I am more aware of who I am and what makes me do what I do.

There are so many things in my life that I am thankful for.  Part of it is having the privilege of being able to write about my stuff.

It allows me to try to understand some things that have often been choking inside me for years.  It is liberating and this blog has become very important to me.

I am grateful that I have Kennith.  He is that person who can look into my soul.  Even when he sees my darkness and my unbearable pain, he chooses to still hold me close and tell me he loves me – even when I am particularly brutal and am pushing him away.

I do not make his life easy.  I know his life could be easier if he chose a bit more wisely back on the 17 July 1994 – it really could have been.

But he chose me in his drunk state (which he may use as his defense when we end up in divorce court).

I feel I have fought him every step of the way.  I have been honest that I come with huge amounts of carry-on baggage.  He has still chosen to stand with me time and time again even when the situation appears hopeless.  For that I am ever grateful.

I have three divine children, who challenge my sense of sanity each and every day.

I get to watch them put on sunglasses to brush their teeth, smile at me as they slurp porridge out of their bowls, steal the last cheese curl out of the packet and forget to flush the toilet … I get to experience all of those little things, and as strange as it sounds, it is those things that remind me that it is worth getting out of bed in the mornings.

I do however have the right to be angry that maybe I did not get the best hand in life.

I get the right to be upset that my parents did not do for me what they should have or could have done.  They did not take enough care with me.

I get that right – I have earned it!!  I do not have to explain it or justify it with anyone to feel how I feel –  I just do.

However I have not earned the right to make the same mistakes. Repeat the same poor judgment and carelessness towards my kids.

I do not get to use that “get out of jail-free” card.

I can’t change my sh*t, it has happened and it is there.  Clicking my heels together three times, does not seem to make it all change either, so here I am stuck.

But I make an effort each and every day TO NOT play it forward onto my kids.  Some days I do  better job than other days.

Even when I am screaming like a banshee in the passage, I always let them know that though I am angry, deranged and probably certifiable, I love them with a fierceness that is indescribable.

I would kill for them.  I would take a bullet for them, and I would hunt the wretch down who ever laid a hand on them and caused them pain.   I have always got their back, and they know that no matter what, I will and I am there for them.

They never have to worry that they are alone, or that when they cry at night no one will come.

I hope that through the uncombed hair, and the spittle on my chin, my kids can hear that message.

I know by best is not always good enough, and with that in mind, I wake up each morning and decide that maybe today is the day when I get it right!

Leave a comment


  1. This post resonates with me so much! I am having a really crappy emotional time at the moment!

    I feel dysfunctional and want to run away – far far far away.

    I have to just say though that blogging/writing got me through my divorce. I had no money for therapy and I actually think it was more effective!

  2. gloeiwurmpie

     /  November 8, 2010

    I have very similar fears regarding “being a good enough parent”. Your last 2 posts really hit a nerve with me. I really feel your pain, and it helps to know I am not the only one who struggles with this fear and are busy trying to fight all those ghosts from the past in order to be a better parent. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • reluctantmom

       /  November 8, 2010

      Maybe us sharing our fears makes it easier for the next new mom who comes along ….. just maybe.

  3. julz

     /  November 8, 2010

    Incredible post. Yes we are who our parents moulded us to be mostly. So many issues stem from our childhood. We can continue to raise our kids as our parnents raised us and our grandparents raised them, but as you say it would just ensure that the same mistakes are made over and over again.

    It is tiring and difficult to change the pattern. It means having to accept that while you love your parents, they were not ideal (and nor will we be). With acceptance come anger. Anger that our parents were selfish and suppressive. Angry that we are so alike them in so many ways.

    I truly believe we all need to tackle the ghosts. It is easy to swallow a pill but the pill won’t fix you . It numbs you which is wonderful, but in order for us to grow we need to face ourselves.

    RM your journey is going to be hard and painful, but I can assure you that each day the fog will become less and life will slowly seem brighter.

    • reluctantmom

       /  November 8, 2010

      Thanks Julz – as much as the posts were written because I needed to just get it OUT – there is a strange comfort when people nod at me knowingly because they understand where I am coming from.

  4. Tania

     /  November 8, 2010

    I an also beginning to wonder whether I should start to tackle my ghosts of my past, I am just scared that what I find out is what I suspect it to be…

    • reluctantmom

       /  November 8, 2010

      I really cannot recommend it to be honest … I personally would prefer a life of denial, I do think it would be easier. But the cracks did start to show and then they sort of fell open and well now we are keeping things together with sticky-tape, but that is not working either. Therapy and the digging of ugly festering sores is very painful, and not for the faint hearted.

      I do think I am a stronger person and also I live a fuller life because I am more aware, now than I did before, even though I limp through most days and have brushed with wanting to end it all, but any the who!

  5. Jana

     /  November 6, 2010

    Very moving post.

    It’s making me wonder if l should tackle some things in my life, the relationship with my mother, with men. But l don’t know if I WANT to. I don’t know if l want to know about myself what I suspect I will find out. My mask sits firmly and comfortably. For now.


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