Although we may seem scattered we are focused. We may not seem reliable, but we are depended on. We are oh so tired, but we have the youth in our hearts. We fall and stumble, but our biggest fans have taught us, that’s life. You have to crawl to walk and we remember the little victories are the precious moments. How they remind us to be alive. It’s amazing how incredibly broken we can feel when at the same time, we feel so complete. Just because the pieces haven’t found their place doesn’t mean we’re not whole. We will continue to travel as our story unfolds. Cherishing the moments and secerts life holds. Distressed, but happy. Our children we’ll mold because in a world so cruel they bring a spark of hope. In their pure innocence and unconditonial love. We find hope in the struggle, love in the hurt, comfort in the anxiety. We know the pain is temporary and a learning experience; in a bigger, beautifully perfect, imperfectly painted, picture of life as a mother.
“Being mindful of the times when maybe, we the parents, can be the atmosphere the asteroid breaks up in. Rather, than letting it create a crater in some young life.” – D.J.W
Navigating parenthood is like walking in the dark. You really are just going blind and doing the best you can. It doesn’t matter how you do it because someone will always tell you, you did it wrong. So, we stumble around like a bunch of newborn foals and hope to find some footing. We’ll never be perfect, and that’s ok. Kids don’t need perfect, but they do need love. They do need stability.
I grew up in a home. Not a house of people, but a home. Perfectly flawed. I was a confident and headstrong child. Little did my stubborn-ass know, this was built on the love and stability of my home. When my parents divorced and the foundation on which I built my confidence was cracked. I became unstable. A rebel without a cause, I was lost. The place I turned to when I felt insecure, was gone. They were just as lost but being an adolescent teen juggling hormones and new beginnings, I spiraled without the parental alliance I once knew. It felt like I was looking over the rubble of what was once my fortress. I was so very vulnerable and insecure. I watched my family break off like walls crumbling. First, my mother left, then my brother joined the navy, and my father became unstable. So, it was my time to go too. I wandered for many years, slipping and falling. Seeking shelter in people just as broken themselves. Turning to alcohol for confidence and burning bridges out of blind anger for the world.
This story has a happy ending. I found new strengths, new strong bonds, and a confidence only life experience can give you. My childhood family has healed and become different. Not bad, just different. The point is that even though I had a good childhood, the break of my family in my teens caused a ripple effect that followed me for years. I can only imagine what children who are born into a cracked foundation feel. We wonder why youth is so damaged. It’s so important to keep a safe place just for them. Even when your own world is falling apart. Sometimes, you just have to curl up around your children and take the blows of the falling debris. Never let them go it alone. We have grown shells. They are still very much unprotected without us. Life as an adult is far from perfect. It’s ok for your child to see you cry. It’s ok if you don’t have the perfect roof and 4 walls, but you’re love, and care is the foundation that they will build on. Please pay very close attention to your children when the earthquakes of life rock your world. They’re watching and waiting to follow your lead.
My mother and grandmother often tell me how I tried to follow my older brother onto the school bus, his first day of kindergarten. Him being close to 3 years older than me, it wasn’t my time yet. They also tell me how I quickly shooed my mother away on my first day of preschool. I apparently was fiercely independent.
However, my memories are not the same. To this day bologna sandwiches still bring back bits of memories of preschool. Nap time on a cot and playing. They’re not bad memories, but not great. Fast forward to grade school and it just gets worse. Besides, the normal memories of getting teased and picked on. I remember being shuffled around. I was pulled from class for one on ones, with special teachers. I was also placed in the special needs classes for short periods of time. Along with memories of my parents getting so frustrated with me, with “what don’t you understand!” when it came to math problems. I remember my brother teaching me how to write the number 5 because I just couldn’t understand the flag on top. Or at least that’s what he told me when it finally clicked.
I shut down. I shut down from learning. I was convinced I was stupid and slow. I never won spelling bees. Hell, I usually failed spelling tests. I was frustrated. This followed me all my life. I dropped out of high school. I did get my GED and was in community college before the kids in my graduating class. I went on to college to be a veterinary technician. Not glamorous, but it’s what I wanted to do. Well, there was no chance someone as stupid as I was going to be a veterinarian. Even in college I excepted and was always at the back of the pack.
Now, I’ve been doing a lot of self-searching and trying to figure out who I am, what do I want to be, and where I want to go. I’ve been self-teaching. Realizing, I can learn anything I want. I do have the ability. Maybe I’m not as unintelligent as I thought. The adults in my life may have not seen things this way, but in the end, it doesn’t matter. This is how it felt, this is how my young mind interpreted it. I wasn’t at the same pace with the rest of the class, I learned differently. Unfortunately, no one understood. They tried to shove me in a box. Like the saying goes “you can’t judge a goldfish by its ability to climb a tree.” I was a victim of this system. A system designed to make the perfect factory workers. It doesn’t feed creative minds. It’s doesn’t praise problem-solving. I do remember kicking one of the smart kid’s butts in a game similar to checkers. It was all about anticipating. I was good at that, but it wasn’t treated or nurtured like a skill. Even though, it was supervised and witnessed by a teacher. It wasn’t graded upon or taken into consideration. I remember my brother had nicknamed me “MacGyver” because I could find a way to rig tools out of random things to help me with problems. I think it started when I tied a piece of floss around my loose baby tooth to rip it out. Can you see a pattern, of why I looked up to my brother so much? He did seem to have the patience and ability to work with me and take notice of my positives.
I now love to learn. I see endless possibilities for my mind. Not because of school, but despite it. It did so much more damage than good. I do worry about the others that have suffered the same. I hope they can find a love to learn. So, for payback, school. I’m giving you a big fat “F”. Your outdated system squishes creative minds. It smears problem solvers in the dirt. You put young people in a jail cell. You sterilize their minds into believing they’re not good enough because they don’t live up to your bubble test. I hope this grade haunts you. I hope it makes others doubt you and they look for another way. I hope society wakes up and nurtures each child’s strengths and weaknesses. I may have not been able to climb trees, but what if someone had just thought to put me in the water?
I use to work in a pharmacy where nuns from a convent visited often. The conversation would always end with a “God bless you.” often when you have a struggle or a tragedy in life people say “praying for you.” I’m not a religious person. I just never like organized religion. I don’t really seem to like organized anything. I have my believes that fit me. I’m not an atheist. I believe in something out there. What I do believe in, is the power of our minds. The power of negative thoughts vs positive ones. What I’m really shocked to find is people get offended when someone wishes well on them in their religion. Some people that aren’t Catholic will flip if you say, “God bless you.” I, however, appreciate. I don’t care how you word your positive vibes to me. If they’re happy thoughts I’ll take them with their intentions. For religious people blessing you or praying for you is a big compliment. It’s their highest form of gratitude. Who am I to care how it’s delivered, let alone get mad. For me it’s not the words that matter it’s their intentions. It’s very similar to the tone of voice. It’s not what you say, but how you say it. I’ll happily receive good vibes and happy thoughts any day. I feel honored you took time out of your day to ask good things for me from the powers that you worship. Even if they’re not my own. The heart speaks in many languages. The words you use it’s purely up to you. I will take them for the positive thoughts they are. There’s so much hate and anger already in the world why try to infected something said with love.
So much time and money wasted. Forgotten dreams drowned in potent drinks of different liquors. I’m sure there were life lessons learned but doesn’t change the desire to turn back time and undue destruction caused. I’m an ex-acholic. I say ex because I no longer struggle with it. I don’t miss it or have a desire. I don’t envy the people that still drink. I do pity some stuck in the loop I know personally. Most of all I apologize. To the good friendships lost because of cruel things spoken and done. The property destruction, embarrassment, false sense of security it wouldn’t happen again. Destroying their own friendships to try and defend me in my drunken stupor. The ones closest to me hurt the most. Trying to protect me from others that just “didn’t understand how she is when she’s drunk” while being attack by me as well. Trying to brush off the vindictive things said because “she didn’t mean them. She was drunk” while deep down question what it really meant. This wasn’t friendships but abuse. Abuse and feeling helpless unable to save me from myself. Significant others suffer some of the worst. They became a target. When drinking all my unhappiness, rage, and hatred was homed in on them. I blamed them. I say “them” because it was a hand full of people brave enough to get into a relationship with me. Most sticking around way longer then they should of. Some fighting their own demons. I can only assume they hoped our two negatives would make a positive only to be spit out the other side. Running for the hills. I don’t blame them. Each having their own pros and cons to a journey of self-destruction that did eventually turn into self-realization. I started drinking way too young. I used it as a security blanket. It started as a way for a normally shy girl to come out of her comfort zone. Quickly turning into a crutch on the only way to socializing. Then a way to cope with loss and abandonment and last to feel numb and escape. I also owe myself an apologie. I’m sorry that I made myself forget my dreams. I was a functioning drinker and accomplished life’s stepping stones somehow. Graduated high school got a college degree, but who knows what could have been possible if I would have been completely invested. Not hung over or waiting for the next night out. Getting enough sleep. I’m sorry for the physical damage done. I actually broke bones, but also the internal wear. The lack of self care. The times of vomiting all night and not caring for my teeth. Skipping meals because I only had enough money for booze. The relationships I could have had. The possible friends that passed me by because who would want to be a part of that mess. It was a smart move on their part, but what kind of doors did I lock because I couldn’t see past the bottle. In a town where everyone knows everyone, you build a reputation that follows you. I have lost potential opportunities simply because someone had heard of me. I did make it out the other side. How, is tricky. It took time. It wasn’t magical. A lot of bad decisions catching up. Seeing the pain it caused loved ones. Realizing I was alive, but far from living. I had to pull off the layers that were built up. It took a long time to get that bad, it was going to take a while to come back. I now have a beautiful daughter and I know myself pretty well. I’ve come to the light at the end of a dark tunnel, but I wish I could have just gone around. I have a handle full of great friends and a spouse that has been to hell and back with me. I’m not ungrateful. Just some days I still wonder what if I hadn’t chosen that path. What wonderful things did I miss while I had my drunk blinders on. So, I have made my bed and I have lied in it, but I will not stay there. This is my apology for this chapter of my life, but I will not feel guilty for moving on.