Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I'm in a dark mood so this will be a dark, if ironically an enlightening, post.

I spent the last week at my family's place. I went to help my li'l sister out with her new baby because her hubby was leaving to Denver for some job training.

Visiting my family is hard. I love them so much and when I'm living in my own world I enhance the good things I miss. When I'm with my family then I'm also confronted with all the hard, and I regress to what I've been trying to leave behind in myself.

This time was especially hard because I hadn't balanced myself from the three-week stay in July when I went up for my brother's graduation. Because of reverting back to my former self I've been raging against my little family and myself, but BuggaBoo is getting the brunt of it for the sin of being a willful toddler. He has taken to tracking my moods, asking me dozens of times a day if I'm happy, and if I answer otherwise he starts crying.

So today The Hubby took the children out for a long walk and I tackled the kitchen, listening to music cranked way up (sorry, neighbors). Today must be "ballads about horrible relationships" day on Pandora, and that got me thinking about my parents and their marriage and how we were affected. Two songs in particular really hit me hard, "Love the Way You Lie" by Eminem and Rihanna, and "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga. And, please trust me, they may be rap and pop songs and the Lady Gaga song may be mostly frippery, but they at least started the thoughts rolling around in my head.

My parents don't have a very good marriage. It's the elephant in the room we're not supposed to point out. So while doing the dishes I was ruminating on how my siblings and I have a hard time in our marriages and sometimes with our kids. We want to have different experiences in our family but we don't know how because the omnipresent example was how our parents interacted with each other an us. We know what we want to be but we don't know how to get there.

And then I realized that my parents' relationship has nothing to do with us. Let me say that again, with caps: IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH US KIDS. My parents' marriage was about them, their individual relationships with us had to do with us. If we had never been born or had been different people it would have been the same between them. We never had the power to control their emotions, actions, or reactions. No matter how good or bad we were they CHOSE to have the marriage they have.

I am not laying blame at the feet of my father and mother. Just in the way that I can not control their actions they cannot control mine. And also, just in the way that I do not know how to act because of their example they do not know how because they never had a good example, either. My father never learned how to show any emotions except for happiness or anger. Even the anger he could not show as a child, but learned that the fear of anger can make a child comply, that the strong (his father) use that technique, and so that how he handles us. My mother did not learn how to react to a frontal attack because her parents did not act that way, her mother uses guilt to mold her children. And so my mother will use guilt with us. And this is how they treat each other.

So, what do I do? I am breaking the spirit of my son because I don't have myself under control. I feel the rage creeping up wanting to take over, wanting me to hurt my child. I abuse him emotionally but stopping short of physically doing so, but just barely. What is it about this small, beautiful child that makes me so angry? That makes me want to harm him?

Honestly, there is nothing about HIM that MAKES me do anything. Just as I do not have control over my parents he does not have control over me. I am trying to excuse myself by saying it is his fault. It isn't. It isn't my parents' fault. It is mine. As my brother said this last week I am an adult now, what happened as a child is done.

So, I am writing this out for me, to be able to look back and remember that I said this: I am owning my problem. This is about me, I need to find a way to fix it. I don't know how yet, but I know why and when. Why, because I love my babies and The Hubby and I don't want to hurt them. And the when is now. This starts now.

So, Mom, I know you're reading this. Stop feeling guilty. No, you're not perfect. Neither is Dad. But Dad and you didn't do this to me. I am doing this to myself, but no longer.


  1. Thank you for posting this Krista. It really got me thinking, thank you.

  2. Posts like this really make a person think. First though, know that you are not alone. I know that Sarah is frustrated, and sometimes fearful of the anger that I don't always manage to keep bottled up. We know that it is born from frustration and depression around my lack of work and the financial hardship that we have found ourselves in as a result. There are some real issues there of my own that I really need to look at, and for now all I can really do is my best to not let my anger spill out onto my family.

    Now then, off to write a blog post of my own since you got me thinking about this...

  3. WOW, no wonder why i love you! We are here if you need us

  4. It is so scary how much we have in common! Remember that last lengthy conversation we had on the phone? Yeah, this post of yours shows me that we come from very similar families. The positive--a person can learn a lot and become a stronger, more disciplined human being.
    Thanks for sharing such a personal moment. :-)

  5. okay, first off, thanks for your sweet comments on my blog lately. :) They've really made me smile!

    Oh, it is so hard not to parent the way we've been parented. My mom was verbally abusive and controlling, and I can so hear it in my voice sometimes (often) with my goose, especially magnified with inadequate sleep (something I'm sure is in short supply at your house). I pray alot. I ask for forgiveness alot from my sweet child. I hope he remembers that mommy was willing to admit when she was wrong. And I'm so thankful for the sweet grace of children that allows them to forgive so easily. And keep being transparent - you will encourage so many though most likely you sometimes wonder why you have to be the "naked person in the room" so to speak ... once someone does it others are free to share and everyone is encouraged.

    Big virtual hug - hope I've made some sense. :)

  6. So, I've thought long and hard about whether I should post or not. As you must realize, reading this brought on some introspective tears. I come to your blog to connect and find joy in your life; but instead found this.

    That's OK - I get it.

    Let me just say this about that. You have so much more going for you. You have a loving, supportive husband who adores you. You will not fall into that world. You are able to communicate with one another. You will not fall into that world. You have a determination to not 'be that way' - so you will not fall into that world.

    Oh, if we all had crystal balls and could see the future; to have known that all of you children would have turned out just as wonderful with a mother working full-time; being latch-key children. Or that none of you would have had to go through what you did if I'd stayed away the first time....before any of you were born to us.

    All I know is I have born six amazing children that are strong, compassionate, loving, caring, spiritual, giving, unselfish, and the best thing I've ever accomplished on this earth - being their mother.

    I don't think that many of us get to live this life without some challenges that will either knock us out of the ring completely, or will instill in us a desire to get back up and keep fighting. I know I've chosen on several occasions to get back up and win this fight. Sexual abuse as a child and emotional and physical abuse as an adult will not keep me from my eternal goal. In the end, as you have realized, it's really about ourselves and our own individual journey.

    I love you, I love you, I love you. Don't you ever forget that! You are a good mother, you are perfectly normal in the way you feel. I can't tell you how many times I locked myself in the bathroom or my bedroom to keep from hurting you children. I was not going 'to go there' - not ever. [OK, can we just forget about the momma bear throwing about your toys - that one's pretty embarrassing.]

    Marriage and motherhood - the two hardest things you will ever do if you really care about them; and you do - so welcome to the world of hard, but worth it.