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.
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