Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Rising above the pain.....still.

I’ve said before that I’m not a fan of using your childhood pains as excuses to be a dickhead in real life.

I still stand by that claim, however, I can admit that moving past childhood pains – even decades later – is a damn struggle.

Not a daily struggle – thank God.
For me, the struggle is situational….meaning in certain situations I am taken back instantly to my world as a little girl and the emotions that come with that can nearly bring me to my knees.

When I watch the dynamic between Watermelon and Rambo – sometimes I feel crippled. 95% of the time they are inseparable and amazing BUT let’s be real – he is her parent and she’s almost a teenager and they are going to disagree. Some days she lives in Attitude City and we both want to shank her.

But when they disagree and I am a bystander – every part of me cringes – fearing any of the interaction will mimic the way it was for me and my Dad. 23 years into life with Rambo and I should know better. I should know with every fiber in me – that it won’t go there or be like that.

And that’s the shits about childhood memories – they never ever go away. They never stop hurting. You never stop trying to shield the people you love from ever feeling what you once did. You just learn to accept the pain but the pain stays. You rise above the pain but your heart still remembers the pain.

My life as a mother is about breaking the dangerous, unhealthy and painful cycles that no one had the balls to break before me. I feel like I’m on constant vigil – watching for moments in my girl’s lives that I can make better. Constantly trying to stop things that could potentially scar them forever.

And maybe that’s the thing. Maybe I shouldn’t. Maybe the childhood relationships and interactions that they experience will make them who they are – in a good way. Maybe they’ll be stronger and have to learn to rise above – like me and Rambo had to. Maybe - and probably – there’s no such thing as a perfect childhood.

Perfection is imperfection after all (thank you Lori – for teaching me that). We simply cannot fart gumdrops and poop rainbows every single day. Kids will fight with their parents. The key is how they fight and how they make up and figure things out when the fight is over, I suppose.

For me? 30 (ahem - almost 40) some years old and I’m still figuring out how to rise above the internal pain that never goes away…even if it’s not a part of my daily life. It seems like some cruel joke that I have a daughter who is me…years ago. Her reactions, her fears, her insecurities, her pains, her anxieties – they are mine. In the same sense – her joys, her loyalty, her compassion, her depth of love for people at her young age – they are mine too.
Watching her feel all of these things – nearly crushes me sometimes. No matter how many times I tell her she’ll be okay – she can’t believe that until she’s an adult and realizes I was right.

So much of me trying to prevent a rerun of my life is probably just getting in the way of Rambo and Watermelon figuring things out on their own. I mean a 95% loving relationship at this age with any child is pretty stellar so I should just get out of the way and trust them both.

They are not me and my father. They never were. They never will be.

I have got to learn to let go of the fear that they could be.

I need to learn to trust. Both of them. Completely.

Most importantly - I need to remind myself that the pain of the past did not kill me. 

I survived it all.

I rose above.


LDswims said...

I would contend that your interference, your constant vigil in keeping them from experiencing what you did - is part of the fabric of their lives, too. I would contend that ALL of it - you, Rambo, Banana, where you live, who your pets are, the cars you drive, the schools they attend, relationships with extended family, ALL of that makes both Watermelon and Banana into who they are and who they will always be. Maybe you meddle too much. Watermelon can never sit back and say, 'well, this thing I'm struggling with these days, it's because my mom didn't interfere'. And I promise she won't sit back and say 'damn my mom for being so involved'.

Watermelon and Rambo have a beautiful relationship - as you know. It will have it's bumps and struggles. But it's nowhere near what you endured - and still deal with today.

Your role as a mom is not only shaped by your experiences with your dad but also by your experiences with your mom. I've heard you say a number of times you wish your mom would have stepped in. So I'm thinking this is where you're getting your meddlesome ways. And I promise, Rambo and Watermelon don't want that changed. Y'all are a family, in it together through and through. THAT is perfection, imperfect though it may be.


Fit Mom said...

I cant say or give empty meaningless words like "I know what you are going thru", etc. I dont have a teenager (yet). But I know that every child has their ups and downs with their parents and it just shows how much you love your family by caring. Love ya lots m'kay?

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

You know what's best. It's different for each kid and the teenage years don't HAVE to be a chore or hell on earth. I have moments with my kids (my son and putting off work yet still getting it done and my daughter with not being a morning person), but for the most part we like each other and enjoy our company. Continue to do family activities and make those positive memories. all the other crap will fall to the wayside.

Fit Mom said...

Changed it for you...and I also have it under my contacts. <3

Marc said...

This is a great post. Mark Twain is credited with this quote, "When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years." In reality, his father died when he was eleven years old. But it still makes me smile because so many teenagers experience similar attitudes. Both my daughters transformed from Daddy's little princesses to holy terrors when they were teenagers. Now that they are both in their 30's we laugh about the difficulties we shared during their teen age years.

Cat said...

I love how emotionally charged your blog posts are sometimes. The pure joy, sadness, fear, loss, whatever you are feeling always comes through beautifully. Thank you for sharing yourself with us. Also, I only could wish my mother had cared as much as you do for your girls.

Amanda said...

We all carry our share of baggage and I think you're doing a great job at shuffling yours around in a productive fashion.

I had one of those "flashbacks" to my childhood the other day myself. It wasn't super-traumatic, but it also doesn't help that I work for my father. I remember always being cut of when I tried to explain things as a child, being told I was "making excuses".

No, I wasn't. I knew better. But sometimes there were reasons things were undone, and I have always felt if those reasons were important enough they should be shared.

Dad doesn't. And he still can't see it. I felt about 12, even though I know I followed proper task hierarchy and things were actually done correctly.

It gets worse when my older son pushes me into a flashback of his father. He is a lovely boy; his father, not so much. And you can bet your bottom dollar I remind myself of that over and over.

Hang in there. You're all going to make it.

Connie O said...

Every single day of my life, I remember a mean thing my father did to me when I was about 5. It wasn't a very serious thing, but a simple daily routine makes me think of it every day. I'm amazed at the staying power of this memory, even though he and I had many more painful and even violent interactions later on.

The work you do to break those cycles is what your children will most likely remember and value, and the trust is there already. It's more the memory trigger that is tripping you up than lack of faith in your husband and daughter. Your self-awareness will help you get past that; I just hope it won't always be so much of a struggle for you.

Sunshine's Heart said...

I tried my best to keep my children's lives from mimicking my own childhood but my mother took it on her shoulders to drive a wedge between me and my younger daughter. My mother felt that I preferred my grandmother. I did because my grandmother was kind. My mother wasn't. Her revenge was to get my daughter to prefer her. It is all twisted and sick. I just mostly stay away from her now because I don't want to play games with her. I just don't participate. She still manages to hurt me through my daughter but I am learning that I need to let some things be and rise above.

jennxaz said...

I heart you girl and think you are doing a fabulous job! Just the fact that you think about ways to improve says tenfold about you as a mom!