Posted in Dreams, family, Goals, happiness, kids, Life, love, motherhood, Musings, parenting, People, relationships, women

Telling On Myself

I wrote a post yesterday. Ever since I posted it, I’ve been annoyed about it. You want to know why? Good, ’cause I’m gonna tell you- I’m annoyed because, though there were a few grains of truth in there, it was really a fictional account of how I want to feel; it had nothing to do with how I actually felt right then.

Do you want to know how I actually feel? Good, ’cause I’m gonna tell you that, too. I am scared. Scared half to death. And also, in case you were uncertain, I want you to know that I have absolutely no idea what I am doing. Like, I mean, I guess I kind of know, but what I mean is…I’m not really sure I should be the one in charge of making big decisions around here. I’m not nearly as confident as I probably seem. I often feel like a very young woman in a middle-aged woman’s body, baffled by life. I frequently wonder if I deserve the good things that happen in my life, and then I feel guilty, which is weird.

I want very much to be positive, but there’s a fine line between positivity and being disingenuous. Yesterday, I was having a really hard day and in an attempt to bolster myself, I wrote a post that was utter bullshit. I’m telling you this because honesty is so important- now more than ever, in my opinion. When I tell the truth here, when I am really open about my feelings and struggles, I know that someone will read my words and feel less alone. I know, because it’s happened time after time. I put my real feelings into words, and someone says “Oh my God, I thought it was just me, thank you for saying that.”

We don’t tell the truth about human stuff, and then we suffocate on shame. As they say in recovery, we compare our insides to other peoples outsides. And that’s not a fair comparison. Social media makes it so much easier to do that, because we post the best pictures, and the funny moments, and we leave out the personal stuff that makes us real people. Well, guess what? I’m a real person. Flawed as can be.

Yesterday, I had a terrible realization. I realized that I have made the last ten years about my kids (that isn’t the terrible part, stay with me), and the past five I doubled-maybe tripled- down as a parent. But I did it wrong, I think. I gave these girls the impression that I lived only for them, to serve them and save them and give to them, even if that meant overlooking myself. And now, when I have this amazing thing happening for me, I am being met with open resentment. I am selfish, I have ALWAYS been selfish, I don’t deserve help, I don’t deserve appreciation…UNLESS I am doing what they want me to do. It occurred to me yesterday that I kinda have no one who is really in my corner. And man, that makes me sad. Like, really, really sad.

Do they love me? Oh, without a doubt. That’s not it at all. It’s the lack of boundaries with them, the path I laid out that is the problem. I gave as much as I could in some areas to make up for what I perceived as shortfalls in other areas. And now I find myself in a lonely place because I devoted myself to people who are ultimately supposed to grow up and go off to their own lives. Obviously, my nine year old is still dependent on me, but she’s spoiled, too. And that is my fault. But my eldest is PISSED, and cannot see beyond her own needs right now. Needs that are, I might add, not mine to meet. At all. She’s 23.

Yesterday, it hit me that I need to take care of myself and show up for myself, especially if I’m the only one doing it. So all this family resistance I am hitting is actually only driving home the point that I have got to do what makes me happy. Because making other people happy is great, but it isn’t getting MY needs met. My kids will be fine. I will always be there for them, but I will also be there for me. As I should have been all along.

So yesterday, I painted a pretty picture that didn’t tell the real story. Today, I am telling the truth. Because you deserve to hear it, and I need to lay it out, too. Life is hard, being a grown up is hard, parenting is hard. For everyone. Most of the time. You are not alone, and I know I’m not either. One thing I wrote yesterday is true, though. Things really do have a way of working out. I’m counting on it.

Author:

I'm a single mom living life fully after years of intense addiction, trying to navigate life with grace-and failing spectacularly, sometimes. Learning to be a grown up In my 40's, without losing my lust for life, or my faith in humanity. Come, watch the antics. It should be fun (for you, at least).

13 thoughts on “Telling On Myself

  1. Hi Court– wow, this post really hit home! The backlash I get from my kids sometimes (they’re 20 and 18) stuns me in its selfishness, and that’s just regarding relatively small adjustments that life throws out way. I can’t imagine the blowback if I told them I’d be moving across the country. I know it sucks and it hurts. But I don’t necessarily think it’s anything more than kids just being so wrapped up in themselves naturally, especially once they hit their teens and early 20s. They want parents to be the unchanging rock they can always step back to. But eventually they’ll realize that we’re each our own person too, with lives to lead and happiness to chase. And deep down their love for us will bring them to want that too, even if it means some adjustment to their own lives.

    But I’ve been following your adventures and New England dreams as chronicled here, and look forward to seeing what your next chapters bring.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eeeee! I’m so excited! And TERRIFIED! And all the other things, too. I’m glad to know my kids don’t hold the monopoly on assholish behavior. They really are wonderful, too, but geez…so selfish. So glad you are still following along. ❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Coincidentally enough, for a couple years Wendy & I have been talking about moving to Maine or one of the other New England states (when we aren’t threatening to move to Canada if Trump somehow wins again) in a few years, so maybe we’ll end up neighbors one day LOL

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is the most self aware and real post I have read in a long time.
    It’s is impossible to not be codependent with our kids. AND it has to end.

    That end it tough, because somewhere, deep down, we realize that all that self sacrifice wasn’t quite as altruistic as we had thought. That we do expect something back in return…or at least recognition of our parental martyrdom.

    Of course, when I put it that way, which I must to myself often, I see that it helps no one. Yes, we need to sacrifice for the kids while they are young. But it has to end. They do have to take responsibility for their own lives.

    My eldest is 17 and youngest is 15. We are in the midst of this. I actually don’t think I would have even begun to disengage, but getting divorced opened my eyes to my expectations! And I realized I want to be seen as an independent person.

    Growth is hard. Maybe those sleepless nights when they were toddlers weren’t so bad…lol

    Anne

    Liked by 2 people

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