Sunday, September 24, 2006

explanation

After the last post I got several comments (and a few e-mails!) in regard to the childhood that I experienced. I want to share a few more things in hopes to clarify what I feel. I do not presume to speak for my siblings; this is the way I feel, see things, or interpret our past.

Number one, yes I had a weird if not difficult childhood compared to Ozzie and Harriet or Leave It To Beaver. However, now that I am older I can see where many of my friends, who I thought had it perfect - mom and dad, no divorce, large house with a family vacation each year, school clothes etc.- had similar experiences in their homes as well. Their parents just were much more closeted than ours. There are still the postcard families like Thor's where everything really was pretty awesome. But that said, even their family has its' wild branches that never seem to get properly pruned.

Number two: As in most families, all the siblings will remember things according to their own experiences and ages when certain events took place. Some things will be the same intensity, while others may not seem quite that vivid to all the others. We all have different levels of understanding and healing. I am the youngest in the family and so the kids above me had to endure things that I did not, but there are events that I had my fair share in as well. We went through a lot for little kids. We grew up fast and hard and with circumstance and experiences that even to this day my grown children do not know of. We benefited from some of it and some of it will leave it's scar for life. In the end I hope to rid myself of any "victim" status and just "be". I live to be happy and satisfied.

I also want to clarify that I believe in my heart that my mom did what she could given her circumstance. I believe she could have loved more; maybe, perhaps, I don't know; and I waffle on my thinking here. One the one hand I want to give her a break, and on the other hand I judge her against what I have done in my own life. That can be unfair and I know my kids will write a novel or two on what I have done wrong...so perhaps that is why I try to forgive and forget.

But I haven't fully yet. But I am getting there.

I am trying to let this all go and find reasons why so that I can give her an excuse. I feel guilt still, to this day, because I can't think of her in the typical "mom" way. I fell guilt to this day also because we were taught to feel guilty. It was our fault her life was miserable. It is our fault that she had to give so much, work so hard, and whatever. It was always and still is all about her needs and wants and what she gave up for us. The abuse, neglect, or just turned head to avoid seeing what others were doing is still a fog in my head. Was it me or is it memorex? Did I deserve it, cause it, or make it up? Somehow all of it is still my fault. She once told me that I "have seen one too many After School Specials." and that I have made most of these things up to elicit sympathy. Perhaps. Perhaps.

She will never be the mother I wanted in childhood and any apology she could give now still would not make up for what was, in my opinion, neglect and emotional abuse. It's all water under the bridge now I suppose.

I know I probably wasn't the mother my children wanted. I guess that is life. I tried to take the good things and make up for the things that I missed. I know there were and still are times when, frankly, I have absolutely no clue how to act or react in a situation because there is no model for me to refer to. I do my best and it has been far short too many times. I know my insecurities drive my kids nuts and that if it weren't for Thor I would have lost it long ago. I am lucky and blessed. There was a lot wrong; but a lot was right. The main thing I hope for my kids is that they know how much I love them. Sometimes I know I blow that image too. I grasp at the clues around me in hopes of being able to find the way to let them know that they are most important to me. But in reality I know, that like my own mother, I have faults; and those faults are many.

That said, my kids call me, they play with me, they laugh and dance with me, they ask me to go with them here and there, they surprise the freaking heck out of me constantly with service and love and tokens of love; and they tolerate a lot of weirdness with much kindness towards me. I am blessed. I am WAY WAY WAY blessed.

add to sk*rt

6 comments:

melissa c said...

I am so sorry it has taken me so long to get here. You actually sound alot like me.

I have a good man too who loves me in spite of myself. It is hard to believe he sticks with me through all my crazy ideas and stuff.

It is hard to know if we are being great or ruining our kids! Am I too strict, too lenient, do I spank too much?

I guess all that matters is that we are genuinely are doing our best. I can tell from your posts that you are. It's the intent that will matter.

It's easy to get down on ourselves especially when someone else is saying, "ya, it is your fault." Sometimes, I just want to hear that it is going to be ok and that I am a dang fine mom!

I sure hope you are having a happy day. Keep your chin up!

s'mee said...

Melissa, thanks! Things *were* pretty funky, but now I am at a place where I am happy all the time. It's just part of who I am. *I* think I'm a good mom, lol! Well at least all the kids are happy sorts, good humour and lots of laughing and dancing...so that's a good sign right?

The Pea said...

I know you are a great mom!!! A person should always aim to be better than what they see around them even if what surrounds them looks like perfection!

Kim Carney said...

I am glad you elaborated on that. I was going to email you, but then thought I was being nosey, then got sick...
I think we all wanted The Clever's life. Being raised by a tyrannical single mom for many years, alchohols, crazy mean grandfathers and watching those shows at night, I thought I was the weirdest kid in the world until I went to college and realized my crazy life looked almost normal paired up to some of my friends! A relief, who know? I do know that my mom did the best she could with the tools she had and as I have told her many times when we are having these heart wrenching comfrontations about the past, I did not turn out so bad! She must have done something right. And I know my son will turn on my some day with his own set of accusations of how I was a feeble mom who let his grandmother cook every meal. I fully expect it....deserve it even.
But I do look back sometimes and think, would I be any different if .... would I have done more with my life if ...
I know you are wonderful, engaged, engaging. There is no way you could not be the greatest of moms!

Maren said...

I'm glad you expanded on that too. I've been thinking about you guys a lot since.

Looking at your kids and their relationship to you shows the fruits of your motherhood. And by their fruits, you shall know them.....

I worry a lot about Reilly being scarred by his first few years. I do take comfort in the fact that he has been loved through it all and there has been no abuse--just really hard circumstances. His unrelenting health problems, but then my collapse. I was unable to be a mom in any way for the longest time. It rips my heart out to think about, so I don't. I pray that the Atonement will make up for the things that happened and where I lack. As a result, Reilly is a complete daddy's boy and I am glad he has his daddy and his grandparents and all of the other people that had to step in during that time. I pray that I can be there for the rest of his childhood.

s'mee said...

The weird thing is this, when we blog, in our head we are talking away in this or that voice. Then when someone reads it they hear it another way. When I write about all these things I am ususally in a good humour about them and somewhat ho hum if you will. I am way way way beyond the pity party stage and so I feel bad if ya'all ar worried...I am fine fine fine!(Big hint: If I am upset or angry I usually write "GRRRRRR!" otherwise I am just my goofy self)

Like I said before I am usually very happy and upbeat. Love the offspring, they love me, (hearing in my head some big burly black guy sayin' "can you feel the love baby?" in a deep deep voice. lol) It's all good!

Sorry if I worried anyone -no need to call the fire deptpartment the cat is already out of the tree!

Thanks, you guys are the best blog buddies!