This week has been well, at best, challenging....not in a I-can't-handle-this-anymore kind of challenge, but more of a growth/change/realization/journey's end and beginning.
During the very catalyst of this, I've been watching as much as possible of the Democratic National Convention (ok, whoever decides to schedule first the Olympics and then the Convention, back-to-back, know this: I am a tired, tired momma.) I am inspired, I am filled with hope for change. And yet, I have these little things in my life that have cropped up that make me feel the very growth and change in my very self: as a mother, as a friend, as a sister, as an adult.
I have a mother who is well....challenging in herself. I don't mind to type this truth. First, she doesn't get online, and should she ever? Well, dearies, it is the blatant truth that she NEEDS to read. I am to a point in my life - be it from an upcoming change of decade, or the fact that I just watched two good friends of mine suffer from a loss I can't ever imagine - I just know that I am astonished, and deeply hurt in places I didn't know existed....or, I suppose I could feel the dull pain, but it has not been until recent (see: meditation...meds for the soul) self-realization that I have alleys in my being dark with scars she has induced. And it makes me sad. Very, very sad. At the same time, I am inspired. Very, very inspired.
My mother is not what a mother is supposed to be. She is filled with snarls and obscenities, like her mother before her....she is an abuser and has been abused. She did a poor job of raising my siblings. (Thank you dad, thank you for saving me.) She is obsessed with her way. She lashes more than she loves. And yet, I think to myself in the darkest of moments with her, as I too, have been held captive in her deepest depression as her daughter...I wonder. Just what happened to her so many years ago that laid the foundation for this? Just how many times did her mother treat her this way? This roller-coaster of emotions: high highs and low lows. How does one cope? Is she truly to blame? Do I hate her, or do I hate her sin, her addictions, her way of life.
It isn't really a question anymore. At age 29, I believe that I just do not understand at all. I too, am lost in trying to grasp how to react. I have tried to not react. And some days, during some of the most severe swings, I am dissolved into myself.
In the days that go by with no outbursts from her, I feel calm for the most part. I don't wonder, I don't often worry. They are precious times when the craziness comes, in the form of phone calls, visits and messages. And I too get drug down into the muck of it all. As her waves of hatefulness wash over me and my day, my life....I swim against the tide. I get pulled under, trust me. But I am getting stronger every go-around. During these times, the wounds she inflicts go deep, deep down into me.
I laid down last night with sweet little JC. He was completely zonked from his busy day of learning the letter B and show-n-tell with new buds, and romping in the yard. I thought of what a precious picture it was, him snuggled down into the blankies, all wrapped up in the security of his "magic." I couldn't bring myself to get my camera...it was just for me to share. It was like after all the craziness and emotion and furious swimming against that tide of my mom, God was giving me the gift of seeing my son in a different light. And it was all for me to drink up. I am blessed.
And as I sat, my body racked with tears for the lack of relationship and the broken lines of love from my mom to me, I understood how great my job is as Jonah's momma. How absolutely much I believe, with all my heart and soul, that I have been chosen to be Jonah's worldly guide to all things good. My mother, unfortunately...well, she has failed miserably. I will not.
I whispered my promise, with heart hurting and filled with wondrous joy all at the same time last night, that I will do the best job that I can. I will falter, I'm sure. I have already! But I will never have too much pride to get on my knees at the end of the day and say I want to be so much more than my mother and grandmother before me. I will break the cycle of oppression.
"But as for me, I will always have hope..." ~ Psalm 71:14