Unburden 

*I have written, rewritten, taken words out, reworked, and put off this post for a while* 

This blog has become my place to unburden my soul. When I need space in my mind, or my heart hurts, I put it here. Things that cloud my judgement or buzz around in my head obnoxiously become words that I release out into the world. I hate to say this space is all for me, and no one else, but it is. 

I am a giver. I would give anyone I cared about anything they needed if possible. I’m so happy to help and nurture others that I don’t even care what it takes to do so. In a lot of ways this opens me up to hurt. 

Looking back I see that I’ve probably allowed people to take advantage of me. I have always given freely and not asked for much in return. I’m not sure, till recently, that I recognized why I do that. 

Maybe I love too deeply, or too much. I try to give people a chance to be imperfect and flawed and love them anyway. I try to be for others what I always needed and wanted from people. I feel that if I had a super power, it would be…love. I’m really good at it.

I’ve mentioned my mother in a few posts. I feel awful saying bad things about her, or giving specific examples of her unkindness, but she did play a big role in shaping who I am. She can be really nice, caring, thoughtful, and she’s been kinder to me since I grew up, had my own child and moved the F away. 

Growing up wasn’t a sunshiny affair for me. I’ve always been hyper-sensitive and aware. We never had a lot of money and I knew at a young age that my parents were stressed and strapped financially. I would try to prevent my brother from asking for things at the store, or give him my toys so he didn’t need new ones, I never asked for a kid’s birthday party with all of my friends or lots of presents… I learned early to be happy with what I had and not ask for more. Regardless, the majority of my mothers stories about me made me sound like a spoiled rotten brat who just threw fits all the time. (It was a wonder my parents had more children according to her) 

As I grew, I knew my parents didn’t understand me or approve of my choices or who I was becoming. All I ever received from my mom was criticism and my dad indifference. I found approval elsewhere and they hated that. I know they see me differently now but I would tell you… I had to work really hard and learn to be motivated on my own to get here. I always had to prove myself to them, until I gave up and did it for myself. 

In high school I picked the wrong boyfriend because he liked me and I wanted someone to love me so bad. All he wanted was as a trophy to show off at school. I was skinny, and quiet and I’ve been told fairly attractive, but at the time I just wanted to be liked and accepted. “The boyfriend” wanted a perfect girl to take home to mom and dad and I was not a conformist. I was even at that age an extroverted-introvert but I’d learned my lesson about trying to please adults, and I wasn’t going to change for them (even after they sat me down and told me why I would never fit into their family). 

When it was obvious I’d never be the perfect girl for my highschool bf, and my parents were still who they were, I went through my first major round of depression. I had no idea at that age, 17ish, how to tell everyone to F off and love myself. I’d never been “good enough”,  and this was no exception. I lost so much weight that I look at those pictures now and just see a sad skeleton. It almost makes me cry now just writing it here. My version of suicide was starvation and praying I’d just wither up and disappear. 

I pulled myself out of the cave by breaking up with my db boyfriend, and thumbing my nose at my parents. I can’t tell you where the strength for that came from. 

I graduated from highschool, got a tattoo, lost my V card, started drinking and stopped going to church. 18 was a good year, and would mark my first years of following my heart and going my own way. 

20 years, several bouts of depression and a litany of therapists later, I’m happy with who I am, my life, and what I’ve accomplished and survived. I found love for myself, and forgiveness for my mother in my mind and heart. I learned to allow myself to be imperfect and still love who I am. Depression has been a hitching a ride since I was 17, but I know what to do when it happens, and I’m stronger for it. 

I completed college, worked successful jobs, established a career of sorts, and handled my S. I had my son, and made it through his early uncertain years with a rare diagnosis, all with a sizeable amount of heckling from my mother. My dad became the silent figure behind her that just observed it all. 

When I moved out of state my mother was weapy and forlorn, and I was baffled. My ex thought she was just sad because she wouldn’t have anyone to bully anymore. I had nothing to say. Most of my life has been spent trying to figure out why mom did/said most of the things she did. 

Recently, she called late at night, tears obvious in her voice, and said she’d been thinking about me. She said that she knew that most of my life she’d been judgmental and harsh, cruel even, and she felt bad. She said she was proud of me for completing college despite the multitude of times she told me to quit, and that I’m a great mother to my son while still working full time. She stated she knew how hard leaving my husband was and that she’s glad I decided to do what I needed to to be happy. She said all the things, almost verbatim, that I wanted her to say when I was younger, and struggling. I wept buckets for years, and had finally accepted that she’d never say anything that I felt I always needed her to. Here was the moment that should have mattered. 

I wish I could tell you I felt good after her soul bearing speech, but I was stunned and unsure of what to say. I told her not to cry, that I appreciated her words, and I got off the phone. I still can’t think of an appropriate response and it’s been two weeks or more. 

It’s not a matter of holding a grudge, or hanging onto negative feelings for her. I don’t have any. I love her. She’s my mom. I just really thought I’d spend my whole life not being understood by her or my dad, and I was ok with that. I learned to not need understanding or acceptance from them. Now that she’s claiming to understand me I have no good response. I know that’s terrible, but…. there it is. 

I love both of my parents dearly. People that meet them think they’re nice people. My dad is funny, and my mom is…. mom. She’s polite, nice even, she will laugh with you, be a good hostess… but you know when you’re being judged. Ask some of my ex boyfriends…

I’ve always had a nurturing way about me. My sister and I were close for a lot of her younger years because I was expected to watch her (she’s 11 yrs younger) and I love kids. I have a way with babies actually. The love part comes naturally too, and I know my mom doesn’t get it. If people F up they shouldn’t be trusted and should be… punished. Right? 

I guess I’ve always felt like the answer to most conflicts, is love. Try to see things from someone else’s perspective, try to give them a chance, cut them a break, tell them that who they are is great regardless of what they’ve always been told. I don’t treat my mother any differently than I would non-family members. I’ve never been overly harsh with her, or tried to make her feel bad about herself, or how she ever treated me. I guess…. I never thought she’d get it anyway, and I’d always be viewed as being “too sensitive”.

I appreciated my mom coming to her own conclusion about how things have always been between us, but I loved her wholeheartedly anyway. I never told her all the things I worked out in my head before, during, and after my big therapy period in my life. I never expected her to change, and I loved her unconditionally. I didn’t even blame her, I’m responsible for how I perceived our relationship. 

I still miss her, and when I get real homesick or sad and defeated, I call her. Lately, because I’ve had my ups and downs, I wish she was here. She’d make me decorate my apartment so it feels homey and tell me that I need to floss more, or criticize my organization for my kitchen. It’s what she does. 

Without her though, I wouldn’t be me… with my boatloads of love, attempts at understanding people, and my desire to take care of them all. 

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