A friend of mine on Facebook (and in real life as well) quoted some words of Maya Angelou.
The greatest gift you can give others is the truth. Sometimes being your true self does not meet with expectations of the crowd…..DO IT ANYWAY.
There’s a lot of wisdom in the words Teresa shared. A lot of truth. The truth isn’t always easy to face, isn’t easy to swallow and can certainly test your faith in others, self and in the reasons for living.
I’ve not wanted to face my truths of late. They are painful.. both in the physical sense as well as in the emotional sense. I have hidden these truths from others because I haven’t wanted to face them myself. It seemed easier at the time to just “stuff” them and while I know you can never truly run from your reality, the decision to put these truths in a closed box seemed safer at the time. Never fear.. they ALWAYS break out of the box, always come to the surface and must always be dealt with at some point. The time frame isn’t always the same as i’ve sat on painful truths for years and turned a blind eye.
I’ve done a lot of self work over the past years, trying to find a better, healthier way of dealing with issues i’ve had since childhood. Now don’t get me wrong, I was blessed with a wonderful mother and a step father that could do no wrong in my eyes but I carried a lot of scars from my biological father not wanting me and my brother. I suppose my brother has either stuffed his feelings about it or perhaps it doesn’t bother him like me. Either way, this is just about me.. especially since my brother doesn’t wish to have a relationship with me. He makes it obvious that he feels he’s a better person than I am and perhaps he is but I already knew I was damaged. I didn’t need him to point out what was glaringly obvious. I suppose if that helps him cope with his own feelings by shunning me, more power to him.
I have had a lot of changes in my life, some of my own doing, some not. Some changes made in fear, some made out of anger, some from boredom/stupidity and some from a sense of personal discontent. Some of those changes have been for the good, others have left me with a sense of pain and loneliness. When they are choices of my own doing, I know I have to live with the consequences and I do. I may not like them but I own them.
My greatest fears are failure and being alone. Many times the two of them are so deeply entertwined that I cannot separate them. Yet when i’m in pain, especially if I feel i’ve failed at something or i’ve failed someone.. I become reclusive. It feels much like a dog, wanting to lick it’s wounds without having others sniff at them and wonder how those wounds came to be. I don’t like having my failures displayed out in the open.. becoming fodder for other’s amusement, giving someone a chance to yet again feel superior to me or sometimes (even worse) save me from myself.
I do love myself. I think that is what makes my failures so difficult. It’s hard to love yourself yet be honest with your own shortcomings and failures. I don’t always love the things I do. I am not making excuses, I own my mistakes but I also realize that in the middle of my mistakes, I recognize I am human. I make mistakes and then I have regrets. The regret isn’t always about the action, it can sometimes be the regret felt when the sting of the consequences bite. Yet I have to own those consequences, even if I don’t like them.
I can tell that i’m getting older. The very behaviors I used to think of as being ridiculous in my mother or my grandmother, I see myself doing. I’ve become less tolerant of crap. I want to get the same respect I give. It doesn’t always happen that way. I find that maturity can mean patience is often greater but tolerance is often shorter. Yeah.. I know. That sounds like an oxymoron. And none of this likely makes any sense to anyone else because I haven’t labeled the issue that has caused my downward spiral. So here it is. My baby son has moved out. Again.
This time it was over an argument in which I ended up asking him to go. Repeatedly, we had conversations in which I asked him to just be a little more considerate of us. Maybe I was asking too much? I don’t know. I wanted him to call if he wasn’t coming home so that I wouldn’t worry. It didn’t FEEL like it was too much to ask. Yes, I know he’s 21 years old but no matter the age, I worry. I am a mother. It’s the only job I have known consistently throughout my adult life. It has been my greatest achievement yet likely my largest failure. I don’t mean that my children are failures.. that is the furthest thing from the truth. They are both incredible in their own right. It is ME that feels like a failure. I’ve failed to communicate respect enough that they understand how important it is.
Now that he’s gone, I miss him terribly. I knew I would. This isn’t the first time i’ve known the sting of an empty nest. It nearly killed me the last time. I can’t really talk about it with others.. it is too painful. So i’ve dumped it here and this is as much as i’m capable of doing for now. Suffice it to say, my heart is as empty as my nest. And no matter where the blame is placed, the emptiness feels the same. Please be patient as I struggle to get back to a place where I find joy in small things, laughter in unexpected places and pride in watching my children go their own way. It’s so far beyond hard that I cannot begin to explain.