This experience is leveling me to the ground. And whilst I am laying here I can see perfectly clearly using my lenses of hindsight.
I never noticed what a true miracle the three kids I have already created are. They are miracles. They made it through pregnancy, through my immature phases, through so many changes. They love hard still. They are wide open and warm. And I have hardly had the vision to notice this. I think if I had I would have spent day and night afraid I would lose them also.
My children have had to wait for me to come back to life from traumas so severe my only choice was to become numb and survive. The mechanics that make you that way do not lend to calm and gentle seeing presence.
“You cannot be everything you want to be before your time.” I have always wanted to be everything for them.
I love them more than I am able to convey in ways that feel like presence to them. Some people I’m guessing are able to choose to abandon any other thing to choose one. Their kids are their entire meaning. My kids are also, but if I didn’t make my own growth and healing a priority I would have only ever been able to love them at 50 percent capacity of my being.
They would have seen pain behind my eyes. You cannot hide things from children. You can lie to yourself that they don’t see, but children see the world much more clearly than us jaded adults do. They are much more capable of magical thinking and beliefs and therefore likely to be able to be happy, creative, and kind.
I know no matter how I look back I will always see the things I missed, some of them quite profound. I was there, but I wasn’t. If I couldn’t be fully present with myself, if I abandoned her too because that’s what I knew, of course I would be too afraid to accept their love and endless faith in me.
I am often envious of the partners I have given my children too out of desperation. Financial desperation, anxiety desperation, fear of myself as a mother desperation. It has often felt like I would be swallowed by my feelings. So I saw these happy people who were functioning and I wanted them to always have that. I could be more of what I was around. I was just trying to choose the right thing to model myself after.
So many times what looked warm and safe turned out to be much different underneath. An in tact family is not the only criteria for a good situation. It took me years to learn that. To see through the very alluring most attractive parts to me.
When you have subsisted on crumbs for so long, half a moldy cookie on a table looks like a Thanksgiving feast. And this is an expression of my path and pain. No person I have ever shared my heart with was a moldy cookie. The health of the relationship for various reasons (many due to my attachment fractured beginning), was the rotten part.
Some family of any kind is better than none right ?! So why wouldn’t I have stayed? Stayed for the kids, stayed for me. Perhaps many of the kinks would have worked themselves out over time, or perhaps I knew beyond my consciousness in some way what was best for us. This thinking seems correct based on where we are now.
But what have I caused up til this point?
And you see there it is. Taking responsibility for everyone and everything.
This is a product of trauma. The person is forced to become self-sufficient to a level beyond them, and this is a side effect. And later in life they suffer immensely trying to be an island, needing to be one, but also wanting to belong and connect. The obfuscation is immense. The dark wood feels seemingly endless.
Until that one person, or many along the way, see something in them they can’t yet. Hence the reason I am a counselor, it wasn’t a choice, it was written in the muddled beginning.
I needed people to see the good in me. I needed it so much that was the only factor it took for acceptance into the fold of our family. It fed me to be seen. I have been accused of feeding off of others to meet my needs. And I accepted that fate again as the bad guy, but finally I am able to see there is so much more to that story.
We watched Cheaper by The Dozen last night. A comfort. It was making me think of all the movies that have resonated with me over the years, made me get goosebumps, and how I would watch them over and over, and listen to songs over and over. People would tease me about my love for sappy movies or my behavior of repeatedly watching them. But these were me comforting my heart and shaping my dreams. Watching stories of people’s lives drafted in artist interpretation. Trying to find something to model after.
It would take me a long time to differentiate the romantic portrayal of movies and the grit it actually takes in real life to create a healthy and thriving family.
I wanted my story to be something more than it felt the first half of my life. I’ve fought tirelessly for that. And the fight has left me so exhausted in my soul, that often times regularly expected trials and tribulations of life now feel too much to bear. And it doesn’t take much invalidation, even and especially accidental, to wound me. Just think positive, well yes but that takes for granted every way that has wired me as far as my experiences. “You’re too introspective, you’re exhibiting frightening mental states like your mother.”
For me I just need to vent my feelings. To know they are there. To pinch myself to make sure I’m still capable of feeling. To lay my hand across my chest to make sure it still rises and falls.
The love of my life understands this about me. This line brought more tears to my eyes. There have been many the past two days.
I’m trying to accuse myself of wanting more than I already have right now. Worst case scenario-ing my character at every turn. It’s what I am best at. My very own valid feelings end up becoming some fatal flaw. And this is what I am working on in myself right now.
I have to make sure this life I have often rushed to create now takes into account the feelings of all participants and not just mine, I wasn’t so good at that in the past.
But I see I didn’t just force this onto my family, this is all of our dream now. We have always wanted another child to share our love with. I have known that from the time one of my best friends rented our downstairs and gave birth to her son in this home. As I often kidnapped him for snuggles and a bottle.
I have accused myself of wanting children for selfish reasons, and not because I have all that is required inside of me to properly nurture them. I will always be hyper vigilant that I may not. If you saw what I came from you would understand.
I have long wished I could just play some scenes from my childhood back on a tape so that the people knowing me could know. I’m torn between not wanting them to feel sorry for me, see me differently, and between desperately seeking understanding for the differences in me that feel like the separate me from the humans.
Thankfully I am loved by someone now who can see it without having me show them, and they love me harder for it. And that extra love that was missing has filled in all the gaping holes.
I am healing. I am still healing.
It’s no co-dependence, it’s not taking advantage, it’s not pathology, it’s not selfishness. It is healing. It’s taken this much. I could have turned out so many ways. But what I need for those I love to know the most is I’ve worked so hard on myself so I can belong with them. So I can feel my heartbeat near theirs, and not shrivel away for fear of damaging them with my damage.
We want to bring a child into the world to share all of what we have learned in our new story together. The kids want this baby too, and the transition from “babies” to baby is utterly painful right now. Seeing my wife’s pajama bottoms with the blood soaked through on the floor still because we were too exhausted yesterday to do anything about it is devastating. Not knowing whether the rest of the pregnancy will make it through this turbulence or not is gut wrenching. And that’s all ok. I still love my first kids that much too.
I still know it was early and blah blah. I feel things this much. So fucking what! This is who I am. It’s how I’ve been made, and I can’t help a thing about it. Except to do this (write) to cope, and to allow my story to be shared, whether or not anyone reads it.
So here I am wide awake with all my feelings always at the crack of dawn. In my morning watery womb of my own creation RE-birthing myself daily into the person I know I can be.
Here I am wondering with faith in one hand and science in the other, and what the universe has in store for our family.