Children iceskating on a lake after school
Some other brief bullet points that I am not going to have time to give full justice to today:
1. My beloved Auntie Karon died June 6, 2014. I'll never forget the look of pain and fear as Brandon came home early to tell me the news. I remember bits and pieces after that, but my life has been a blur for a bit.
2. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia by Mayo Clinic. I have good days, bad days and worse days. I've not yet figured out how to not overdo on a good day so the worst days usually follow good days. Then I have bad days and eventually another good day. Rinse and repeat.
3. We are no longer homeschooling. Due to the move, my new diagnosis and the lack of support system (see #1) we felt that God was calling us to put our children in public school. I currently have 4 children in 5 school programs. (Solomon goes part time to a developmental public program for apraxia and then a private program on Friday mornings.)
But back to the need to write. I recently decided that I needed to set up an appt with a therapist. I needed a neutral third party that was skilled in helping me sort out feelings. I have many friends that are a listening ear but I needed someone that could get me FROM point A to point Z. As I told T, my therapist, "I don't have issues, I have subscriptions!" She laughed and said, "Well, we will start with the first one and see where it leads us."
Days leading up to therapy appointments are filled with dread and anxiety. It's not that I think I'm wasting my time or dread seeing T. It is that the subjects/past/emotions we deal with are all just exhausting. I literally show up in a sweat shirt, big sunglasses and some comfy pants and leave the same way. Today, a tear slipped out past my sunglasses and froze to my cheek. Who knew that 8* could do that? And then I'm worthless for the rest of the day. I lounge around, doodle, read to the end of the internet and hold our couch or recliner down. And then I do it again- a week or so later. I'm hoping eventually it won't become so exhausting.
Today's topic was my FOO. That is short hand for Family of Origin. Until this point, I've only said bits here and there about my mother and my childhood. I've decided that while I've nicely done that out of being overly nice and super sensitive to her feelings... I also deserve to be able to share my past, my history, my experiences without whitewashing the crazy I grew up in.
So if you happen to be the woman that gave birth to me, I've given you 31 years of (mostly) silence. It's my turn. (Not that I think she is reading, because we've not had a relationship for almost 9 years--- I have three kids she has never met, she doesn't have my phone number or address, etc.)
Several of my blog readers are childhood friends-- to those of you that spent time with my family and didn't experience any of the things I'm going to speak of, know that my family was incredibly great at faking normal.
Anyway, this week we talked about my relationship with my mother. My mother is incredibly controlling, has very high standards for everyone but herself, has revisionist history tendencies, is verbally, emotionally and has been physically abusive and is always the victim. As I told T, for many years *I* thought *I* was crazy because her remembrance of things was always vastly different than mine. Until one day, Brandon experienced an episode and afterwards was like, "WOAH, you weren't kidding."
For instance, in 2nd grade I got my first B on my report card in Math. When the teacher passed out the report cards and I saw my B, I burst into tears. I was afraid to go home. If an A wasn't good enough (A PLUS was) then I knew for sure a B was going to get me into major hot water.
When we moved to Georgia, I had to be re-tested for the gifted program and missed entrance by less than a handful of points. My mom was furious---- with me. I was retested in 4th grade. From then on, I had to hear how "gifted children don't do this or that" or that "gifted children are capable of all A+." I grew to HATE being labeled as gifted.
I had my hair cut (with permission) in the 7th grade and my mother didn't speak to me for the rest of the day. She is the one that drove me. At dinner, when she still wasn't speaking to me, I asked her why she had given me permission and taken me if she was going to be so upset, and she announced to the entire family at dinner that "no one had anything to look at me for other than my yellow teeth."
At 17 years old, she told me I caused her breast cancer and *I* was the one making her hair fall out.
When I told her I was pregnant with DeLainey, she offered to pay for an abortion. When I said I wasn't interested, she made an appointment for me anyway. When I told her that I was not going (I was 18) she told me that I'd have to tell my step dad. He was working in Germany at the time. She told me how disappointed in me that he would be. How *I* was going to ruin the image our family had and so I needed to tell my step dad. She NEVER told my step dad about the abortion plans.
When Brandon and I found out that we were expecting Julianne (after trying for over a year!) she told me that she had given all of Lainey's things away that she said we could store in her attic because she didn't want Brandon and I to have any children.
The list goes on and on and on. Don't get me wrong, I have never been perfect, but I have hundreds of these sorts of things I could list.
Anyway, almost 9 years ago, I set a boundary by telling her that she couldn't treat me or my family like this anymore. And she walked away.
And yet, as my therapist pointed out, *I'M* the one carrying the baggage. My mom doesn't have to say mean things to me anymore, because I hear her in my head now. And it is so true.
When I had that spin out about my 3.8 while homeschooling, with two children with my special needs, taking a full load plus and my husband working full time, I wasn't happy about it. I heard my mom tell me that if I had just worked harder, if I had studied more, if I hadn't been so lazy, if if if.... THEN I would have a 4.0-- I'm gifted afterall. Yuck.
I've spent my life beating myself up. I'm 31 and I am in therapy to learn how to love myself. I want to be kind to myself. I want to be my own friend. I want that voice in my head to say nice things to me. I'm two sessions into this and while it's exhausting it is also freeing to be heard and to gain insight.