Well, I came here for a little mothering myself, I suppose, and I’m getting it – thank you! You must be telling me truths, because your words hurt. I feel like I’m being totally impolite, and that if I want to make friends like I say I do, I ought to at least try to carry on something like a real conversation. Maybe I’m not truthfully here looking for friends, then – hence the stupid username. I’m just here to moan and drip my way back off this mental cliff-edge. So I’m just going to put all my feeble excuses out there and ask you to please stomp away. Maybe if you all kick me in the ass hard enough (with love?) I’ll quit moping and pull myself together. All my thoughts are self-defeating; all my solutions are catch 22’s. Maybe if I confess every nasty little thing I can think of, I can, as you suggest, try to forgive myself.
See, there is, I suppose, a body buried in my backyard. Of course there are other issues, old sewage, clumping to the top of this backed up sludge of emotional junk that, if I were healthy, I would dispose of just like physical waste – all this old mental shit I obviously never got rid of properly the first time. I know, this is going to bring up another wave of ‘get yourself to a therapist’ advice, and I’ll admit I’ve nervously told myself this before. Maybe I’m trying to put myself between a rock and an even harder place, to make it easier to get over this deep-rooted distrust and ask for professional help.
You’re oh-so-right, under piles of guilt, I’m feeling worthless, and unlovable. Pretty out of whack with the insignificant amount of rejection I’ve received, right? My husband still loves me. Our friend has no idea how I feel, and maybe would think less of me if he did, but maybe not. I don’t know, and I’m too chicken to find out. More at risk in reality than my own limp little ego. Who am I to mess with other people’s lives?
I feel like so many things said to me in these posts are so right! I feel like I do know I am choosing this ugly route through what doesn’t have to be so bloody hard – and then I feel guilty about feeling guilty and around and around we go. And pugmadmama, you’re bang on, too. I am trying to strangle myself emotionally rather than deal with some hard truths, and trying to find an easier way out than having to do the unpretty work of that. But I think my real life has plenty more to give than my flimsy fake one – not much substance to it, you know? No satisfaction from it, either. Escape, sure, but from less and less, the longer I hide in there. I try a similar sort of thing every now and then, to your balloon idea – I go to the river, and try to let it all wash downstream, let it go. I’m sure it’s a device I’ve created, but what I think keeps bringing it back is this unshakable feeling I’m supposed to be feeling these things. I’m not supposed to be letting them go. There’s something else I’m meant to be doing with them. I tell myself it will make a crucial difference in his life, if I tell our friend I care that he exists and is in our life. All, as you say, elaborate…and all, I’m almost totally sure, bullshit. It’s that stupid almost that grabs me, every time. That, and the impossibility of merely asking if it matters or not.
Well, here’s another delectable little secret for you voyeurs into my dumb little melodrama, a rotten little piece of meat that will certainly make you all say ‘ahh – that’s it, then’ – the body in the backyard of my past. This, at least, is something mothers especially will be able to understand, why it is I would beat myself up so. It’s not a very big body – it never had much of a chance. As well as having given up a child for adoption as a teenager, I also have had an abortion. Oh, I see all those lights coming on, now – aha! I guess that ‘explains’ me, doesn’t it? Case closed.
I don’t want to live with secrets rotting in me. My husband knows the truth, sort of, but that doesn’t diminish my guilt one bit. My mom doesn’t know I had an abortion, and I know that bothers the hell out of me. But that was one of the biggest reasons I felt justified in never telling her – why put her through the pain that bit of information would bring her, if she doesn’t need to know? She grieved, and still does, for the granddaughter she may never get to meet, the baby I gave up for adoption when I was 16. I feel like I can’t be a real friend, to her or to my son, without someday being honest. No way to be honest without hurting them. No way to lie without hurting myself. And if I can’t forgive myself, how’s anybody else supposed to? Or, put another way, what good is anyone else’s understanding or forgiveness if I can’t cut myself some slack? Before my son was born, I thought I had all these things dealt with and put behind me. What combination of isolation or tiredness or conscience or bad brain chemicals is making it all fester up again now is not only beyond my reckoning, it doesn’t matter. You’re all right. I need to quit pretending I’ll get over this, and give myself over to some help. Admit I’m incapable of finding my way out of this elaborate maze I’ve made, admit I’m a mess, and hire a brain-janitor to clean me up.
I don’t know how much (how seriously) I’m messing up my son. I mean, he’s just a little kid – he doesn’t know what to think of this, except I’m no fun when I’m sad all the time, I’m grumpy, and I far too frequently tell him to just go play, or leave me alone. I don’t explain myself to him much – I just tell him I’m not feeling very good, if he asks. But it’s like I’m imprinting on him, anyway. I can’t hide it well enough. If I don’t eat (and that’s much too often, it’s like it’s an acceptable form of punishment for me??) sometimes he notices and says to his dad, when offered a snack or a meal, ‘Is Mom having some?’ Or he’ll come offer me some of his sandwich, if he sees I haven’t had breakfast yet. And somehow, no matter how much I insist I love him, no matter what, he seems to think it’s all his fault. Often, he will burst into tears with little or no provocation, and wail, ‘You don’t like me!’ I keep trying to tell myself maybe it’s part of the teenager-ness of this age he’s at, but most days I’m convinced it’s all my fault. Like I can’t see where he’s getting these ideas? Today he actually really scared me – here I am, reading these replies citing suicide, and trying to decide just how close to that edge I’ve really let myself get, and my son comes into the room, upset and crying because ‘he’s going to miss me when he dies someday’! Much strugglingly constrained shock and confusion later, I calm him down and figure out he got this in his head from something on a cartoon he was watching about someone’s pet dying – he made the leap from that idea to the one that people must get old and die someday too. Wow. Can you imagine how unprepared I am to talk about this with him? Maybe that’s what’s getting so hard, with parenting. Well, also in my marriage, I suppose. As my son gets older, I’m confronted with a lot more than chores to deal with. Likewise as my relationship evolves and grows deeper, more serious, more committed – I am digging ever deeper into who I am, trying to express that to people I naturally want to have care about me…but looking that far in, questioning how I deal with life, I don’t much like what I see.
As you say, MsMoMpls – it sucks to be human. I know, I ought to grow up, get over it, get a life, maybe get out into the big scary world, maybe make a friend. I used to joke in the winter, that I should go out with a sign around my neck reading: Hi I’m a loser – will you be my friend? Maybe I do have some good ideas, after all.
Okay, so obviously, by my million mile long posts, I have a lot more soul-searching to do. A lot more courage I need to drum up. You know, getting back to ‘reality’ and ‘health’ again (gotta put them in quotes – they don’t look real enough to quite believe in from this far away!) would have been so much damned easier had I turned around with my tail between my legs and crawled back to them a long time ago. I’m not sure what perversity of spirit has allowed me to run so far from where I should be (an adult, sane, normal, a good mom)… if I can figure it out, I’ll post it here, as a lighthouse to other silly people so they don’t blindly smuck themselves up against these same rocks as I have. Good thing I’ve got such a thick skull.
Thank you for telling me I’m not alone, and not a total freak. And that I matter, even to perfect strangers whom I may never meet, who may never get anything back in return for their time and their kindness. You’re angels. Thank you for sharing yourselves with me. I feel like I don’t deserve an ounce of kindness, so to get a landslide of it…it’s rocking me to my roots. It’s good – they needed to be rocked! This has been way more than I’d ever expected. Much too close to the bone, but that is needed, too. Thank you.