Perhaps I’m a Mom with High Standards?

Sometimes I think I owe my parents a huge apology.  I can remember being a brat to them.  I can remember doing it and not even fully knowing why I was doing it.  Tonight, my four year old pulled it on me.  He’s been testing me all week and tonight it came to a climax.  I love him so much, and yet sometimes, he frustrates the fuck out of me.  I had to walk into the hallway and count to ten before going back in his room to handle him.

It’s nights like these, when I feel like a total failure as a mom.  My usually unending patience reaches it’s low point and I can’t take anymore.  When I don’t care that he only has 6 of his 12 stuffed animals, and I don’t want to play the window open, now window shut game.  It was a long day and all I can think about is how lovely it will feel to lay down and shut my eyes and sleep.

You cannot fail

My son has so much energy.  More than my daughter ever had, and that’s saying something.  He’s either on or off.  There is never an in-between.  When he’s up and awake, he’s non-stop running around, making noise, talking, asking a million questions at 100 miles a minute.

I know I’m not a bad mom, but when the patience level runs that low, it makes me wonder.  I love being a parent, and yet if my patience can drop like that – maybe it somehow means I shouldn’t have.  Maybe it somehow signals that I’m a screw up?  I’ve read a ton of articles that say I’m not.  Met plenty of mom’s who all grow through these same feelings.  That makes it easier… and yet it still doesn’t erase those little seeds of doubt.

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Where did these ideals even come from?  Why are women and mothers so preoccupied with being our own versions of a super mom?  Ok, that’s a generalization, as not every mom is preoccupied with that.  But it sure seems that a large majority of mothers compare themselves to other mothers, as well as compare our children to other children. Why?  Where did we get this silly notion that perfection within a human being can even be achieved?  It’s hypocrisy.  We are human.  Our children are also human.  We’re fallible. When, if ever, will we be satisfied with that?  When, if ever, will it be ok to realize that you just need to take a mommy time out and relax?

My standards aren’t really even my standards.  They come from examples I had growing up, from movies and books, from friends and their parents, and neighbors and teachers.  They are the standards set by the society I surrounded myself with.  It makes me question… what ARE my standards of me?

If I think about it.. I really kind of only have a select few.

1.  Always give everything you’ve got. Try and keep trying, even when you fail.

2.  Share an endless supply of love.  There should never be a question in anyone’s mind.  If you’re my family, then I love you and you should know it by how I act and what I say.  Love is infinite, there’s always more of it give.

3.  Be loyal and show respect.  I take care of others before myself; not because I don’t value myself, but because I respect others.  If I have something that someone in my family wants or needs… I’ll give it up, or share it.  That’s just the way of it.

4. I aim to never shame myself or my family.  This falls into the being good and moral and doing what’s right kind of category.  To uphold myself and those I love in the very best of standings that I can.

There are more, but I’d say these are probably the top on my list.  Some of my friends say I’m an odd traditionalist at times.  Looking at this list.. am I?  Maybe the newer generations don’t think like this?  I don’t know.  I’d be curious to find out.

Goodnight neverland.  I’m going to go enjoy a mai tai and try and get a little relaxation before I drift off and start another day.  🙂  Much love.

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Insecurities and trust

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I learned something very interesting about myself this weekend.  Grief brings out my insecurities.  It makes sense when I think about it.  When I’m grieving, I am in a very lost, lonely, sad kind of state.  That is typically when I feel like I need my support system the most.  It’s also when I feel guilt over needing my support system.  It feels needy and clingy and stupid. 

What I learned this weekend wasn’t that I’m insecure.  I already knew that.  🙂  What I learned this weekend is that sometimes, you have to learn to let go, and trust in those you love.  If someone tells you they love you, and they’ve done nothing to really make you doubt or deny that, then trust that they actually do love you as they say they do. 

I don’t know when I got to be like this.  Maybe they are a side effect of grief, or maybe I’ve always had issues with it in some respects.  I give love to others.  I’m generous (overly so in some cases), I go out of my way to make sure that the people I love KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that I love them.  And yet, I sometimes fail to recognize the love that others give to me.  It’s not done intentionally.  I would be devastated if someone I loved didn’t recognize that and feel that from me, and yet, sometimes, I don’t see it.  And I should.  How do you learn to see the love and affection that others give?  Is it because I’m so focused on making sure I don’t screw up that I fail to enjoy what’s given to me?  Ding Ding Ding!  Holy crap what a realization to come to.  Why do I do that?  I think … to be honest, I think it’s somewhat out of guilt.  I don’t feel that I deserve it, or I’m scared it’s going to go away.  I’m done being scared.  I want to love with all my heart.  I want to allow myself to be loved in return.  Because I deserve it.  Because I’m a good, honorable, passionate, smart, sexy woman who sometimes fails to recognize those traits in herself.  I’m worthy.  I swear, I need to write that somewhere I can see it every day. 

I.  Am.  Worthy. 

love

I’ve had some bad recurring nightmares in the last week.  I’ve also had a few good dreams, which is unusual and inspires a bit of hope in me that maybe the nightmares can be made to go away.  I’ve had nightmares since I was a kid.  My mother has very vivid dreams as well, so part of me wonders if dreaming is somehow hereditary.  One dream I’ve had for many many years involves everyone I know and love disappearing before my eyes.  I’ve always thought the meaning of that dream pointed to my insecurities, and my fear of abandonment, and I’m probably right.  This new dream, it involves the death of my children.  And I can point to grief on that, maybe a bit of PTSD after losing Ben, but I could also say that maybe I’m grieving something else too.  My friend R pointed out this weekend that perhaps, besides mourning the loss of my son, I’m also mourning the loss of a dream.  I sometimes look around me and think about how I never planned for this.  I never planned to raise my children alone.  I never planned to be a corporate career woman.  I never planned to be living with a roommate at 32, divorced.  According to R, I need to mourn the change of my vision for myself in the future, and then I may be able to move on and dream new things.  It’s not a bad idea.  I suppose that’s why I’m writing on the subject.  Usually, writing helps me process the things I’m working through in my head. 

What was my vision before?  To have a good job, be a amazing wife, be a good mom.  To be a family.  To be fiercely loved by those closest to me.  To feel inspired and happy.

Where am I now? 

I have a good job.  I’m a good mom.  We are a family.  I am fiercely loved by those closest to me.  I AM inspired and happy.   Well I’ll be…. 🙂  Maybe it’s not mourning that should be happening.  Maybe it’s celebrating.  6/7 items on my vision’s list are happening on a daily basis and I have achieved.  Why am I beating myself up then?  I’ve done it.  Ok so the painting doesn’t look QUITE as I’d imagined it 10 years ago.  But when you really look at it, I did get everything I wanted. 

It’s amazing.  It’s inspiring.  It’s refreshing to look at it in a different perspective.  I really beat myself up this weekend.  It was an emotional rollercoaster of a weekend, that I brought on myself.  And now that it’s over…. I can still say I had an amazingly good weekend, I got a lot of things accomplished that I needed to, AND… somehow, I’m starting a new week clearer.  A bit stronger.  Prouder.  A few years ago, a weekend of tears would have left me feeling pretty mad at myself.  Now?  I feel like maybe it was time.  It was needed.  And now, I can move forward again.  It’s unlike me to have such an emotional moment.  I don’t see it becoming a trend, but I’ll embrace this weekend for what it was.  Me getting much needed “stuff” out of my system in order to process it and learn from it.

Much love to you neverland.  Goodnight.  XXO!

rc

What ever you do… do NOT push the button.

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We all have them.  Buttons that when pushed will either set us off, or trigger tears, or both.  Some buttons are easier to push than others, depending on who you are of course and who’s pushing the button.  It takes a long time for me to lose my temper.  I’m slower to heat – but when I do – it boils…unless of course you manage to hurt me, then I don’t boil – at least not at the person who pushed the button.  Then I just erupt inside.  Tonight was one of those for me.  It’d been a long day.  Relatively good in some ways – and relatively shit in others.

I spent FAR too much time crying today.  Mostly because my ex pushed buttons.  I’m trying… SO… HARD… to be civil.  To not fight.  To not engage when he’s in an angry mood.  I’m successful most of the time at it.  But occasionally – he’ll break through and find a way to make me hurt.  Deep hurt.  Typically around Ben.  When will that stop being a button?  I suppose when I let it stop?  I don’t know.

We spoke of Ben tonight.  In some considerable length actually.  Let’s just say that my head hurts from all the crying.  Who knows, Ben’s been a topic lately – maybe it’s life’s way of telling me to deal with it.  To get some emotions out.  I was pretty angry tonight at one point.  So angry I was shaking.  I NEVER get like that, but my momma bear came out a little bit at one point.  I was holding back the snarls, the tongue lashing was hovering just on the tip of my tongue.  It used to be, when I was younger, that I would let my mouth say whatever it wanted.  I could give a tongue lashing like no other.  Still can if I allow it.  I unfortunately learned at an early age the power behind words – and just how much they could cut.  BUT… the years have taught me that really – its not worth it.  You end up hurting yourself just as much if not more than the other person (in the long run).  Saying things in the rush of the moment – without thinking of the repercussions only get’s you into trouble.  You end up saying things that maybe you don’t mean.  You might mean them at that moment, but those things that are said, you can’t take back.  It’s taken me about 9 years or so to get to this point.  And yea, sometimes I’ll admit that maybe my pendulum has swung a little too far in the opposite direction, but I’m also proud of who I’ve become.  It takes a lot to bring me to a point where I’ll unleash on someone.  Unless it’s the momma bear breaking through – then that comes lightening fast.  🙂

I’m proud that I’m learning to communicate on a different level.  It feels healthier.  It feels calmer.  I hate getting yelled at.  I hate being made to feel like I’m worthless, or that I was never wanted, never good at anything – other than being a mom and being a paycheck.  And that’s what the ex did tonight – maybe not intentionally – although maybe so – who knows?  I’ll consider the source.  I’ll put it away and know comfortably that ultimately… I’m in a good place in life.  And it’s getting better every single day.  Overall – I’m very happy.  Yea – ok, the last few weeks have had their ups and downs and life has handed me some stress… but when doesn’t it do that?  That is the very nature of life.  Ups and downs, stress and drama and joy.

“T” texted me when I was in the middle of dealing with the ex tonight. Then called.  I didn’t get to him because of the drama until a bit later.  It took him maybe 10 seconds before he heard right through me and called me out on not being ok.  I wasn’t.  I was a wreck. He came over.  I’d managed to compose myself before he arrived tho.  But I’ll admit, I felt stupid knowing he was coming over to make me feel better… again.  Friday and now Monday.  GEEZ.  I felt like I was becoming a nuisance.  He cheered me up.  He always does. The silly man thought I was mad at him and avoiding him.  Nope… never.  FIrst, if I’m mad at someone, I’ll tell them I’m mad at them.  THEN I’ll avoid.  LOL.  Well – it depends on how badly you push my buttons actually.  Second… he’s done absolutely nothing for me to be mad at.  Hence why I say he’s a silly man. 🙂

You all cheer me up too.  I can’t go to bed now without doing some form of writing.  Sometimes, if I don’t want to sit at my machine, I’ll write in a notebook or journal.  But I prefer the keyboard because it’s so much faster.

Well neverland, it’s time I bid you adieu.  Goodnight.  Sleep well.

XXO!

Caring the least

opinion-perspective-truth

Why do people care so much about what others think?  Why is it that we need that kind of validation?  Why give other people control of our own lives and destiny and happiness?  If you really think about it, it’s kind of a strange behavior.  We want so desperately to be happy and loved and successful … and yet… we hand over the control of those things to other people – maybe hoping that they’ll magically deliver the answers to these wants and needs wrapped in a pretty bow.  What’s even stranger is that so often, if you look at who we typically allow to weigh in on these wants and needs – they are people who don’t have it figured out for themselves.  What makes them experts, let alone experts in my life?  It’s a strange behavior.  In the end, all we have is what we make of it.  In the end, there’s a strong chance that the people we give that kind of weight to today, won’t even be around.  And yet, we still happily hand over the keys to our peace of mind and happiness to people who likely don’t really even know the inside of our hearts.  Want to know what I think?  I think it’s a lack of self esteem or self confidence.

I’ve made a pact with myself.  I’m not going to do this anymore.  I’m not going to look to others to validate my feelings or emotions, and I’m not going to look to others to validate my actions either.  I’m going to try and start taking people’s opinions with a bit more wariness.  Not because I don’t care about them, not because I don’t respect their opinions… but because I want to live my life.  I want to make my own mistakes and get a little messy on occasion.  Of course, there will still be moments I’ll go to others for their thoughts… but that’s just it.  It’s a thought.  From a biased person.  Everyone is biased in their own ways.  Everyone.  I’m a grown up.  I’ve worked hard to get where I am.  I make good choices more often than not.  I’m a good person.  I need to trust in myself, in the things I’ve learned, the lessons I’ve been taught.  I need to trust that it’s ok to not be perfect.  I also need to trust in my own emotions.

I read an article today that had a phrase that I’ve seen on the net and in the blogosphere.  In a relationship, the person who cares the least, has all the power.  What a load of crap that is.  I mean – yes – in many ways, I suppose it’s true; And how SAD is that?!  Why is it that people are so afraid of emotions and feelings?  What is this 1950?  Are feelings and emotions still too associated with being feminine?  I’d like to propose a re-wording of this phrase.  The person who cares the least will act as an anchor; and can slow/halt it’s course.  But the person who isn’t afraid … the person who lets themselves be real and open up and love… those are the people who give you wings, and if you let your fears down and relax … maybe they’ll teach you to fly.  I’m sick of being afraid.  You can’t die from a broken heart…so what’s everyone so afraid of anyway?

Hmm… that’s an interesting realization for me.  You can’t die from emotions.

You get divorced – knocks the wind out of you – makes you mad, makes you sad, makes you lonely and question everything about everything…. but it doesn’t kill you.  Perhaps at times you might wish it would – but it doesn’t.

Losing a child.  Worst pain ever.  You lose all sense of time and tense.  You have a child.. no had.. wait – but he’s still mine – so have.  You plan the future with your child in it – you lose them- now what… it’s a strange thing.  And because grief sneaks up on you unexpectedly at times, sometimes the loss will feel fresh as yesterday, and other times it fades and is just a memory of a very painful time.  But none of it kills you.

Losing friends or loved ones, losing jobs, fighting addictions…whatever the hurdle one must overcome… same thing.

Ok – so there’s no real BAD thing that can happen from embracing emotion.  What good can come of it?

Friendship, Love, companionship, respect, trust, happiness, peacefulness, Joy, Elation, understanding, strength, hope…..I could keep going. 

I think I’ll stick to sharing and embracing my emotions.  Showing my affection.  Not fearing the repercussions or heartache of losing someone who is too afraid or broken to open up too.

Off to bed now – as it’s 2:30am and I’m still up.  Nightmares tonight.  Going to snuggle back into my comforters, they smell good tonight…Comforting.  Safe.  Maybe I can bury myself in them and just dream sweet. Sigh…

Dreams

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There are times when I wish I could just turn off the brain.  Especially when I’m sleeping.  Dreams.  Why do we even have them?  Why must I continually be plagued by nightmares and hidden terrors?  Why?  I wake up, typically will sit straight up in bed, in fear.  No, fear isn’t quite right.  Terror is probably a bit closer.  It takes me a minute to realize that my dreams were in fact, just dreams.  That I’m awake and life has returned, somewhat, to normal.  I try and shut out what I’ve just seen or visualized.  Sometimes I wake up and cry.  Sometimes I wake up and am just angry that once again I’ve been robbed of precious sleep.  The very LAST thing that I’ll want to do after I’ve had a nightmare is go back to sleep.  Sometimes I’ll be so tired, that I’ll fall back to sleep.  Sometimes I’ll get lucky and not dream again.  Other times, I’ll find myself in a perpetual loop of falling in and out of the same dream.

Last night was one of those nights.  I think it was probably 6am that I decided I’d had enough.  Got up.  Wandered to find coffee and do a little people watching.  I want to go back to bed.  I want to get a few more hours of sleep, since I’m not on kid duty right now.  I checked into a hotel yesterday.  Decided I needed a day away from everything and everyone.  Its been lovely.  Ordered room service, watched bad TV, snuck downstairs last night at around midnight and watched all the silly drunk people hooting and hollering as they hopped between bars near the hotel.  It was definitely a much needed break.  But here I sit, early in the morning, unable to take advantage of the amazingly comfortable bed they have in this suite, typing to you all.

When will it stop? How do you make your brain realize that it’s not doing anything but torturing you with memories?  What I find interesting, I wake up with one of two words on the brain.  “Stop!” or “Ben!”.  Not hard to figure out what I’ve been dreaming about.  The same thing echoes in my head all morning after a dream, until I’m actually capable of either distracting myself thoroughly or just drowing it out with something else. It’s either the words my father told me after he died, or worse, the words the ex said to me after he passed.

“Why didn’t you save him?”

“Why didn’t you catch the doctor’s mistakes? I thought you were smart!?”

“You murdered our son by NOT catching their mistakes”

“It’s all your fault”

“It’s YOUR genes that caused this”

“How could you do this to our family?”

“You’re a disgrace”

It’s not of course.  I know this.  The rational side of me recognizes that those words were designed to cut me.  Designed to cause tremendous pain because the people who flung them at me were in so much pain and couldn’t take it.  They did what they know to do – lash out and spread that pain to others.  Perhaps in the hopes that the pain would dissipate or lesson for themselves.  I’m betting it didn’t work.  I’m betting that the pain they felt didn’t lesson at all.  Mine certainly didn’t, it magnified.

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I find myself lost in thought today.  Memories.  I try very hard to focus on the good ones.  Live in the moment.  Not in the past.  But it’s early mornings like these, that I get a little lost in remembering.  And it’s not all about Ben either.  My dreams last night, while many of them centered around my little angel of a little man, also gave me flashbacks of the last year or so.  My trips to San Francisco, Australia, Hawaii.  The things I’ve accomplished in the last 12 months.  The things I have yet to accomplish that I’ve put off.  The things that have yet to come.  I hope that over the course of time, the pain of some of my memories lessons even more.  Hell – I hope that overtime, I can stop having nightmares, and start having more happy dreams.  Or just no dreams!  Do they have a treatment for that?  Is there some kind of magic pill a doctor can give you that will ensure that you will have no dreams?  Although I think maybe that’d be cheating.  I think you dream these things because internally you’re working through something.  And it surfaces in your dreams where you can’t hide, but you also really can’t be hurt by it.  So maybe, in the long run, it’s better for me to have them.  To remember.  To feel.  It’s better than numbing yourself, or sticking your head in the sand.

Perhaps in another life, I’ll be an ostrich.