Writers aren't exactly people, they're a lot of people trying to be one person. F.Scott Fitzgerald

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mothers learn to be a mother from their mother

      I admit it.I never liked children,never wanted to have children,hold a child,play with a child,etc I had plans for how my life would be,at least I did until I did until I met Richard.I don't even know how it happened that I became an entirely different person.I was head over heels in love. A gorgeous man loved and wanted me. gone were my plans to be a vet and run our farm with my stepfather.Gone was the feisty,independent farm girl,the artist and self reliant sixteen year old on the cusp of womanhood.
     He wanted me! At least he wanted the me he thought I was and the me he could change me into. Six years later I was an empty shell of me,had two children and no Richard.Was it all his fault.Absolutely not! I gave up the real me,shoved that young girl deep inside and forged a new me.
    I never liked her and  she didn't like me.I hid her so deep inside the body we shared,I eventually forgot she existed. To this day I don't understand why she didn't fight to come back and get us out of the mess I had made.
  Now let me say this,I loved my two children and did my best to give them a good life.   My stepfather eventually began to speak to me again and we regained some of our closeness.Until I decided to go to nursing school so I could support my children and me.I missed being wealthy  and at least wanted some independence from my stepfather. I did my best to be a fairly good mother and that is all I can claim to being.
    Then I remarried,not for love but out of fear, laziness,loneliness or to defy my stepfather I honestly don't know.Anyway the marriage lasted until I woke up the next morning cursing my stupid desperation and my impulsive wedding.I was divorced within a few months.
    I graduated from nursing school,worked hard,met a guy,liked him a lot and married him for the wrong reasons.Went back to nursing school,married him,had two more children and gradually went out of my mind.No I was not a raving lunatic,but I was out of control.Desperate for something to ease my pain and make me whole. I thought marrying a guy I really liked and a lot of fun with and who had wealthy parents  was a great idea. Two children,another nursing degree,a move to Texas, buying land,making plans to build a house and have a small farm later,I had no clue who I was and just how depressed I was.
    I had grown to love my husband and his family,but I had no clue who I was or how to pull myself together.I could no more control my unhappiness,pull myself out of my depression, or see what I was doing to my husband. I made some really stupid mistakes.He was no angel either and we wounded each other deeply.Eventually he could stand no more and walked away.I missed him desperately.Oh hindsight is such a bitch.
    I began to see a great psychologist,worked hard as an RN,took care of my youngest daughter and carved out a good life for us with the help of Prozac for the depression.
    It has taken me thirty years to find that girl imprisoned deep inside me and apologize to her.I can't go back and undo the things I did that I learned from my mother.I do know now just how much of an impact she  made on me. I followed her teachings and examples without being aware of what I was doing. I loved my mother,I finally realized I didn't like her one damn bit. She was dishonest,manipulative,greedy,self serving,used people to gain what she wanted without any expression of regret for her actions.
    She was also,kind,beautiful,witty,loving and nurturing and let me know she loved me.Well at least she always said she loved me and my sister.

    I look back now and realize I how closely I followed my mother's example.Things, became more important to me. I used them to fill a void in my life. I allowed them to become more important to me than the people in my life. I hid my deepest feelings,longing and regrets for a path not taken by acquiring stuff. I closed myself off to loving and giving my heart to my husband because of my regret and longing for the path I didn't choose.
A life with my stepfather on the farm. I didn't follow my dream. Why?  I think the main reason was falling in love with the wrong man and my stubbornness to see my mistake.My stepfather tried to make me see the real Richard and how I was becoming someone I was not in order to please him.
    By the time I could see what I had done, it was too late and the farm was gone along with all my dreams and the person I really was.
    I can't undo the past and parts of it I wouldn't want to.I love my children and my wonderful granddaughter,Azalynn. Somehow I will become a whole person again.I apologized to the lost girl I hid inside of me. It is too late for her dreams too.But I can embrace her and honor her by becoming the kind of person we could have been if we had merged.
    I will never like my mother, but I can forgive her and understand that she did what she had to do to survive and obtain what she felt was her dream. I wonder if she too had a part of herself she had to deny in order to obtain what she decided she wanted most in life.Did she have a dream she gave up? Did she have regrets?Who did she learn from? Her mother died within hours after Momma was born. 
    Those are questions I'll never have answers to.Momma at the age of 65. My age now. I suppose the answers to all my questions don't really matter now,but I wish I had known more about her dreams and if she realized those dreams. I have learned this from her.To tell my children my story,love them,support them,be honest with them, and let them see who I really am.Maybe they will learn something useful from my mistakes. 
     The girl I was and the woman I am, have finally made peace with each other and will grow old together as one whole person.

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