My mother tells a story of me helping my drunken neighbor, who had passed out on the pavement next to our house. I was young about 13 years old and he needed help, so I helped him. Do I remember this incident? Absolutely not, do I believe her? Absolutely, because I know that my heart today could never leave a neighbor on the ground when I could help, so my innocent (ish) 13 year old self would definitely not be able to let that go. Why am I telling you this story? Because today I decided to just let whatever comes out of me come out freely and that I will share it with you without being too concerned with what the neighbors will think or the church will think or just anyone really. My life is my life and all this shame that people feel they need to force on me and on you is just not cool.
I’m not supposed to talk about many things because it will bring shame on me or my family. But truthfully the only one that allows the shame to manifest is me. I am the one that feels shame. Why because we are raised in shame. People just mustn’t know because they will think badly of you. I get how this was important many moons ago, when the world was still in black and white and priorities were different and women basically were just there to make babies and be a wife to some man. Mixing races was a ridiculous thought back then and so was same sex marriages. Slavery was a thing too, but hey lets not raise our sons and daughters in this decade with the same shame that was placed on people in the past.
Last night I cried a little, not because a virus is taking over the world, not because people are dying and its out of my control, this is something that my heart cries out for every single day and I cant bear to imagine the level of pain families are going through at this time. It weighs heavy on my heart every day as we are asked to stay home and protect not only ourselves but everyone else too. No last night my tears were closer to home, I cried because I felt like a failure. I felt like a failure because I lost my cool AGAIN and used words to express my frustration that no 11 year old needs to hear. My kid never hears me use curse words, only when the level of angry does not allow for any other words to describe the amount of frustration.
One “f*#en hell” and the tears ran down her cheeks because she places blame on herself when she sees frustration in me. I know this because she tells me its her fault that I am frustrated and then she self shames because it’s how she relates my anger to herself. Now let’s understand that I immediately rectify her thoughts with a greater understanding of how my frustration is not her fault, that I love her unconditionally and she is the joy in my world. That my frustration comes from my own choices and my own failures and they have nothing to do with her. I had to remind her how precious she is to me and to the world and that sometimes being an adult is really tough and that we don’t always know what we are doing. That we feel just like she does but we don’t always get to express ourselves as freely as kids do. Eventually she smiled again and told me that she understands and that she loves me and will try to do better tomorrow. (meaning chores and schoolwork etc) because obviously this was the reason I lost my cool a little bit.
Once she fell asleep I was allowed to finally let the tears out and feel everything. Overwhelmed with just everything at this point, for the first time in a very long time I felt alone, I felt like I had nobody that I could call at 1am when my world was falling apart because, well, that person died 6 years ago and lets be real, people are asleep at that time and finding people that will drop the world and answer a call at that hour is just ridiculous. Or maybe its just me that doesn’t feel like burdening my tribe with tears at 1am because I know they are like me and the phone is on silent and sleep is not gonna be disturbed, so it would be pointless anyway.
I felt like a failure as a mother, I felt like a failure as a person and I felt like a failure as a woman.
- Being a single mother comes with guilt, guilt of not being able to give her everything I feel in my belief system that she deserves. 2 parents, white picket fence… you know the supposed dream that we as girls are taught to believe is the way to be. It doesn’t help that all my child wants are these things and I spend my time explaining to her why she doesn’t have them
- My feeling of failing as a person comes from the general expectation the world had on me when I was younger. That I would do more and be more and success would find me. I look at my life and one day I feel truly blessed , and then the next I feel overwhelmed with bills. How will I have enough to cover everything and now that my salary is uncertain how will I cover anything? I used my savings to travel last year, now what? I honestly feel like every choice I made has left me a failure. I’m supposed to have done so much to help change the world by now, I wanted to help so many people, but darkness in my heart, pain from my past and fear just kept me making shitty choices. My choices are better now, yes but look at how behind I am? I’m supposed to be doing this stuff in my 20’s not at 40. But here I am making better choices, now, rather late than never I guess. I have grown so much and achieved so much in a short time, but last night my heart would not allow me to see these things, just pain and regret. I know I haven’t ACTUALLY failed as a person, when the darkness becomes light all is well and all the sorrow is forgotten because Joy comes in the morning with the gift of another day to do better to try harder and to love more… right?
- My feeling of failure as a woman comes from the expectation that the world has always had on me to marry. My fathers heart will rest only when he knows that I have found someone to share my life with. Half the world says I’m better off and the other says I’m not. My heart was hardened to marriage because of the poor examples I had of it around me and the pain that it caused me as a child. As a teen I would dream of meeting someone and doing the whole family thing yes, because that was the dream all little girls were told by their grandmothers and their aunts and their mothers. but after a failed 7 year relationship by 25 lets just say I closed my heart off to love, I didn’t believe it was for me and so sabotaged every chance I had to find love back then. I didn’t even realize I was doing that until I began to work on healing that pain of my past. It’s amazing how we protect ourselves by avoiding the thing that hurt us. My father always teased that I wouldn’t be young and pretty forever and I should snatch someone up before the wrinkles came, hahaha. But I was too busy avoiding life to see that in his joking he was really concerned for me. I know in reality I have not failed as a woman and that this is just a way of punishing myself for the many bad choices I’ve made in the past, but last night my heart wouldn’t let me see any light and so I had to feel the pain that my heart felt.
So I cried and let a layer of pain leave my body because I know that the only way to heal is to feel and I know that the only way to resolve is to face the feeling and work through it in the morning. So here I am today, I decided that this blog cannot be just about happy days and happy times, but also about whats real, and whats real for me right now is that I feel vulnerable to many things because I am alone in my personal struggle because only I can resolve the conflict within myself. But I also know that I am not actually alone in my struggle because even in this lock down where my movement is limited and things are scary and unknown, I know that I may physically be alone here in my space, but I am not really alone in the world because the people that I have chosen to be in my world are amazing people and even though they sleep at 1am, I know that if I reach out to them that they will reach right back as soon as they possibly can.
This morning I am once again filled with hope, filled with light and the pain of last night resolved and the lesson taken with me into the future. I am not perfect, I know, but I am doing the best I can with what I have, and yes the pressures of the world may make me feel insufficient at times but in truth I know that I am not measured by the things that I have or the money that I make but I am measured by what is in my heart and how I choose to live my life from this day forward. So the past is not there to haunt me but to grow me and teach me and guide me, and my tears are not there to torture me but to heal me and help me to shed the internal pain that I carry with me. One day I know that it will all make sense, I know that everything I’ve lived will not seem as confusing to me as it did before and that all the pain in the end will have purpose.
I share this with you because I know i am not alone in these feelings of insufficiency and because I want to do all that I can to help whoever I can to resolve their pain and to feel less alone even if all I can do for now is write down my story, or parts of it at least, Its the on thing that I have to share and giving love and light right now in any way shape or form means one step closer to fighting of darkness and warming up cold hearts with feelings of love and understanding.
We are all doing the best we can, so please cry if you must, feel what you must but when morning comes and a new day begins, lift your chin up, hold your head high and start again, try again and never give up the fight for life, for love and for purpose. We are all worth the fight, nobody is worthless, together we can overcome everything.
All my love and truth