my friend Jason's last post really got me thinking about some stuff. basically he spoke of a confusing time in his life when he didn't know what he wanted or who he was, really. he talked about admiring someone else to the point of trying to model himself after that person, as he thought that would bring him the same virtues, wonderment, and happiness he saw in his friend..
this is something i am very familiar with and it brought up memories of being in similar shoes. i wasn't always who i am today. in fact, out of the devastation of my mother's death and my divorce~ came healing and growth for me but it took a long time. even now i occasionally have moments where i have to fight to stay on the surface.. but it will never be as hard as it was originally.
I'm not referring to my coming out as a lesbian, that was later in my life. i am talking about growth, healing, and hope just so i could take care of my children... to have hope for a happy life.. to find my purpose and try to fulfill it.
i wasn't allowed to be my own person growing up. i was molded into what my mother needed me to be so she could be happy.. it was all about her but it's all she knew how to do. it had always been a life goal for me to get her approval that i was good, that i was lovable, that i had been enough.. but i never received it from her nor my dad. i thought i needed it in order to find peace and happiness but it turned out i didn't.
i came to a point in the months after my mother died that i didn't want to live anymore. i didn't actually want to leave my husband and kids or die, i just wanted that pain of feeling empty inside, to stop. it was crippling me. when my mom was alive, i saw myself and who i was through her. when she died, there was such a void inside me i lost my way.
there is nothing more painful in my opinion than when i felt the emptiness of not knowing who i was or what my purpose was, without being defined by my mother. i spent many years in therapy learning how to heal and find myself. initially i did it for my kids.. but as time passed i ended up doing it for me.. because i realized that if there was no me, i would not have anything to give them.
i think a parent's job, role, and duty is to mirror back good, positive self esteem building things to their child because they don't realize how special they are.. they become what you show them they are..
my point is, Jason figured out what he needed to do for himself, and i did as well. but not before years of looking to someone else whom i thought had what i needed. many times i would so strongly attach to a particular person, that when they walked away they took my heart with them and i felt like i needed something only they could give me.. when i couldn't get that, i used food, alcohol, and sex to try to numb my pain from it.
i couldn't function well. i needed to be with that person in order to feel relief from my emptiness. its pretty pitiful to let another person inadvertently have some control of how you feel even if neither of you know that's what was happening.
in retrospect, i see myself at a very young age that i was like a little sponge soaking up whatever kind of bathwater surrounded me. that is why i believe being a parent is the most important job i will ever do.
i found my way, some of my purpose... and i am no longer empty inside. i filled myself up with the gratification of being there for my kids, for putting myself through college, and finding out i am much stronger than i thought i was.
i thank you Jason for the inspiration to write these thoughts. it's good for me to see how far i have come.
different types of dysfunction..