Keeping It Real

KEEP Calm Keep it RealAs I’m trying to work from home today, fighting a migraine and feeling suffocated and overwhelmed by life, my daily BlogHer newsletter arrived in my inbox.  In it, it asked “What have you never dared to admit on your blog?”.  Clicking through to the related link, I began to read a ripping-the-band-aid-off honest post from Heather at Come what May and Love it.  She challenged us to write about something that people don’t know about us or share something in order to keep it real.

I felt like she was talking directly to me.

So here goes, Heather.  I accept your challenge, and thank you for the inspiration.

1.  If was keeping it real, I would tell you that I am scared to death every day that I am a horrible parent to my daughters.  And every time my ex husband says something negative about my parenting, it just reinforces those insecurities deeper and deeper in my heart.  I don’t feel good enough for them.  I feel like I’m the reason that my youngest daughter has anxiety and OCD issues – that some how, something that I did along the way has broken her wiring inside of her head and made her this way.  The guilt and shame I feel because I’m constantly wondering if someone else could do it better or should be doing it better cripples me to the point of immobility some days.  Only medication makes those days bearable.

2.  If I was keeping it real, I would tell you that I still haven’t gotten over losing my dad.  I hate living in my house because this was the last place he was before he died.  Everyone tells me that I should be comforted because I was with him and that it happened the way it did for a reason.  I call bullshit.  I hate that I watched him die and couldn’t do a damn thing to save him.  I hate that the couch I pulled him down from to give him CPR is still sitting in my basement.  And I hate that his wife made me be the one to tell the doctors in the emergency room to stop trying to bring him back because she was too weak to do it.   I resent that people in my family have made me the bad guy because I’ve refused to tolerate the poor treatment I received from her after my dad was gone.

3.  If I was keeping it real, I would tell you that what little family I have really doesn’t speak to me.  When there are issues within the family or any kind of drama they usually assume that I’m in the wrong, regardless of what the reality is.  Rarely has their been a disagreement about something that wasn’t turned around and blamed on me.  ”Well, YOU should have done this differently.”  Well, YOU did blah. blah, blah which is why they reacted that way.”   ‘This person was going through THIS, so it’s okay that they treated you that way.”  The words the have labeled me with – snob, bitch, trouble maker – are like a knife in my heart.  Never, ever have I claimed that I was perfect or without flaw.  But it’s not always my fault.  I think I’d actually pass out from shock if my family actually said “Wow, I just treated you like crap.  I’m sorry.”  My father raised me to speak my mind and not be a wallflower.  If I’m a jerk, I’ll own it.  But if you’re a jerk, I expect you to own it and not lay the blame at my door.

4.  If I was keeping it real, I would tell you that I loathe living in this house.  Not just because of reason #2, but because this is the house that my ex-husband and I picked out.  This house is full of memories that push me down like an elephant sitting on my head.  I want out.  At the time of my divorce, it seemed like the best idea to stay in the house with kids that were 4 and 1.  Four years later, I’m wondering what the hell I was thinking.  It’s too large for me, it’s too much for me to keep up with, and I’ll never really get a fresh start while I’m sitting inside of its walls.  I’m petrified to move, to completely upheave my daughters lives and take them from the only place that has been their constant.  Their schools.  Their park.  Their friends.  How do I tell them that I can’t do it anymore in a way that makes me not sound like a crazy person to a little girl that’s five or eight?  That I just want to wipe the slate clean and make something that is MINE.  And OURS.  Every time I feel like I’m doing something to set a good example for them, to teach them a life lesson about women being strong, taking chances, trying new things, it seems to backfire and cause more hurt to them.

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