Monday, June 14, 2010
Finding Our Way Home
The process of rebuilding a new life with (and for) my daughters is proving far more stressful, far more humbling that one--than I before imagined.
Though our host and hostess are more than gracious, I am still not exactly comfortable taking up space in someone else's home. Call it a character flaw or some lack of faith in human nature, In my mind, though, most offers of help, support, friendship, or the like are offered with the subconscious belief that the one to whom the invitation is extended will gracefully, gratefully decline! We all want to be generous. We all want to be kind. The reality, however, is that more often than not--especially these days, in this economic climate--most cannot manage to live up to those lofty principles or ideals.
Besides, did I mention my extreme aversion to accepting anything from anyone under any circumstances...?
I must admit, part of me is extremely proud of this fact, as my independent nature dictates that I must not ever allow myself to grow accustomed to or even comfortable with reliance upon others. In dire circumstances I would place necessity above "principle," specifically in the best interests of my children. I have and I will. None of this, however, changes my complete and utter revulsion at the thought of leaning upon another for anything, any time, any where, under any circumstance.
Cynicism: how wholly unimaginative...!
The truth of the matter is, despite past criticism of my "self-sufficiency" as the ultimate manifestation of personal control, when it comes down to the barest basics, I just do not trust others enough to put my life, my comfort, my future, or the welfare of my children in their hands. Abandonment issues: such powerful deterrents against the formation of personal attachments. For some of us, the concept of another or group of others who will "always" be there is as unlikely, as inconceivable as a polar bear eating an ice-cream cone on some pink-and-purple sanded beach in Bermuda! Call it fear, call it paranoia, call it plain old insanity, but I find myself constantly looking over my shoulder to catch someone looking over my shoulder.
Suffice it to say, I don't trust, I absolutely do not trust anyone.
Not as far as I can throw that "one" while he or she is sitting in a fully loaded car.
This is probably unfair, I know. Most people, like the Thompsons--with whom we are staying--are kind and genuine, generous in nature and honest in their intentions. Experience, nevertheless, is a harsh teacher, and I have seen far too much of the worst in human nature recently to put much stock in the best of it. It is easier, in my mind, to do without a thing than to ask for it, thereby leaving oneself open to disappointment and disillusionment.
Admittedly, this is all probably quite ridiculous. The perception that others have little confidence in my abilities, see my current situation as some undeniable proof of my failures as a mother, as a person, as a human being might very well be ludicrous. After all, never once has anyone said anything to this effect directly to me. On the contrary, any and every thing I have heard has been somewhat supportive--even from individuals who are practically salivating over the prospect of the uppity know-it-all falling flat on her face!
Ah! Perhaps therein lies the problem. Those around me have been a bit too positive, a bit too eager to assure me of their confidence in me. Quite frankly, extremes of any kind tend to make me nervous. I walk away doubting the sincerity of the one ladling on the compliments. Is this some residual hangup from the past? Most assuredly! Even so, this skepticism exists alongside the mistrust and tendency to perceive criticism when none is given--mainly because I feel so guilty for having gotten myself and my family into such an unholy, untenable mess.
I simply cannot forgive myself for having gotten "sick" in the first place. Why did I not plan things out better? How did I miss all the warning signs of impending disaster? And why was I unable to somehow repair the before fragmented family structures from my past for the children's sake? How can anyone have "screwed up" this badly? And, having made such a collosal mess, why can I not fix it? What is wrong with me, what is wrong with me, what is wrong with me?
My children, of course, cannot say enough about their collective and individual confidence in my capabilities as a Good Mother. But what do they know? I trained the little suckers to think that way! The Green-Eyed One would have told me that this is a wonderful opportunity to find my heart, to explore the situation with curiosity as a part of my journey in life--as a merely a part of who I am or what I feel...but, having royally ticked him off as well, he isn't here to say it. (...which may not be a bad thing, really...?) Also, time plus experience have taught me that "this, too, shall pass." In a week--maybe a month or two in this instance--the thoughts and feelings I now voice will be long forgotten, replaced by joys and concerns of a totally new stage of living and experiencing.
We will get through this rocky period, the children and I.
Our family will emerge on the other side of this annoying little detour all the wiser, all the stronger, all the more confident for having faced it all head-on.
Dickensian times, Ecclesiastical seasons all dancing to the music of time...and all that rot, don't you know!
All this having been said...
For right now, though,"in the moment," the future is confusing, daunting, and untenable. Everything stinks. Life is a muddle...and we're all going to suffer, suffer, suffer then die in a big ol' bloody heap!