This one is going to hurt. So let’s just get started. I’m going to ramble just a bit because most people that this applies to won’t actually read past the first clip in the link. They just comment about what is in the first paragraph then go on living their lives. This post is for them. It’s for those that refuse to go deeper. The ones that can’t see past themselves to see those their actions and words are effecting.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this is written in love. I’m not trying to bash anyone or to intentionally hurt someone’s feelings, there have been enough hurts going around that we don’t need to open up any more wounds. I just have some things I need to say about some life situations.
I like organization and lists, so let’s begin:
- I was 14-15 years old and I was out in the front yard picking up sticks before mowing the yard. I saw my father drive by. He waved. I waved. I finished mowing the law waiting for him to drive back by, maybe stop and say hi. I thought for sure I had missed him. I sat on the front porch – on the cold concrete. It started getting dark so I went inside.
- I don’t know how old I was, maybe 10 or so. I was at a family reunion at a lake. I remember taking one of the raft boat things out on the lake and paddling over to my cousins who were having a blast. I didn’t fit in so I went back to shore and sat at a picnic table. I sat there until bed time. The next day I sat in a lawn chair and watched everyone play and talk. I think this is around the time I fully realized that my family didn’t really want me around.
It was difficult. I already felt like I didn’t know them any more. We were all so close when I was younger but when my parents got divorced when I was 5 they slowly disappeared from my life. I missed them. I’m sad that I don’t have a relationship with them now. They all seem so close to one another. Many times they’ve said “I wish you lived closer.” I remind them that I moved closer. Twice.
Here’s the thing… I always desired a relationship with my family, but, here’s the kicker, I pushed away the only family that has actually been there for me. The ones that came to the many many softball games, the dance recitals, band concerts and every other life event that occurred. They never made me feel like a burden. I knew I was a pain to deal with, but they stuck it out. They still stick it out. They’re the ones that ask how I’m doing. Come see me when I’m in town. Celebrate my success.
So now I am 35 years old. 30 years have passed and so so many hurts. I just can’t do it anymore. So here’s the deal. If you want to be in my life, be in my life. If you don’t, don’t. It’s simple.
I tell you all of that to tell you this. In all of those years, my mother did what was best for me. Not what was convenient, not what was easy. She made hard decisions. She worked hard and sacrificed herself to give me an awesome childhood. I thought it was boring and never got to do anything, but looking back I was also a selfish jerk, so… I went to camps, I had a season swimming pass, I had sleepovers, parties, we rented VHS tapes and had popcorn for dinner. She worked 2 jobs at most times and went to night school. She dealt with my delinquent sister and me, trying to outperform my delinquent sister. She never gave up. I remember my mother working into the night as a mail carrier. She was late getting home. Turns out she was viciously attacked by an ice covered tree branch and had to get stitches under her eye. She also had to finish her route because people need those Macy’s catalogs on time. She worked so hard and still does. She is the reason I don’t call out of work, well, unless I’m in the hospital, I was way too high on Fentanyl to be dealing with that nonsense.
My step-father was the same. I was so mean to him. I took out my frustrations with my own father on him. I wanted my own father to come to the games and recitals, turns out he did. It’s really unfortunate that I spent so long trying to push so many people away just to make room for people that didn’t really want to be there.
It pains me to say it, but it’s true. I was a child, how was I supposed to arrange visitations? That’s what the grownups were for. Why was I the one that had to call every time? It’s too much of a burden for a child to bear. Even as an adult it gets tiring.
If you chose to not be a part of my life, you missed a lot of really great things and I’m done feeling bad about it. I know things get busy, I totally get that, but it’s time we all put on our big girl panties and admit we were all at fault.
To those that stuck it out. Thank you. A lot of really great, huge, life changing things have happened recently and I’m glad I get to share it with you. Stick around, it only gets better from here.
P.S. Look for the big picture, the things you can’t see just yet. See things from others’ perspective. Give them a voice. You just may learn a little bit.
(Faith perceives as real fact, those things that have not yet been revealed to the senses.)