Thursday, January 31, 2008

Monsters in my closet

I thought of ten things I could write about this morning. Most of them have flown out of my head and all were much lighter than what I am choosing to write about to be forewarned: poor me or bad wife/momma things ahead.

One (light) topic I can think of is the winter storm heading our way and my hopes that it is worse then they think so I do not have to come to work tomorrow. Likely this will NOT be the case but still a girl can hope, right?

Really the thing I have been thinking about recently are my fears. I have always been a person driven forward by fear. It is not the healthiest way to live.

Also, the shitty side of that fear thing is I totally know where it comes from: my mom. Please do not get me wrong. I learned long ago about free will - I make my bed, I sleep in it, yada yada yada; about not placing blame for MY actions on my parents. I am saying this is what I have learned and because that was all I knew growing up that is who I have become today. I cannot place blame per say on my mother because she was doing the best she could with what she knew how to do but it is what she "taught" and I have been dealing with these "issues" my whole life. Unfortunately until three years ago, my life did not include a little boy whom I love and respect and care for more than words can describe.

And seriously I know there are people out there who have perfectly lovely (and probably functionally dysfunctional) relationships with their mothers. At best I would describe the relationship with my mother as tenuous. We have had great moments too, my mother & I. She did in some ways try to be a good mother with the tools she had in her tool box. She did things right as well as wrong. Let's face it as parents we will all do things right & wrong. The hard part about my mother for me is staying away from focusing on the negative. Likely because as I have grown older I am seeing more of negative behavior in me.

I used to think I moved away from CA because there were more opportunities in the Midwest, I was happier, felt more fulfilled but the truth is the distance between us helped me to alternately see her differently but also (or so I thought) see myself differently.

With all of that said, I learned many not so great habits from my mother and my family at large. It is coming back to bite me in the proverbial ass in both my relationship with Kevin as well as how I parent. They are things that can seem so small but when added up in sum are really difficult to deal with both for me and my little family. They are things that I have always known about myself and so to change feels like moving a mountain - for me change can seem freaking near impossible. Like my mother, I will promise myself I will change and I will change for a week or two (HA a day or two really let's be honest....) then just go back to doing whatever shitty behavior I had before the promise.

In my immediate family, fighting, arguing, talking loudly and over one another was the norm. My mom also taught me to blow up and then pretend like nothing happened. On top of that I am moody as all get out. There was never an even keel for me in our household growing up. I never felt secure in anything. So now when things feel insecure even in the slightest, I lash out. I get mad, grouchy, bitchy, lovey in turns and Kevin (Matthew?) do not know what to expect out of me. I am like a light switch in this regard - I turn it on and off like it is nothing but forget that because I do this I have hurt someone I love without meaning or wanting to.

I internalize my feelings about something than explode looking to draw blood (hurt feelings). And alternately between all of this I feel extreme guilt for being this way which leads me to ask my mother's age old questions: "Is there something wrong? Are you okay?"

And finally the most hated thing of all I mumble bitchy mean things under my breath when I am raging. And not like under my breath so someone cannot hear like JUST loud enough so they can hear so it will make them feel like crap.

I am not being overly dramatic because I know I tend toward being dramatic as a rule in life. The thing that chaps my hide is that these things I have mentioned are all things I hated about being my mother's child. They were all things I promised myself I, as a wife and mother, would not do to my family. I would not manipulate and cause drama in my home like mother did. I would be even and calm and loving. And I am not. Quite the opposite. Happiness in our home can often be controlled by me like a dial on the radio.

The worst part of this for me is that these are things I have promised time and again to change both out loud and to myself for many years. I know at the New Year there was lots of talk about resolutions and diets. I always promise myself to change these "monsters in the closet". I am coming to realize that if I do not evict these "monsters", they will cause me more pain than I care to know in my life.

They need to change. They are effecting my relationship both with Kevin and slowly as Matthew becomes more aware with him. Plus I see some of them coming out here & there in Matthew. How he handles anger and hurt. I do not want to carry on this behavior into the next generation. I do not want my son to run away from me the way I ran away from my mother...

For me, writing provides me a level of outlet, a place to see things in black & white. I wrote in journals for years but stopped at one point. The need to write about this stuff is good - it is fuel for the positive in me. If I write about something, if I am public about myself and feelings than I better able to see it, change it, have it called to my attention that I do these things by more than myself. I hold myself accountable when I write about so today that is why I decided to talk about it. I need to hold myself accountable for my actions because I do not want my son or husband to deal with me in this way.

I like to be happy and have fun and enjoy life - the few short moments we all have on this earth in a way that makes sense. I know just because I write about this does not mean it will happen over night like some miracle. For me all of the things I mentioned do need to change and the reason they have never changed has to do with the level of difficulty they will take to change. I am up for this challenge today and tomorrow and hopefully one day I can tell you about my small victories toward changing these things.


Tessie said...

I am a total STEWER when I'm mad. That the thing I think I would most like to change. Not good.

K and J's mom said...

Good for you for processing this all out on paper. It is hard to "air your beef", especially when it is about yourself. I admire you for expressing yourself so honestly, Christina. Your post is a good reminder to us all that the old saying, 'When mama ain't happy..." holds true in most homes I suspect. I too, feel that my mood directly affects the entire mood of my home. This was a good reminder to look in the mirror and remember how my spoken and unspoken communication affects those around me.