My favorite folks ! :)

01 December 2012

Another month passed with little said from me. 

We had much of the family here for Thanksgiving, tho for the actual meal we go to Duane's Uncle's house. But people stay here to sleep, and of course there are other meals to be made.  Because i had not been up and around with my foot much, the house needed some major work.  It was quite a challenge to get it done, particularly the laundry.

Olivia was suppose to come help with making food and clean up.  I cried when she called and could not come, largely because i was in a lot of pain with the funny way i've been walking.  But i called another friend,  Debi.  She came over and helped with the cooking - chopping and such.  We made GF stuffing/dressing (what Duane said he'd miss the most in a Thanksgiving meal), and a tuna-corn-jalapeño dip, a Mexican Lasagna, and the crust for pumpkin pies (made from ginger snaps).  I had other things to do on my list; they didn't get done, but it didn't matter in the long run.  The following day i was able to do a lot of clean up in the rest of the house and make the pumpkin pies and Kimmy came and cleaned the kitchen for me. Blessings on my dear friends who help.  

We had Duane's parents on Wed. night;  Duane's parents plus my sis Elsa and her friend Frye on Thur. night; Duane's parents plus my sis Elsa and her friend Frye plus Duane's brother Sam and his new wife Loren and stepson Zane plus our dear friends J & J on Fri. night.  Saturday night we thought J & J would still be with us, but everyone was gone.  

Sunday i spent all day in bed and by the end of the day i had a sore throat.  Up until that time i was very pleased with how i'd been doing.  I had a bit of a "crash" on Friday PM, and rested a while, but otherwise seemed to do pretty well.  

The cold hasn't been bad, but exhausting.  I've spent most of the time in bed, which i think was good for my foot, too.  I took a lot of things trying to boost my immune system, but i also strongly agree with this post by Sarah Pope:  Traditional Remedies for Childhood Illnesses. The short version of this:  let it run its course without intervention.  I can say, it isn't easy !  I did this when i had the flu in June, too.  When you are feeling poorly, time becomes very elastic and stretches out to infinity.  

I seemed to be very emotional with this cold, too, and did a fair amount of crying.  I discovered that crying clears the sinuses very well !  I cried over Sarah's post when she said:  

I find that holding your child is the best home remedy for fever.  When they are feverish, they want to be with you.  Put on a light robe and crash on the couch with your child and hold her for hours if you need to . . . 
She is so very right !  I remember the one thing i really wanted when i was sick as a child was someone just to be there, to help those long, elastic hours to pass.  I don't remember wanting my mother so much - by then i knew better, but i did want someone to be there.  My mother tended to panic and take us to the doc for antibiotics right away, and then pretty much (in my memory) we were on our own until we got better.  

I got off her roller-coaster when i was 10 or 11.  I refused to be taken to the doctor.  After that, i think she tended to treat me as if any illness i had was psychosomatic.  I wouldn't play her game anymore, so obviously i wasn't sick !  I think my mother was not too far from Munchhausen's by Proxy.  She wasn't that far gone, but it wouldn't have taken much for her to arrive.  My mother preferred a doc who gave antibiotics for everything, and when one in the family had something (they claimed Elsa had strep multiple times) everyone in the family was given antibiotics.  I had prophylactic antibiotics at least 5 times before i began refusing them.  

I do remember her coming in my room once when i was down with really killer cramps.  I must have been about 14.  I was shocked when she sat down by the bed.  What i had always desired!  Until she opened her mouth.  

"Why is it that all the girls at church consider you stuck-up?" she asked me.


"I was telling Mrs. B how that you're not very involved and don't have friends in your Sunday school class and she said they don't want to be your friends because you are so stuck up."

I don't remember how the conversation went from there, but i have to say that the cruelty of saying this to an extremely timid and shy child, who wanted friends but didn't know how to make them, was one of the worst blows my mother ever delivered.  

There was a reason i didn't desire to be near my mother at any time, but particularly when i was ill.

Of course, i believed then that when i had my own children i could "do it right."  I knew i would love, and hug, and "be there" for my own children.  I think i believed that this would heal something inside of me, too.  I think a lot of people believe this about their children, and so go on to damage those children, too, though not always in the same way.  I think if i'd had children young, as i so deeply desired, i probably would have been an unhealthy mama.  I wouldn't have wanted to, but i don't think i had the skills to by-pass it.  I do believe that if our children (who would be 6-1/2, 4, and 3-1/2 now) had lived, i could be an emotionally healthy mother.  And i think doing for them what couldn't be done for me would help heal some of that hurt.  But that is neither here nor there.

Thinking this through made something even clearer to me.  

I lived with, my sisters did too, the knowledge each and every day that i was a disappointment to my mother.  She did the same with all three of us - comparing us unfavorably to someone else.  She always asked why i couldn't be like or have the grades of or do as well as Brenda or Lisa or Laurie or any other child she saw who had the attributes she desired for me.  Some of those comparisons were particularly cruel as the people she chose were the very ones who tormented me the most (although, to give her credit, i'm sure she was not aware of this).  

Lisa, in particular, was someone who said ugly, hateful things to me at school and she ran in the popular chick clique.  Lisa moved into our neighborhood and my mother couldn't understand why i wasn't good friends with this delightful girl.  

I frequently said to myself (i think my sisters did the same), "I wish she WAS your daughter."  I think i even said this to her once and was punished for it.

Sometime in my 20s i asked my mother why she would compare me so severely to these girls, my mother replied in surprise, "Why you were so much smarter than they were.  I couldn't understand why they had (the grades, the friends, the memory ability, etc.) when you didn't."  So, she meant well.

Still, i lived each and every day knowing that i was not the child my mother wanted, and it became clear to me very early on that i never could be.  I even came to the epiphany at age 17 that the problem really was not me.  It was them and their expectations.  I wasn't really able to hold on to that, though.  I still had 6 months i had to live with them.  For some people that realization would have helped them hold on, but for me it was a crazy-making thought.  Besides, my parents were quite invested in me being a black sheep by then, for other alternatives would have made our family dynamics and their part of it public.  They had a huge vested interest in ours being the "happy family" and me being the trouble-maker.

Why does this matter?  It was long, long ago.  

There are times when i want to beat myself up for feeling this way.  Worthless, useless reaction.

I think some people are of the blithe, savior faire, placid demeanor to go through life unaffected by this.  I've known some people who are just like that.  Nothing seems to rattle them or to break their confidence of their place in the world.  I honestly think it is a personality thing.  Much is said about nature vs. nurture, but i do believe that much of that comes down to personality.  Some people have a staid calmness about them and handle good or bad nurture.  It seems to be their nature to do so.  Other people can seem to be ruined by either good or bad nurture.  

I think that i could have been taught (by someone who knows and understands themselves) to handle life's ups and downs better.  My parents did not have those skills.  But even if i had been taught how to handle those things, my personality/nature would be still such that i would tend to react in a certain way, but i might have better tools.  

So, the story matters because each and every day i fight with an inborn weed that tells me i'm not wanted.  I feel it in most of the groups to which i belong, Facebook, girlfriends, knit groups, church, family.  I have to fight that what my inside tells me is not accurate (and largely i believe it is not).  

I am trying to make headway against this.  I posted at the List blog Don Miguel Ruiz's Four Agreements.  In a nutshell they are:  Speak with integrity.  Don't take anything personally.  Don't make assumptions.  Always do your best.  I do pretty well with the first and fourth, but the second and third are a struggle for me.  As i learn to make headway with these, i think i will better manage being "blithe, savior faire, placid" - to be myself and less affected by the feeling that no one wants me.



kare said...

"Time is elastic and stretches out into infinity"...
Wow...i've been living that my entire life..just never heard it expressed like that.

i understand feeling like you are not wanted. i always knew my siblings and father never wanted me, but i always thought my mother did until she lost herself in the mind altering meds. At that time she adopted and echoed the family attitude. It took a while for me to understand her brokenness, my families brokenness; not just at that time but during our former lives together.
Brokenness takes so many forms, doesn't it Kathryn. When our brokenness collides it's tragic. Specially when our loved ones won't allow discussion of it.
i suppose i need to delve into some of this on my own blog.
Thank you for bare-ing your thoughts here.. i see this as a great strength and i admire you.
i understand shy..i became that way because i never had a safe haven. Only in 40 years of journals.
Blessings to you

Kathryn said...

Thank you, Kare. I'm sorry i was so slow to respond. I so appreciate what you've written here. Journalling has saved my sanity, too, at times.

Love you.