I’m no exception to the rule of an American lifestyle. I’ve got too much fat, and far too little patience.
Sorry, may be crude, but it’s true.
And, truth be told I thought my initial life experience was unique; sadly enough, the older I get, the more I realize, it’s not. So many of us are walking around with tremendous life baggage, without the knowledge or ability to let go of what is keeping them from having a great life.
I have parents that married too young, a father who spent my entire childhood acting out in anger, and a mother who was lost in her past, and experienced things that a child just should not have to experience. At least, I know that I am trying with all of my power to keep my children from experiencing the same things.
Breaking the cycle of an abusive childhood is one of the hardest but most important things I have ever done, and will ever do with my life.
But, as I get older, I am finding more strength in knowing that the vast majority of my generation all came from some sort of a similar back ground. Oddly enough, I am wondering if maybe that is why we are in sort of a crisis now…
Think about it.
Children that were grown from neglect and abuse – what is the probability they will have the tools to change their habits? The following generation would simply lash out from receiving the same lack of love and care.
When I first had my daughter – there were many days I felt like an absolute monster.
I was a monster.
Because I didn’t know how to love her, without seeing that I had a gaping hole inside of my soul; I did not love myself.
There were days when I first became a mother that I would cry…..so…..hard. I didn’t know why God would have made me a mother when the examples of parenting I had were so misguiding, to say the least. Don’t get me wrong, I love both of my parents’ – but our happily ever after was jaded from the very beginning.
But, for as long as I am alive, I will never forget the first time I laid my hands on my daughter.
I did not hit her.
She was in the midst of a tantrum, and I was in the midst of the same. It felt as though my heart was going to jump out of my throat, and I had millions of voices screaming inside of my mind, vicariously telling me the opposite of one another.
And, just like that, without thinking; I put my large hand over my sweet little girls face.
In that moment, when all of me broke apart, I just needs silence. I couldn’t breathe. My hand was over her little mouth, quieting her for what felt like a century. And I was crumbling underneath.
Her eyes welled up with tears, and within seconds, I could feel my face burning, my hands shaking, and a simple thought crossed my mind. What if I didn’t let go?
That was my moment. My monster moment.
I did not bruise her, I did not put a single scratch on her face. But in that moment of motherhood; I finally saw, all of the abusive cycles of my life had literally ejected itself through my veins and into my hands, onto her mouth.
I felt rotten from the inside out, and how dare I make her feel unsafe or fearful of me. I was no longer any better than the man that taught me what abuse was. I was no better than all of the moments he made me terrified of him, scared that I was going to get hit, whipped, or thrown across the room. In that moment; I was no better.
BUT breaking the cycle of an abusive childhood is one of the hardest but most important things I have ever done, and will ever do with my life –
That was the last day I have ever laid my hands on her. She was two.
I remember that day so well, I can even tell you where we were and what time of day it was.
The entire point of this, is to say that not only did I have a moment of realizing that I was suffering from post partum depression at the time, but that mask of diagnosis was merely my soul signaling to my brain that I had not quite worked out what I needed to in my life. I was also 270 pounds. I was falling apart.
It’s been five years since that day.
Five years of pulling myself through the sludge, and five years of forgiving myself. I can tell you that I am still working through the darkness; not every day, but sometimes. And, I can also tell you that if you’re like me – and you struggle with stopping the cycle of abuse, your children can save your life, if you let them.
I am nowhere near to being a perfect mother, as a matter of fact, trying to be perfect is what has led me even deeper into depression. All we can do is love first. In any situation, and at all cost………
Always love first.
Where would we be if we spoke from love, instead of fear? Reacted with love instead of anger? Embraced compassion instead of hate? Would it make a difference?
I think we all know the answer to that.