I often find solace in writing about things that scare me, things that many people would find private and something that shouldn't be shared with the world. Today I am sharing one of those things. I know that one day it could come round and bite me in the rear but I am ok with that. The good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly, it is all me. The authentic me. Liver disease, laugh lines, jelly belly, and perfect stretch marks that remind me of the miracles I named Maaren and Leif.
almost 3 years ago I attended a parenting course put on by SFU Information Children just after Leif was born (they offered free child care with the course and I figured a couple hours a week to better myself for free... sign me up! Did I mention my children are 18 months apart.. I needed the break and this was an incredible guilt free break). One of the best things I learned is we are not born knowing how to behave. It is something that is taught. At the time I took this advice with my children in mind, trying to teach my children the best I knew how.
Since having children my marriage has had it's share of ups and downs, and with good reason. In the last 4 years there has been a serious lack of sleep, lack of self worth, with little to no time for romance or simply time for one another. We stopped making caring for one another or ourselves a priority. We have tried having set date nights but with lack of income those get harder to do, and life starts to take over and it gets lost in daily activity. Each time we stop making "us" a priority, "things" start mount up. Life's expectations start to wear on each of us, and our behaviour starts to change.
This idea of "we are not born knowing how to behave" has just started to sink in on a deeper level, three years later. It does not only apply to my raising my children into kind, confident, loving adults, but it applies to myself.
This year, year 33 of my hopefully 105 years on earth is the year of taking a good long and hard look in the mirror. Discovering who I am, the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. I first blogged about not recognizing the face in the mirror followed up with it's official, I'm what I used to consider old when I learned of health problems. So today I blog of growing up mentally and taking responsibility and being ok with changing to improve myself. I warn you what I am about to write is something I am not proud of, and very few people know about me, but it is me, it is my honest me.
I recently had a wake up call, that I am not always the person I think I am. That my behaviour when I get heated is not pleasant, and it's also not acceptable. Somewhere along the way I learned that it was ok to say stupid things when left feeling vulnerable, scared, panicked, or simply angry. I never realized the hurt I could cause by words, I am not a violent person but I am a cruel person when I am backed into a corner. And until a few days ago, I thought it was ok to be like that, that my emotions, that my feelings were ok to express in a hurtful manner, never once stopping to think about how my actions, my words affected others. Others more specifically being my best friend, my husband. It's as though I thought that no matter how terrible I treated him, he loved me and accepted me for who I am and would always be there for me. Lucky for me, he does love me enough to tell me the truth when it is most needed.
Taking a look in the mirror is not easy, when I stopped and listened to words that have come out of my mouth, and saw the pain I caused someone I love very deeply my whole being cried. I have never cried so hard in my life, I cried so hard I couldn't stop throwing up. I have cried for loss, and I have cried for physical pain, but I have never cried when looking in the mirror. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done, and I mean that sincerely.
I look back now to that parenting class I took so many years ago, the class I took for a guilt free break to better myself as a parent. Who would have guessed that line that has stuck with me through theses years would give me solice and hope for myself. My behaviour is learned, which by my calculations means I can also un-learn, and re learn.
Perhaps by looking in the mirror I can learn to be the woman I have been striving to raise my children to be, to become the women I thought I was for 33 years.
Until next time,