It's Sunday *morning and to say I have been X-Treme Multitasking would be a gross understatement.
I have been working, listening to some amazing worship music and contemplating where I actually am emotionally/mentally/spiritually, compared to where I thought I was and...
... I ...
... got ...
... H E R E.
Actually, I've spent the last couple of days pondering the last topic almost constantly.
Disclaimer: By now, you will likely have guessed that this will not be the usual lighthearted "Angeleen" post. I'm going deeper folks and if you'd rather read about premium cat litter and life with cows than watching me plumb the depths of my surprisingly complicated emotional interior, you might want to check back in a post or two.
This isn't the venue for getting too explicit about why I dropped off the planet for a while there, so I will only say that it involved some pretty heavy, life-altering events and choices that have caused me to take a very long look at how I got to the place where those events could occur. I am going to start counseling soon to make my best effort at getting to the bottom of these issues, start healing, stop the cycle of pain and hopefully spare my girls a similar legacy.
They will get to have a childhood full of innocence and security.
I was never a kid.
This is not a new concept in my observations of my self, rather I have a new awareness of the long-term impact of the unaddressed fact.
I was introduced to the quagmire of adult situations and traumas and vocabulary and conflicts and heartaches and pain... all of it... by the age of three.
It was kinda like being fed the Fruit of the Tree of What Grown-Ups Know and Wish They Didn't served on a graham cracker and washed down with the innate knowledge I had no power whatsoever to escape any of it.
By the time I was about 12, for all practical purposes, I was fully indoctrinated... the only vestige of childhood that remained was the inability to control my own surroundings. EDIT:**My mom was on her second divorce, and would enter into her third doomed marriage within EDIT: a year and a half. My focus was taking care of her. With regard to my needs and desires and goals, I just wanted to be as little trouble as possible, make her happy and to be one thing she didn't have to worry about. One thing about her life that wasn't complicated. EDIT:***My brother and I were really good kids... I didn't get complicated until much later.
I wasn't adventurous.
I wasn't rebellious.
I didn't drink or use drugs and tried to be a good influence on my friends who did.
I wasn't mouthy or belligerent.
And, though I discovered *boys* waaaaay too young, I wasn't what you could remotely call promiscuous or in any way reckless.
I was never disrespectful.
I was always upbeat and smiling and dishing out hugs to people, even when, at times, I was living a nightmare at home...
I got reasonably good grades, was well-thought-of by my teachers and had a small group of very good friends.
I was, and am, a survivor.
By the time I hit 17 I had *memorized* The Unillustrated Guide to the Troubled World of Adults without ever cracking Intro to Adolescence or How to be a Proper Teenager.
All this is to preface my most newly-formed hypothesis on one element of the contributing factors of recent events. Here it is:
Our lives are supposed to happen in a very specific sequence. Each phase builds off of the one before it, must be taken in order (duh) and is set aside for us to make mistakes/take actions/engage in events that are appropriate to that age and time with correspondingly appropriate risks and life lessons.
If you skip ahead and miss those lessons, you will still have to get them somewhere down the road. Even if it's many, many years down that road.
One of the lessons you learn as a teenager is that being reckless and disrespectful is distructive and effects everyone around you. Only, for the well-brought-up teenager, there is less at risk, for the most part, of far-reaching and profound damage. You also have the benefit of being able to blame your transgressions on being young and inexperienced and you have plenty of life ahead of you to redeem yourself.
When you're 40... It's a whole different story. When you trip, there are legions of souls who fall with you. There are no reasons that fully satisfy the pain-filled questions. There are no answers or explanations that lead to spontaneous healing and enlightenment... and there are children involved whom you risk thrusting into that exact place in which you found yourself all those years ago.
The anguish and remorse take on fully-fledged, grown-up-sized magnitude and the whole weight of just how much work there lies ahead crushes your chest and makes breathing feel like a luxury. Sleep is a futile endeavor without properly medicating far enough in advance. Eating? Nearly impossible.
But, where there is enough Love, there is Hope. With Love, miracles can and will happen. I have been blessed with people in my life that Love me more than I ever imagined possible or deserve. Even when they shouldn't want to, they Love me and that helps me keep loving myself. My husband is the most obvious and best example of people who continue to show me this kind of Love, but by far, not the only one.
It's God's love shining through them that gives me Hope. Hope that all this pain and revelation is part of God's plan to make me the person He meant for me to be when he put me in my mom's belly.
There are so many things I still need to discover about myself, healing to be done, deficits to be filled in order for that person to live and breathe and be a blessing to others. But, in the Long Run, the exquisite agony of these latent growing pains will be worth it because they are baby steps toward becoming the person He meant for me to be. I could run away and just be contented to stay damaged and incomplete because it would be easier in the short-term, but what a waste. With superhuman effort, patience and Love, in the fullness of time, His perfect plan will come to fruition and on the other side of this experience I'll know what he really intended my life to look like. Yes, I have Hope.
I don't know what Shelly The Counselor will think of my theory of my skipped adolescence, but I'm pretty sure I'll be one client that gives her a lot to chew on... or perhaps baldness and premature aging...
I'll keep you posted as to my progress and her wrinkling.
*clearly not morning any more.
**It is very important to note that I do NOT blame my mom for my "issues." I never have. She did the best she could in her own set of circumstances. She had her own set of baggage and always, ALWAYS TRIED to do what she thought was best for us, sacrificed for and loved us without limits. I am merely relaying the facts of my early life and don't intend to place "blame."
***Due in no small part to the unceasing prayers of our amazing grandparents who provided a haven of stability and accountability in our lives... and STILL do... even after their passing.