Sunday, January 27, 2008

I was born a grown-up.

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...

... how...

... 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.

Peace Y'all

*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.


Lisa said...

Oh Angeleen, I'm sorry for the difficulties you've been experiencing. I will keep you in my prayers.

You are a blessing to me!

Angeleen said...

Thank you so much, Lisa. I'll take all the prayer I can get. Your support means so much to me.

Anonymous said...

You have always been and still are MY ANGEL and I understand all that your going through. Just wish I hadn't been the cause. Thank you for not "blaming" me. I appreciate ALL of your concern and worry over ME and helping me find MY way. I am GREATFUL to God & your Grandparents that you & your brother did not give me any additional grief as teenagers.

Now, if I can help you in ANY way...let me know. I LOVE you very much and pray for you 24/7.
Your Mommie

Cheryle said...

Well, you know I don't believe in any of the "God Stuff" so I can't promise any prayers, but you are always in my thoughts.

Keep yer chin up, luv. :)

Elora said...

That was a incredibly touching and honest post. I dont know you personally but I love reading about your life and even though I have no way of understanding everything your dealing with im moved that you can share your feelings. I do hope things improve for you this next year.

Both Fex said...

Heavy lifting ahead to be sure, and should your strength fail our Father will help you with the heft, but I think you have the guns for it.

Love you.


Bethany said...

Angeleen - how wonderfully honest this is... and beautiful. You are a strong and special woman and though I'm very far away, know I will be "holding you up to the Light."

Your post gave me a lot of things to chew on as I have a new life growing in my belly. I pray I will be able to give my child the ability to truly be a child - and be carefree and joyous in a way I've seen with your girls many, many times.

Blessings on your process. May you soon find peace.

Wendy said...

Angeleen, my first thought when reading this was how brave and honest it is of you to share this with us. It's easy to show our successes in blogland and it's also easy to complain, but to share something so heartfelt is taking a huge leap of faith.

Beyond that I didn't know exactly what to say. Since we've met in this pretend world, I really feel like you are one of my good friends, just from our comments and emails back and forth. But, at the same time, we've never actually met, which makes it hard to know the right words.

But, what the hell... I'll give it a try. :)

First of all, I worry that our middle daughter (my step daughter) has some of the exact same issues with her mom as you've described. She worries so much for her mom, who is struggling through a rough relationship. She is so empathetic and sensitive, which is good, but it seems that other's problems tend to become her problems. So, I am extra glad you are sharing this event with us because maybe it can help me to help her.

Secondly, I agree that we all have various lessons to learn and issues to work through, but maybe there isn't always a *should* about when it happens. Maybe each of us are meant to learn it at different times... at the right times for us and our unique selves. Yes, it would have been much easier to learn this stuff when you were younger and had less people depending on you. But, maybe you're meant to learn it now, when you are able to be more aware of it, maybe you'll even *get* the lesson in a deeper and more meaningful way. And maybe you'll be able to share it with others in a more articulate way than you would have as a child. And maybe you can truly help someone else. You just never know who's reading.

And finally, (though I'm not sure if this will be offensive to your idea of God- just ignore it if it is) as I was laying out my Triple Goddess Tarot this morning, my mind kept returning to you and this post. I feel compelled to share what I read with you because I think it is applicable. I think you are already doing a lot of what is mentioned.

"Of all Earth's creatures, the human being stands alone among the stars, the Sun, and Moon, fully conscious of the choices he or she will act upon. During this lifetime and beyond, we come face to face with the consequences of our choices and are given countless opportunities to evaluate ourselves."

"At this stage of initiation, the spiritual aspirant pauses to reflect upon the origins of life and to seek a greater understanding of his or her karmic circumstances and conditions."

"We must strive to live according to higher principles and truths, walking a grace-centered path with awareness of spiritual laws and justice. The spiritual seeker learns neither to blame others for his or her own misfortunes, nor to judge friends and family for the imperfect lives they lead. The soul force comes into this life carrying many karmic imprints and memories that will eventually move toward liberation and completion. We each have a unique destiny."

"We're constantly creating circumstances and conditions in our lives that will help us see ourselves more clearly."

And finally a quote from John Wesley
"Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can."

Love You.

Angelina said...

I can only give you my secular hugs and warm wishes that you find your way through the challenges you have been dealing with.

You know I am now going to be thinking of the most lurid and Jerry Springer style situations since I have no idea what has gone down in your life.

Anyway- I suppose I'm on a similar quest to heal, though from different events and circumstances.

Angeleen said...

Wendy, I think we need to break down and have an actual phone conversation... since I'm guessing I won't be getting to Denver for a cup of tea any time soon. :)

Bethany, I miss you so much. You have always been, and remain, a beacon of light and joy to me. I know you will be a phenomenal mother.

Thank you, *everyone*, for all your kind words and encouragement. I appreciate every single one of you.

I have no words to express the gratitude I feel for all the insight from your many different beliefs and directions. It's good to have balance in everything.

I'm so blessed to have you all in my life.