Sunday, May 04, 2014
Today I’ll count my calories, get in 30 minutes of exercise, and use a short walk around our block when the kids get to me.
I have to find a balance. I get uncomfortable, sort of freaked out, by looking good and attracting male attention. I need to work on that piece. I don’t have to date. I don’t. It’s a great feeling to be able to move freely, to have body confidence. Strength, power. I deserve those feelings. I’m worthy.
It feels like it comes down to feeling at fault for being victimized. I know that’s total bs when it comes to being a child victim. The realities are complicated. I cared for the man as a father. Wanted positive attention and affection. I got plenty of negative scary attention like the other kids. Yelling, hitting, hurtful words. It was a scary environment. Mom’s state of mind didn’t help, but of course she was in victim mode as well. The point is, I didn’t want the bad attention, feared and hated it.
I’m not mom. As an adult, it took me awhile, but I got out and didn’t go back. We’re not living a comfortable life financially, and that gets to me. But it’s a price to be paid for living on our own. And we are so much better off than others. I don’t handle my finances well because I feel guilty about putting the kids in this situation. But, we are so much better off. No violence or fear in this home.
There is no violence or fear in this home. That’s what my goal has been. It’s an important thing to me. The kids don’t know it. They haven’t lived the fear, and I’m glad for that. But acknowledging it means I can start letting go of the grief and guilt.
We’re not affluent. I didn’t provide the house with the yard and the tree house. My biggest fault is feeling guilty about that and trying to make it up to them. They get something so many kids don’t, safety. Yes, there are safe kids, loved kids, fortunate kids. But I needed to keep them safe in a way that made sense to me.
And I did that. We have other challenges. The kids will probably spend their adulthoods avoiding the mistakes I made. But they grew up loved. And safe from abusers.
So let’s celebrate that. I’ll celebrate that. I’m a good mom in the way that mattered to me. It took so much energy. Really. I think partly because I wasn’t always conscious of what I was doing. So, anytime I got close to wanting to date, allowing a man into our lives, there was an undercurrent that I wasn’t even aware was influencing me. If I let a man in, he might fool me and end up being bad, hurt the kids. So I couldn’t. How would I know if he’d be good or bad? I made mistakes with previous relationships. I could be fooled.
And part of me wanted to date, to have care and sex and the possibility of a loving companion. I’ve missed that. I mourn the future without the comfort of a love who could accept me as the aging woman I am, warts and all.
That’s why I’ve been confused about my feelings about my ex. He was my adult abuser. And I loved him, completely, deeply. I still feel that love. Do I feel it because I’m still confusing abuse with love? Good question. Do I feel it because we’re connected by first love, by a true connection? I have no doubt he would dominate me again. I’d be angry and miserable by the conflict. Tenderness and abuse. Such a horrible potent combination. He rejected me. He was cruel, comparing me to other lovers, rejecting me when I put on weight.
Funny. Weight that put distance between us and in a way, protected me from him. As it protects me from other men.
Do I need that protection? If I maintain awareness, I won’t go back to my ex. If I maintain awareness, can I protect myself from other male abusers?
I didn’t protect myself from my last boss. Different relationship as he was my boss, but he was so like my ex. Unpredictable, kind, mean, controlling.
I have to be stronger, physically as it is symbolic as well as tangible, financially, as I can’t lean on a man for that, it truly puts me in a position of weakness. And I have to be strong emotionally, aware of what I feel and how it influences my behavior.
To start, I need to feel better, stronger, physically. That is a huge part of me. I was onto something when I wanted to build strength to change my self perception from victim to capable. So that’s the first thing.
I don’t have to date as I thin down. I don’t trust myself to make good choices yet. That’s OK.
If I ever go there again, I want tenderness and compassion.
But first, I need to be tender and compassionate with myself.