Monday, April 25, 2011

I'm the Sheep that Raised My Kids

How do you forgive yourself? I mean, after you go through the steps of self forgiveness? Pray about it, ‘let it go’, know that you did the best you could, ask for forgiveness, try to be a better person…. yada, yada, yada. The thing for me about forgiving myself is that most days, I do feel that I have forgiven myself. But then there are the other days.
You can fuck over every person in the world and find a way to forgive yourself. But if you did the wrong thing as a parent, it’s something that is so, so hard to let go of. And possibly, we are not suppose to let go of it. It may be the thing that keeps us doing the right thing because of the memory of doing the wrong thing.
To add to the complication of the wreckage that is my life, I have to really be careful not to live in the ‘I’m a bad parent’ world too much because the kids will feed on that. They will allow me to carry their mistakes by saying that they make them because of the horror that was their childhood. ‘I am the way I am because of the way you raised me’. If I had a nickel.
There was some bad stuff. Bad choices, bad memories, crazy, insane, drunken chunks of time. Bad, bad stuff. I guess what makes it hard to forget is that the kids remind me about it, usually, during a disagreement. So it’s hard to bury it when the kids are holding shovels.
Lately, it’s all just too much. On one hand I feel guilt. On the other hand I feel, honestly, like I don’t give a shit. I feel like, okay, I was a bad mother. Give me the tattoo, or the final grade, and let’s just say it is what it is so I can stop torturing myself. It’s all true. I did all those things. I’ve done what I can to make it right. The thing is that when you are the one that was wrong it’s not up to you when the people on the other end decide to put down the shovel. It’s up to them. And until they do, I feel like I can’t shake this feeling. And it’s not as if they don’t have the right to feel what they feel. They do. But am I allowed to bail out of the feelings without permission? To say, okay, hang on to that as long as you need to, but I have shit to do and naps to take? I can’t spend the rest of my life feeling like a failure. I have to move on.
If I move on and say your stuff is yours, that may be the thing that makes some of the insanity stop. You know, when you have to claim your own choices, you try and curb it. When you say, ‘I do this shit because of my parents’, it’s easy to keep doing it. But when you have to say, ‘I did this because I made this choice and have no one to blame but myself’, carrying the weight of your actions makes you want to stop making those choices. But I’m thinking that the kids aren’t going to come to that until I stop feeding in to the ‘my childhood was bad’ routine. Until the day that I say, ‘Yeah. My childhood sucked too. Everyone’s did.’
I myself did not grow up on a fairy boat. And still, I have gotten a thing or two done in my life. I am a published author and I can’t even fucking spell. So I’m going to pull myself up, and you pull yourself up, and this is how the day will look. Some days will be great. Some days will suck. I will make more mistakes and so will you. But we can wake up everyday and do the best we can.
I still don’t think I have figured out how to forgive myself. The plan is that I will start with a nap, and then go from there. When we get married they have that line where the priest says, ‘In good times and in bad times, in sickness and in health’. They say that because marriage is a forever concept. It’s a shame we don’t get that deal as parents. All we know as parents is that the nurse hands you the baby and she may as well say, “Don’t fuck this up.” Well, I fucked it up. So where do we go from here? I have no idea. But I will figure something out when I wake up.