Wednesday, November 26, 2008

feeling the pain

Me when I was 2.

Today was not so good. I was just reading a friend's blog about how last summer she left her kids home with her husband for a summer while she found herself, and later wrote a memoir about it, but hasn't been able to sell it so far, and one agent said she felt readers would not be able to get past the fact that she left her kids.

This is what I think: I can't tell you how much I wish my mom would have taken time away from me to find herself.

My own dad left my mom when I was 1, and moved to Oregon to buy his own land and log cabin, because as he tells me, he knew he had to have something left in his soul to give to us kids. He feared if he stayed in L.A. and married, he would die inside and would have nothing to give. And to this day, the land he lives on and the life he taught us - voluntary simplicity and living from the land - is the ONLY part of my childhood (besides my friends) that has nourished me and 'saved my life.'

When I left my husband, it was a similar sort of thing I think. I thought I would lose my mind if I stayed. I didn't like who I was becoming. I needed to break free. And I did, and I've grown in so many positive ways. In the end, I wish I had been able to grow in this way within the marriage, and maybe time away would have done the trick but that's not the road I chose. Now, I travel a lot away from my kids and think some people may think negatively about that. But my kids see I have my own life, and love my career, and their friends think it's cool what I do, and they are starting to also. :) I believe if we're attuned to our inner wisdom and to God's voice within, He always steers us toward what we need to heal. And by healing ourselves, we can give greater love to our children and nurture them to become the people God intended them to be.

I'm deeply grateful this Thanksgiving Eve that it is with the grace and the power of God that I can rise above the darkness that clouded my past, that I can see the lies, bitterness, jealousy, small-mindedness, manipulation and cruelty for what it was and is. I do not have to live in denial. Horrible things take place in this world, without doubt, in the most tender of places - of mothers to children. Mothers should not slap their little children's faces. Mothers should not wash their children's mouths out with soap. Mothers should not tell their children "Why are you tearing your family apart" because as an 8-year old they want to live with their dad. Mothers should apologize when they make mistakes. A family home should not be filled daily with yelling and screaming. A childhood home should not be a war zone. And mothers should not call their children "bitches."

And so here I sit, not numb anymore to the pain but feeling it. I can't live in her rubber and glue black kettle war zone anymore. I dissent from that kind of life. People have a right, even a responsibility, to tell one another when something they do bothers them. But there's never an ok time to name-call. I have talked to people who had normal families, and there are some people who just do not get it, the amount of pain that it gives a child to grow up in a home where the people who are supposed to love and protect you ignore you, insult you, and make you feel bad about yourself and then deny that they're doing it. It's confusing and maddening. I've also known many amazing people to rise above such soul-crushing circumstances to become amazing, brave, generous and compassionate human beings.

1 comment:

Scott Hatfield . . . . said...

Hi Wendee! I sent you a private email regarding this. Hope your Thanksgiving Day itself is an improvement!