Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Incongruency of My Life

When I was younger, I never wanted to have children.  I was mood, impatient, intolerant, and didn't like them.  In fact, I would avoid them whenever possible.  I was one of THOSE people who would give parents of unruly children dirty looks in the restaurant and wonder why felt they had they right to ruin everyone's dinner with their little ill-behaved monsters who clearly should have to be sedated before venturing in public.  I would babysit for the neighbor kids and after listening to an inconsolable baby cry for an hour would look at him and say, "SHUT UP!  Would you just shut the fuck up!?!?!"  I'm not proud of that, it just is what it is.  There were times I'd put a screaming baby in its crib, make sure it was safe and secure and then I'd go down the hall and scream into a pillow, or just sit there and rock furiously until I didn't want to kill myself or someone else.

I want to state for the record: I HAVE NEVER HIT OR HURT A CHILD OUT OF ANGER.  The closest I've EVER gotten was the day my youngest was being a little shit and answered "YES!" when I said, "Do you WANT a spankin'?"  I couldn't back down.  The swat on the butt was more of a blow to the ego than a spanking.  Please don't tell me your theories on spanking vs. not spanking.  I've heard it all.  I'll respect your decisions, you can respect mine.  Thanks.

It wasn't until I met my now ex-husband that I wanted children.  I wanted them and was crushed when I lost our first baby.  After that, it took 18 months to get pregnant with my oldest daughter and every month leading up to that made me cry when I found out I wasn't pregnant.  Two high-risk pregnancies later, my daughters are now 9 and 7 and 1/2.  The 1/2 is apparently very important.  At least that's what she tells me.

Mothering has never come naturally to me.  I've got the mother bear "don't even THINK about hurting my kids" instinct, but appropriately nurturing is a skill that I have had to learn, practice, and continually remind myself of.  I'm not totally heartless, I'm just...well...I'm just not like the moms I see that I wish I could be like.  Why?  Mostly fear, I suppose.  Fear that I'll screw them up and they'll turn out like me.  That's the reason I didn't really know HOW to be a mom until I was forced into the role of single parent (it started when I was still married though, so perhaps solo-parent is a better description).  Over the last 16 months, my daughters have learned to accept that mom and dad are divorced and will stay that way, and I have learned that some days I measure up as a mom and some days I totally suck at it.

What the hell do I know about trying to give someone a "normal" upbringing?  I was introduced to heroin at age 8 and began stealing drinks of alcohol whenever I possibly could at age 10.  By the age of 13 I was using or drinking more often than not and eventually it was a daily thing.  I tried to drink away the bad stuff that happened to me when I was 5.  I tried to drink away not fitting in.  I tried to numb myself to the guilt and shame I always felt no matter what.   By the time I was 15, I was sleeping around.  I learned that sex can be used as a currency, a weapon, a bargaining tool, or simply one more way to numb myself.  I desperately wanted someone to love me, but deep down knew that I was trash and didn't deserve to be loved.  That's how the alcoholic mind works.

-----to be continued-----

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