(Not the Usual) Daily Ground- – – February 19
I was driving alone in my car the other day and I had this ecstatic feeling of: “I love my kids and hubby!” It was amazing and forceful. And followed by regret. Regret because I’ve given so much of myself to them out of fear, and now I finally realize – they would have loved me anyway. I was so afraid the kids were going to turn out like me. I was so afraid they would experience the horrors of my childhood. Couldn’t I see they had different parents? I was so afraid the hubby would leave me – not see me – like countless others. Couldn’t I see he wasn’t that guy?
I hate labels, but I feel I’m going through. . . some midlife turmoil. Not like a total crisis, but geez, is this all there is? Why have I squandered so much time working, and so much freaking money on clothes and shoes to impress other people?
Now I sit here at 50, most of my family of origin dead; two siblings taken in their 50’s. And what do I do? WORK!!! For what? Oh right – I got that perfect marriage and kids, mortgage in the suburbs, live in my car, and try to please everybody.
Worse than that, I know so much of what I’ve done is trying to repair a childhood that was very sub-par. Having to fend for myself at a young age, I grew up wanting (needing) to take care of everyone else’s feelings in order to feel safe. Because no one saw me when I was young, I feel the need to see others; I take in strays. I am so ready to bust out of this place of pleasing others. I am ready to claim my authentic self – ready to clean house.
So now what? Do I really just let go and see who is still standing when I’m finished? Just stop worrying so much of what others think? Do I claim the self that is finally ready to explode out of here, and truly stop living for so many others? Or do I continue? I can’t just walk away down the beach like the protagonist in an Anne Tyler novel. That would hurt too badly. I’m not even saying I want to do that! But – doesn’t anybody else want to at least have this conversation? By the looks of Facebook, all of my contemporaries are happy, happy, happy! And this is the way we connect with others these days – behind a computer screen. Can’t we just sit and talk about real things?
What’s real? What’s important? The regret comes from those who are still staring-standing right here with me. They would have loved me without the house and the clothes and the taking in of strays. I could have busted out of this facade long ago, and still had the people who mean most to me right here! I feel like I’ve created a monster. And even in this moment, I wonder who will disagree with me (possibly be angry) if I click “post.” Only one way to find out. . .