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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Light Shines Through

Sometimes your soul just hurts so bad you feel that surely you have lost a little piece of it.  I think every time I make something, I am patching up a little hole in my soul…it is fitting that when you hold a knitted item up to the light you can see the sun shining through…Maybe, the pieces aren’t really lost…maybe they are just turned around a little and need rearranging......

I wrote that yesterday on my facebook….This is the story behind that post-because I hate vagueness and just saying that little bit didn’t help my soul to feel better.

I have long been a fan of Pollyanna.  I try to always take a bad and find the good in it.  I always keep my father’s words close to my heart, “No matter how bad you think you have it, someone else always has it worse.”  But sometimes, our own pain is very real, and sometimes we need a little cleanse.  This is mine.

My mom left me when I was little.  I was blessed to have been raised by my father.  Every major holiday I would be uprooted and become the “Unaccompanied Minor” on the plane and go visit my mom.  I would look out that little airplane window and be so sad, knowing I was leaving my home.  Never failed-a tear (or fifty) would slip down my cheek-no matter how much I told myself, “this time, try not to cry, Shawn!”   She lived with her new husband and his kids from a previous marriage would always come to visit the same time.  (I’m stating now, that I really like this man and his children a LOT-this narrative is my relieving myself of the pain caused to me by my mother).  This meant I never really had ‘mommy daughter’ time.  I admit, I did have a lot of fun when I would visit-but it was not really any bonding time with my mother. 

Even in the best of situations, divorce sucks.  It sucks to know your mom left you and never wants to visit you (since I was the one who always had to travel the distance and be uprooted-I was the one doing the visiting not the other way around).  I spent my youth dreaming of how I would have kids and love them so much.  I would never leave them. I would tell them every day how very much I love them.  I learned from my mother-how to not behave as a parent.  I would fall asleep almost every single night wishing I was dead-I would think about how maybe, at my funeral she would show that she cared.  Yes, this is stupid and childish, but I was a child-and I hurt so very deeply.  I even cut myself.  Oh, I don’t like to admit that-it’s embarrassing.  I didn’t REALLY want to kill myself-I know that now.  I just would be so filled with self-loathing and sadness that it was my release.  I was horrified after I did it, and would see  what a mess I made of my arms and I would hide it (or try to).  I thought I was the only one on the planet that did that.  Now, as an adult, I hear that it is a thing that people do-no comfort in knowing I was not the only one to do that.   Actually, one of my friends saw my arms once and dragged me to the counselor.  I’d have to say, as far as counselors go she was pretty crappy.  Clearly I needed help and none was given.  She just told me to punch a pillow. Sure lady.  Sure.

As an adult, I went through a period where I just wanted to stop being hurt by my mom.  I told her that until she got sober I wouldn’t speak with her.  That lasted for a few years, until the death of my Great Grandfather-which caused us to start speaking again.  I told myself, that I did not want to be an excuse for her to drink.  Alcoholics always need an excuse for drinking-so I told myself that no matter how hard it was, I would continue to try to  have a relationship with this woman.  

She is an even worse grandparent than she is a parent.  She has maybe met my 14 year old daughter three (maybe four?) times.  I think the first time she met my daughter was when my daughter was a year and a half old.  What kind of mother doesn’t rush over to meet her new grandbaby?   So now, in my adult life I console myself with planning how I will be the best grandma ever! 

My mom has been asking me for the date of my kids’ graduation party (one is graduating high school the other junior high).  I told her I wasn’t 100% sure that we were having a party due to my husband’s new job.  I told her to just plan her time to visit and if I have a party I will plan it for on a date that she is here.  I was informed that the ONLY reason she was going to visit me (keep in mind it has been years since I have seen her-and she did not invite me to the family reunion she planned last summer) was to be at the party.  My bad, I thought you wanted to visit, and were just going to make it convenient to plan your visit around the party.  I should have known.  She is the person who wants to say, how wonderful she is-"LOOK!  I went to your graduation party!"  But ya...were you here for the graduation?  Or how about all that lead up to it?  No...I thought, surely, I misunderstood what she meant, so I asked for clarification.  Yup.  She only will visit if  I have a party.  No thanks.

The reunion…yes…I have told her repeatedly through my adult life, whenever she makes the journey to visit her home town to let me know.  Because I was only a ‘visitor’ to that area and that family, I don’t really know that family at all.  I love visiting them though!  She planned a visit to go there-even went so far as to invite my brother (who lives just as far away from that place as I do) but didn’t bother to invite me.  I kept waiting for her to ask me if I wanted to come.  No invitation ever came.  I was heartbroken.   Completely crushed.  The photos of her and my brother reconnecting with family as they visited  started popping up on facebook and my hurt intensified.  Would you believe she had no idea why I ignored her for a few months?  I had to spell out for her that it hurt my feelings that she didn’t invite me to a family reunion.  Then she tried to make me feel bad for saying that and threatened to kill herself or something along those lines.   

Honestly, I didn’t want her to come visit anyhow.  This is true and my family knows it.  They see my pain every day.  They hear me when I tell them that I am squeezing them extra hard that it is because I didn’t get a hug from my mom every day-I only got a few a year.  Sometimes, I am grateful to have the story of the crappy mother just so I can weasel a few extra hugs from my kids! Haha!  My kids, bless their little hearts,  kept telling me to be the bigger person and invite her to the party.  They are so sweet, and like me, don’t want to be the cause of anyone’s pain.  So I did…invite her…against my will…and was shat upon once again.

I am done now.  This is me cleansing my life of her.  I cannot continue to be emotionally destroyed by her.  How many times can a person rip pieces of your soul out before it stops hurting?  Apparently, a soul is infinite, because the times for me are countless and it still hurts-even with the knowledge that I know she will continue to hurt me.  I KNOW she will never be the kind of mom any person deserves.  I know that.  But even with this knowledge, the pain still comes.   Every single day-but some days are more bearable than others. 

I hate when I see on facebook or other social media, those stupid memes that say “love your mom because you only have one.”  Guess what?  That’s stupid.  I’ll love who I love for the reasons someone should be loved.  Facebook memes are so funny sometimes, my mom actually posted one once that said, “my mom taught me everything except how to live without her.”  Really?  REALLY?  She is THAT clueless. 

This is me, Shawn, moving on.  This is me, trying to make the world a better place because I am in it.  I don’t want to be the cause of anyone’s pain, but I am going to have to do that for my own sanity.  Maybe she won’t be sad because I stop talking to her, and that is OK too.  I just know, that I am now done.  This fake relationship is too real to continue.  My heart is not a game and my love is real.  My pain is true.

I love being a happy person.  I love being fun and silly.  I love waking up every morning with a smile and thinking about ways to make the world a little sunshiny.  Maybe it is just knitting a zombie doll with guts falling out-or maybe it is dropping a little crocheted bunny in the mall for some kid to find…it doesn’t matter-I just love being happy and I love when everyone else is happy.  Life is way too short to be sad for long and if you can’t find a way to find the silver lining and the sun that is always behind the clouds then  maybe it is time for a little change.

Writing out my pain is my soul cleanse.  It always has been.  It is like I am taking everything dark and sad inside me and removing it.  Once I have written it out I don’t have to continue to think about it.  If I ever need to remember, I know I can always go back and read about it-but it can be removed from my mind.  I needed that today.  I’m sorry I had to write this boring little depressing thing…but I hope that you see that it really isn’t a sad post…I don’t want pity, sympathy or hugs.  Be proud of me.  Be happy for me.  This is me moving on, taking a deep breath and keeping on keeping on!  This is me living.  This is me smiling.  This is me….Now back to knitting.  I have a fun fun fun project I am about to start. Something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time!  I can’t wait to hold it up to the sunshine and see the light shining through.

Crafts have been my way of dealing with stress and sadness...When my hubby deployed the first time I went to the store and bought a sewing machine-never had sewn before-but taught myself to sew to keep my mind busy.  The second time he deployed, I had JUST quit smoking and didn't want to start up again so I started crocheting again like a maniac....Those hooks, needles and fabric saved me I think...more times than I can count.

Update:  My son, seeing my pain, had a long chat with me the other day...he told me I more than made up for my mom-he said I was the best mom ever, that I was always there for every single thing that ever happened in his life...And I told him, that was the bare minimum.  That should be expected.  THAT is what a mom should do-without thanks or question.  That is what every single kid on this planet deserves...it doesn't make me the best mom ever-it just makes me a mom.  And I am happy with that. :)

Update to the update:
My mom has basically honored my request to leave me alone..I didn't unfriend her on facebook, but I did make it so she cannot see my daily postings...She left this on my timeline:
It was the second time she'd left something like that...I didn't want to be a jerk by not responding-who doesn't respond to their mom's lovely post?  Uggh.  So I responded with this:

Still waiting for her to click 'like.'


  1. I'm so sorry you've had to suffer such pain from someone who is supposed to be there for you. That woman may have borne you. But she is NOT a mother!
    Do not under any circumstances allow her back into your life. You are obviously better and stronger than she will ever be...and you do not deserve to suffer any more pain at her hand!
    If you need counseling, seek out a good one...they are not all charlatans and worthless.
    Continue to go forward in your life. Have a circle of close friends - even one or two in whom you can confide if you just sometime just need to talk. Friends can make a big difference in your life....be a good friend and you'll have good friends.

    I shall pray for you. I just want you to continue to be the strong woman you obviously are. That woman does not deserve you in her life...you are far better than she - don't give her the 'satisfaction' of knowing how much she's hurt you.
    A Mom - a true MOTHER - would never treat their child as that woman has treated you.

    I wish you the best. If you sometime need to 'chat', feel free to get in contact. I am mother to four grown adults now and my children are the greatest blessing in my life. I cannot imagine not being there if/when they needed me. I could not live with myself had I not been there for them. I wish I could somehow make up for what you've missed out on your whole life. Just please! do not let her destroy you further. You do not deserve to hurt anymore because of her!
    I wish a life of peace for you. If you start having feelings of loneliness or lack of self-worth, please remember that you are the stronger woman. Please do keep in touch. I can be here for you if you need someone.

  2. Aww thank you so much for your kind words! I know, that this is the best thing-I just need to move on with my life, and that weight that has been on me is lifting. Physically, I can feel so much lighter. :) I know I will be OK...no I will be better than OK...and it is because of wonderful people like you, that exist in this world that I can smile, and be confident that there is always hope and love-even if it is a little hard to see sometimes! :) ♥

  3. This took a lot of strength to share your story. You are a strong individual and congrats on breaking the chain and making sure you were a mom for your children. I do not have children yet, but I know that when I do, I want them to have parents who love them and show it.
    Hugs and light to you my friend. I love your work. I am a knitter more than a crocheter. <3

  4. Aww thank you so much! I was really hurting when I wrote this. I am so so happy that I have had my yarn to comfort me in those times. You sound like a very caring person, and any child would be lucky to call you their parent! :) Happy Yarning! :)

  5. I won't go dragging all my own baggage out, but I will share one of my proudest moments as a mom.

    A couple of years ago, my oldest daughter (nearly 30) gave me a beautiful mother's day card thanking me for always being there for my family, for the unconditional love and support, for being a "safety net" in a scary world.

    I have never cried like I did when I read that card. She was horrified by my tears; she didn't mean to make me cry! But I just kept thinking...I would NEVER have given that card to my mother. I was overwhelmed with relief that my daughters have a better mom than I had, literally brought to my knees at the profound realization that my kids don't feel about me the way I feel about her.

    I can't remember it without crying again. If I never accomplish another thing, it was enough to make sure my kids know they are loved unconditionally.

    I made the same heartbreaking/heart-healing choice as you. I haven't spoken to my mother since my grandma died in 2010. I still stand by my decision to eliminate her presence in my family's life, and I applaud you for taking back your emotional control. You do not have to justify it to anyone. You've walked through your hell, and you've earned the right to say ENOUGH. Mad props from one motherless hooker to another. ;)

  6. Aww, good for you! I think breaking the cycle is probably the hardest things for people to do...to see a wrong and right it through the way you live and love. ♥ With no example of what is 'right' we are left with only guessing and following our hearts, and gosh, it is SCARY. But, in the end very rewarding. It is so great to hear your story! ♥ Hugs and high fives to you! :) It is such a fabulous feeling when you can win at this thing called life! :)