If you’ve read my story then you’ll know that my normal is a PTSD normal. That comes with its own set of interesting hurdles. That, you would think, would be enough. The label and the box, should be enough.
But it appears that its not always.
The issue with being ME, is other people’s view and expectations of what ME should be. Generally, I deal with it, because your average joe blow’s opinion of ME doesn’t really phase my world.
However, the average joe blow’s opinion of ME does phase the partners world. He’s a bit lame like that. But it goes in ebbs and flows and he hasn’t known me all my life, so occasionally I excuse his ignorance. I deal with it. Because I love him; after I’ve resisted the urge to throttle him.
And then there’s ‘family’.
I don’t really have to explain ME to my mother anymore. Her understanding of who I am has grown. And I love that.
My wider family – well I don’t let them in.
My daughters; well, they are my closest and most vulnerable spot.
I put up with more from them because of my love for them. And unlike the rest of the mothers in the world, I’m not perfect ;) therefore I made mistakes. So when they come to me with a wound, about my parenting or who I was, or who I am … I listen.
But sometimes, it makes my heart hurt.
I’ve had a few days of ‘You should be’ … ‘I Wish You Were More Like…’, with my youngest daughter. To be fair, she’s a late bloomer, so her ‘issues’ with me haven’t really presented themselves until now. And I listened as she vented about how she wished I was ‘like other mothers’; ‘like other nans’ … how she wanted me to be more supportive and hands on; more affectionate and caring; visibly. And I listened.
I understand the need to vent and let go. She looked hurt and relieved all at the same time, so I was pleased with that. Sort of.
And usually I would leave it at that and go away and lick my wounds.
But I cringe when everything goes to this place again. I have dealt with others view of me and what they think I should be doing, ALL my life. If it wasn’t a religious view, it was a theoretical view; then an ‘older’ view and an educated view. All in all, it’s always everyone elses view, and a misconstrued view at that.
I can count the occasions, on one hand, where someone has ‘got it’ and accepted it, instantly. Those that have, have also been ‘outsiders’.
So I licked my wounds for a day and then sat down to talk to my daughter again. I apologised for any harm I may have caused her when she was younger.
She was wanting me to be different from what I am. And I couldn’t do or be what she was expecting from me. That at times, I would ‘be more’, but that would be because I wanted to be that way. That what was done, was done. I couldn’t change or reverse it. And at the end of the day, she shouldn’t let what I wasn’t or what I am not, eat her up. She needed to find a way to let it go.
I also went into something I don’t usually.
I asked why; although it was ok and justified to be annoyed or disappointed with me; she didn’t expect the same of her father – who had virtually nothing to do with my girls after they came back to live with me. I asked her why it was ok to have me up on my mistakes, but not him.
She was surprised but understood.
I love my daughters no end …
But I am tired of not being understood … well having to explain who and what I am. I am tired of the expectations that are constantly hurled my way.
I think I dealt with it all better this time than others.
But it does make my heart hurt.
And then my eldest daughter rang. She had been talking with her sister.
‘Mum’ she says; ‘I did say to her, that she needs to find a way to accept you as you are. That what you have been through effected you in certain ways. And that’s not going to change. But that if she loves you, she’ll accept you’.
‘And she will Mum, because she loves you. And I love you. Just as you are.’
‘You are really a good mother Mum.’
And then I cried.
I love my babies.