It seems to be my life long struggle not to be too hard on myself. I can’t remember a time…from my earliest memories of childhood to now…that I did not battle this. I’m not sure why….I guess it’s the way I’m wired.
I have to say, though, that I have improved in this area significantly. Now that I no longer experience the consistent blaming and criticism that was present in my marriage, it is easier for me to stop, reframe my thoughts, and be more fair to myself.
It’s interesting what will trigger this tendency. Today, it was seeing photos of my cousin’s daughter’s wedding. It was beautiful and fun and spiritual. I saw the photos of my cousin and her husband on either side of their glowing daughter in her wedding dress, beaming with pride and love. I saw the siblings of the bride gathered around her in support and love. I saw the extended family with all their intact marriages and happy families celebrating together.
I felt such happiness for all of them. And then a wave of grief crashed over me and flattened me with a ferocity I hadn’t seen coming.
It won’t ever be like that for me and my kids. It won’t. It doesn’t mean it can’t be good. I’m sure there will be many happy celebrations to come in our lives.
I don’t know if they will ever have a healed relationship with their dad that he will ever be part of those things.
And…the big question that nags in the back of my mind that I am always afraid to express….have my kids been too damaged that we won’t ever have those kinds of celebrations?
There, I said it. That’s my fear.
And that’s when I start beating myself up and feeling I’ve failed them.
I know that I did the best I could with what I knew while they were growing up. I really did the best I knew how to do. But…it doesn’t change the fact that they have been wounded and damaged.
I am doing the best I know how to do now to help them heal. It’s a long road for all of us. But, I’m applying what I’ve learned to being there for them now. I get discouraged at times with how long the road still seems to be. But, I have to trust.
We are all getting there. One step at a time. And, what will be, will be.