On the heels of Mother’s Day, I should still be beaming. Yet, I sit here in tears wondering where I went wrong. I ranted last year about my kids being lazy and disrespectful. Yet, when the memory cropped up on Facebook, I was in the emergency room with my son because he’d broken his finger playing basketball.
So I started commenting on how motherhood is still a blessing because I was convicted by what I’d written. Oddly enough, I ended up not being able to post it and the memory actually disappeared into Facebook space!
My son’s never been sickly so unless he injures himself or it’s time for a check up, he and I rarely see the doctor. To think I almost didn’t take him to the ER that day either considering it just a jam…I thought a couple pain pills, and ice would do the trick. But the next day, he couldn’t move it. After the x-ray the doctor questioned what he’d done and confirmed that my assumption was wrong. He’d suffered much more damage than I expected. She laughed and said, “I wonder how many broken bones I’d actually had as a child and my mother just told me to ice it.” Suddenly it seemed like I was the only one in the room who thought it not funny. I felt guilty…
Sure when he’d dropped an iron on his foot and split his head running into a steel door at school…I rushed him to the ER…but there were times when he’d told me he bashed his knee or messed up his elbow that I’d ignored the urgency…he rarely complained so I didn’t bother. I guess I considered his resilience too much like mind…that he could be sick, feel horrible, keep smiling, and never miss a beat too…for that reason I never sought counseling for the physical abuse I endured 14 years ago.
I only realized yesterday that Recco remembered more than what I thought of that night. He remembered the punch that mangled my face and the force that sent my body through the glass table, yet it seemed I remembered it differently. I remembered him confined to his room, but he said he saw it…that he was locked in the room after the worse had been done. Today I’ve had the pang of guilt to deal with again…
I suppose it’s the reason for the tears…because now he’s still angry…I realize why he’s so protective…why he’s so attached to me…yet at times seems to careless…it’s because though not directly, I showed him he should ice it…I never allowed him the opportunity to discuss what happened with a counselor…I never encouraged him to even speak about it period until he blurted out to Kayla that her dad’s not dead, but hopefully in jail. She was six. Since then my son’s treated her differently as if what happened to me that night and whatever may have happened to him at other times unbeknownst to me by her father’s hand, was her fault…As if sibling rivalry were too faint a punishment for her to receive…so at times it seems I’ve spent my years of single motherhood as a referee instead.
I am forced to wonder had I not implied that he ice his fears and trauma by the way I’d handled my own whether he’d understand how to better cope when things don’t go his way. I find myself wondering more and more whether the disease that plagued my mother has him bound as well. He needs help.
Last week I was proud of the way I calmly asserted that “I am one person.” Until now, I suppose only God knows what I’ve endured. He alone has kept me sane. He alone has forgiven me when my own words cut them and myself. I’m grateful for the sense to know when I’m wrong and the humility to admit it and apologize.
Apologies seem so redundant at times, but I appreciate sincere ones…I never received a verbal apology from my own mother. My childhood was chaotic, but expertly concealed for years. I was parented by a single mother who suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder. I remember when I first dared to investigate the disease how fearful I’d been of the possibility of it being hereditary…how when I’d finally gotten the courage to explain why at 18 I left a full scholarship to Christian Brothers on the table in favor of another venue at least 200 miles away two weeks before classes began to escape her clutches, that I was demonized for not loving my mother as much as I should have. I’m glad to say while I don’t have the disease, the toll of being raised by a parent who did has blurred my lenses to life in many ways. Because of it,
I vowed I’d never treat my children the way I was treated, but in my attempt to keep that vow, when mama got sick, I went to the opposite extreme of love…I grew numb. I iced my regret and resentment and wasn’t able to forgive her until two months before she passed. So this move is not the only journey I’ve been on people…I’m having to really put into practice the faith that I’ve preached…
I know that nothing is impossible for God so now that I made the first step in deciding to forgive those who hurt me. I suppose my second one is thawing out the memories I repressed, moving beyond them, and helping my children do the same.