Slings and Arrows

Sling and Arrows

Sling and Arrows

Do you ever lie about what you are blogging about? I do. Or, to be more exact, I choose substitute words for what I am experiencing. The other day I wrote a blog “The End of Innocence” about the internal saboteur and related it to a book proposal I was working on. It was a flaccid version of the truth. For “book proposal” substitute “family dynamics” and the story would be a bit more true.

I was recently reading the book Carry on Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed by Glennon Doyle Melton. The book is in some ways a compilation of her blog postings. During one of the earlier ones, she writes about a “lack” (my word) of intimacy with her husband. Later, she learned he had been having an affair.

In some ways, she realized she had been responding energetically to a situation, although she was not consciously aware (this is my interpretation).

I feel a similar experience (although not the discovery of an affair) in my own family. It’s as if radio waves have been circulating around me and suddenly I have them in tune as I see and hear what is happening.

Although I have blogged some about my husband and stepkids, being a stepmom 1/2 time in a dynamic in which both parents are not the overly-engaged parenting types is difficult. Add to that the sentiment since I stepped into this drama that they are all “fine”, while the rest of the world is just not up to par, and you have a recipe for blame and lack of awareness.

Sadly, I will now admit this- I had projected all feelings relating to my being judged as “failing” on my stepkids’ Mother.

As the background radio waves have come into tune, I realize I could not have been more wrong. My husband and stepkids frequently see me as the problem. Perhaps, “frequently” is not strong enough-how about we try “always”?

Just a few examples- my stepdaughter almost left a 425 degree oven on overnight. I expressed my concern and worry. I was told by her that “everyone forgets” and by my husband that I make everyone feel “uncomfortable”. Yes. Discomfort was actually a goal, because I thought it may stimulate the behavior to change.

Other examples have been: No one can relate to me. The kids are there one night and I ruin everything. I am always such a problem. And, finally, that no one can have fun with me because I am not joyous.

How convenient for them that they can sit and feel so confident and fine in themselves while I make others uncomfortable and am so un-joyous myself that no one can have fun with me.

And for those of you have lived in similar dynamics, I won’t recount the “set-ups” by them. Of how they won’t honor what I need, and then a countdown clock begins to wonder when I will lost it. Crazy-making at its best.

Slings and arrows…slings and arrows. I drew the woman above to capture how this feels. To her left, near her breast, is an orange arrow headed towards her. She is already off balance and ungrounded (my fear of what will be said to me next).

A blue stream pours from her, forming a spiraling pool near her lower let to the right.

We are all gifted in this life with our challenges and awarenesses. I don’t have any answers now, except the dream I had last night. Where the simple message was this: the love I bestow so freely upon others should find a home in myself.

I don’t post this blog as a “poor me” scenario nor to capture a sense of “Look! at how awful my husband and stepkids can be”. This is not my intent.

My intent is this- within every dynamic that is challenging, we need one simple prayer. “Give me just a sliver of space and light, dear God, so that I may maneuver into something better.”

We don’t need to change the world, we don’t need to change others, we just need that space, that bit of light, so that we reach reach towards it.

26 thoughts on “Slings and Arrows

  1. “Where the simple message was this: the love I bestow so freely upon others should find a home in myself.”

    Amen to that! What you describe is such a common issue for moms in general. LOL, I don’t just lack joy, I suck the joy right out of room and completely ruin people’s lives!

    I can so identify with what you said about causing discomfort. That is also a frequent complaint, I’m making everybody uncomfortable, as if they won’t be even more uncomfortable if they burn the darn house down.

    So regardless of the circumstance, step one has to be to pour some love into yourself.

    • Your comment is a great example as to why I blog. I mean that. You had me laughing out loud at my own situation. I took heart (and company) in the fact that others apparently not only lack joy, but suck the joy out of everyone else’s lives 🙂

      And thank you for understanding my shock at the “making everyone uncomfortable” comment. As if burning down the house would cause no discomfort???

      anyway, thanks so much for the laugh/smiles today.

  2. Thanks for this post, Kim.

    I had a dream about people with slings and arrows last night and they were trying to shoot me.. we escaped though although in my dream I wanted to go back to the place.

    Every post you write about somehow ties into my experience as well. You always find a way to verbalize and explain these things I sometimes can’t interpret. Thank you for sharing your gifts, it is a great comfort to know that someone somewhere in this world is seeing the world in a similar way. It’s certainly not true that no one can relate to you, I find your daily posts comforting and enlightening.

    Hope you have a great week!

    • Hi! thank you for your words. I am glad my writing provides a connection. I think it is so interesting you had a dream of arrows being shot at you last evening. Maybe we can look at these as arrows of transformation, something in the air right now, encouraging us to believe we can change.

  3. Wow this was so well-written, I loved it. I don’t mean to pity you, but it really must be hard to deal with so many criticizing, harsh words coming your way. I know from experience that those can really consume you. I’ve often heard my own mom having some of the same complaints. I really think it takes age and maturity before children, no matter what age, can relate to their parents or appreciate them. Looking back on my own childhood and beyond, there was so much I could not see in regards to my parents.

    • I so appreciate you mentioning your Mom and similar criticisms. Perhaps I worry too much that because I am a stepmom these things occur because of that particular role. thanks for the reminder the vision of children is not the same as ours.

      • Well if it makes you feel better both my parents are remarried and I love love love my stepmom and my stepdad. It feels like I have four parents to turn to instead of just two. Some kids have a more difficult time adjusting to step family but I really it just takes time! You even caring about the things they are saying seems like a step in the right direction!

      • I really thank you for your last line. I have thought about it several times since reading it- it is such a positive that I think about them and their feelings and how they act.

  4. “We don’t need to change the world, we don’t need to change others, we just need that space, that bit of light, so that we reach reach towards it.” … and find it within ourselves. It isn’t out there after all.
    Trying too hard becomes conditional as we are attached to an outcome. It shifts our energy and others sense it.
    Be happy with who you are and let go of being attached to being a good step mom. Just be happy being you!
    Val x

    • Oh, thanks. I am pretty happy with my role as stepmom. I do worry about the dynamic present about the blaming/targeting others. I hold little illusion that if I were to step out tomorrow, they would find another target to take my place. I think a different model could be shown the children.

  5. Noone can relate to you. Maybe they are the problem and not you? I say this because i was always an alien in my family, until i found out they were all narcissists

  6. Nothing is permanent, not even our troubles, and the fact that they blame you, and only you, leads me to believe that it’s not you. And no, we can’t change others, and as much as we want to, we shouldn’t, but we can be a shining light to guide their path. Whether they follow the light is up to them!

    • thanks so much, Kate, for the reminder that nothing is permanent. WE can get so caught up in the moment and believe it will last forever. And I really like what you say- about the blame game they play.
      If I can be honest, I really just don’t want my stepchildren growing up thinking this is acceptable. Not only because I am involved, but I never, ever want them to see this pattern, think it is acceptable and then repeat it later when they have their own families.

      • I agree – you don’t want them to think it is acceptable behavior, none of us do! And I wish I had an answer for that – but I have a friend whose raising step kids and their biological mom is very much “It’s societies/the government/my boss’s fault” it is never HER fault that because she showed up late for 3 weeks and got fired, it was always management, etc. And she’s raising her kids that way too, even though she doesn’t have custody, it’s their mom and they want to believer her and coddle her – because after all, they truly believe, it’s everyone’s fault but their own!
        So, I hear your frustration – I just wish I had an easy answer for it!

      • thanks for taking the time to write this, Kate. It is so nice to be “heard” and understood. I really am not worried about me. I am worried about them using this approach in life.
        Sometimes when we read the story of another in a similar situation it helps ground us in our own, so thank you.

  7. What a heart felt post that I feel for you. I think moms tend to worry so much and what we want to see within our control is everything good and proper in our children. As a result, we become such a nag, a non-joyous being, a party pooper even! It’s not an exaggeration to emphasize how serious the consequence of leaving a super high temp oven overnight. I would have reacted with more dramatic effects just to get the severity message across. Some things have to be non-joyous about and some things not. For not so important matters, we try to relax and laugh. I am trying hard to take things light and enjoy the moment with my kids too. I do admit sometimes I am too uptight. Whatever the case, moms being thinking too much good for the family will tend to be more serious. Give ourselves a pat for our good intentions 🙂

    • I am so glad you wrote. I can be very intense with the children, always wanting the best for them. So my heart is in the right place. I am trying to work on, though, that everything does not have to be perfect to be acceptable. That can be a difficult thing for me to remember.

  8. Hey Kim…just want you to know that I am thinking of you…and sending brilliant energy to cleanse you. This dynamic sounds very difficult….but there is some reason it is in your life…perhaps to make you look at something that you have not looked at yet…?
    Much love to you…you know I am your champion and I know how strong you are!!! ❤

  9. Pingback: Momma Lost Her Head and Found it Blogging | Soul Healing Art

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