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.