Incomplete

Undefined

Undefined


When the definitions of Self are no longer so clearly defined
and Empty space shows among the features,
you realize the beauty of incomplete-ness.

—-
I liked this image and the possibilities it spoke about. It also had me realizing how often I had let others attempt to define me.

Recently, I have had to take on an even greater role as mother to my stepchildren. As this has unfolded, I have been met with open arms by so many caring, loving people who honor who I am and what I do with these children. Other mothers ask me to get together with them and “our kids”.

The other day I had to drop off my stepson at music camp, and another Mom was waiting there for me just to say “Hi”.

These may seem like small things, but they are not.

For years (7 to be exact) the story about me, among my stepkids and their Mom (when they were with her), was how horrible, mean, and terrible I was.

In some ways, I tried to keep myself hidden because of all the negative judgment that was rained upon me. There was a part of me, sadly, that thought they must be a little right. So I hid and allowed a small, small part of me to be defined by them.

I know this has happened to so many who have negative, abusive people in their lives. Logically, we may know what they say is not true, but there is a part of us that processes this information and wonders “Are they right?”

No more.

I move now into possibility, the empty spaces that have yet to be defined (by myself or others).

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10 thoughts on “Incomplete

  1. “I know this has happened to so many who have negative, abusive people in their lives. Logically, we may know what they say is not true, but there is a part of us that processes this information and wonders “Are they right?””

    I never believed this to be the case for me and it was really awkward. Enduring a decade of gross physical and emotional abuse while consistently telling all of the authority figures, from police to school officials to family members, what was happening and literally receiving no aid, not being permanently removed from the situation, while being regularly told by my mother how much she loved me…it was an incredible mind-fuck. Through it all I never believed that I deserved any of it, that I didn’t deserve to be thrown down stairs and thrashed awake by my step-father or the psychological abuse that came from everyone ignoring my cries: I didn’t believe that I deserved it but that these people did not care about me at all.

    I see this behaviour exist throughout, at least, our American culture and this gross negligence and abuse permeates our culture like rot in a closed casket. It’s normal to question whether or not we’re doing something wrong, but in the face of slander and abuse there is no reason to question it. We may have done something wrong, whatever it is, but in the face of slander and abuse the reaction is simply not proportional to whatever it was we did or did not do: simply put, they are not and cannot be right.

    “Recently, I have had to take on an even greater role as mother to my stepchildren. […] I move now into possibility, the empty spaces that have yet to be defined (by myself or others).”

    That’s what any good parent, any good mother, would do. You’ve been their mother for quite some time and recognising that reality starts the filling of empty spaces.

    • I find it amazing that you did not fall for the trap that you “deserved” this abuse. It is such a common ploy, or “mind-fuck”, by abusers.
      I don’t know how you did not feel completely split apart when you would try to get help and no one would come to your aid.

      I am always very naive in that I believe others want to help and do the right thing.

      I love how you analyze slander and abuse and the reaction not being in proportion with the initial event. This is a key concept that is often overlooked. The abuser often feels so justified in their actions, never stopping to note how out of proportion their actions are.

      And your ending is very understanding. I see how I am the only mother figure these children truly have. This fills those empty spaces.

      I read your writing today about the past and what can (or more accurately, what can not) be done about it. Well said.

      • When that poem is complete I will send it to you; I’m not sure when or if it will be collected.

        But beyond that I want to hammer the notion into your head that you are, in fact, their mother and that language is important. I am not certain what exactly lay behind the distance you forcibly put there, why you refuse you recognise that your position (and nevermind biology) isn’t figurative, but I’m very interested and would like to read a letter if you would like to send one.

        Let’s look at language. It seems to me we can agree that biology is irrelevant, that someone can fill the sociological position de facto granted by a biological position. If we admit this we must necessarily admit that parental roles are all figurative, viz. a biological mother is as much a ‘mother figure’ as the big sister that fulfils any number of the same sociological functions. Thus, we can abandon the ‘figure’ predicate and speak plainly in a sociological sense, the only sense that is important after a child is born -the variable necessity of breastfeeding notwithstanding.

        Who you are is defined by what you do and how you do it, something that I believe I’ve said to you before. When you act the mother, all things considered, you are the mother and the more consistently the more firmly the role is established until it is beyond anything but legal question. Does this make sense?

  2. I’m the president of our senior celebration parent group, the group that plans for the big ‘project graduation’ event for our seniors at school… and last night I posted in the officers page for my VP, treasurers and communications peeps that I keep waiting for them to call me out as a fraud as most days I’m just making it up as I go, but that I realized most of us do that, and I feel blessed to have them there with me helping me out as I’m just making it up!
    So, it’s not just steps that sometimes feel like they are doing it all wrong, or that the negative judgement they feel has a basis in truth (talk about negative judgement, talk about a single mom raising a boy… yeah… let’s not). We all are making it up as we go, but how blessed I am and how fortunate I feel to have opened enough to develop mom friends, and to share my life with them – and it sounds like you are opening up to that, too. Welcome. It’s an amazing experience!

    • I really liked this, Kate. I do think most of us make it up as we go along. I bet you are an amazing president. And, of course, you are so right about the negative judgment towards any and all parenting. “Single mom raising a boy”- I bet you have encountered so many “assumptions” about who you are and the job you are doing.
      the “Mom” friendships I have developed are amazing! Their insights, compassion, and awareness keep me floating along.

  3. “When the definitions of Self are no longer so clearly defined
    and Empty space shows among the features,
    you realize the beauty of incomplete-ness.”

    Beautiful thought, beautifully depicted. Keep going ! love and best wishes.

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