Do you ever think you have processed and healed over some major life event and then someone you know goes through something similar and all that old junk resurfaces? Why is that? All the work done to go forward and yet the old hurt can knock you right back to the start. That’s me today. I noticed that the fall is not as far anymore but still upsetting.
When I had my son, I felt very isolated. Part of that was my fault. I did not have a strong friend network, the relationship I felt so secure in wasn’t actually and I did not know how to ask for help or get my needs met. Part of it was my location. I actually was physically isolated down a dirt road three miles from pavement. It was a beautiful jungle and we had a brand new home that was built while I was gestating. I stayed in that house.
Once my child entered the world, the stress of life became severe. The gravity of the situation with trash and resources, my mortality, had me bed ridden for the first few days. I could play it off as just giving birth but my head was swirling with the responsibility that was now before me. Providing for my baby and rectifying all that I was not. I felt I had to prove to the world my worthiness as a mom. But the only person I had to prove that to was myself.
And this is my problem. How can I be good enough for myself?
My memories are skewed and my heart is hurt from the challenges that our young family faced that I could not scale. I did the best I could with what I knew but I was barely hanging on. I am not sure if this is normal. I don’t really know normal. Maybe if I had friends I could talk to and hang out with, I would have found out that having a baby is a game changer. My mom had her stories but they didn’t fit with my experience. On the outside it all seemed to work but on the inside I felt like I was withering. One distraction that started when my son was 6 months old was running. We ran. All over, for miles. Planning my run for the day with my son took up space in my otherwise lonely mind. Busy and lonely. If anyone looked close enough, it was all very apparent. I think being lonely is what killed my marriage. We were each so lonely in our existences that we could not bridge the gap. We did not even acknowledge the gap. The gap eventually became so wide I had to leave. Not before I found someone else who looked at me. The order of operations was all wrong. And I will be branded the “bad” one probably until one of us dies.
And I still feel for him and worry about him. I went forward with the relationship outside of the marriage. We are still together and it is full and loving and I am grateful for everyday we have together. And with that gratitude comes a guilt. For I have so much. I thought I had worked through much of this but it seems I worked around it. My work around is what allows me to be pulled back when a friend going through something similar reaches out. I see all my missteps and all I could have done different.
When my son was weeks old I told him the story of how he came to be. How I dreamt of him and waited for him and planned for him. I also apologized for not being enough. This “enough” is haunting. Where does it come from? And why does wield such power? I promised him I would change.
As a parent, good enough works. Dinner was good enough, the house is cleaned good enough but intrinsically hanging on to being good enough seems like a massive effort. I know there is no way to have everything together. It is not possible. Entropy is a universal law. I abide by universal laws. Yet, the grip of being good enough is tight around my neck. Like I need to prove it.
I have weeded the cause of my worthiness down to a few things. My sperm donor’s inability to have a meaningful relationship with me. My only child tendencies to set the bar extremely high. My chaotic and loving childhood. Instead of blaming addiction or emotional ignorance, I turn it inward to my having some flaw, something about me that is not good enough.
Maybe on some level I feel like a quitter and failure who put myself first and that I was so selfish in my choices. My happiness became paramount and that was not okay. I wonder if I have some karmic debt that I need to repent for my happiness so I can unload the guilt.
On good days, I am a fighter. I fight for my life and joy and work hard to maintain and share it. On bad days, I’m the asshole on the rock yelling to everyone how much I suck and don’t deserve all that I have. Watching and feeling someone you care about hurting because of you is hard to get over. And that is such a dick thing to say, I feel your pain that I caused, sorry about that.
My friend will figure it out for herself. Things will be okay. And maybe things should change from good enough to okay. It’s okay. We are all okay. And things can get better. When I am knocked down by issues I carry, it is not as hard to get back up. My job is to be happy and honest and put that into the world, for my son. I owe him that. I owe myself that.