Thursday, October 7, 2010
And the hits just keep on coming
At what point do you say No More?
I am a lousy parent. I am a terrible wife. I am a horrible and selfish daughter. I would deserve it if my children and love were all taken from me because I am worthless and selfish and no one really cares about me anyway.
These are not thoughts that just randomly were placed into my head. Over the years I have come to realize that I was bullied, by not only classmates – because I WAS that girl in the playground that had rocks thrown at her – but by certain family members as well. It took a LONG time to come to that realization and once I did, the thought initially felt so ridiculous that I was actually angry with myself for having thought it.
But bullying was EXACTLY what it was.
As recently as a few weeks ago, this family member felt it was perfectly appropriate to publicly shame me and then tried to twist things around so that I was the bad person in the scenario because I had the audacity to be upset about it. I have had this person berate me for having children, to having a job, for NOT having a job, for having a boyfriend/spouse, for NOT having a relationship. I have been called fat, ugly, a slut, useless, a loser, etc. You know, the usual. At one point, the words "I hope you get hit by a truck and lose that baby because it would be better off dead than having you as a mother" actually left this person's mouth and slapped me in the face.
Bullying is not just a playground activity.
I was expected to put up with it because that was "just how . . . is."
So now, here I am approaching legitimate adulthood (as I like to call 40) and I have the voice of THAT person floating through my head constantly. That voice is my inner demon. THAT voice haunts me.
I have gotten pretty good at being a doormat. I tell the world how happy I am in my put-on sing-songy way. I bounce through life with my bubbly Sami persona wrapped tight around me. I jump to the defense of the defenseless and yet, when I need to jump to my own defense – I fumble. I can't do it.
I am not worth defending.
It is especially bad in times like now because during (yet another) divorce, I HAVE to stand up for myself. I have to say that my opinion matters, that I actually CAN parent my children, that I have a right to be treated fairly.
And I am having a VERY hard time with it.
I am sitting on public transit for 5 HOURS a day in order to keep Lola in the same school because I am the one who moved to a place I wanted to be. Clearly I need to be punished for this in some way. I cannot get a new job because my soon-to-be ex-spouse has a ridiculously inconsistent work schedule and I am expected to be available to the kids at a moment's notice. The ONLY reason I can do shows is because doing shows almost ALWAYS leads to new acting students and I need the work and so The Bruce watches the kids for me. But I was informed by said EX that I am not "allowed" to do back-to-back shows anymore. As if he has the right to tell me that.
I can't LIVE my life so that he can have more access to the kids and YET, he spends HOURS accusing me of making it "impossible" to see the kidlets. I have become the bad guy. Again.
No, I am not. Damn it. I just can't make it EFFORTLESS for him to see the children.
And yet, in spite of the fact that I KNOW he is being unreasonable, KNOW that I cannot keep up this pace, KNOW that transferring schools will be easier on her in the long run – I cannot seem to work up the nerve to do what I KNOW is right because that fucking voice in my head tells me that if I do, I will lose the kids because I am being selfish. Like courts will deem me selfish and - therefore unfit - for wanting me and the kidlets to be happy and actually have time together.
I am even terrified to ask for custody and child support (even though I have physical custody of the children 95% of the time) because I am afraid he will try take them from me and succeed.
I believe this fear all can be linked directly back to the bullying and the fact that NEVER was I told I was okay and smart and capable by the people who should have had my back. So, because I was bullied by a family member and it was allowed to stand, I am allowing myself to be bullied by this MAN because I can't seem to muster up the balls to stand up for myself. At 39.
It is getting better. I know it is. I have the love of a man who says he loves me "Because. Not Anyway." I have amazing friends who come to my defense when I am attacking myself. But I NEED to learn to be my own cheerleader.
I do NOT want my kids to see that it is okay to allow yourself to be treated that way. I want and need them to know that THEY are loved and are worthy of being loved. That THEY deserve happiness. That THEY are amazing, beautiful creatures that I am proud and blessed to have in my life.
So that when they are on the cusp of legitimate adulthood, the guilt and fear of not being good enough does not leave them weeping on the living room floor.
Living rooms should be for dancing.