Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Best of My Ability

I've had more than one mental health professional tell me that I was raising my kids (in my addiction) to the best of my ability at the time.  I've told hundreds of women the same thing myself while listening to the all familiar gut wrenching memory tapes of guilt and shame.  What I want to know is why was my ability so damn lousy?  I know exactly what to do now (I think) and it's too late, they are all grown.  I would also like for this not to be the first question to God every morning as well.  My adult children are struggling so hard with life and accepting the responsibility for their inadequate upbringing has done nothing to sooth the shame.  If I forget about my "burden of guilt" for even one day it makes the following day that much worse.  In my feels like there must be some kind of justice for them....and if I suffer hard enough, long enough then maybe that is some kind of retribution.  Of course I never tell them any of this because they love me and it would hurt them for me to hurt.  It's just this "feeling" that shouts "SOMEONE MUST PAY" for the crap ass life these kids were drug through.  That "someone" is me.  Writing this, I know it's seems convoluted and somewhat masochistic.....but it's genuine and I guess years from now some mental health professional will be telling me that I was living this day to the best of my matter how lousy my ability seems to be.


Anonymous said...

That was your "Reality" Then....What you have is your "Reality" NOW! Don't beat yourself up. There are plenty out there willing to take a swing at ya! (That last sentence is supposed to be Humor.) You have helped many in person and on your blog.

Kristin H. said...

They are still your children and you are still influential in their life. They are still watching. I don't think we are ever 'finished' raising them. You can't change your behavior from the past but you can make sure not to screw things up now. They'll be watching.

Todd HellsKitchen said...

Just doing the next right thing...

Marcia said...

their experiences with you shaped who they are today...the bad and the GOOD. There is, good, right? And.. there is always that thing called living amends...which you do every day by loving them.

Bill Chase said...

You have already said that we do the best we can with what we have,And somedays perhaps we didn't do the best we could with what we have. So excuse me for being Human, and not PERFECT. What would you tell a sponsee who was berating themselves this way? Even better What would you say to your children if they were beating themselves up in tghis matter? Furthermore if the God of your understanding loves you and accepts you for who you are, Who are you to question? Shame and guilt are toxic, We all wish we could changes things in our past, Yet the past is the past, let the dead bury the dead. All we can do is learn from our mistakes, make whatever amends we can, and be the best possible person we can today with what we have today. However I know you know all this. Just one of those days. You know you are loved and valueable.

Hope said...

"I know exactly what to do now (I think) and it's too late, they are all grown."

Just wanted you to know that I can relate to this whole post. Most of the time I am able to go through the day and be okay with this aspect of my life. Then there are moments that are gut wrenching with memory.

Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

I was always the kid who asked "why" ... and I mean to the point of driving the adults in my life insane. My dad used to turn red and finally I would know we had hit a critical breaking point when he would say in that tone that verges on about to scream in frustration, "cats for to make little girls like you ask questions."

I kinda thank God that he did drink so much and enjoy that at the time, I was a very tough character even back then. I was frustrated coming out the shoot...very very frustrated most of the time and my frustration spread to everyone I touched as I tried to fix it with my reasoner...and I had lots of good research to support my good reasoning for what should be.

I couldn't seem to accept any answer at face value... I always had to dig and dig and dig... until... well much like the character lenny from of mice and men's behavior as he tried to interact with the world, I did that until the life was sucked out of every relationship, desire and ideal I ever loved or cared for.

My poor parents didn't have the answers either. And the answers they did have most of the time came from their experience with their parents, who were flawed too.

So where did this expectation that I should be/have been perfect come from? That I should have known better, should have understood what I was doing, should have done it differently? I seem to hear it all flawed. I heard my parents say BE PERFECT, DO IT RIGHT... or OH GOD JESS... NOT AGAIN? WHY can't you??? Frustration, why? why? And in tears I get back to I DON'T KNOW! I WANT TO PLEASE YOU, I WANT TO DO IT RIGHT! I CAN'T! And then ... I would give up so absolutely in frustration that I needed the kind of numbness that verged on death to stop that shit.

I wanted a perfect world, one in which no one was hurt, frustrated, angry, scared, sick. I wanted a world that frankly doesn't exist with humans. But... I was given a gift, the gift of healing... my scars and stories can become miraculous healing for someone else with my particular disease. The disease of flawed ideals. I can stop trying to achieve perfection by trying to make everything right, and start spreading miracles by realizing that it's right now.

For God did not make me to condemn the world but to save it through me, a flawed human who realizes exactly what I am and exactly who God is, and is willing to be gut level honest about that, to perfect all experiences through my understanding of Him. God is the power and without him, nothing can be accomplished.

But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly.

The truth... sets me free.

"for Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever.

I say it at the end of every single meeting. I'd be pissed if they tried to take it away. But... do I believe it? Or do I still think that God was only powerful from the moment "I" decided to believe? And do I still have this understanding of God in situations where ... the bad guy has already won?

How free do I want to be? Uncover, discover and disgard... I believe that's how Chuck Chamberlain said it. See I still think I have/had the power to screw things and people up. I still think I have/had all the power at certain points, all the power.

Someone in the program... it was actually my first sponsor who suggested I keep reading,
sponsor, "God has how much?"
me, "all power"
that's what the books says. But what do you still believe?

Syd said...

I am glad to not have children. I think that parenting must be the hardest job. I came from a home that had its ups and downs. My parents were good people, even though they had their defects just as I do. No one among us has achieved anything close to perfection. We just do the best that we can.