Annihilation


If words were a weapon, I just got dropped the nuclear bomb, the big daddy, the one our government would never let us know about, certain it is for our own safety.
A childhood friend and I are trying to reconcile our distant relationship, for the sake of our kids. She has always been everything I am not, or ever been. She runs her home like a well oiled machine, never forgets appointments, runs late, cancels plans, or forgets to send out a warm Thank You note.
She is Anne Taylor but without a clearance rack, something I marvel at with amazement, my dollars land on the Goodwill counter, the thrill of my life is finding the girls a steal with tags.
She is the woman who had so many clothes for her child they all lined the closet as big as my room, hanging, the tags I touched in amazement, her baby could never wear them all, even if she changed him ten times a day.
She is neat, orderly, and cooks according to her little weight watchers booklet, the teeny book she holds as she counts points, remembering with perfect accuracy what she has to do to maintain her perfect health, my mind blank in trying to recount breakfast, if I had it, a book that tiny would have been lost in seconds in my possession.
Ever since I have known her, I have wanted to be her.

She is the example of what a good wife, hard worker, and ideal mother represent.

Her child was in school at two, has had swim lessons and been passed around more adoring hands than I have known to exist in one country, much less one room, and he is so lovable and adored, especially by Kat and Lola, but most by me.

The things that she said to me were all true, Divorcee and I on conference call, both wanting to fight for the relationships we believe matter, for nothing is more thrilling than knowing your kids have people in life who love them.

She said I was a bad mother, and it is true. They have never deserved to witness divorce, have never been given the things they deserve. I never know if I am doing things the right way, feel guilt over all they have missed in my own search for wholeness.
I sob thinking of how I promised Disneyworld, a trip I starve hoping to save for, a fact I am 90 pounds, which is not true, but I am too prideful to admit my weight loss is from overworking my body, her child has seen the ocean more than I have seen bank account draft fees, which is a lot.

She said that I am selfish, leave the children so that Divorcee can’t leave if he wanted to, something he assures me is not the case but I did have a boyfriend that smoked pot, have been up for days and manic, and no one more than me wishes I knew how to manage life without becoming depressed or afraid, my regrets are bigger than my self help book shelf, all wrapped in every truth she gave, pointed out in exasperation.

She has never in her life woke up and wondered if she had been loved, her Daddy is at more functions of my own family than my sorry excuse for DNA, her parents are in 30 ish years of marriage, regular attendees of weddings, bearing gifts and kindness wherever they land.
I hear of her shopping trips with them and cringe, wondering if I can ever make it up to my own babies, who literally have no one but the tight circle in which we hold on to, for dear life.
She met the man she is married to in college and I doubt she has even loved anyone else. I doubt she goes to bed alone ever, her times away from him shake her, and I only dream of having a relationship, divorce and abandonment have never shaped her thoughts, a life I could only dream.
She has never had the threads of life ripped from beneath her, and how I am glad, to date with such fear and tread such waters of loss and destruction make me sure she is right. I can not know what she has always had without question.
She said she knows plenty of single mothers who do it better.
She says she does not use anxiety as an excuse for poor choices.

I have darkness lurking wherever I turn, and no one I can fully trust, am imbalanced, forgetful, late, selfish, and at the best imperfect.
What I am not is my father, a claim she said several times, in addressing my sick impulsive behaviors, a point I did get props for is in pursuing counseling, no doubt I need.
My father did not work at Chilis and slave all night to buy her Coach bags at Christmas, Divorcee shaking his head, my heart only desiring to see her light up, her face a sunbeam when she is given a gift she loves, my purest joy.
I see now that in doing this, what I have asked for is love.

“Please love me,” I scream.
“Please accept me,” I fall on my face in my offerings, a place I want in my deepest cracks to believe she does, but maybe if not, a Coach bag is what she really wanted, with her favorite color lined.

I was too ashamed to tell her I could not afford 30 dollar shoes for her child when given Christmas gifts, so I worked harder, and maybe, just maybe, one day she will see the symbols of love, to forgive all the mistakes, and I was certain my latest success, a job that would lead to real independence would impress her.
I hoped, like a child wishing to be adopted does, waiting for the right family to love and see them.
I see now adoption papers come to those who are doing it better, and I wonder if she knows I don’t want to be this, that I know I am broken, she doesn’t have to point it out to me. Just in being her, I am aware of all that I am.

I don’t understand why her husband can leave for days to do work in the world, important work, and he is a hero. Divorcee is the stable nurturer at home, a man who loves his children and keeps them in perfect regulation, cooks and cleans, but to be me, it is not acceptable because I am their mother.

That is considered selfish, unloving and unnatural, when I am just the same as her husband, the flip side of the same coin, but to be a woman, it is selfish and wrong. He throws his child in the air and is admired.

I throw mine and Divorcee is felt sorry for, praised and marveled at, his work in doing the laundry and setting up play dates makes him appear selfless.
But the truth is, we are in the roles we belong, just without the fish bowl, eyes looking in and judging, the two of us want what everyone else wants.

She regularly attends church, and I do not, but I must say, if anyone knows they are lost, guilty, or broken, it is me.
I AM the woman who threw herself at Jesus’s feet, asking to be healed.
I AM the woman who would adorn him with my most expensive cologne, in hope to be healed.
I wish this so deeply my heart might just break in half, and to be the seeker I am, I ask God to show up, to tell me, to reveal himself and I will go. I just haven’t found him, or at least she does not see that I have. I realize today, in my sorrow and tears, my shame is the very thing she does not carry, but real love is not conditional, is given times 70, is not earned, is not deserved. Loving people is what I do, no matter how they behave, and I only live by falling on my face and asking for grace.
I wept like a child in my bed last night and prayed that angels be posted to the doors of my mind. A little girl woke up, a little redhead named Lola, her fingers ran down my back scratching, her little intuition must have seen and felt me grieving, her love so big, the ocean can not contain it.

I want to love like the ocean too, like the man named Jesus claimed, but mostly, I want to be loved not because I did anything to deserve it. I want to be loved simply because I am.
I will go to the ends of the world to give my children the things they deserve but the only gift I know to be priceless is to love with compassion and mercy, that every mistake they make is already forgiven, that love and worth are not ever proven or earned.

It is free.

Now if only I can find it for myself….
Everything that matters in life is.

9 thoughts on “Annihilation

  1. Of course Theunis Pienaar and Thank you for asking. I shutter as always but am open to all truths, no matter what they reveal 🙂

  2. Pingback: BABE IN CHRIST » Blog Archive » 26 Days Before Mother’s Day; “A Mother’s Worth”

  3. “She” is not real. She’s a lampshade that will only dull how bright your light shines. everything you described as reasons for you being a bad mother are actually the reason you’re probably a remarkable, loving, nurturing and imperfect mother. That, my friend, is real. You’re children will suffer the trials and tribulations of a normal american upbringing and will most certainly grow to be well rounded adults (as long as they have your love and nurturing). There is no name brand price tag that will ever take the place of a mothers love. Children don’t gain a sense of self and self esteem in items lining their closet. It’s only gained from many, many years of unconditional love that teaches boundaries, whether it be on a shopping trip or at the dinner table. I assure you, June Clever is a product of her own insecurities and self esteem issues. As she models the stereotype, she’s inaccurately gauging her mothering abilities based on a character of how she thinks a mother should look and act. Let her “play house”, you stay busy being a mom. PS, being a mom doesn’t look pretty. It’s a messy job on the best of days. Messy isn’t bad, it’s a part of the job description. Just keep some handy wipes and anti-bac in your purse, lol, and you, and your children will make it through just fine.

  4. Hey. I don’t think the stuff you talk about has a short or even simple response. Life is hard & messy. It is broken & so much less than ideal.

    I don’t think your ‘friend’ is fair if she says the things she says – I don’t even think she is being a friend in saying that kind of stuff. he’s not helping & she is definately not ‘inspired’ by a relationship which loves unconditionaly.

    You know God.

    You know God better than most.

    You’re brave. You do not settle for superficial, simple, meaningless answers.

    It is difficuilt to believe in God, to want to know God, to think He is love personified, when we look back at our lives and we feel the pain, the hurt, the destruction visited on us.

    Where was he?

    Why did he not intervene?

    ‘Perfect people’ often create exterior perfection in an attempt to control their environment. To create some order in a hidden inner reality which is chaotic.

    Sometimes the illusionary perfection is just a personality thing, but when it is presented as ‘the only way’ its lie is revealed.

    The God I know wants us to be who we are.

    Not who we’ve become. Not the product of our pain. Not owned by the hurt & destruction visited upon us, but who we are deep inside.

    We know who we are. It is a little force inside of us, often screaming ‘i am more’, ‘i am not this’, ‘i am beautioful, creative, wonderful, amazing’ & then it is muffled by the painful blows of yesterday. By everything my father did, my teacher, my mother, my brother, my friend. Everything I did as I tried to survive. As I tried to just not be finally obliterated. To fill the gaping whole inside which should never have been made.

    I can’t say that I ‘know’ who God is.

    I can’t say that I ‘know’ who you are.

    I do know this: the God I’ve come to know is as upset, if not more, about the brokenness of our lives. Not the brokenness of my ‘behaviour’ and what I do & choose, but the brokenness of what you and I are confronted with day after day after day after day. Espescialy as children. Vulnerable. Unable to discern. Unable to protect our own being. Our ‘self’.

    The God I know never comes to us, saying you are ‘a bad mother’.

    The God I know comes to us saying: ‘you are wonderful. Exquisite. Amazing. You are the mother I wanted for Lola & Kat. The perfect mother. The one I knew would love them as you have not been loved by any human. The one who would give them freedom, to be, who they are, as no human as given you freedom. The one who would grow them, embrace them. Can I come alongside. Can I share in this wonderful thing. Can I be a part of this as I show you my love has no ‘conditions’ or expectations or strings attached, so that we may show them this & you can be more than anyone ever imagined you will be & they can be, beautiful, exquisite, amazing.’

    We forget, religion often makes us forget that God is a someone. A being. A live. Religion makes us believe we need it. To facilitate God. Setting rules. Expectations. Stuff we need to comply to before we will be acceptable.

    If that is religion, it has no connection to the God I share my life with – the one you already share your life with as you lie down before him crying, pleading, hoping that somehow, somewhere someone will hear, respond, embrace.

    He hears.

    He is whispering into your soul.

    You hear his voice – you might not recognize it as his, because this voice is saying stuff religion would not validate.

    He is whispering: ‘you’re doing okay. you are a good mother. you are doing better than anyone. you are the best for Lola & Kat.’

    He is whispering:’ I value you. You are amazing.’

    And we cannot ‘believe’ it.

    We cannot take it as ‘truth’, for another ‘truth has been pedled to our being.

    A lie.

    Yes, you are right, we need to embrace.

    But not as a ‘performance’.

    We need to receive.

    Be brave enough to say, despite the clamour of all the other screams, this whisper is ‘truth’.

    My truth.

    Verbal dihorea. 😉

    Sorry.

    We’ve never met. We’ve not heard each other’s voice. We’ve not touched, hugged, laughed together or cried together.

    We have seen each other’s hearts, though, I think.

    You’ve had enough people trying to destroy who you are.

    You’re more than that.

    Find the people who can see & love who you truly are.

    Love who you truly are.

    Embrace it bravely.

    And be it without apology.

    Be it stumbling.

    Be it, not to be recognized, to be ‘seen’, but to be.

    This is my heart.

    I hope you see that it is honest.

    I hope you see that it is kind.

    Not kind in a ‘pitty’ kind of way. I don;t do pitty. Pitty is nasty. Without love.

    I hope you see it is kind, in the ‘seeing’ kind of way.

    Seeing past.

    Seeing beyond.

    It is a gift to be allowed to share in your life.

  5. Good for your friend if she has life so well worked out – but… Perhaps that’s because she hasn’t been truly tested (as perhaps you have been) – for her sake let’s hope she never is.
    And – while it’s good to have a friend who will tell you when you’re going wrong and not just be a cheerleader – just because you may have (according to you) made some bad parenting choices, doesn’t make you a bad mother.
    And I suspect not all those choices were within your sole control – there was someone else involved too.
    As for Disneyland v. the ocean – the ocean rocks.

  6. Thank you so much for all your encouragement, for seeing me, for extending the love and grace I so need, to heal these broken pieces of me.

  7. I know it sounds insane to defend such cruel remarks, which were cruel, but she is not June Cleaver, is a real woman with real problems, who has to live in her own hell of expectation and anxiety as well. I just wish women could see we are all more alike than different, on all levels, and love each other. I wish this so much….

  8. KAT,

    As you know I often feel as though I connect with you. to you I am yoru favorite kind of crazy. I accept that you and other may not understand my life but others don’t always understand yours either. when I read this one part I actually started weeping

    “I AM the woman who threw herself at Jesus’s feet, asking to be healed.
    I AM the woman who would adorn him with my most expensive cologne, in hope to be healed.
    I wish this so deeply my heart might just break in half, and to be the seeker I am, I ask God to show up, to tell me, to reveal himself and I will go. I just haven’t found him, or at least she does not see that I have. I realize today, in my sorrow and tears, my shame is the very thing she does not carry, but real love is not conditional, is given times 70, is not earned, is not deserved. Loving people is what I do, no matter how they behave, and I only live by falling on my face and asking for grace.”

    The sorrow, the shame, the guilt, the fear, the hate from my family, the hate from even my children now as my 19 year old refuses to accept responsibility in hsi life and instead bashes me on FB and in email and calls 27 times in a row calling and hanging up. others do not get it. I feel your pain Kat. I have been there. I struggle through life trying hard to make the best and right choices for my kids, for my family and mostly for myself.

    There is a song called “Just as I am” that after I read your words came soaring through my head. If you have not heard it, look it up. God loves us Just as we are. That THAT, I am truly thankful for, because others have said I was a horrible mother and many other things in my life. God, Jesus, and the Holy spirit…they understand Kat. God loves us Just as we are.

    I may be your favorite kinda crazy, but I love you for you too. 🙂

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