What is fear? What is mine? What is yours? What is this generation? What is my story? What do I own? What part is my part? What can I share? What do I hold close? What part is necessary for my journey and what part is not my journey at all but maybe I’m a bystander.
Being a mom is a tricky business. Having 8 kids is trickier than fuck. It was always a struggle to find the right balance of treating each child with individuality and also making it easier by streamlining the process.
When I would cook for my brood, I would cook in bulk. I would fry 10-15lbs of ground beef, make taco meat, sloppy joes, and plain ground beef. It would be used for 2-3 days or frozen in bags to be pulled out to simplify a future meal. I would cut pancakes and salads with two knives intersecting each other so I could cut them quickly. I have cooked and cut a million or more pancakes and salads in my life. It was easier when I could streamline and do everything in a cookie cutter fashion or as an assembly line.
There are times when it is okay to parent in an assembly line fashion with a large family. Cutting the pancakes and salads is an okay time to streamline. Homeschooling the kids, we would all study the same subject at the same time. For instance, we all would study the same time period when we were learning history together. However, each person was at a different level (grade) and needed individualized instruction and learning material to challenge, inspire, and teach them.
Now my children are all grown up. I had always hoped to give them a blend of individualized and streamlined parenting. Some things about kids are all the same. Sometimes the response cannot be generic. I hoped to do all of those things.
Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t. I know we all experienced extreme trauma. I know that Covid 19 has torn the superficial layer of skin that was covering the deep wounds. Each one of my kids, my heart, my family, are feeling the effects of Covid and racism and hate right now. And it is bringing up old hurts. Old traumas are bubbling up.
Throughout the acute parenting years, my life was consumed with survival. I survived the abusive marriage. I survived homeschooling the kids. I survived nursing school while raising the kids. I survived parents that interfered with my parenting, undermined my authority, and competed with my children for my affection and respect. I am still, barely, surviving that one. I survived a mental break down when I did something that I had been taught for way too many years that it was a grave sin. But I had to survive. I had to survive and I had to learn to thrive so I could teach my kids to survive…and thrive.
Those were rough years. Those were years that I survived but now I am learning to thrive. Learning to thrive means that I am rooting out the fears, insecurities, and feelings of unworthiness. It also means taking responsibility for my actions, good and bad. It means making amends or feeling a sense of pride for the things that I have done in my past. I am also learning acceptance because I cannot change any of those things, good or bad.
As I have learned to navigate this journey to thriving, finding my juicy, I have tried to hold myself accountable. Part of my accountability process was to be transparent. I began this blog to find my truth and share my truth as I discovered it. I used this platform for education, illumination, confession, and declarations of my successes on the path. I used this blog and social media as a tool for growth and accountability.
I shared all of my hurts, fears, and moments of shame. I shared the things I have done wrong as I learned they were wrong so I could see and document my growth and discoveries of #findingthejuicy by feeling all of the feels even when they seemed dirty and gross.
Recently, I shared an experience or several experiences that intersected with each other. I shared my experience with mental health, racism, and the disparities in health care for people of color. It was my story and my observations. However, I shared some personal information about a close friend of mine. Although I didn’t share the identity, there were people who could identify the person. It hurt people who felt betrayed.
Was it my story? Do I have a “right” to share this story and my insights? Not do I have a right but SHOULD I share a personal story that might cause one to feel shame? I do not know anymore. I know I didn’t share the story with the intention of revealing intimate details of another person’s journey. I was sharing my insight. I was sharing my angst. But it hurt someone.
I didn’t mean to hurt anyone with my story. It truly was an exercise to process the parts of the experience and share the insights I gleaned. But it hurt someone that I care about deeply. People that should care about the hurts will only meddle, gossip, and mock the innocent. It’s always been that way so I should have protected the information to protect the innocent. But I was sharing my pain and I forgot about those hateful people that still have some access to my life and the lives of the people I care about. I forgot.
For that indiscretion, my heart bleeds. I try to forgive myself. I will forgive myself. But Covid has brought so much to light and the past wounds run deep, jagged, and are infected.
I know that this is all coded and vaguebooking. I have to learn to do better. While the writing I do can cause people to judge me harshly, I don’t care what they say about me because it is my journey and my process. I am an independent free thinking free willed woman that uses this tool to heal. However, my healing cannot hurt those that I love as they embark on their own Covid initiated journey of healing. Until they are ready to own their stories and forgive the moving parts involved, I cannot share parts of someone else’s journey.
But I can write them privately. I can document what I know, feel, and see and how it positions me in the world and in my feelings. I will share them when it is free to share without hurting anyone else involved in the journey.