That single moment, when ones behavior becomes crystal clear. What brings it on, someones words or actions, maybe a memory. The truth is it can be anything. I had a moment like that, yesterday. Someone was discussing something else about a past event in my life and that was it. Something she said suddenly gave me clarity for something which I had never been able to explain.
In the past I’ve always had a problem of where do I fit in. I don’t want to encroach in someone’s life. I didn’t want to be a bother. This went for family and friends. I didn’t want to be a bother. I decided to not bother people. My words, not theirs. In some aspects of my life I felt like a doll that was put up on a shelf and only played with on a rare occasion. Truth was this was my perception. The question though was why did I have this perception. Why had I lived my life up until this point worrying about intruding into person’s life? I mattered didn’t I?
Back to yesterday, as I listened to what she said I thought back to being a child of divorce. Nothing special about as there are many of us. (All though back then there weren’t so many.) So while that might be at the root of this issue there was more too it.
At the age of eight, I had what I thought was a charmed life. Life seemed fantastic until a series of events, which I had no clue about would turn my world upside down. Fine this isn’t uncommon for divorce but there are things that changed my self worth. Suddenly the child that was once a celebrated joy, wasn’t.
My Dad wasn’t always around before the divorce. He was a fireman, who worked 24 on and had 48 off. On his off days he work at his own auto repair facility. Before the divorce my mom made sure that even though Dad might be at the fire department we would stop by and see him. On nights, he was home I was his sack of potatoes he would toss over his shoulder and carry me to bed. Suddenly that was gone. Suddenly I would see him when he could.
At first when he could see me it was mainly him and I. He took me to see Star Wars so many times. (That was a movie that offered me a little escape from the trauma of my world.) That changed though as he was a single man and I won’t begrudge him that. One lady he met liked to party and once they moved out to the country, there was a party every visit or at least it seemed that way. There were lots of people and alcohol. I remember calling my Dad at the fire station, after complaining to my mom that I wanted to just see Dad alone. What a mistake that was, when I asked him if maybe we could just spend a day together alone he snapped at me.
“What’s the matter don’t like my friends?” (I can still hear the defense tone in his voice clearly.)
“No, Dad,” I stammered. I made him angry. “You’re friends are nice. I just want to spend time with you alone.” I don’t remembered what his response was after that I was too freaked out by his response my question had fallen on deaf ears. So, I was the daughter, he would see when he needed too or wanted too. Gone were the Dad daughter days of before. Which left me to wondering if my Dad loved me?
My Mom had added some friction to this as well. I’m sure by always making me ask about child support. Nothing like a happy visit with Dad where I have to make sure I get the check before he drops me off.
Dear old Mom, she loved me the best she could. Once again before the divorce she was the Mom that was always around. She was at the school functions. Hey, I understand she had to get a job. The part I don’t understand is how she could allow me to live with my fifth grade teacher when I was in sixth, seventh and part of eighth grade. I could come home on the weekends. Still, thinking back maybe I was a bother. Maybe she didn’t want me around.
She loved to throw out the famous, I wish you were never born or if you weren’t in Private school than I could’ve gone back to school. She still could’ve made that happen for her. It was possible but for her it was much better to put her failures on me. She would tell me so many times how I acted just like my father. A typical thing in divorce. I think what made it worse for her was everyone that knew my dad, would say I was the spitting image of him. Maybe she was reminded of him too much. I don’t know but the one thing, I know now about her that I didn’t know then was that she was Bi-Polar. I guess that offers a glimpse into her behavior.
I guess my whole point of this is they loved pushing me away. So the once secure kid was left with questions about being a bother, feeling worthy, feeling needed and being loved. Somewhere in all of this mess, I lost my voice. I instead replaced it with two words, “I’m sorry.” Those two words left my lips more times than I can count and every time they were sincere , but what am I sorry for? Why do I feel the need to apologize?
Truth is there isn’t a reason. There is no need too. I’m me and I’m worthy of people and love. I don’t need to put myself up on a shelf and only be glad when someone reaches out to me. I needs to reach out and embrace the people in my life, because as I know deep in my heart, I’m truly not a bother.
© 2015 copyright D.M. Needom and Readings By Dauna all rights reserved.