Thursday, August 16, 2012

I'll take it from here

We went for the weekend to our camper.  We have it at some relatives cabin up near Park Rapids, MN.  It is a beautiful spot, and I love it there.  This picture, it is super messy!

There is often tension around family for me.  I hesitated to even write this, because I don't want to make anyone feel bad.  But I don't think many family members read this.  Because they never mentioned my blog or any of my recent public displays of addiction.

This area of my life triggers me like the neighbor thing.  It doesn't trigger me to want to go get high, but to get inside my head and twist around like crazy.  Because I feel they don't look at me for who I really am, they only look at what they think is wrong with me, what I've done in the past and focus on it.  They have a hard time trusting me as a parent to do a good job.  Even though, it isn't their job to take over.  They often try.  They even sometimes will interrupt me when I am dealing with my own kids, and say stuff like "I'll take this from here."  Honestly, I am not even kidding.

For the record, we get this from folks on both sides of the family.

One instance recently was that my daughter and son were swinging on the hammock.  The kids had been told by myself and others one-million times to not do this.  They flipped over, and the crack-sound of their heads hitting the ground was loud.  When I walked over there, I overheard someone say, "is he breathing?"  Well, this got me a little freaked.  So I bent down and took my 9 year old and kissed and hugged him because he was hardly moving (he was totally fine.) My daughter was sitting up and I spazzed out a little on her.  Might have swore, might not have.  But nothing crazy, just like, "We told you to not fricken do that, why the hell don't you listen?" My daughter stormed off saying something like, "You didn't even ask if I WAS OKAY!"  I know how dramatic this age group can be, so I just let her storm off.

The family members sitting there were looking at me like I was a crazy idiot.  Then no more than ten seconds later, they got up and followed my girl.  Going as fast as they could to undermine my parenting.  Proceeding to tell her that, "Sometimes people take their problems out on other people."  Assuming that I had problems, and talking to her about doing what I told her NOT to do, was the same thing as taking them out on her.

See??  Ramble, ramble, ramble.  That stuff drives me crazy, and it is subtle and passive aggressive and frustrating.    I parent the way I parent, my kids are the way they are, and I LOVE THEM.  And they love me.   We are done with people thinking they need to fix us.

What this ultimately does to my kids is tell them that their lives aren't good enough.  When they are being "fixed," it gives them a sense that they need fixing.  Mind you, there is plenty of room for us to improve, and we are working at it.  But recovery is a process, and we are doing it. They don't need to hear rigid rules or what other people do "better" in their families.  This comes from the place of other people's need to have us be a certain way, so that they can feel good about it.  I think it mostly comes from a place where they just want me out of the picture. But that COULD be a little paranoid, (I doubt it.) There is some Al-anon work for EVERYONE right?

I know that they do love my kids, and want nothing but the best for our family. Our best looks different, because our road is different. This has been, and still is, one hell of a road.

Most people who know me, are glad they do and are proud of me.  Most people say nice things and support me.  And there is a tiny percentage who don't, and that is where my "I need everyone to like me" brain sits.  I have to let that shit GO!!  Just did.  Yeah...right.

Here I am, another Thursday, talking about people not liking me. Say it with me now, "What other people think about you is none of your business."

It feels different when it's in front of my kids, right? Ugh. I'm trying to regain respect here!

What I believe about myself is far more important than what anyone thinks about me (if I keep saying this, someday it will feel true.)  People undermine my parenting because they see me as incapable.  At one point, I was pretty incapable, and that worked rather well for them. I am also alone on all things that resemble discipline or order. It isn't an easy job and I often fumble. Compared to using, I've come a long way.  They may never get past it.  But my kids are.

The whole ride home from the camper, my family laughed our heads off.  We have never been closer or more together.  They sang their inappropriate boob song (oh my god, don't ask,) I begged them to stop and we made the 3 hour ride go by fast.  We like us just the way we are and don't need anyone to fix us.

All of this stuff is on the path of recovery.  It isn't all fun and games.  There is real stuff to deal with along the way.  And it is a family disease, so it takes time for all of us to find our spot in healing.  I am willing to keep trying, and if others also do, then great.

Oh my god that was long. Sorry, I'll work on that.

**I should add that most of the time, we have fun with family. I just get hung up on these things. Work to be done everywhere.


You try to out-codependent someone, who will always win.


  1. I don't like that they say that to you or around you in front of your kids. That's pretty low and definitely would piss me off. I'm sorry you're dealing with that. Just remember - you are the mom; you are in charge! :)

  2. Yeah, you got a lot going on in your head there, and yeah, I could totally see how your daughter would be upset that you checked on your son and not on her. Having said THAT, though, (and admittedly having DONE that), your family's job was to cover up for you, not make shit worse. No one's 100% perfect at this parenting shit, and frankly those of us with the balls to admit our problems and at least TRY, in so admitting, not to inflict them on our kids - and to stress out about it when we do - are doing a lot better, I think, than those self-righteous folks who think they're so damn fabulous that they're even better than YOU are parenting your kids. Sabotaging you is not cool. Not at all. And this is why so many people stay away from their families when they have kids....sigh.

  3. Oh yeah, I can relate to the whole "you're not doing a good enough job" thing. I had an aunt tell me straight to my face that she wouldn't have allowed an 8th month old to grab things the way my (then 4 year old autistic)son did. I'm actually not too pissed about that, because at least she said it to my face; the rest complained to my step-mother, who was "surprised" when I got upset about it (3 months later, when she finally told me >.<). At any rate, you handle your kids how you need to, and they should back you up. However, looks like camping was fun anyway!

  4. I love your writings, and I like you very much. That said, I am terribly codependent, and can't put my head around being able to say this, because you surely wont like me anymore, don't even know if you did anyway in the first place, but here goes. I cannot tell anyone how to parent, because i haven't figured it out yet, but I can tell you my personal experience...when my parents said things like you said to your daughter, they could have just as well stuck a large knife in my belly. Sure, you probably won't die from a belly wound, but I will always have that scar, along with many, many others. The thing about wounds like this, is that they caused me bad internal bleeding. I may have been able to cover the scar with a long shirt, a smile, and a good laugh on the way home, as your daughter did (the laughing), but eventually that internal bleeding "killed" me, and it is hard to do anything but die inside because of all those little wounds. Although I am not really dead, pin pricks now almost kill me every time (no quotation marks needed). I am sure I'm not unique, but I am sure of what I feel, and internal bleeding has almost killed me several times from just the pin pricks these days. If someone would have told my parents this when I was young, maybe things would be different now, that's the only reason why I am sharing so candidly, which I NEVER do, because of wanting to be liked, codependence, etc. This may be right or wrong, but it is what I know. I wish someone had told my dad not to talk to me like you talked to your daughter, AND he would have listened, and stopped. Other moms who speak like this to their children, you know who you are, please hear this warning with open ears.

    1. Well, I appreciate your honesty. I too was raised in an abusive home and have many scars. I've worked on forgiveness and acceptance. I believe people do the best they can, even if that best sucks. It's what they are capable of. My kids have had therapy and that day wasn't my proudest moment. It also wasn't the worst thing I've ever said or done to my children. By FAR. Addiction to meth is horrific and i wasnt a mother for years. But like I said, we are in recovery and recovery is a process. We talk about these moments and we have our feelings. We have our moments. And we make mistakes. That's what it's all about. We didn't just laugh it off, we had a long talk. Then we laughed. My kids are tougher than most. They've had to be and I have a great deal of respect for them.

      I totally hear where you are coming from and when I see red, I will think about that for sure. Thank you.

  5. Wow. Thank you for your response. That means a great deal to me.

    1. You response means the world to me too!! These conversations help everyone. I really appreciate it.

  6. I don't know if you realize this, but you are teaching your kids the most important things. Talking about things, admitting when you're wrong, asking forgiveness, forgiving, not expecting perfection, and basically just HOW TO HANDLE's a part of life, and it's not something you can expect your kids to learn without seeing it done. So, with that in mind, you're being a better mother by making mistakes than by trying to do everything by someone else's standard of "right".