I gave birth to my daughter the same month I turned 40...entirely unprepared for the mothering journey. While I loved Tara so fully and deeply and w(holy) the instant I saw her...I had no map of how to be mother. Or, I should say, the map I did have was entirely wrong. Or maybe I should say that I had 2 maps!! Very confusing...I know...even for me! I come from an extremely abusive/toxic/dysfunctional childhood and while I did quite a bit of healing work in my early 30's...it wasn't nearly enough to prepare me to mother my daughter. My "father" (and I use that term very loosely...was not my biological father nor a parent in any sense of the word) was horribly abusive, an alcoholic, a rage-aholic and an authoritarian; a patriarch in the absolute worst sense. My "mother" had a "collapsed psyche and personality" (my own definition) and was most definitely not interested in being a mother, only pretending to be so. She was cold, equally abusive, and more invested in appearances and what others thought of her. So...I grew up in a "family" that was so thoroughly invested in lies and denial, in pretense and facades...in caring about appearances; it was like growing up in a house of mirrors where nothing was as it seemed but everyone pretended it was. Kind of like the Emperor's New Clothes. And these were lies that everyone knew about...but no-one spoke about. And there was always a tremendous amount of fear. Fear fear fear. Fear about speaking the truth, fear about saying or doing the wrong thing (this was arbitrary, of course because anything could have been the wrong thing depending on 101 different things). My childhood was all about survival.
So one of the huge tasks I had at hand was to identify my false belief systems; the lies I had been taught from such an early age. Foundational truths such as love, family, loyalty, respect etc etc...all had to be carefully looked over and I had to carefully discern whether it was truth or not. I had other monumental tasks also...setting healthy boundaries, self care, truth telling and honesty, processing my feelings and figuring out what the heck a healthy relationship looked like. Recovery was (and is) overwhelming. It's a process that I began when I turned 30 and continues to this day.
*This is a small part of my story...but as I heal and strengthen my voice...I will be sharing more. Learning to trust myself and the process and send things out into the world imperfect(ly) and all. xxx