It’s been awhile since I wrote anything here. Life has been…strange.
I almost lost my daughter to suicide on Christmas Eve. Obviously this changed a lot about our lives. There’s no way it couldn’t. Something like that brings a lot into focus that needs to be focused on. She is growing and facing things…and happier than I’ve seen her in years. I am scared…and yet hopeful for a future that she tried to erase. We both are appreciating more about the relationship we have with each other. There’s nothing about what happened with her that I would want either of us to live through again, but…somehow…I was blessed enough that she realized that I’m her safe place. She realized there’s nothing she can’t talk to me about…she realized there’s nothing I won’t support her through…and she realized that she has reason to keep going.
But it changed something in my own head that I never could have foreseen. Mostly that I want so much good for her…I want her to know that she matters…that her thoughts and feelings matter…and that, as her mother, she will not learn from me until I learn…and live…the truth that…
I have spent my life…literally…AGONIZING over what other people wanted and what would make them happy. I have spent my life heartbroken over not being enough to be loved…not being what people wanted me to be. I have spent my life going out of my way to put myself last because, as I often said. “If someone has to be unhappy…why shouldn’t it be me? It would be selfish to choose my own happiness first.”
Every. Single. Life. Decision. I made was agonized over in fear that I was being selfish or unfair.
Don’t get me wrong. That is something we should consider. Are we hurting someone? Are we being needlessly selfish? Are we seeing things clearly or in the wrong. It should all be considered. But, not at the expense of recognizing…
I MATTER. YOU MATTER. WE ALL MATTER. EQUALLY.
And…if we don’t, as parents, teach this…what are we teaching our children? We’re teaching them to have the same pain we have. So…I started focusing on this…this new idea of…
In a fight with a loved one…I must face the facts, accept my own culpability (if there is culpability to be had)…and then…remember that I matter, too.
In a romantic relationship, I must look at what they want…I must look at what I want…I must remind myself that we BOTH deserve happiness…remember that my wants and needs are as valid as theirs…because I matter.
In all relationships…I must know my own worth…I must know what I want…I must know what I don’t want…I must always strive to be fair…but, in the end, if I don’t fight for me, who will? I have to be the one to remember…I matter.
I do not matter more than the rest of the world, but my happiness DOES matter AS MUCH as the rest of the world.
And, so…I’m learning to walk away from what doesn’t work…I’m learning to let go of things that are not meant for me…I’m learning to fight for what I want and what I need…and it is HARD, because I’m fighting a lifetime of habit of putting myself last…I’m fighting a lifetime of telling myself I deserved less…and because…just because you have to let go of things, doesn’t erase the pain of doing so.
But if I don’t fight to remember that
If I don’t lead by example and show my daughter that I strive to remember that
Then how will I ever teach her to live a full and happy life….always knowing that..