A few weeks back, on a Five Minute Friday, the group was asked to write on the word truth.
I needed more than five minutes.
I started this site so that I could show the world that it's never too late to have a happy childhood, but in order to understand where I stand today, I need to bring light to where I came from. Not to dredge up the past, not to cast blame on them or make them feel bad for what has happened and been gone over and over and over again. Simply to state that there are reasons this is so important to me, there are reasons for my insecurities, reasons for my setbacks and reasons for the fight I have inside of myself and the struggles that go with it all. So, here are my truths.
The truth is, I didn't have a childhood and I didn't love and respect my parents when I was growing up. I didn't grow up feeling safe and nurtured and supported. The truth is, I was robbed of this important time of development and comfort and trust. Because of this, I am always on guard, I am always willing to walk away, and I am afraid of my world. The truth is, I will fight forever for my kids to have happiness in their lives and that they feel warmth and comfort. I will make sure they have a childhood because I know it will lead to independence and the type of adults this world needs.
The truth is, I don't just believe in my job and my agency because I am paid to be there. I believe in us because I didn't just have mentors, mentors saved me. When you are raised to believe you are not strong enough, you are not good enough, you will never be what you want and be able to do what you feel you have in you, it is mentors that pull you out. They were the ones that pushed me to go away to college, they were the ones that told me to get out of my situation, they were the ones that told me to go, and be, and achieve. Most importantly, it was mentors that saw something in me I never saw in myself. To this day, in this role as CEO of an agency, it is mentors that I credit for me being here. I didn't apply for this job, because I never thought I could do it. When I was asked to step in, I immediately said no. It was my mentor and friend that told me to believe in me, because he did.
The truth is, I won't just do this for my own kids but as many kids as I can in my community. The truth is, we are all responsible for igniting a fire in kids that is already there, we just need them to know that we believe in the flame.
The truth is, I spent most of my childhood afraid and observing a definition of family that I wanted no part in. So, the honest truth is, I never wanted to get married and I didn't want kids. The truth is, it wasn't until my person showed me a different definition was the idea even a possibility. And the truth is, I am so so thankful that he did. This is what we were suppose to do and again, he saw it in me before I saw it in myself.
The truth is, when I found out we were having a baby I was scared I wouldn't love her, I was scared that it would ruin our marriage, I was scared that I didn't know how to be a mom, a loving mom, a supportive mom, a mom that could raise independence and warmth and genuine happy. The truth is, I still battle with mother because the responsibility is so heavy and I have one chance at getting it right for them.
The truth is, from the time I was eight years old, I didn't work out because it was the healthy thing to do. I did it to lose weight. And today, all these years later, it takes actual work to not look at my body with hatred and speak that hate everyday. I have a daughter now and that means I can't have her measuring beauty by the size of her cloths or what she looks like. She has to measure her beauty by who she is. She has to want to be healthy and she has to show her beauty through her thoughts and words only. She listens to me, she looks to me after I am dressed to find out what I think about how I look. The truth is, I will not allow her to hear what I think in my mind and MAYBE for the first time since I was 8, I will stop even thinking it because I won't allow myself to say it. Maybe my daughter will allow me to feel beautiful because she looks at me like I am the most gorgeous person she has ever laid eyes on.
The truth is, there are moments, long days even, when I don't think my love for all of them is enough. Why, because there are so many moments when I don't like them and I don't like who I am around them. Including my person. The truth is, I fight to not walk away because the moments are so heavy and so exhausting and I fear me in them. The truth is, all parents, all partners, feel this way and most are too afraid and guilty to say the words. We don't have to like them 100% of the time, we just have to love them always.
The truth is, if I ever see fear in their eyes because of me, I will walk away. Because I would rather not be in their lives at all than have them ever look in my direction with fear. That is my promise to them. I lived so many years in fear, and there are times that fear creeps up again. But, I will never allow them to go there. They will not be afraid of this home, this person, this mother. They will know that I am here for them, I will not ever harm or shame them. The truth is, fear of their childhood is my nightmare and I will fight all I have to not allow that to ever happen.
The truth is, I still feel like my body failed both of them during labor. And I still feel it's them whispering "see, I told you you're not strong enough".
The truth is, I do feel judged by how many hours I pour into work. Not by those closest to me, but by those that hear of my schedule and don't understand how I can spend that much time away from them. The truth is, I feel the guilt that my separation has but I love my job. And a mom that loves her job and her kids has to be okay with her choices. She has to be okay with her separation and maybe just to justify herself and her time, she has to think that it makes her a better person, a better mother. Because yes, the truth is that I am exhausted, and my bones are tired, and I am on a very strict schedule ALL of the time, and most of my days are planned and decided. And with so many balls in the air, all I can do is continue to plan and not drop one. But the truth is, this is okay. I am not escaping them, I am doing this for their world too and I am fighting for change. This means there are days I am resentful of the exhaustion and the weight, but most of the days, weeks, months, I am full.
The truth is, I didn't realize that when I had them, I would have this second chance at childhood. I thought I would try to love, and balance, and love more. But I never realized what I would take away from it. I didn't realize that family would bring such intense feelings and that it would be what I needed to let go of my pain, my past, my hatred, my anger. Because the truth is, when you feel this full, this happy with your life, you can't be that person and still hold on to hate. You can't continue to blame for what you didn't have and how you weren't raised because none of that matters anymore. The truth is, I made a decision to stop blaming them for who I am today. They no longer can control who I am, or how I live, or what I feel. The truth is, it is up to me now, and I have decided to let go.
The truth is, I love them. All of them. At times, the love is so heavy that the weight makes me feel like I am being crushed. I love them because they are so smart, they are so determined, they are so funny and silly and happy. They want me to be proud, they want to see the pride in my eyes as they achieve and accomplish. I love them because they reach for me and call for me. I love them because of who they turned me into, what they have allowed me to see and become and what they have made me. The truth is, I live a glorious life and I am in love.