The not-so-despicable-parent in me.
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I was watching a movie with my twins today. Readers need to understand, when it comes to spending time with my older kids, I struggle. Parenting/mommy-ing was much easier when my annoying, demanding heathens were newborns, or at the very least, much much younger, when their very simple basic needs, were very simple, basic, and easy.
<longing for for the long-gone 'easy' days... because the looks on their faces told me I was/am a good decent parent> coupled with <tired, frustrated, annoyed and really stressed-out sigh>
Yes... their needs were so simple back then: food, comfort, sleep. The three sides (triad?) to the parent's stress-producing coin.
As the members of my brood grow, I am seeing and understanding how and why emotional development is just as important as physical development. This overwhelming life-lesson often leaves me feeling cold, and numb, from stress.
So... earlier, my two youngest asked me, the mom, who works midnights and spent hours of a Saturday cleaning the house, if I wanted to sit with them, and watch "a really great movie". That's a loaded question.
[Do I indulge and face a really forced and uncomfortable experience? Or do I do the usual -- detach/remove myself (my willingness to feel), and endure, ignoring the screaming panic inside that screams bloody murder, "I do NOT want... I do NOT need to be a part of a family.... (I want and need to be by myself!)"]
... even I don't know when the wall.... the block... the need to shut-out or turn-off... will go up, and get activated, allowing me protection from, (and the ability to endure), a life that has it's own secret. My secret is not a big well-kept secret. Anyone who knows me, knows...in order for me to do for others, I must deny and deprive parts of myself. This dynamic forces me to live a double-life. One adopted version of that life is good and simple: I get to keep and stay to myself. The down-side is, I hate my self-contained isolating living-nightmare life... it makes me scream the silent scream that laments, "This-world-is a life-sucking hell no human should be forced to endure."
[It has only been within the last few years that I finally understood, given the right pairing and combination, there is pure joy to be had in this world. The real trick to this is simple -- the given situation must not be contaminated by toxic depressing pathological people. Yep... it's true, as I experienced it myself....remove the dramatic dysfunctional people from the equation, even the most simple activity, like taking a walk, or folding clothes, (or cleaning chicken) can be a really fun, funny, happy, healthy way to kill a few hours in an otherwise really long suffering day.]
Back to the present day.
The movie I was forced to watch, with the youngest cabin-fevered annoying kids, without complaint? "Despicable Me", starring Steve Carell. In brief, the main character is very much like me, (a riot to watch, btw) and the plot goes as follows:
A criminal mastermind uses a trio of orphan girls as pawns for a grand scheme, he finds their love is profoundly changing him for the better.
[From: Despicable Me (2010) ]
In my Ahome, I was taught how to be, which in turn, taught me how not to parent a child. I was taught, (by and through example), how despicable, self-centered people are, especially when all they want to do (or can do) is deplete, deny, and deprive joy from those who want more out of life than co-existence with the miserable human, stuck in victim-mode. Yep, it was my AP's who taught me the ways of the duty-bound enabler who's only real goal and job is "to please". What an unfortunate dynamic, when one decides to become a spouse/parent.
I actually liked watching "Despicable Me", with my youngest, even though I insisted there was chicken to clean. [ I use diversion tactics all the time because I don't like being touched and snuggled-with... unless I decide I'm in the mood to be snuggled with, and touched.]
While watching the movie, we unanimously agreed, Gru is me.
My kids thought that association was funny.
I saw the association in a very different way. As I see it, both the main character and I are fighting an internal war... both of us find ourselves trying to do what's expected, whilst realizing, when young/little eyes are watching, it's best to do "without" certain events, so one can be free to do "the right thing".
Ahhhh, "doing the 'right thing'". In Adoptionland, "doing the right thing" is a loaded oxymoronic statement, if ever I did see or read one.
There's a bitter-sweet triumph and tragedy to the "Gru is mom" association my kids made.
I'd like to share a scene... something that depicts many-a-moment I have had with each one of my four
As mentioned earlier, I never knew who or what "good parenting" looks like on a long-term scale. I learned how to parent based on books and what I thought "does not work". I always knew what made me miserable; knowing what makes me happy is more difficult to define and understand. I never really knew what it takes to be a good parent... I never really knew what bonds one person to another. [Trauma-Bonds should not count in this situation.]
Nothing prepares the victim of neglect/childhood trauma for that moment a certain core issue and inner-truth hits...
...nothing I have seen or read before helps illustrate that moment an abused adoptee experiences, when he/she is expected to be a good decent parent to his/her own biologic children.
Below did/does it for me. Watch the fictional character's face when the moral message behind the story,"three little kittens", sinks-in.....deep.
The movie's ending shows what I myself learned along the way.... a positive image, and (confident, confirmed) self-identification can help transform the confused (adopted) adult who was once a victim of neglect/child abuse. This is really good news, because I really believe victims of pathological parenting need to realize, if others are going to be involved in their life, the old victim needs to unlearn old ways, so a whole new life-story can be written and created.
Re-write the script.
Change old ways.
Start a-new.... and begin.
My kids have no idea how often I start.. begin... new/better ways, for myself (and them).
I keep this secret, (mostly), to myself.