There is a bit of a scuttlebutt in the trauma mama blog-o-sphere lately. Last mom wrote a post about HOPE and letting go of the anger and resentment directed toward our kiddos. I get what she is trying to say, I do. But it irritated me. And I will tell you why.
For YEARS I have had suicidal ideations. I understand that these were there long before we adopted a "broken" and hurt child. But the struggles I have dealt with over the last few years I believe were directly related to the sense of failure of my ability to parent him and more importantly the self loathing that I felt for myself at the feelings I had for him.
Yes, I hate his mother for what she did to him. I hate that she was unable to care for him in utero. I hate the selfishness that allowed her to drink and whatever else while pregnant. I hate the PTSD she has caused him with allowing abusers into her home. I hate the mental illness that runs in their family. All this allowed me to focus my anger on something other than my child. But, when I became honest with myself and allowed myself to be angry at my child for his choices (whether or not they were conscious) I began to hate myself.
Recently a secure place for me to vent and be honest with myself and others opened up. The darling Courtney opened a private group on facebook where we can share and support one another. I have always said that blogging saved my life, I think this group has saved my sanity. Blogging made me understand I am not alone in dealing with the crazies of kiddos like ours, this group made me understand that I am not alone in feeling the feelings of dealing with kiddos like ours.
Sometimes things I read there are depressing and sad. Sometimes they make me laugh. I have said, "OMG I understand!" more than I ever thought I would. Some people would not like the things they read there, heck, I don't like everything I read there. I sometimes cringe at things that are said. But I quickly realize that this is the ONLY outlet some of us have. So many moms have come in thinking they are the only one feeling this way, and low and behold they find out they are not the only one! It is freeing. I have to pace myself, some days I cannot read everything there or I will go crazy. Sometimes I need a break from the crazy or I will focus on nothing else. Sometimes I am struggling so much I need to dwell there a bit. It has been a definite god-send.
As I was reading the post from Last Mom today I realized that I have been doing really well with my anxiety. I have been pretty chilled out with the son's behavior. I am pretty sure that is directly related with the opening of the group. I have had a place to vent AND hear others vent. It has taken the taboo out of saying "I don't want to look at my child" or "Hugging them makes me want to vomit". Do we still hug? Sure. But there, it is okay to admit to yourself and others that you had that feeling. It may sound really ugly and really bad, but you realize that those feelings are not solely in your own head. For me it has allowed me to love myself again.
By admitting my anger and resentment of my child it has allowed me to love myself in spite of the feelings, by knowing I am not in this alone.
By admitting my anger and resentment it has allowed me to release it and love my child despite the feelings, by knowing I am not in this alone.
The past few months has been pretty amazing. I was hooked up with an Orlado Trauma Mama who is more like me than I ever thought possible. Through her messages and her blog she has touched me more than she knows. The women of the facebook group may not know how much I have appreciated their candor and their raw honesty. They may not know they saved me from the self loathing I felt every time I looked in the mirror. For that I am eternally grateful.