We went for the weekend to our camper. We have it at some relatives cabin up near Park Rapids, MN. It is a beautiful spot, and I love it there. This picture, it is super messy!
There is often tension around family for me. I hesitated to even write this, because I don't want to make anyone feel bad. But I don't think many family members read this. Because they never mentioned my blog or any of my recent public displays of addiction.
This area of my life triggers me like the neighbor thing. It doesn't trigger me to want to go get high, but to get inside my head and twist around like crazy. Because I feel they don't look at me for who I really am, they only look at what they think is wrong with me, what I've done in the past and focus on it. They have a hard time trusting me as a parent to do a good job. Even though, it isn't their job to take over. They often try. They even sometimes will interrupt me when I am dealing with my own kids, and say stuff like "I'll take this from here." Honestly, I am not even kidding.
For the record, we get this from folks on both sides of the family.
One instance recently was that my daughter and son were swinging on the hammock. The kids had been told by myself and others one-million times to not do this. They flipped over, and the crack-sound of their heads hitting the ground was loud. When I walked over there, I overheard someone say, "is he breathing?" Well, this got me a little freaked. So I bent down and took my 9 year old and kissed and hugged him because he was hardly moving (he was totally fine.) My daughter was sitting up and I spazzed out a little on her. Might have swore, might not have. But nothing crazy, just like, "We told you to not fricken do that, why the hell don't you listen?" My daughter stormed off saying something like, "You didn't even ask if I WAS OKAY!" I know how dramatic this age group can be, so I just let her storm off.
The family members sitting there were looking at me like I was a crazy idiot. Then no more than ten seconds later, they got up and followed my girl. Going as fast as they could to undermine my parenting. Proceeding to tell her that, "Sometimes people take their problems out on other people." Assuming that I had problems, and talking to her about doing what I told her NOT to do, was the same thing as taking them out on her.
See?? Ramble, ramble, ramble. That stuff drives me crazy, and it is subtle and passive aggressive and frustrating. I parent the way I parent, my kids are the way they are, and I LOVE THEM. And they love me. We are done with people thinking they need to fix us.
What this ultimately does to my kids is tell them that their lives aren't good enough. When they are being "fixed," it gives them a sense that they need fixing. Mind you, there is plenty of room for us to improve, and we are working at it. But recovery is a process, and we are doing it. They don't need to hear rigid rules or what other people do "better" in their families. This comes from the place of other people's need to have us be a certain way, so that they can feel good about it. I think it mostly comes from a place where they just want me out of the picture. But that COULD be a little paranoid, (I doubt it.) There is some Al-anon work for EVERYONE right?
I know that they do love my kids, and want nothing but the best for our family. Our best looks different, because our road is different. This has been, and still is, one hell of a road.
Most people who know me, are glad they do and are proud of me. Most people say nice things and support me. And there is a tiny percentage who don't, and that is where my "I need everyone to like me" brain sits. I have to let that shit GO!! Just did. Yeah...right.
Here I am, another Thursday, talking about people not liking me. Say it with me now, "What other people think about you is none of your business."
It feels different when it's in front of my kids, right? Ugh. I'm trying to regain respect here!
What I believe about myself is far more important than what anyone thinks about me (if I keep saying this, someday it will feel true.) People undermine my parenting because they see me as incapable. At one point, I was pretty incapable, and that worked rather well for them. I am also alone on all things that resemble discipline or order. It isn't an easy job and I often fumble. Compared to using, I've come a long way. They may never get past it. But my kids are.
The whole ride home from the camper, my family laughed our heads off. We have never been closer or more together. They sang their inappropriate boob song (oh my god, don't ask,) I begged them to stop and we made the 3 hour ride go by fast. We like us just the way we are and don't need anyone to fix us.
All of this stuff is on the path of recovery. It isn't all fun and games. There is real stuff to deal with along the way. And it is a family disease, so it takes time for all of us to find our spot in healing. I am willing to keep trying, and if others also do, then great.
Oh my god that was long. Sorry, I'll work on that.
**I should add that most of the time, we have fun with family. I just get hung up on these things. Work to be done everywhere.
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