All those times I told you no

Perhaps a more proper title might have been, “why anxiety keeps me at home” but we all know I like to have something that’s a little more catchy. But getting to the point, this is an apology for almost always saying no. My sadness has won. It’s won for years. Anxiety told me, no and so that’s what I said to you.

We moved here a little over 9 years ago. I had these hopes that I’d maybe left the anxiety and sadness back home with the old house and the old life. I was bitterly wrong. And despite a valiant attempt at being a social butterfly, including starting a MOPS group, I quickly lost to the monster that anxiety is. I think it started to creep back in when I got pregnant with Dexter.  I had this embarrassment associated with having a fourth. The stigma of another unplanned, but much wanted, baby. I remember when my friend Emily told me about her little Matthew, it was a relief to be able to finally tell someone, who I knew would be happy, that I too was expecting. I kept Dexter a secret for a while and when I finally did tell I felt each and every time someone looked at me poorly for adding another to my family. It was like a mounting hill of shame and anxiety seeds. A full field, waiting to bloom into something that looked like the shell I was and occasionally still am.

When my MOPS group fell apart, that probably didn’t help either. Because as each friend disappeared from my life, another anxiety seed sprouted. And when the one friend I really wanted, didn’t show up to our pizza date, I began to lose all hope I’d had to ever be apart of the social circle I’d so badly tried to infiltrate. I stopped letting people in. Even the kind Emily who kept me from feeling like I was a lost mother. I just stopped and I stopped saying yes. I made excuses not to go. I stopped returning texts. I never picked up the phone. I said no, to everything and everyone. For years.

I said no to the parties and to the play dates. I’ve made excuses not to show up.  And despite my love for shooting families, I admit, I’ve spent years hoping people would cancel but always glad they didn’t.  When I got pregnant with Dixon, I hid it for a full 20 weeks. Afraid to be excited; my anxiety stole the excitement of that baby bump. I was afraid people wouldn’t want him, they’d be upset he was a boy. That people would think I was crazy for wanting a fifth. I cried when my beloved friends threw me a baby shower. Because my anxiety told me I wasn’t good enough for a party. Thank goodness for my friends who saw my worth. Thank goodness someone loved me enough to celebrate me and my to be born son even knowing how anxious and unworthy I felt.

But even after that,  I still said no. To everything. To meals, I could have used after he was born. To help on the first day of school. To playdates and lunch dates and all those things. And people stopped asking and I felt relief but then I felt lonely and then my anxiety told me I wasn’t worth it all over again. I had regret. I have regret. For all the things I missed. For not calling my brother, for not saying my peace. For not taking my mother’s group, for not fighting for my place. I feel regret for not riding the rides, for not dipping my toes into the ocean. I regret not learning new things, for not taking the photographs, for not learning how to truly sing. For so many things.

But mostly I have regret for the no. I said no for no other reason but anxiety and self-doubt. And I am sorry. I am sorry I told you no. I wanted to go. Deep down, I wanted to go to your party. I just couldn’t. My inner worth told me I wasn’t good enough and I was too worried I might embarrass you or myself.

I won’t say no anymore. Please ask me again. Sure there may be reasons I can’t go but please, invite me again. Help me beat this monster. Remind me. Remind people like me that I can go, that I am wanted and that I have worth.

I won’t say no.

 

 

 

 

 

Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

The trouble with the truth

I have been thinking about this a lot. I made the mistake of clicking over to a Twitter account I have no business looking at anymore and reading, yet another dribbling version of this person need for everyone to know her “truth”. It made me think of this article I’d read some time ago about why science tells us not to believe eyewitnesses testimony. The reality of it is, we all see the “truth” different.

You see, you and I can watch the same thing and see two, totally different stories. It’s proven. And so while your truth is “your truth” and my truth is mine; that doesn’t actually make it the truth. It makes it what our memory sees. It’s bullshit. It’s a memory and we all have memories that are different than the next persons.

The past month has been a series of ups and downs. Somedays I have this peace seep into my soul that let’s me think for a few moments, everything is going to be okay and then, a something else washes over me, with this fear, that this person , relentless, selfish, insecure and mean, is never going to let anyone try and get back to a normal life.  Instead, my life is going to be a series of hateful tweets, shitty, self-centered decisions and scary stalking motions that leave my teenage daughter fearful for her safety.

There are fewer of those days luckily and more days of peace. Days of walks and baseball and summer. There are mornings of watching the beautiful men in my life snuggle and hold each other close. There is that excitement of when our Daddy comes home. There is sharing memories that have been missing for the last couple years. It’s a pity I still let those shitty days, that hateful person, rent space in my head but I am incredibly grateful for those days that I get peace.

Erin, my therapist told me to find something that I love about all the things I “hate”. Whether it’s food, eggs for example, or whatever, or whoever. I hate them but I love how a good, fresh farm egg makes a cake taste. I find my mindfulness in the flavor those eggs give to my much-loved baking. I hate the smell of cigars but I am reminded of my dad who smokes them at card games and I love him and I love that he gets pleasure from some things, even if it’s cigars. And today, my love for this person I hate so much is that they gave me pieces of my life back. Ones that I have been missing forever. Love notes and handholding. The courage to put on my wedding rings again. I love that, despite the months of torture, I found my voice again. That I have found a love for working out and caring for my body, my temple. That I have made it a priority to make it to the gym, to the therapist, to eat better, to take my medicine. And while I truly, deeply and profoundly hate this person, I love that I got some of my life back because of their selfish, hateful and evil-driven actions. And because they’re so awful, I know I am not. Because I have truly seen what an evil, unstable person can do.

I’ll be honest here. I am tired of being silent. I have sat by and watched this person shit on my life.  I don’t know that it is all about me, or my family but  I am sure some of it is. I can guess what. I have 400+ screenshots of hateful. I have hours with the Royersford Police and many miles to the courthouse and avoid going to certain stores as to avoid this nasty person. But I am done with silence and I will write what I want. And I will say how awful and selfish I feel this person is. How a normal person would have stopped with the bullshit months ago. But instead, makes it a point to make fun of or hurt people they “supposedly” love. What a joke. When you love someone, even when they “scorned” you, you don’t dig daggers into their back. The people you love, you care for. Even when they hurt you. You make sure, even though they’ve imploded your world, that they have a coat when it is cold and food in their bellies. You don’t burn their fucking house down. That’s what SELFISH people do.

The truth works two ways. Mine and yours. Stop with it now. Move on. It’s time. Stop trying to hurt us. Stop hurting yourself. It’s time to move on.

 

 

Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.

Let’s talk about right and wrong, shall we?

I worry about the future.

It seems our current leaders are already lacking a moral compass and now? We’ve got a bunch of 20/30 somethings with the same issues. I worry about the work ethics and the inability to see outside oneself and as I watch certain communities as an outsider versus an insider, I worry. And I worry a lot.

So let’s talk about this. Shall we?

This is Davis. My oldest son and the other young man is Conor. They’re good kids. Both of them. But they’re friends and I happened to have a photo handy of the two of them. This is not about them but I want you to have a visual. So, say Davis is cheating on his school work. Like all the time. And that Conor found out. And then Conor totally ignored that what Davis was doing was bad. And not only did he not do anything about it, he gave him tools to help him to continue to cheat on his homework. And then Davis’ entire world imploded. He about lost his schooling and his life. Where does that leave Conor? To blame? No, not entirely but part of the problem. The really big, big, big problem. And let’s say there were many people who knew about Davis’ little cheating problem and they didn’t tell either. Are they to blame? Nope. But they’re still part of the problem. Davis life imploded. Davis’ mother is upset that his friend knew and didn’t tell her so she could help him and everything has gone to crap. And why? Fear? Is it fear that keeps us from doing the right thing? Is doing the right thing REALLY that hard?

Everyone is too scared to hurt their friend and then, in the long run, THEY REALLY HURT THEIR FRIEND. Are you getting this? By not telling, YOU ARE HURTING PEOPLE. You are PART of the problem. You have a shitty moral compass and then to smack “Christian friend” on top of that lack of morality? Well, there you go. This is a huge problem. Huge. We should be guiding people. Steering them to do good and be good and not be self-serving little assholes who will lie about anything to make sure they get their way or not feel uncomfortable.

And let’s think about Davis’ mom here. She was the LAST to know. The last. And should have been the first. When there was an inkling of bad doing, friends should have said to Davis, “hey buddy, this isn’t right.” and if he didn’t listen? Maybe the teacher or someone like that if you felt too afraid or worried to tell his mother. But nope, Conor and everyone else just ignored the problem and in some cases, handed him the homework to copy in the shape of a theoretical house key. YOU WERE WRONG. You are wrong. Period.

I am baffled. Frustrated really with people, in general. And look, I am not perfect. I have screamed and pushed people at church services. *WAVING*, hi I am an asshole sometimes too. But I know how to apologize. Like a grown up. I know to say, “hey I did a really crappy thing. I can’t change it and nothing you did or anyone did makes that okay. And I am sorry”. That’s how you apologize. You don’t say, “hey I am sorry that I did that thing but you picked on me and so I felt entitled. But I am sorry, kind of but not really.” No. You don’t get to make an excuse to be an asshole. Period.

You also don’t get to be my friend if you sit back and watch that shit. This is what we call boundaries. Your vibe attracts your tribe. I fully believe that if the company I keep tends to snakes, they very well might be a snake too. But people like to watch the shit show, don’t they? The gapper delay is proof of that, isn’t it?  If you call yourself Christian if you call yourself someone’s friend. You are MORALLY obligated to point out to them they’re assholes when they’re being assholes. My friends do it to me. It makes me uncomfortable and sometimes I recoil but I appreciate it in the end. It makes me a better person and it makes me a better friend.

And so, there is my lesson for the day. I’m worried about our future. Worried.

 

 

Hi! I’m Gail, the voice behind Mimicking Motherhood. I started blogging after the birth of my 2nd child as a way to connect with far away family. Things have definitely changed since then. Now, mama to five, this is a place to help connect with other mothers, who feel like me.I love to make and write all while trying to figure out how to be myself in the world of anxiety and depression. Glad you stopped by.