I am who I am. I am a far, FAR (SO INCREDIBLY FAR!) cry from being perfect. Being filled with more questions than answers often lead me spending the wee hours of the night perched atop my grandmother’s old freezer wrapped in a hand me down housecoat in the garage smoking cigarettes. I know it is a disgusting habit…. but in the beginning of my falling apart, it was where I found solace as the smoke curled and moved in the frigid air; I could see change, and know nothing is meant to be still.
It was extremely intimidating and difficult to stand out in this new world. No one likes to bathe in their failings yet there I was bubbles deep in believing I let everyone down, a disappointment to my family, my children. I remember meeting with a mortgage advisor and her telling me it would be best to sell the house; that I would be house poor and not be able to give my kids trips or make memories like that with them. It seemed she was casting judgement holding a light up to my failing. Yeah, I made it out to the van before bursting into tears. How would I make memories with my crew? Would we all end up homeless? Did I begin the unraveling of all of the kiddos hopes and dreams of a “normal” life?
Then it hit me.
I don’t know anyone, and I mean ANYONE, who can afford to not only pay their bills, keep the fridge and snack cupboard full, keep a good stock of toilet paper and toothpaste, AND put seven kids on a plane to whisk them away to some sort of resort to sunbathe and do excursions!!
The hurt her words carried stayed with me for a while. They would creep in and play over and over, but I began twisting them and hearing instead “You can’t do this”, and “you are a failure, a letdown.” Pretty nasty way to speak to anyone, let alone yourself! Slowly, I stopped listening and began to see humor in them. With that came a realization that us moms do it to each other all of the time. We assume that we know what is best for whom we are talking to…. and eventually talk about.
I too am guilty of standing with mouth agape when I witness someone curling and moving in the air of change not because their changes were wrong; because I was not comfortable with the ripple effect and how it may affect me in some small way, nudge me to think beyond the box I put them in.
I still perch atop my freezer to think about things. Things that make me cry, things that make me smile, things that give me hope….sometimes it is my escape from the noise, when the door closes I do not have to be anything to anyone, just Leigh.