I’m having second thoughts about this whole blog post challenge 😉 It does put a differing spin on any kind of writing I would do, which, more likely than not would come from some poorly processed and pressing life issue at any given moment. I have a lot of those.
Have I thanked my mother and soon to be ex? Oh, yes I have. I thoroughly enjoy my passive aggressive side.
Today’s writing prompt is nudging me to a more positive post. Which does align rather nicely with the whole premise of letting the old blog go and revamping it to be more than just the focus of how badly an addicted spouse can fuck you up. He is only a part of my story – albeit he is a big and long-standing part of my story.
Well before he became the train wreck of my husband, he was my friend. And no, not friend before marriage type ‘friend’. He was my childhood friend and he was *good* friend, a good person, so good. We played ball together, went to Fenway, skiing, the movies, we’d spend hours on the phone talking and go to DQ after baseball games. We went to the same schools in the same town from K to high school. We really do have some good shared memories… He is some of my fondest memories of childhood and the catalyst for some horrific nightmares of my present day.
I still existed outside of being his childhood friend and unwanted wife he tried to kill. I do have enough stories of the alcoholics in my childhood and enough of my own fuck ups and hard learned lessons to write a book.
I should look more like Kleo right now than I do myself. His childhood vs. my childhood, anyone in their right mind would have put their money on me to end up like my mother. She was a drunk and parenting of me isn’t something she did, like ever. He was the smart one, from the good home, and he was the one who ended up being over the top successful in his life.
Unlike him though, I didn’t become addicted to synthetic marijuana and blow my $200k a year career away to end up in a shelter – still not embracing how destructive that drug use ended up being.
I’m not over the top successful in life, I am a high school dropout, single mom raising 3 kids. Sometimes I have money woes, sometimes not so much. My life looks a lot like what I would perceive to be ‘normal-ish’. We’ve lived in the same house, in the same small town for 13yrs, I have a car payment and regular bills. I don’t have a “nice” house in the “nice” developments but we don’t live in the slums either. We live like everyone else does on the same sleepy street in this little river town.
How did I not become my mother? How did I not fall and stay down like my husband?
While the writing prompt for today was to spotlight a significant person in our life, it didn’t conjure up these thoughts or the drive to put them in words. I’ve always felt them, I’ve always wanted to put them down on paper, if nothing else so that someday my children would have those parts of me, which in turn are also parts of them.
With that, every ounce of who I am today and more importantly, who I am NOT today, I attribute to the influence and love of a woman who became the closest thing to a mother I could have asked for. I believe that without her love and role in my life – I would have followed a destructive path. I would not have had any reference point to even know I wanted to be more than what my own mother was. She took me in to her family and her fold and when I was there, I was allowed and taught to be a child.
How did that happen?
Being the unsupervised child of an alcoholic 😉 one day I was roaming the streets and happened upon her and her young son. I went in and I’ve never left that place – that home. As she said, I fit right in. I even stuck through her vegetarian stint…that way trying.
That was 30+ years ago and she is still the strong woman and mother I emulate. She is how I learned to love my own children and why I was dedicated to protecting my own children’s childhood, to hold it sacred.
Because she was nice to me as a kid, even if she made me eat lentils (I can’t forgive that) isn’t what makes her a person worthy of such influence. Fuck, even the fact I think she is the biggest reason I didn’t become a drunk like my mother isn’t even it.
It is because of my 3 children that makes her, her. Why she is that one person in my life that I trace back to my unrelenting drive to be a good parent.
I wanted to be just like her. I wanted my children to have a childhood that was honored, sacred and safe. Just like I felt when I was at her house.
My adult life hasn’t been a cake walk, and fucking Christ the past almost 2 years have been shit on shit.
So you see, it isn’t because she may be the biggest reason I didn’t drink myself to death like my own mother. It’s because I have 3 children who grew up and had a childhood that she gave me. My kids don’t need to roam the street to have some random neighbor take them in and love them, because they have that in me and I got that from her and her family.
She just may have very well broken the insidious cycle of child abuse, child neglect and alcoholism – she didn’t change just my life.
She changed my children’s.
That is one powerful fucking woman.