Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Tower.

Thank you to all who voted on my poll.

I already knew in my heart that I would continue unveiling my story (if you're new here, click on "My Story" and start at the beginning) I was just majorly hemming and hawing and procrastinating. But I know that it is time.

It is time to step out from behind the facade of "good" and never retreat there again.

When I look back on the annals of time in what is called "Christa's Life", I believe the pinnacle of my pride came during my middle sister's wedding. My 18 month old daughter was in the wedding as the flower girl. I was about 6 months pregnant (that was fun trying to fit into a bridesmaid dress!) and the plan was that the delightful and sweet little flower girl of mine would walk up the aisle and then stand by me... for the whole service. People said it couldn't be done, but remember that I told you she was well-behaved? Very well-behaved. We had practiced coming to mommy, staying by mommy, and holding mommy's hand from the time she could hobble on her two chubby legs. This I highly recommend! But only when it's coupled with hugs and smiles and patience and grace, not scowls and displeasure and harshness as they are learning to comply.

Delightful she was! During the ceremony she held my hand, looked around, smiled at people and was only slightly wiggly as she picked the flowers off of her garland. At one point I decided to pick her up because she had begun flinging her flowers around, I'm sure people just giggled. Was I one proud Momma! I was thrilled that my wonderful Mommy skills were being shown off before vast numbers of onlookers.

I remember the sense of pride I felt in my accomplishment when I heard someone comment that Gracie should be the poster child for our church.

And then...

My dear, delightful toddler began doing things that I did not like. She began disobeying in ways that I hadn't encountered before, seemingly ignoring my instruction, not in defiant ways with tantrums, but in almost calculated ways as if she didn't care anymore about pleasing me with obedience. At least, that is how it felt to me. I was losing my grasp, my hold on her was slipping and I was beginning to feel that control had shifted in ways I did not like.

And then, just like that Tower of old, my pride came crashing down and so did I.

I began to get increasingly more angry. My anger began to turn to rage.

Now, I'm sure every mother could say that at one time or another they have gotten quite irritated at a child and squeezed that little arm a bit tighter than they wanted to. The sorrow and guilt from a small moment of lapse in self-control is shared by many mothers. This is not that.

I will not go into too much detail, but I will share one memory.
First, let me tell you adamantly that I was not mentally disturbed in such a way that I would have harmed my child. But I was finding out that there were some things broken inside me.

I have one vivid memory from those early moments of my journey to the dark pit that is hard to recount but I will. I had given my daughter an instruction that she was extra slow to cooperate with and so in my anger over this, I emphasized my command to "GO!" with a push from my foot on her behind. I can still see it in my head. Her little body stumbling and falling into my closet. The darkness that was in me was enveloping her, I felt. It still makes me sick to think about it, but remember that I'm telling y'all this because I am not that person anymore.

Deep breath.
I can't wait to get to the good parts!
Okay, back to it.

My angry cycles were awful. I would get angry, lash out, then feel so distraught and depressed and angry at myself for being angry and then I would get angry again. The darkness growing in my mind was, well, mind boggling. I could not see through the shame and confusion. Add to that, I was highly involved in Mommy groups where I would share advice and "wisdom" with other moms who may have thought I was a fabulous mother. Oh, the agony of living a double life and feeling trapped in it.

And that is how "being good" betrayed me. I had believed in "being good", believed that it would keep me safe, but I soon found out that it was merely a facade and Pride was behind it. It was a mask. That mask was crumbling and yet, I struggled to hold on to the pieces, because I didn't want anyone to see.

Whew! I just have to say that after typing all of the above last night, I had to desist and go rest my head. When my head hit the pillow, it was as if all the old demons decided to try to torment me again... accusation, condemnation, shame... bombarding my thoughts. "You ARE still that person." my thoughts shouted at me. I literally had to pray out loud numerous times before I could sleep in peace.
If you don't understand what I'm talking about, have never given much credence to a "spirit world", then you will be in for a ride. And, no, I'm not some medium or spiritist, I am just aware. Wary, is more like it!
I'm not afraid to tell anyone anymore.

"A light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not mastered it."

Like I said, I can't wait to get to the good parts.
~christa jean
P.S. If this post changes your opinion of me, well... um... GOOD!


Janelle said...

I like the line - Being good betrayed me... emphasis on the "me". For me, at some point, my prayer being "Search me ,O God and know my heart, try me and know my thoughts..." it's like I began to see that "being good" actually exposed my pride...

Anonymous said...

Oh sweetheart, parenting is the hardest job in the whole world. each of our kids requires entirely different parenting, which means if you are being a good mom to one, you're being a less than stellar parent to the other(s).

Perfection is a cage that does us no good. Remember that people actually like us better when we have a few flaws, otherwise we'd simply be insufferable.

I always like it when I go to someone's house and there's still some dishes out or the laundry is starting to pile up. I can't stand being around the supposedly perfect folk, there's just too much of a untruthfulness (that mask again) that gets under my skin.

It's okay to cut yourself some slack. Your children are individuals who will act out and show independence and that's actually good. I try and tell myself that the traits that can be maddening in a small child are often positive traits in an adult.

Give yourself a hug and tell yourself it was from me.

Cousin Katy

Jenny said...

Christa! Welcome back! I remember when I came out of my dark cloud. It was really freeing. I would be happy to tell you my story sometime...