So holy crapola face… Yeah… that’s how I talk sometimes… :p I need to fill you in on something that is happening to me since my 11 year old started middle school.
I have been spending the entire length of my time as a momma doing my absolute best to raise good people, while simultaneously shielding them from the world without helicopter parenting. Impossible, right? Yeah… I know. Well, turns out there is very good reason for this.
I was bullied terribly in middle school. So bad that I carried it allllll the way into adulthood. Gahhhd… if I could have told those girls then how damaging their treatment would be, I have to believe that they would have at least thought twice, but it ruined any chance of self esteem, self worth or security that I ever had a chance of having. And because of the generation maybe, I didn’t talk about it, I suffered (like really suffered) in silence and what little my parents did know, they had no idea how to help me. It was the most miserable time in my life and that is saying something. I think I’m able to say it was the most miserable now simply because of how it resonated all over the damn space of my life. It’s also why I am who I am today so it can come full circle, but fuckin A… it sucked hard.
I was afraid every single day. Every day. I never knew what to expect, I couldn’t eat, I dreamed about moving and starting over, I never, ever knew who to trust, I had a constant stomach ache, I had anxiety that I titled my “breathing thing” that made me think I was dying so the anxiety just got worse, I took out my emotions on my siblings and parents, wrote poetry about suicide and plotted how I would do it, then had an anxiety attack because I was too much of a coward to follow through. Oh. My. God. I would not ever go back to that time in my life if you paid me One Billion dollars. No joke. Not even a hint of a funny. No way, no how. Traumatized for life.
Now I’m raising small people and they have to go to middle school. Fuck. They just do. I took Char to orientation a couple of weeks ago and was flooded… I mean flooded with emotions. I was not prepared for how my innate self took over. I went immediately back in time and was a hot mess…. (he would have never known it, it was all about him and I made sure he knew it, but inside I was faaahreeeeaking out). Not a clue that that’s how I would respond. Just wild. Caught me completely off guard.
Well, just over a week ago I sent him off to his first day of the dreaded middle school and I am losing it. I have been so hard on him. If he could just make sure he does this, this, that, and that correctly, maybe, just maybe he won’t get bullied. It has been toxic and I think (fingers crossed) has come full circle. I still have some work to do, clearly, it’s largely why I’m writing this, but I had an honest conversation with him the other day. I had to apologize to him and explain. I have some letting go to do… his path is his path, not mine. I can take what I’ve learned and help to guide him but he has to pave his way. And he will. I cannot control his outcome (much as I’d like to)…
I think the hardest part is that I see so much of me in him… he’s sure of himself but insecure, smart, handsome, and polite and even in the face of over all mostly goodness, I still got bullied… no one is immune and it scares me to death. I think life is just so very complicated enough. I think that there is enough in the world to go through to try to find yourself, your meaning, your way, that being afraid and bullied in addition to that is just cruel, and my heart hurts at the prospect of it. It just does.
I really am trying not to project on to a situation that doesn’t even exist, I’m trying to let the healing path that I’ve traveled for the last several years come to the surface to help me get through this weird visceral reaction, and to of course be there in a healthy way for my wee ones on their very own journeys.
It’s a learning experience for certain. One I wasn’t planning on. We went from being sore at each other to coming to some sort of bond out of this whole emotional mess of a couple of weeks. He got to know me a little bit better and I got to hold him tighter while at the same time releasing him just a touch.
I said I would never try to live through my kids, I’ve been a kid, been there done that, what they do in their childhood is theirs. I will be there to support them through it all with as much love, drive, pushing, punishing, and guidance that they need. But I also have to change the fact that I thought I knew anything about anything because if this caught me off guard just imagine what is yet to come. Oy vey! I could fear it and dread it and try to shelter them from having any experiences like my own, but I’m not going to.
The moral of the story, truly, is to just let go. Let go of the past. Let go of controlling outcomes. Let go of needing to do it just right. Let go of knowing what you think you know. Be present, be aware, be available and love. Just love em up entirely because that conquers a whole, whole lot of shit in the face of life and all her shit.