April 06, 2011

Sadness Defines You

It has been awhile !! To say that a lot has happened in my life is an understatement. Sometimes I feel like my life is a movie script and any minute some guy in a cape and tights is going to jump out of nowhere and say... "Hey I am Fix Your Problems Guy !! And I am here for you !!" Ha !! But, I know better. Cause whether it feels like your life is a movie or not, you gotta deal with it. I got lots of favorite quotes. I find them as I read, or hear them on the radio or TV, or friends share theirs with me. This is one as of late that fits how I feel, "Your joy can fill you only as deep as your sorrow has carved you." Kahlil Gabrin. I have been straight up, carved out, these past couple of months. I will just start at the beginning.... And I am not going to mince words. My family has been through a lot as of late. We found out six years ago that a lot of my mom's depression and behaviors were caused by the fact that she was severely abused throughout most of her childhood. When this came out in the open, it was scary to say the least. The things that happened to her were unimaginable and ugly. Well, it triggered memories for me, and I had been abused in the same circumstances as my mother when I was younger by her family. The pain and realization of this was at times unbearable to me. But, through counseling, family and friend support, and my Heavenly Father, I have gotten to the point where I can deal and live with this pain. So after all this happened... and came out into the open, my family dealt with it in different ways. I shop !!! Yep, that is my coping mechanism. I have filed for bankruptcy, make a lot of money a year... but never have any. It is a sickness. My brother turned to prescription pills. My sister turned to being a rebellious teenager. We all dealt with it differently... to survive. It is funny how you hear that typical saying... a pebble thrown in the water makes a constant ripple effect. Well this ripple is still occurring... still rippling. My brother got arrested last month for his prescription addiction. This was the beginning of the two months of hell my family has had. The second thing, was my mom passed away on my birthday... March 6th. This was a hard thing, but a blessing in disguise as well. She has been in a long term care facility for six years now. After she told us about her childhood, she went crazy to the point where she was a danger to us and herself.. so we put her in a home for safety and for her benefit. She hasn't been well in years... so her passing was a blessing because I know that she is better off now... but still it was bittersweet for me. There are a lot of unresolved issues for me that I know will not be resolved until I see her again. But, I miss her !! My mom and I were close... extremely close... and I miss her !! And then... (It happens in three's) my baby sister is going through some serious issues with her family. She and her husband were arrested as well. It is a joke now with my dad about when he is going to come bail me out of jail. See.. the ripple is rippling !! My dad is an amazing man !! He is just there for us without question or guile. I love him !! But, amidst all the sadness and pain, I can see the horizon. I have always had that capability thankfully. I think it goes back to that quote... I have experienced great pain.. thus I can feel and see the joy. I have so many things in my life to be grateful for.. health, my beliefs, family, friends, career, my home.... that the sadness pales in compare. I have learned that it is how you choose to deal with sadness that defines you. If you face it, feel it... ride out the ripple it becomes a part of you, a carving. But, you have to let the good things in your life fill up those carvings. So the sadness is still there.... but filled with joy. It is the only way I can keep going... keep living. It is still not easy... I doubt a lot, and want to cave often... but it a daily thing. Living by the moment... waking up in the morning willing to fight everyday. I wrote a poem for my mom that I read at her funeral. I think it pretty much sums up how I feel right now. My mom was an amazing woman. She was an amazing mom. Yah, she made mistakes.. did a horrible thing to me.. but it does not define who she is. I will not let it because I choose that !! She brought more joy to my life.. than ugliness. I can't wait to see her again. When I was little she used to always tell me that she was an ugly duckling when she was little. After she passed, we were going through her stuff and I found a picture of a beautiful swan in a lake. On the back my mom had written... Me swimming in the lake. At that moment.. I understood why she would always say she was an ugly duckling... it became clear. Everyday I feel her, and am grateful for that relationship I still have with her.. and the knowledge I have of the after life. This poem is special to me... but I want to share it with you. I will try to keep the blog up to date. Life is good and bad... but I am living !! :)

A SHINING SWAN

I was born into this world as an Ugly Duckling.

The one that did not fit in. Ridiculed, manipulated, abused, and cheated of her childhood.

No one protected me from the ugliness… not my mother, father, brother. I feel like I don’t belong in this place of darkness, hatred, ugliness.

I sought solace in my friends, singing, make-believe, makeup, shopping, and eventually my religion.

Soon the ugliness was wearing thin. I could see past my ugly beak, my tattered feathers, my nightmares, my gawky cries.

Light penetrated my soul, and I was reborn. Escaped my past, to start anew, to learn I am not an Ugly Duckling, but a loving mother to be.

The love of a child made me whole. The ugliness pushed down deep inside me, set aside my needs for my children, to ensure that they knew no ugliness, no harm, no hate. They were not Ugly Ducklings in my eyes.

Give of myself to all. I understand pain; I can empathize with the pain of others. Take their ugliness away. Don’t want them to be Ugly Ducklings. I will carry their pain. I want to carry their pain.

No time or place can change your past. Fought for the good, the light, but my ugliness was within, calling me, beckoning me. I lost one child to it. Pain, ugliness, always beckoning me. Not strong enough to fight it. Not fair, a victim, I will always be an Ugly Duckling.

Family now broken but not hopeless, I still have hope. Never lose hope. Hang their pictures on my wall. Write their names in my book, call their names in my sleep, and whisper their names in my prayers. My family, my light, the only thing not ugly in my life. I am tired of being an Ugly Duckling. Sickness afflicts me, makes me weak. Why must I be an Ugly Duckling? Hold onto the light, hold onto my family. My light.

I close my eyes for good in my sleep. A light beyond all others penetrates my soul with peace. I see his strong, brown eyes of comfort and peace. His outstretched hands waiting for mine, the scar in his hands warms my soul, and lightens my pain.

I am home. I look up to see my reflection in his eyes. I am not an Ugly Duckling, not a deformed bird. I see white, a beauty beyond anything I have seen before. I am a Stunning Swan in his love. I was always a Swan. I understand now. The ugliness is gone forever. Never again will I be an Ugly Duckling. I am a Graceful Swan, swimming in the pools of heaven, preparing the way for my family to swim by my side. My Baby Swans to be with me again. Here I am progressing. Not standing still anymore, not sick but strong, for I am an Unfinished Swan. I work towards being a mother again, a Shining Swan for her young. For that is all I ever wanted to be and will continue to be.


6 comments:

The Dudley Bunch said...

Oh Tam...big hugs to you. My heart breaks for you and your family, and I hope you can get through it. You are one strong chica!

kierste @ brown paper packages said...

Tammy, I am so sorry for the pain that your family is going through. I can't imagine losing a parent, but knowing that she really is in a more peaceful place must provide some comfort. I am thinking of you, and praying for your whole family.

::Preppy Principal:: said...

Sending you a big hug and praying for some peace for you and your family. I love ya!

Andee said...

So proud of you girl! I know it can be hard at times, but I hope you know that YOUR strength is an inspiration to OTHERS too! LOVE YOU!!!!!

Brinaghs said...

Your amamzing! I love being apart of your family! Stay stong....Your poem was beautiful! Love ya

MaryCuth said...

Tammy, I was catching up on old blog posts since I have found I don't have time during the busy school year and came across yours...I am so sorry for all of the things your family has had to endure. I love how you put things into perspective, look for the positive things in life, and keep your sense of humor. You are truly and AMAZING WOMAN!! Take care and hang in there. I think of you and your family often.