Saturday, August 1, 2015

Grief

It's an ongoing grief but I am feeling again that sadness about losing the family that I once thought that I had.

It's a familiar ache in my chest and a hollow feeling in my gut. I feel like a little lonely girl again as I reflect on how emotionally distant my first family is from one another. I feel abandoned, disappointed, guilty, and embarrassed. Not embarrassed of my family's situation, it's a fairly common one. I'm embarrassed about how I believed we were good. I'm embarrassed that I had the wool pulled over my eyes. Embarrassed that I had misguided pride, that I let myself be deceived.

I know it's a dramatic analogy, but I have this image in my mind of a soldier who went to war as a younger man. He was a passionate soldier who was all for his cause. Then he ages and reflects back, realizes that he fought for the wrong side or that there are no right sides at all, and he feels bad. Not so much for what he did but for believing in it so wholeheartedly at the time.

I'm not sure why, but the pain of believing stings more than the silly things I did or said. Comparing our family to others as a way to bolster our false confidence, acting like our cutting sarcastic humor was a sign of closeness; those things were done out of misinformation, someone forced my hand, peer pressure etc., but me believing something... that's too personal. It feels all my fault, a total blunder, or if it was also forced, far too personal or too much of a violation to bear.

I feel so broken and confused sometimes. Is astounds me, the power of childhood experience. Years have passed, I've learned so much, grown, matured, changed and yet these memories still pain me so. How is it our little selves can withstand such things while our adult selves are so tortured by the mere memories, reflections!?

I hope that the books are right, that if I take good care of Baby now he will be a strong, functional, emotionally sound adult. I hope he can be spared this pain, yet I don't know what that would look like, if it's even possible. I know everyone goes through growing pains and their own emotional/spiritual journey, but where is the line between normal and dysfunctional?

How much pain is enough?

On a more positive note, I think my family is finding a new (better) normal as my siblings and I grow up and out into our worlds. I've been working on my boundaries and I feel like we're moving in a new direction little by little. Where we'll end up, who knows, but despite the discomfort, I'm all right with this.

11 comments:

  1. I think what you held onto was HOPE. There is something in all of us that have to keep believing that things are going to turn out OK. When my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer I knew that it was a killer and she would die but I kept on hoping that she would beat the odds. There is nothing wrong with believing that better times will come. It is innate.
    Hannah, do not be hard on yourself over this. You are an intelligent woman with a great sense of humour and with a gift for writing and drawing, You have done nothing wrong in trying to see the best in people (your family). We all deserve that chance.

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    1. It is amazing how hope perseveres. It is so innate! I guess we all wouldn't be here without it, it's hardwired and resilient. Even in my darkest moments somehow it's still there even when I can't sense it anymore, it still pulls me through, somehow.

      Got that chorus from "Wishin' and Hopin" stuck in my head now :)

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  2. Echoing Birdie.
    And the only normal people are those we don't know very well. I suspect most families (probably all families) have some dysfunctional parts. Hope and the commitment to do better for your boy are both huge positives.

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    1. I guess I'll just do my best and see what issues we get dealt! Pretty much what we all must do in the end, and that's okay. Life isn't supposed to be like a sitcom etc :)

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    2. and by sitcom I mean idealized, "photo shopped" TV land misrepresentation :)

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  3. There is so much I could write on this subject, it would probably be not a post but an entire blog. The upshot from my own learning is this: Whatever damage you have had can be mitigated with therapy and with learning new skills and acquiring more positive experiences than the ones you had as a kid. You can start new traditions in your own family and give baby bananaface the chance to be the best boy he can be by making better choices than your parents did. You are already doing that by having a therapist and reading books about babies and what to expect, so kudos to you. It is also okay to grieve what you did not have and still love your parents. Nothing and no-one is perfect in this world but all of the stuff you're learning will help in understanding and making better choices. Did you have a good time and was the babysitter okay?

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    1. Thank, this is encouraging! And yes, we had a good time. I think the hubs was a bit more tense throughout the night than I was (I teared up when we left and walked really really fast from the car to the door when we got home) but everything was fine and she even did our dishes for us! We're definitely going to be working in more babysitting so I get more time to decompress, glad we did it :)

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    2. PS I love "Baby Bananaface" I think I shall use that! Makes me grin every time!

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    3. I like Baby Bananaface as well. It is cute! When he gets older we can change it to Bananaface Boy. :-)

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    4. Dear HBF and Birdie,

      I was worried after I posted the comment that I should not have called him baby bananaface, so I am happy to read that you both like it. I thought it was cute and he is one cute little boy!

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  4. Well, I'm taking a much-needed break from de-cluttering and I'm trying to play catch up with blogs, so here I go... I can assure you that there isn't a family anywhere that doesn't have at least some form of dysfunction. But the wonderful thing is that now that you have your own family, you get to define it just the way you please. So out with the old and in with the new!

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Thank you for reading and commenting!

Be well, HBF