I have a good man. I could have been drawn to someone abusive and unfaithful.
I have 4 beautiful, loving children. I could have been too afraid to be a mother.
I have relationships with my family. I could have turned and never looked back.
I have friends. Beautiful, wonderful friends. I have a bent towards the artistic and creative. If I met me, I would like me. Sometimes. While I am not perfect, it isn’t fair to make that the standard. None of us are. Preemies get adjusted age. So I’m giving myself adjusted health.
It’s a constant balancing act. I don’t know what it’s supposed to look like, so I look around and try to follow the patterns I see around me. Emotional and life skills that many children would develop subconsciously in their formative and teen years I have had to BS my way to. Fake it till you make it and all that jive. Every decision and every response is a process of filtering through layers of consideration. Is this how a normal person would answer? Does this situation merit my emotional input? I have trouble with boundaries. In having my own boundaries and knowing where others’ are, but also with making myself get out there and be a part of my life. When it gets particularly difficult, I close in on myself and withdraw. You may have no idea that’s happening. That’s not your fault. The years of caution taught me bizarre behaviors.
But my children deserve better. My husband deserves better. My siblings. My parents. So I take responsibility. I take myself to therapy. I hash it out. Over and over. I make steps forward. A few back. I study and I learn. And I hope.
I remember to say to myself, “You have come far.”
I am in a stable, healthy, ever-growing relationship. That is a fucking miracle. The odds were and are against me. Next September, Jim and I will be married for 10 years. I didn’t quit. I didn’t walk away. I didn’t implode. That is proof of life to me.
My life looks nothing like anyone else’s. It never will. I will never do things the way ‘normal people do’. My relationships will not be the way you think they should be. I will have to work hard for all of it. But it doesn’t have to look a certain way. My life is. That is all. It is messy and chaotic. But it has love. And light. And better.
I have people. Some of them understand different parts of me. But they all love me. And I am able to love them. Against all the odds. Despite the shattered pieces. And sometimes because of them.
And so my adjusted age…
I am letting myself off so many hooks. Your hooks. My hooks. The only hook I need to be on is God’s and Jesus hung on that hook for me so that He could take all of it and make a new mosaic. Where you can still see the broken pieces, the rough edges, and Who is holding them all together in His beautiful Masterpiece.