Friday, December 11, 2009

Ten

Ten Things I Will Never Tell my Daughter:
  1. I never thought I wanted children.
  2. How terrified I was when I was pregnant with you.
  3. The truth about my parents.
  4. The truth about my childhood.
  5. What a wreck I was the first 2 years of your life.
  6. I bought a pregnancy test and filled a prescription to overdose. You saved my life.
  7. How much hatred I hold inside.
  8. I sometimes resent the childhood you have because it makes me grieve for mine.
  9. The times I cringe when I see his mannerisms in you.
  10. The truth about your father.
Children are not created to carry adult burdens.  I hate my mother for doing this to me.  I listened to her rage, was the brunt of her hatred, and I now carry the shame of her truths.  These are the things I will never tell my daughter.  She deserves better than the truth of who I am and the secrets that I carry.

My mother destroyed herself and in the process, nearly destroyed me.  I carry her woundings and hide them as best I can.  They don't heal; they only fester. 

The inner conflict I feel makes my skin too tight.  I love, I hate.  I am numb, I feel.  I despair, I hope.  My heart blisters and I cut.  My screams of hate are silent lines and hidden scars.

21 comments:

English Rider said...

For now, this sounds right. However, keep open your options to change your point of view as life evolves. Of course you wouldn't give your daughter details, but mentioning, at a later date, that you had an unhappy childhood, may be healthy for your relationship. Children try to understand who their parents are.

Saranne said...

You are making wise choices. But, as English Rider said, never say "never"....I have shared some of my childhood with my daughter, in generalities, never in detail. It has brought us closer, as it helped her to understand why being a good mother has been so important to me....and SHE is a good mother to her children. The cycle CAN be broken! ox

English Rider said...

Hurray for Saranne. She expressed much better what I was trying to say.

Deborah said...

At the age your daughter is now, you cannot imagine revealing the fact or extent of what you have suffered. That's absolutely right. But as your, and her life evolves, things may change.

When you said 'she deserves better than the truth of who I am' perhaps you really meant she should be spared hearing how badly you were treated. But the 'truth' of who you are should not be confused with the 'facts and horror of what was done to you'.
The truth of who you are is much more than how you were abused. It is what you have made of yourself, how hard you try to make a better world for your daughter, how your actions do not always keep pace with your intentions, how you are determined to emerge from your pain. These are things that you share with every other human being, with the notable difference that you have much more pain than most.

What your daughter deserves is what you are already giving her. None of us are perfect mothers.

Ruth said...

I'm pretty sure all parents find it tricky to balance pure honesty and good parenting. How to know what information is useful in a child's growth and learning? I don't think you mean you want to protect your daughter from all hard things, of course. What happened to you seems unbearable, yet you are here to tell us, because it is helping, you and us.

You never know what will help your daughter at any given point. It may even be that you will want to share something in some limited way some day, something of your pain.

I admire you for living in your pain and raising a daughter in the best ways you can. It may seem like it's all you can do, but no. You are choosing to do something very hard. It's a pretty amazing thing.

Deborah said...

I agree with Ruth - especially the last part. It is amazing, Jennifer.

Shattered said...

ER, you are right, my daughter does try to figure me out even at her age. That is probably what started me thinking about the things I don't want to say...

I do need to keep my options open though. Thanks for the reminder.

Shattered said...

Saranne, that is so encouraging to hear! I am so happy for you that the cycle was broke with your daughter. :)

Shattered said...

Deborah, I guess I still have what happened and who I am intertwined together; but I do understand what you are saying. Sometimes it is hard for me to look beyond the present but perhaps who see myself as will change and THAT will be worth sharing with her.

Shattered said...

"I admire you for living in your pain and raising a daughter in the best ways you can. It may seem like it's all you can do, but no. You are choosing to do something very hard. It's a pretty amazing thing."

Thank you, Ruth. Most of the time it doesn't seem like it's enough so thank you for your encouragement.

Friko said...

Not now, no, but not "not ever". Your daughter is growing up the child of a damaged and wounded mother. There is no way she will not one day want to know what has made you the person you are. When that time comes you will know what to say to her. Deciding now that you will be shutting her out of your past is not the right thing to do.

Openness, loving trust and understanding will bring you closer together.

shadyrae said...

I know this feeling. I am not anywhere near being a mother, but I am TERRIFIED to be one. What if I follow in either of my mothers footsteps. My bio mother? Drugs, neglect…or my adoptive mother; abuse and control.

I don’t want to be HER or HER. I don’t want to place my burdens on my child. To blame her for simple being a child. To see her happy and feel hostile. To see her smile, and wish that I knew how. To see her cry, and secretly inside, feel glad that she is feeling some sort of pain.

I don’t want to feel these things. But look how far you’ve come. In my opinion you are a GREAT mother. Your not hurting her, you look after her, you love her. That is more then many children could ask for.

sarah said...

Hey Shattered - I know that hatred, that fear, that pain...I know what it feels like to walk in the dark and see no light. I have two daughters....and I broke the cycle. When they were babies...I spent hours in the dark on the bathroom floor - praying I wouldn't do to them what was done to me. I never have. They are the best, the absolute best. Praying for you. In your corner. Sarah

Paula said...

When I was 9 my mother told me I was actually an abortion not executed as pregnancy regocnized to late. That was 2 years into abuse with my step father. My mother delieverd my to him. 15 years ago during therapy I learnt to overcome the abuse. Felt so much better, had an incredible professional life and a incredible miserable personal life. I thought I had to be better as I had overcome the abuse and teh scar hardly evers itched. What I had NOT overcome, didnt even know HOW much my mother had damaged me in not ever accepting me as child, her child, as being there. I question my right of existence ever so often. Since Novembet this year I am in intense trauma therapy for 3 month. Incredibly grateful to my Federal health system paying all of it. I can relate to hate, pain and DARKNESS. The circle can be broken. I just expereince it, right in this moment. I hear you, I see you. Safe hugs from this side of the pond. Paula

Shattered said...

Friko, you are right, shutting her out would be the wrong thing to do. Secrets are such a big part of my life and it gets frightening to think about sharing any of this with her. However, she is a wonderful child, wise beyond her age and I do think that one day parts of my past will be important to her. Thank you for your encouragement.

Shattered said...

Shadyrae, for your age, you are so far ahead of me. Good for you for tackling these issues at a young age. I know motherhood sounds like something impossible for you now but please don't shut the possibility out. Hang in there!

Shattered said...

Sarah, it is so good to hear that you have broken the cycle with your own daughters. You sound like an excellent mother. Thank you for the encouragement!

Shattered said...

Paula, I am so sorry to hear what you had to endure as a child. Mothers really are an important part of a child's development... I am glad you were able to get the help that you needed. May you continue to heal and thrive. Thank you for reading!

Journal of Healing said...

The inner conflict I feel makes my skin too tight. ...what a great description. I may borrow this. in fact, may i? do you care if i write it into my journal? I hope not.

Shattered said...

Ang, you may certainly borrow this and write all you want about it! :)

Journal of Healing said...

haha. I did, and also it became my quote on skype. no one will know what in the hell i mean, but that's ok. I know.