Another year, another surge in pandemic cases, another set of resolutions most of us won’t actually keep.
Another year older. Maybe wiser. Maybe stronger.
So far. 2022 has been…exhausting.
Over Christmas break, I had a breast reduction. Not a huge deal, actually while a fairly invasive surgery, the recovery isn’t awful. However, I’m itchy, irritable, and after school started, exhausted. Plus…I have some body dysmorphia going on, so that’s cool. That is not to say I regret my choice, I’m glad I had the surgery.
But…Christmas break also brings family time. And that brings insecurities about parenting, my body, my children, my husband. And frustration.
My father-in-law kicked my dog across his living room because my dog didn’t like that he was getting too close to RD, so he was barking and tried to nip him. G promptly informed his grandfather that we don’t kick people, and that wasn’t okay. By the end of our week at my in-laws house, my little homebody had pretty much shutdown and withdrawn. My father-in-law’s relationship with both my husband and my children, leaves something to be desired. And G is nothing if not perceptive.
My own family Christmas was not great either. My mother can’t seem to help herself: she’s constantly trying to tell Nate and I what we’re doing wrong with parenting. How we need to parent our children.
This came to a head when a conversation about G’s meds. My mother is convinced that his medication is “making him a zombie” that he’s “overmedicated” that he’s “just a normal kid, why does he need to be on medication, anyhow?”
I cried as I explained that this is what we think is best for him: he’s an academic all-star, but he struggles already socially. His “typical kid” behavior (enter my eyeroll) is enough that his classmates not only notice it, but call him on it, move away from him, or don’t interact with him.
Why wouldn’t I want to nip it in the bud?
I understand that my mom, dad, and Nate’s parents are coming from a place of concern. That they love Griffin and don’t fully understand ADHD, because it wasn’t diagnosed or understood when they were in school.
But…something’s got to give.
I cried for quite a while once we got into the car and heading to our next destination.
I told Nate, I have to do something different. I have to create boundaries. I have to be more assertive. I have to start living my life, without worrying what any one, especially my family has to say about what I, or we, are doing.
Once we got to our destination, Nate dropped me off at Barnes and Noble-one of my favorite places. Come at me. (In my defense, any bookstore is my favorite.) While there I picked up a book suggested by my therapist-in hard copy, because although I’d already bought the audiobook, I do better being able to take notes and about to highlight. Additionally, I got two journals to work on self-care and self-confidence, and books about mediation and mindfulness.
After I got in the car, I was actually kind of down. I told Nate, this is 80 dollars of books that I’ll probably give up on after a few months because I have no follow-through.
I am my own biggest enemy. I’m the the queen of self-sabotage.
But I also have to get boundaries erected. With my family and Nate’s, with my job, with my students, their parents, my coworkers. Everyone.
I have to stop people-pleasing. I have to stop worrying about being unliked, or making sure that I do my damnest to appease everyone. Because, while I’m really good at appeasing most of the people in my life. I’m not happy. I’m not appeased, I’m not “pleasing” myself-for lack of a better term.
And I have to. Because I have to live with myself for the rest of forever. Not the people at my job; not even our families, honestly. Me.
I have to feel authentic. I have to be able to like myself. I have to want to be with myself, to be alone with my thoughts, to be completely okay with who I am.
I have to do this for me. Because I have to relearn to love me. Because…I haven’t loved me in a loooooooong time.
And, I have to love me, so that I can teach my children to love themselves.
Generational trauma is real, my friends, and although my goal this year is to relearn how to love me. It’s also to lay the foundation of breaking the trauma cycles, so in 25 years my kids don’t have to relearn how to love themselves: they’ll still love themselves, because they’ll never stop.
So here’s to 2022. The good, the bad, the ugly. The growth and all that comes with it: pain, tears, scars, healing, and learning.
Here’s to me. Because I fucking deserve it.