The month of July kicked my ass! Yes, my late boyfriend’s birthday is right at the beginning of the month and that possibly put me in a funk, but I haven’t been able to fully pull out of it. I’m feeling really burned out and I’m not sure when the recovery is coming.
When I’m feeling like I’m at my wits end I often think about my mom. I admired my mom’s strength growing up and thought that’s how I was supposed to be. My mom was resilient, tough, and didn’t take no shit! She wasn’t very cuddly or emotionally available but she was always ready for war. War could mean taking up for us at school or working overtime to cover unexpected expenses. Whatever it was, she was ready!
My mom was also fighting a war within herself. Her alcoholism wasn’t noticeable to me until the end of my Elementary school years. That is how I found out about her Bi-Polar disorder which explained a lot of her past behaviors for me. My mom held a job and attended church. She would receive awards for her performance on the job and was an amazing matriarch to our family, something I couldn’t really appreciate until she was gone. I think about everything my mother accomplished even with her mental illness and alcohol addiction and I can’t help but wonder…
What could she have done if she wasn’t broken?
Anything that’s broken doesn’t work as well as it could, even people. As I moved through my healing process with my grief counselor in 2017, I started to understand what those faulty ideals and defective practices create.
They create an inability to connect. A guard goes up to protect the person from more damage and make real emotional connections an impossibility, even with close family. Deep inside, the broken person knows they love their kids, their spouse, their siblings, but how to love them is a mystery. The right words and actions continue to elude them, and they implement the defective practices that push love away and draw in the negativity and more distance.
They create the darkest tomorrows. Something that’s broken doesn’t have a long-life expectancy. We are just waiting for the day that it will completely break, fail, or become obsolete. Broken people move through life with no sight of tomorrow. They are broken, and any day now they will no longer be able to fill in the blank. They lack the self-confidence to start healing and repairing themselves. They even lack the support system to help because they never had the ability to connect with others. They don’t have a where or a why for life. Their future looks bleak and they don’t even know what to do about it.
They create/cultivate a community of brokenness. Each one, teach one, right? Broken people live normal lives. They are active in church, they raise children, and they make friends. They influence the lives of others intentionally or unintentionally. Broken people often raise broken children. They have broken friends. They even pass their tainted ideals and flawed practices to the people they simply associate with. It’s not even malicious. Some of the ideals my mother passed onto me was to protect me, I’m sure. Be strong! Never need anyone for anything, and don’t let them see you crying! They will think you are weak! She meant well, but her ideals and practices still cultivated brokenness. Then I had my own kids…
I’ve found so much progress on my journey with therapy! Talking through my broken ideologies, understanding where they come from, and getting feedback on what it takes to eradicate them has been monumental. I’m able to see that I’m not actually broken. There is nothing defective about the person I am. That was something I believed for so long. I see that my home was broken and my way of seeing things was broken, but I have everything I need to fix it. This is why I’m really looking forward to starting therapy again this week because…
What could I do with my life, if I stopped being broken?
I’m excited to see.
After spending a year in grief counseling, I started to see that my life needed a major overhaul. Yes, my boyfriend died making me the single mom of our infant twins, but I was still grieving my loss of innocence from decades of abuse. I decided to turn my pain into a new purpose and to share this journey with others that may need some motivation.