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I have been many things.
1956 ~ Born to Sidney and Fay Stoner. Dad and Mom' daughter. Newborn
Dad loved me BUT he was an pretty much absent alcoholic adulteress who I sometimes saw on Sundays when the bars were closed. Mom loved me BUT she honestly did not know how. She was a fanatic ~ a combo of religion, cleaning and control. Ridged control. Emotionally and physically abusive.
(We once were leaving the laundromat while traveling. Mom snapped her fingers as she had forgotten our extra hangers. I immediately stopped and stood at attention. She looked ashamed and said, "My God, what have I done to you?" And then forgot and reverted.)
1968 ~ Dad leaves Mom and I become Fay's daughter. Age 12
Dad had started a family with someone else and needed to go complete that one. I gave my mom Father's Day cards as I was thankful she was both to me.
1974 ~ Married Randy and became a mom. Randy Sr.'s wife. Randy Jr.'s mom. Age 18
Yes it was that kind of marriage. Randy and I did not want to get married. We wanted to wait a couple of years. Our moms had a fit so we got married. I was subservient for 18 years and fell right into it with Randy. He thought that was cool!
Randy joined the Navy, was unfaithful and was gone 6 to 9 months of the year. I could live with that. I just wanted 3 kids to keep me occupied. Randy decided one was enough.
1977 ~ I divorced Randy. Still Randy's mom. Age 21
We were divorced about the time that we had wanted to make the decision to marry or not if we had been left alone. All of that heartache... Mom later said that telling me to marry Randy was the worst thing that she had done to me. I still haven't decided. LOL!
I decided to never marry. To be my own boss.
1978 ~ Mary was born. I became Mary's mom (I still adore this 'job'!) She was born on my 22nd birthday. Age 22
1980 ~ Kevin was born. I became Kevin's mom. (Ditto on adoring the job!) Age 24
1981 ~ Met and married Gary. Became Gary's wife. Age 25
I was horrified to discover I had married my mother! Gary was pretty much just like her. I really withdrew into myself. No family, besides my children. No friends unless I wanted to report, verbatim, as to what was said when he was not right by my side. No life.
I tried to be perfect for him. It never was enough. I starved myself to stay slender. That was stupidity.
Mom came to live with us for about 6 months in 1986 and again in 1988. I was a ping pong ball. Do it Gary's way or do it Mom's way? Do I ever get a say? By that time Randy was living with his dad so I was Gary's wife, Mary and Kevin's Mom and Fay's daughter. I was wore out.
1990 ~ Mom passed.
1996 ~ Mary graduated.
1999 ~ Kevin graduated.
2000 ~ Gary moved on to greener pastures.
I went into shock. It has been 13 years. I do not date. I am just learning how to live. Really live. I am still erasing rules that I lived life long. I still catch myself automatically following them. STOP. You do not have to do it that way anymore. You can do your way.
And yet? I have discovered that my way is not the best way. I need God. I want to be God's daughter. I want to obey him. I want to be close with him and saturate myself with his love. He amazes and surprises me daily. He delights me. I pray that I delight him and then giggle. God is delighted with me as he created me.
This is not to be a pity party. Mom loved me the only way that she knew how (you should hear about how she was raised!!) Gary and I had happy times. My kids are a gift from God and they are the most awesome humans in my world.
I am still learning how to be myself. I may never ever make it fully but at least now I have a choice. And I choose God.