Last year, I laid down; I buried myself in my grief, blanketed by the hardship of being a mom to a child with so many behavioral problems. The Sandy Hook shooting scared me because I wondered if the shooter would one day be my kid. And then I read this and realized, ok, I don't have it that bad. It doesn't change the negative outlook I have for my kid's (I have a hard time calling him son) future (he seriously needs to outgrow the lying and stealing and a whole host of things that could earn him a prison term as an adult) but it does lessen the sense of doom and gloom such a thought caused.
However, for 2013, I'm going to be selfish; I'm really going to think more about myself.
A few days ago, I read an article that really got me thinking; it was called 8 Signs You're a Control Freak. Going down that list I thought, my God, I really am a control freak. Some things that stood out in particular:
- You believe that if someone (READ: my kid) would change one or two things about themselves, you'd be happier.
- You passively-aggressively withhold attention until they fall in line with your expectations. Do I really do that? If I'm being honest...yes.
- You offer "constructive criticism" as a veiled attempt to advance your own agenda. (Did it with the ex-bf with regards to the way he dressed and the car he chose to drive.)
- You present worst-case scenarios in an attempt to influence someone (READ: my kid) away from certain behaviors and towards others.
- (here's the biggie) You have a hard time with ambiguity and being ok with not knowing something.
Some of the other points may have been true at one time or another as well. And as crushing as it was to read my behavior reflected back at me, there was a glimmer of reformation to be found in the rest of the article, which not only helped identify a problem but offered solutions for how to temper the control freak in myself. Again, a few of the items really stood out:
- Accept that a large portion of life is laced with unknowns.
- Embrace confrontation-- it really is sometimes the only thing you can do.
- Take responsibility for your own actions.
So no more laying down. No more tucking my tail between my legs and hiding out from the glare of life. No more not living. My house used to be filled with laughter; my family used to go places and do things together; there used to be peace. I can tell that my kids miss the way things used to be-- I do too. I wish all of last year did not happen and that the blissful veil of ignorance was not removed. But it did and it has been. And the ensuing misery crushed us.
I lost my joy. I need to locate it.
There are a lot of sacrifices to be made this year but my peace of mind doesn't have to be one of them. I've got to repurpose my life. There are things that I want that I need to go after and I can't get them holed up in the house on Facebook.
I've got a bit more writing to do, some plans to outline, some dreams to examine before I can get started. Looking forward to the change.