12 September 2017

Learning to Forgive Myself

This week has been our first week where the kids are really back to school and are doing normal full days of work. Today was a little longer than usual as we had some extra school work to get done and my son saw that maybe mommy could use some help with some things around the house. All on his own, he decided to dust off the bookshelf, set the table for dinner and then clean up the dishes off the table when we were done eating dinner. I could really tell he was trying hard and was so proud of himself. As I sat down on the couch, I saw him drop a plate and heard it fall on the floor. It was a plate that had already had a hairline crack in it, so I figured it had broken.

Immediately my son looked up at me and had fear in his eyes. He started apologizing right away at least 3 times and was about to start crying until I slowly got up, smiled at him and said, "no big deal buddy, it happens. You were just trying to help clean up and I'm thankful for your help. By the way, what made you want to help out extra tonight?". He replied, "I wanted to help with everything so that you don't have to do everything by yourself".

I told him thank you and off he went on his way to do little 5 year old boy things like play with his trucks and pretend to fly around the house. As I started rinsing off the dishes to put them in the dishwasher, I replayed the incident and saw my son's face of fear and sadness. I knew why he felt that way. He thought wrath and punishment was going to be lashed out onto him. He thought I was going to start yelling and make a big scene. Over a plate. 

I struggled with depression and anger for quite a time in the past, and sadly, my family got the brunt of all of it. Being quick to anger, quick to lash out with the tongue, that was the old me. A me that I never want to be again, but will not forget because it helps prevent me from becoming that false identity. That brings me to all the bad feelings I feel about my old self and carrying that with me. I get so mad when I think about all the years I wasted pushing my family away from me and teaching my kids that to get angry with actions that I said and did was okay. It really put a wedge between my 9 year old daughter and I, and something I am still working on to build and strengthen our relationship. To reassure her that I love her and that she is important to me. I do not want my kids to fear me....I want their respect and love, but fear, no. It's been close to a year that I have really started making changes in my mood and actions. It takes work to not respond with anger, and to be gentle and kind with responses. I hope over time I can continue to forgive myself for not being the best mother that I could have been and that my kids and I can keep growing and becoming closer and closer. 

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