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grateful vs resentful

I struggle with this one a LOT. More than I would ever like to admit to anyone. I find it hard to be grateful for what people choose to give me, and seem to become resentful towards them, for when they choose to withhold from me.

I can remember resenting my Momma, when she flat-out turned me down, at my offer to have her babysit Rebecca. Rebecca was an infant, and I was a tired brand-new mother. Momma was still working full-time as a teacher. After teaching 135 children all day, coming home to a screaming kid, was not her idea of a good time. I can’t say that I blame her. Yet, I do remember resenting the fact that I had no help in those days.

As the babies kept coming, Daphne just a year later. Then Bronwyn 3 after that. Each time asking my folks if they wanted to attend the baby’s birth, or to be there to help out, I was told, “No thank you.” By the time Russell came along, I didn’t even make the offer. Resentment settled in as I watched them traveling 672 miles to my sister’s side each time she gave birth, yet couldn’t travel the 23 miles to my home.

I used to joke that I could count on 1 hand how many occasions my parents had babysat for my children. 1 hand. That’s less than 5. Over the course of my having 4 children spaced 8 and 1/2 years apart. Yes, there was a lot of resentment built up there.

In recent years though, my parent’s attitude towards grandparenting changed, as well as their commitments towards being teachers of children. They have taken care of my children on so many occasions I can no longer keep the count. I know that it must look strange to outsiders, and feel even stranger to my parents when I gush and gush and gush my gratitude towards them, each time that they help me out. Phone calls, texts messages, even taking one or both of them out for a meal, to show my thankfulness. I know that had I not spent those years being turned down, I would not appreciate it half as much, as I do.

Along with that lesson I think that is why it is so very hard for me to actually ask for things. I’ve become so accustomed to being told, “No.” that I don’t feel, that I deserve very much in life. Instead I find myself just trying to do everything on my own, and having to work twice as hard, because of these chains.

Maybe the lesson isn’t so much as to be grateful for what I get, but to also keep in the forefront of my mind — don’t ask, don’t assume, just accept what you get and be thankful for that.

I don’t usually publish stuff on here that is written by others, such as this. This has touched me soooo deeply I couldn’t let it go. I’ve watched it a dozen times in the last few days, since finding it on FaceBook. This woman has written my life. She has been able to put to words my journey, in a way that I haven’t been able too.
My gratitude to you Lucy.

Click this link to find a short movie called “Mine”

He was my comrade. Sinking into the trenches.
I wanted to rescue him…
If that meant bearing his loathing… his insults.
If I could have swallowed his sadness….
I would have.

But I wasn’t his comrade.
I was a prisoner of his war.
Until a friend made me listen (*thank you Elena*)
After 20 years, I made a break for it… (*with my children in tow*)

I am not a casualty of his war.

I am mine.

These words remind me of not “allowing time to soften the edges”. The Ex-husband has been kind lately. He actually said “thank you” to me. I know. I know. Shocking!!!! He has even taken the time to ask about the health of a friend. It makes me remember some of the things about him, that he was capable of. The things that I fell in love with. That made me want to stay by his side, and to heal his demons.

Then I remember. I pause before I fall over the side of that ledge again. I take a deep breath and pull myself back from that very dangerous ledge… of loving him. Of allowing my guard to come down and let him anywhere near that vulnerable part of my self.

I needed Lucy’s words… to remind me of the horrible things that he is capable of. Of the insults. The anger. The nights of fear for my life. The lives of my children. Of the night he was chased down by the sheriff’s dog, and arrested. Of his demons that wanted to kill me alongside of him. To remind me of what is Mine.

And what isn’t.

Shell Time

Shell Time

I have to say that I have been doing a lot of this in the last weeks… and months. I have been saying “No Thank you.” to more invitations than ever before. I can remember a time when I wished that they would invite me more… now I’m finding that I really wish for more time alone. More time to spending working on my gardens. Time to write. Time to enjoy that Perfect Cup-of-Joe, on my front porch.

There’s a time for every thing under the Sun.
This is my time for some Me Time.

And all on my own too!

I’ve been getting people telling me lately that I NEED to have a man in my life. That it’s not healthy for me to be alone like this. That it would make my life easier. Better. More complete somehow. Pfft!!!!

AND *eye roll*

I’m just fine on my own. I can even do things for myself, like the outdoor shower project. I can’t do the plumbing, but I can hire the right person for the job, and pay for it myself.

Space outside my bedroom door.  Near the pool.  Before.

Space outside my bedroom door. Near the pool. Before.

Project parts.  I had Lowe's cut the wood for me, but I hauled it all home by myself.

Project parts. I had Lowe’s cut the wood for me, but I hauled it all home by myself.

We have a box! :)  With these really cool screws that you ratchet.

We have a box! 🙂 With these really cool screws that you ratchet.

Frame is made.  Time to haul it out to the space.

Frame is made. Time to haul it out to the space.

Had to take a bit of time to clear up the space first.  So grateful that the clouds came out right then, to keep me cool.

Had to take a bit of time to clear up the space first. So grateful that the clouds came out right then, to keep me cool.

Ready to assemble!

Ready to assemble!

Have I mentioned how much I love my drill?

Have I mentioned how much I love my drill?

All done!  Just waiting on the plumber to come and hook me up.

All done! Just waiting on the plumber to come and hook me up.

Even managed to keep my manicure in tact.  Bronwyn would be so proud of me, especially since we just got them done yesterday.  :)

Even managed to keep my manicure in tact. Bronwyn would be so proud of me, especially since we just got them done yesterday. 🙂

I am in awe of you, Marcella.  You were brave enough going through all of these trials in the first place, but you also had the strength to later stand up to those who would deny you that victory over the abuse.  :) You stood up to your family and said, I won't let you tell me i wasn't an abused wife, or that I didn't ever tell you about it, or that I wasn't justified in calling the sheriff and having him arrested for that abuse, and that it was unfair to Barry that I filed for divorce. The silver lining of the week was that they outed themselves on Facebook and made self-serving statements, which you were able to refute with facts. I think you have made a giant leap towards freeing yourself from the past, and moving froward towards creating a new reality for you and your kids. Your Sweetie

I am in awe of you, Marcella. You were brave enough going through all of these trials in the first place, but you also had the strength to later stand up to those who would deny you that victory over the abuse. 🙂
You stood up to your family and said, I won’t let you tell me i wasn’t an abused wife, or that I didn’t ever tell you about it, or that I wasn’t justified in calling the sheriff and having him arrested for that abuse, and that it was unfair to Barry that I filed for divorce.
The silver lining of the week was that they outed themselves on Facebook and made self-serving statements, which you were able to refute with facts.
I think you have made a giant leap towards freeing yourself from the past, and moving froward towards creating a new reality for you and your kids.
Your Sweetie

I keep hearing a song lyric in my head. One that played quite a bit when I was in the divorce process. This process is much like that one. I am divorcing my family. I am letting them go.

I’m walking away a winner… Walking back into my life.

I even let Barry know. Rebecca was eggin me on, in a typical teenager way, about how she was going with her dad, to the BBQ today at my parents’ house. I told her that she could not. When she continued on, I let her know that I would contact the sheriff if she wasn’t where she was supposed to be.

“So Rebecca says that you are going to take her to the BBQ tomorrow. Against my wishes. Note that if she’s not here by noon tomorrow, and I find her in custody of someone other than who I granted, I will be forced to call the authorities.”

Barry replied: I told Rebecca no your mom should go. So its not about the kids its about you not letting the kids spend time with ccousons

Me: Its about them choosing to still be married to you; after our divorce. They picked you. You win. You get my family in the divorce. Enjoy having them.

Barry: Really you need to grow up.

Me: I am. I’m no longer fighting you for their love, or affection. I give up. You win. I’m letting go. And moving on. Making my own family.

Barry: Look your mom doesn’t let me in her house. This is about the kids they shoul not be forced not to see their visions or grand parents that’ on you. And you live with that. Have a good nite sleep

Me: That is not true. And I do know that my family (well your family now) has choose you, over me. I am accepting that now. I am releasing those ties, and moving on.

Today’s Horoscope:

You’ve been running around a lot lately, but this frenzied pace of yours must stop. Soon. Take a break, today. It’s the perfect time to brush off projects, because there are plenty of much more fun things to do! You and a partner might have differing ideas about which option sounds like the best one, but figuring it out will be fun — and this kind of good-natured negotiation will help you two grow closer. No matter what you end up doing, you will be able to really relax your mind.

Well, I have to say that while my body has been stopped in its tracks, with my ankle injury; my mind has been in full swing still. As if you couldn’t tell with the 24 new posts in the last week. LoL

I am realizing though that this experience isn’t about just slowing down my body. Its about slowing down ME. All of the parts of me. My body. My exercising, which I will go back too, but maybe not at such a frenzied pace now. My self-fulfillment. My empowerment, which I will go back to fixing things around my home, and learning new things down at ACE Hardware. My growing. My sense of the woman I am supposed to be.

Even my brain.